I'm a pretty avid chess player (not a good one by any means), and I've been looking for a well-designed, minimal chess board for a few years now.
There are a few on the market, but they are often too minimal, making the chess pieces hard to recognize at a glance.
I went out searching for the middle ground of a beautiful board, but really struggled to find anything that I would both want to display in my home, but would also want to actually play on. Until I found these two.
This is my favorite chess set I've come across by a significant margin. It was a kickstarter project that ended up on October 28 2021, and was successfully funded over 3x what they were asking for.\
Each piece is instantly recognizable, and the sum of all parts make it really stand out from a traditional chess board.
The pieces are made from gypsum composite, giving it a nice texture, while still keeping things pretty light.
It comes in a variety of colors (Black, Sand, Moss) each with a slight patterned option, as well as a spill proof coating to keep it looking fresh over the long term.
These boards are currently in production, but if you didn't get in the kickstart round like me, we'll have to wait until they become available on their store.
Next up is my second pick—this beautiful handmade board created with concrete. I love the character design of these in particular, and the custom case they provide with the set is also a nice touch.
These are available for purchase on Etsy, and are made and shipped out of Ukraine.