Do you like playing chess?
Do you also happen to love ancient Egyptian art?
If so, you’re in luck – because Egyptian chess sets are the perfect combination of both interests!
These one-of-a-kind sets feature intricately carved pieces that depict popular Egyptian gods and goddesses.
So, if you’re looking for a unique way to spruce up your chess game, be sure to check out some Egyptian chess sets!
Scroll Down for a list of Egyptian Chess along with their pictures.
Egyptian Chess FAQ
Egypt did not make chess as such. Their most popular Game – Senet – is considered by some as one of the predecessors of Chess. Some Senet sets date around 3000 bc and with time Ancient Egyptians believed “ritualistic” Senet gaming sessions provided a glimpse into the afterlife
The ancient Egyptians had a version of chess similar to modern-day versions. It was called Senet. In this game, players used either counters or stones to move their pieces toward the end of the board. Whoever before their opponent does!
Egypt vs Rome Chess Set
As far as chess goes, an interesting option to consider is a Rome versus Egypt set.
It allows you to replay the historical war between Egypt and Rome that in 30 BCE led to the annexation of Egypt into Rome, and to the death of Cleopatra, the last active ruler of the ancient dynasties of Egypt.
Truly those events had a profound impact on the culture and history – and now you can play them out your way for yourself!
This particular set is of the less expensive variety, however, it should still make a nice addition to any Egyptology enthusiast’s collection.
Minimalist coloring does have its merits.
However, as is the case with most of the more exotic chess sets, it may be unsuitable for small children, as some people complain that the pieces are a little too easy to damage, and small parts may be a choking hazard.
Pieces are made of polyresin, and each measures around 3.75”.
Board is made of glass, measures 17”x17”. $69.99 at amazon.
Egyptian vs Roman Chess Set
This set is very similar to the one above, save for the colors;
each piece is hand-painted in vivid, life-like colors.
Whether you prefer your sets painted or not, you can have your pick, and still at a good price!
Pieces are made of polyresin, 3.75” each, board is made of glass and measures 17”x17”. $89.99 at amazon.
Resin is a less expensive material which tends to be quite durable – a good compromise, really.
However, resin sets are not to everyone’s liking, not everybody enjoys the way it feels to touch, and some people voice durability concerns.
But despair not! There are quite a few options for your tireless player who wants a set that will last long, and feel good.
If you’re a fan of chess, or even if you just enjoy collecting different kinds of chess sets, then you’ll want to check out the Egyptian Chess sets.
These unique sets have a beautiful design that is inspired by ancient Egyptian art and hieroglyphs.
If you’re looking for a conversation starter for your next game night, these sets are definitely it!
Egyptian Chess Set
That one is not so budget anymore, however it certainly is one of the more beautiful sets out there.
In this set both sides are Egyptian, so it is a “civil war” setup. Some may wonder whether that’s even remotely historically correct.
It is indeed “historically correct”. Ancient Egypt has had many revolts in its long, nearly three thousand year long history, before finally succumbing to Romans in 30 BCE.
The board is certainly quite ornate; it is fairly rare for a board to be so ornamental.
It also doubles as storage for the pieces. The material on that is also of a less usual kind;
both the pieces and the board are made of polystone, which is a composite material made of resin and crushed stone.
It makes the pieces more durable, and gives them a very stone-like feel, which is also an advantage!
Pieces – polystone, around 3”, board – polystone, 22”x22”. $192.05 at amazon.
Royal Egyptian Chess Set
Since we are talking polystone, let’s have a look at another, perhaps more niche, set;
This one is truly of the higher-end variety;
the board has a very traditional look, being made of maple and walnut. Pieces are, as above, set up for a civil war.
However, those pieces are even nicer to look at (is that even possible?!), and the hand-painting is truly something different.
As above, the pieces are polystone.
This is truly a set for a refined chess – and Egyptology – enthusiast.
Pieces – polystone, around 3”, board – maple and wallnut, 15.75” x 15.75”. £233.23 at regencychess.co.uk
Ancient Egypt Pharaoh Chess
You can tell at the first sight that it is, indeed, a thing made to last, and to be enjoyed.
The board is of a more classical design, with a nice glossy finish, while the pieces are made of a metal alloy composed of zinc, aluminium, magnesium and copper.
This is a “civil war” set, with both sides being Egyptian.
Pieces are metal alloy, each 2.5”-3.5”, board is MDF with a marble design, 17”x17”, $124.90 at amazon.
You can also buy the pieces separately, without a board.
Vintage Egyptian Chess Set
Now let’s get back from metal alloy to more mundane crushed stone composite.
This particular set that we have found for you is also in a clearly distinct style;
it does look as if it could have been dug up from an archaeological site just a couple days ago.
Their style is reminiscent of the Lewis Chessmen which have been created around the 12th century.
Those are truly for people of very particular tastes.
Pieces are made of polystone, around 3”-3 ¾”, boards available separately. $199.95 at chessusa.com
Oh, and if mixing cultural heritages isn’t quite your thing, they also have this Lewis Chessmen replica here; https://www.chessusa.com/product/2U-CV2.html
And with that set it is time to conclude our little excursion into ancient Egypt.
Whether you consider chess historically appropriate in that context, or whether you think otherwise, chess as a truly timeless game does justice to the long and meandering history of Egypt.
Wrapping It Up
So there you have it- a quick look at Egyptian Chess’s history and modern play.
Have you played it before?
What do you think?
I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!