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Guide to Matching a Chess Board to Your Chess Pieces

May 23, 2008
One of the nicest things about putting your own chess set together is that there are no rules. After all, this is one of points in matching a set of chess pieces to the chess board by yourself, instead of looking for a chess set that has already been put together for yourself.

Still, there is a set of guidelines that can be followed to make this process fast and easy for you.

Match the size of the King to the board square:
The first thing that must be considered is the size of the base of the King. The King is the largest chess pieces and will therefore have the largest base diameter. The obvious goal is to make sure that the square of the chess board is larger than the base diameter of the Chess Pieces. It is fine to leave it at that. For those who want better refinement, the rule of thumb is to have a chess board square be 33% larger than the base diameter of the King. So, if your King has a diameter of 1.5 inches, then you should aim for a chess board with 2.0 inch squares (1.5 inches x 1.33 = 2.0). Of course you can select 1.75 inches and it will look great, but you probably don't want to go too much larger.

Matching the colors of the pieces to the board:
The second thing that you want to be aware of is what material makes the chess pieces. Special attention should be taken for wooded versus metal chess pieces.

Wood chess pieces provide the easiest rules with them. Rosewood chess pieces work best with the rosewood and dark rosewood chess boards. Black and ebony chess pieces match best with the like colored chess boards. Sheesham (a light brown wood) is best with boards that are made from walnut, hazelnut and sheesham woods. Wood pieces match best with boards that have a matte or satin-matte finish to them, but will also look pleasant with glossy boards.

Metal chess pieces match best with three different chess boards. The brass and metal of chess pieces match very well with the brass pressed boards, both traditional brass as well as colored variant; such as blue and red. Also, these pieces will match well with wood boards that have a glossy finish added to them, especially board made from grey briarwood. Finally, metal chess pieces are nicely complimented by chess boards that are made from pressed leather.

While there are no definite rules that apply to a personal chess set, there are the guidelines for those who need the help to match a chess board the chess pieces that you have already selected for your life.
About the Author
Bradford Roegner is webmaster for BraRoe Chess Sets. He is available to help provide people with the tools to bring chess into their life. You can contact him Bradford@braroechess.com any time with question.
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