Choosing the right chess - guide to size, woods and lacquering

GUIDE TO CHOOSING A CHESS SET

Slider
Guide to Choosing a chess set and matching pieces and board

GUIDE TO CHOOSING A CHESS SET

Slider

CHESS SIZE GUIDE

The most important factor in matching pieces and a board is the square size. There must be enough free space around the pieces, but not so much as to make it look too sparse. There is a “78% rule”, which means that optimally the base diameter of the king should be 78% of the square size of the board.

Choosing a board of the right size for your chessmen

In our selection, we have made this as easy as possible:

With the Earl and Vulcan series, go with a board that has 5 cm (≈ 2.0 inches) per square.

With all the other sets (which have a king height of at least 10 cm (≈ 4.0 inches) and a base diameter of ca. 4,7 cm (≈1.85 inches), select a board that has 6 cm (≈ 2.36 inches) per square.

If you were to place an order of a set including non-compatible chess pieces and chess board, we would double-check with you before shipping.

LACQUERED OR POLISHED?

Compared to many other chess stores, we offer relatively large amount of lacquered sets. This is in part because of our concept, according to which we concentrate on high-end, best quality chess.

Lacquering makes the sets a little bit more expensive than non-lacquered, traditional versions. One obvious advantage of it is that it protects the wood from changing the color, which is a natural process happening over time in all woods. The other, obvious effect is the luxurious, glossy feel it brings.

This is not to say that non-lacquered pieces can’t be equally luxurious. It is, after all, a matter of taste and also a matter of the design of the pieces. In our opinion, the lacquered pieces suit perfectly many modern designs, whereas the non-lacquered, polished pieces often suit more traditional designs. Our goal is to have different options available for every taste!

CHESS WOODS GUIDE

Chess Wood Guide – Boxwood
Boxwood
Chess Wood Guide – Padauk
Padauk
Chess Wood Guide – Ebony
Ebony
Chess Wood Guide – Antiqued Boxwood
Antiqued Boxwood
previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

EBONY

Ebony is a world-famous wood, used in manufacturing the world’s most valuable stringed instruments: guitars and grand pianos. It is famous for its unique black colour, hence our use of it for the most valuable black chess pieces.

Many chess companies sell “ebonized” chess pieces. It is important to know that this term simply means less valuable wood that is stained black. All chess pieces sold by Design Chess marketed as ebony are made of genuine ebony.

PADAUK

Like ebony, the African padauk is a very valuable wood, and it can be used as an alternative to both white and black chess pieces.

The chess sets made of padauk benefit greatly from a well-lit playing environment. The more light there is, the more striking its red tones look.

BOXWOOD / ANTIQUED BOXWOOD

Boxwood is the most common wood for white chess pieces, owing to its fine grain and high density. It can be also painted in any colour.

Antiqued boxwood means boxwood that has gone through a chemical process, where the wood is given a darker, antique tone. At the moment, we offer this option in the 1849 Staunton series, where it fits perfectly.