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2016 Campfire Chess Holiday Buying Guide

Christmas is right around the corner and its time for the obligatory holiday buying guide for the chess fanatic in your family. Campfire Chess is proud to present our top items that will make great stocking stuffers or gifts for your favorite chess player.

1. Stonkraft 10″ Travel Chess Set ($24.99/Amazon.com)

There is no shortage of travel chess sets out there, but this little set from StonKraft International has become my favorite go-to set over the past year. It comes in multiple sizes and I have found the 10″ board to be the perfect balance between portability and usability. The pieces are magnetic which is great for reviewing *Chess Life* or *Chess Informant* on the couch. It makes a great backpack set for analysis as well as friendly OTB competition at work, school, or home.

2. Asus Transformer Book T100HA ($322/Amazon.com)

Not long ago I did a review of the HP Stream 7 Microsoft Windows template as an alternative for Apple users wanting a portable way to run Chessbase. It’s been a few months since that review and I have to say that my opinion has changed somewhat dramatically. I am now convinced that this laptop/tablet hybrid from ASUS is a much better solution although it does cost about $200 more than the Stream.I have been using this device for the past few weeks and have loved every moment of it. It is extremely portable, adequately powerful enough to run the database program and perform most basic Windows tasks. Its touchscreen is far superior to the HP Stream and it has an exceptional battery power reserve and has lasted me longer than 12 hours during certain tasks. Look for an expanded review with photos and examples of use in the coming weeks.

3. Chessbase 13 Starter Package ($170/Chessbase.com)

Chessbase is the granddaddy of all modern chess programs and is used almost universally in the professional chess world. The larger database comes with approximately 6 million games with many annotations by some of the worlds greatest players. Chessbase 13 was released earlier this year and although it is a minor upgrade, I highly recommend it for its performance improvements alone. The starter package should be enough for the casual chess player looking to dive into the world chess databases.

4. Bent Larsen’s Best Games ($15.49/AmazonKindle)

Bent Larsen is one of the greatest fighting chess players in history and this book is a collection of his best games throughout the course of his chess career. I have this book on Kindle and have been enjoying it a lot! If you’re looking for a new Kindle book for your favorite chess player or looking for a paperback as stocking stuffers, this book is an excellent choice.

5. Yellow Mountain Travel Chess Set ($6.55/Amazon.com)

Now, I know that there are a lot of travel chess sets out there and I’ve already put one on the list. However, the quality and size of this little set is almost unbeatable. It folds up thinner than an iPhone and unfolds into a clear and beautiful black and white board. The pieces are very clear and easy to maneuver, so it makes for a great analysis board or pocket set.

This is just a small sampling of the many chess gifts that are available online. If these are gifts that you are not interested in, I hope that it has sparked an idea where you can reach out and find the gift that will please your favorite chess player this holiday season. May the many blessings of God pour down on you and your family this holiday season.