Chess Board Size | A Helpful Guide for Selecting the Right Size

Posted by Steven Barnhart on 14th Sep 2020

Chess Board Size

Choosing the right chess board for your chess pieces

A common chess board consists of 64 squares of alternating light and dark color, as an example dark rosewood and maple chess boards would feature the rosewood as the dark squares and the maple as the light squares.

This guide is assuming that the chess player already has a set of chessmen and is trying to select the correct board to match their chess pieces.

It is all about your preferences

When you are browsing for a new chess board the most important factor is your own personal taste.

However, there are some other important factors that will come into play if you want to have a good playing experience.

We will cover the two most important here:

Selecting the right size board squares to match your chess pieces.

This is probably the most important consideration when you are investing in a new chessboard; if the bases of your chess pieces are too large for the squares of the board it is going to be extremely aware to play not to mention ugly!

By the other extreme if the bases of the chessmen are real small and the squares large it will also be aware and ugly.

As a guideline you can refer to the 75% guideline, which states your king’s base diameter of your chess set should be 75% of the playing square diameter of chessboard you would like to purchase.

Simple enough however, even more simple is a video below that gives you a visual of how that should all play out.

Selecting the right color of the chess board.

The next important element is selecting the right color squares, it is not real critical but if you have black and white chess pieces you may not want red and gray chess board squares.

There is no rule when it comes to color; this is more a case of your personal taste.

There are not going to be any chess board police showing up at your door and throw the cuffs on you for not having the right color chess squares.

Selecting the type of chess board material you desire

This topic is not real critical and again it falls into the preference category, there are a variety of different materials to choose from presented here are the most common but certainly not all.

Wood: The sky is the limit when it comes to different types of wooden chess boards ranging from walnut, rosewood, maple, mahogany, birds eye maple and many more.

Metal: This type of board usually will be paired with metal chess pieces, just because together they make an awesome chess set.

Leather: The leather chess boards are usually faux leather stretched over some type of wood, usually this will be fiber board, rarely is it solid wood.

Stone: The stone chess boards are usually marble or alabaster but can be any stone that will take to the process that is required for making a chess board.

The bottom line

Choosing a chess board is not rocket science just get the square size and colors right and the rest is going to be your preferences, of course the purest may turn up the nose but it is your money! 

Just remember you are investing in a chess board for the enjoyment of playing this fascinating board game so if you remember these 3 key factors you will do well:

1) The diameter width of the King's base, this is usually given as the king base width in the specifications or dimensions.
2) The playing square width on the chess board, which is the actual size of each square the chess piece will be on.
3) The total width of the chess board, of course this is the overall size of the board often given as width x length and is normally square i.e. 15” x 15”, there may also be the height of the board.