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Top 5 Chess Equipment for Beginners

This article is about the best chess equipment for beginners.Have you chosen to start playing chess? Or perhaps your child got inspired and wishes to start off with this wonderful new hobby? Perfect –  now you need some chess equipment to start off and have a lot of fun diving into the wide world of chess!

On your first steps into your chess career, we want to take you by the hand and to simplify your life a little. There is a grand market aiming to introduce a lot of different things to you. Just like you need an equipment when you start with any other sport or hobby in general, you need several basic things for becoming better at chess.

In the following article, we want to present you with the top 5 chess equipment that we consider to be necessary and helpful for beginners to advance effectively at chess! Not only equipment such as a good chessboard and a clock are relevant, but also well-chosen training tools are essential for your progress.

#1 of Top Chess Equipment:  The Chess Set

The basic chess equipment you need to play a game of chess is a chessboard and chess pieces. Many people just play chess online; however, it is more meaningful to use a three-dimensional chessboard regularly, because real chess games in tournaments also take place on real chessboards and not online.

For beginners it is useful to buy a chessboard which shows the numbers for the ranks and small letters for the files. It is easier to learn to algebraic chess notation that way, something which is crucial in chess, especially if you plan to play in chess tournaments.

Great wooden chess sets are not absolutely necessary for beginners – a good plastic chess set is fine as well. Nevertheless, it is important that the chess set is of high quality, so that it doesn’t go bust quickly especially when children frequently use it.

Moreover, using a high-quality chess set makes one feel like a more important chess player. This psychological aspect shouldn’t be underestimated and can be found in chess just like in many other areas in life – people feel better and more motivated wearing good clothes or using, for example, branded shoes for playing a football match!

It makes sense to use a tournament set right from the beginning, as you will use it in real games too. We can recommend you the Premium Chess Set Combo which includes a high-grade vinyl, roll-able chessboard, good chess pieces in a color which you can chose and a deluxe chess bag in which you can store everything that you need for a tournament.

#2 of Top Chess Equipment: The Chess Clock

Besides the chessboard and the chess pieces, you need a clock to compete against others. If you love a little exiting competition, a chess clock is an indispensable tool for your training. Moreover, chess clocks are used in all tournaments, so you need to know how to deal with it.

There is a big difference whether you play under time pressure, or just for fun thinking about a move as long as you want. Collecting serious playing experience is absolutely essential for improving your skills. So, just take a good friend and play a real chess game with a time limit for practice.

A good clock we can advise to you is the The Easy Game Timer digital chess clock from DGT Projects. The clock is not too expensive as well as easy to use and to setup. It looks stylish and can be programmed for all relevant time controls – so it completely fulfils its task.

#3 of Top Chess Equipment: Chess Books for Chess Training

The good old chess book is often the best tool to use to improve your skills. There are dozens of chess books to each opening, endgame, chess psychology, strategy and so many more! For a chess beginner, it makes sense to use a book for training the tactical skills and one for training the strategical skills.

A recommended chess book for training the tactical skills is Understanding Chess Tactics by Martin Weteschnik. The author examines all important tactical motifs like pinks, forks, discovered checks, systematically step by step.

A highly advisable chess book for strategy training The Amateur’s Mind by Jeremy Silman. The author sets up positions on the chessboard and plays them against his students to discover how the students think and afterwards, work together on their strategical failures which hinder them from performing better!

If you’re interested and would like to get further information on chess books, you can read the following article: Best 10 Chess Books.

#4 of Top Chess Equipment: Chess Apps

Nowadays, the smartphone is that one thing which we never forget at home, that we use regularly, and always have in our pocket. This little mobile phone offers us all chess training opportunities!

Surely, most people are extremely busy nowadays and don’t really have a lot of time for enjoying hobbies that often. So, what can be better than using the smartphone for a little training whenever you get some minutes while you are on the go?

Chess Apps allow us to play a little or to train on our smartphones whenever we want to. You can play games online or use a tactics trainer to gain experience as well as to practice more often at any time of the day or night. Websites like or have such chess apps to download for free!

#5 of Top Chess Equipment: Chess DVDs

Chess DVDs are the perfect training tools for people who don’t like to go anywhere for training, who don’t like to have fixed training hours, but want to make their own hours in a comfortable chair at home, lying at the beach or anywhere. Grandmasters and other grandiose chess players train you for an unbeatable price!

There are various beginner chess DVDs which are excellent to improve your chess skills. We want to recommend two brilliant beginner chess DVDs which you can obtain for a special discount on!

1.    The Lilov Method – From Amateur to Master

30 hours of high quality training with the experienced chess trainer IM Valeri Lilov! IM Lilov provides you with deep knowledge about positional understanding and tactics which he helps you to implement into your play to skyrocket your skills!

If you study this course carefully, your progress will be visible very soon!

2.    Comprehensive Beginner Chess Course (EC Vol 21-30) + Bonus 

10 beginner chess DVDs and 27 hours of chess training with GM Damian Lemos! These beginner chess DVDs focus on players under a FIDE Elo rating of 1500. GM Lemos covers all essential elements of the chess game including the opening, the middle game, the endgame as well as numerous important concepts that are indispensable for good chess training!

This pack also includes a special bonus: “Kasparov’s Greatest Hits – Empire Chess Vol #11” for free where GM Lemos shows you the best games from Garry Kasparov, one of the best chess Grandmasters ever!

If you are interested in further chess DVDs, you can read the following article: 5 Best Chess DVD Series.


There are so many different pieces of chess equipment out there which can help you to improve your chess skills! We hope we could help you to get a good overview of the most important tools that are useful for chess beginners. Now, you can just start and see how much fun chess can be!

If you have questions or any remarks, then feel free to leave a comment.

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