How to match the right size chess board and pieces

How to match the right size chess board and pieces

Chess sets, that is, the board and complete set of pieces, come in a variety of sizes, materials, styles and themes. But what do you do when have a really nice chessboard, but no pieces to match it? Or you may have a good set of chess pieces, but no board to play on.

Create your own chess set. You can mix and match styles, themes and materials, designing a set that expresses who you are as a player. But you’ll need to do some math to get the right size board and pieces to make the set work.

 You Have Chess Pieces and Need a Board to Match

As you shop, take note of the dimensions of the entire board as well as the size of the squares that the pieces sit on. The size of the board is important from a standpoint of where you’ll be placing the board (on a coffee table, in an office, etc).  Think about where you’ll set the board up to play, and if you’ll need to store it when not in use.

But the more important factor for choosing the right board is the size of the squares. To find the right size square for the pieces you own, measure the base of the king, measuring for the diameter of the base.

Multiply that number by 1.33. That result is the minimum-sized squares you should look for when selecting a new chess board. Here’s an example:

  • Base of the King: 1.5″
  • Minimum square size: 1.5″ x 1.33 = 1.995″

In this example, a board with 2-inch squares or larger is suitable. Any smaller and the pieces are too close together on the board, making it difficult to move them during play. By this same principle, avoid boards with squares too large for the pieces, as the disproportionate sizes may prove distracting.

 You Have a Chess Board and Need Pieces to Match

To find the right size set of chess pieces for a board, first measure the size of the squares on the board. Multiply that number by 0.75. This result tells you the largest measurement you want in terms of the base of the king. For example:

  • Size of the squares on your board: 2.5″
  • Maximum size of the base of the king: 2.5″ x 0.75 = 1.875″

You would select a set in which the king’s diameter was 1.75 inches or less. This ensures the set fits nicely on the board with a 2.5 inch square, leaving enough room for play. Use these two simple equations to mix and boards and pieces, and create a collection of chess sets that is sure to intrigue opponents.

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