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4 Ways of Selecting the Right Chess Board

Jul 19, 2008
Every chess board is going to have the same basic to it. It will be overall square. There will be 64 evenly sized squares set in an 8 by 8 pattern, with alternating colors of light and dark. After that, there a few different options that helps to make the chess board special. Keeping these four areas in consideration will help find the best chess board for you.

Material
There are several materials that a chess board may come in. The board may be made from cardboard or vinyl, materials that are often regulated to more informal chess board for neither tournament play nor for household display. Wood boards are appropriate for both tournaments and for matching with wood chess pieces. Usually a wood chess board is formal enough to be displayed. Metal chess boards are also available and match best with metal chess pieces. Metal chess are usually reserved for informal playing and for display.

Colors
Just as important as the material that is used for the chess board is its color. The key for a well coordinated chess set is that the board and pieces match each other, not unlike the decor of a room. While there are exceptions to the rules, usually the dark squares of a chess board should match the 'black' pieces of the chess pieces. So, a rosewood chess board would match with rosewood chess pieces, etc. It is still stylish to go one shade lighter or darker when matching. That is, sheesham
(brown) chess piece would match with a rosewood chess board, not with an ebony one. Also, metal boards that are tinted different color; such as brass, red or blue, are usually reserved for metal chess pieces.

Borders
There is nothing to say that a chess board must be limited to just the playing squares. While those are the most important part, there is the option of obtaining a chess board that has a frame around it. The border around a chess board can be anywhere from .5 inches to 2 inches. Usually the frame has the same material and color as the dark squares from the board. There is no specific function for the frame other than to dress the board up, but some players do like to place captures pieces on the frame.

Inlays
In addition to having a border, chess boards can be found that have an inlay that off-sets the frame from the playing squares. The inlay serves to break-up the continuity between the frame and playing squares. As such, the inlay will usually be a pattern or color not already found on the board.

Just as important as the chess pieces, yet so often overlooked is the chess board. While the chess board is much more restricted in its appearance, there are still a few things that can be done to the board to make it more elegant. By paying attention to such things as materials, colors, borders and inlays, you can guarantee that the right chess board will be selected.
About the Author
Bradford Roegner is webmaster for BraRoe Chess Sets. He is available to help provide people with the information to bring chess into their life. You can contact him Bradford@braroechess.com any time with question.
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