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As you probably know, chess boards are the type of checkerboards upon which chess is played. Virtually all chess board choices worldwide have the same pattern and layout, with some rare variations. Most chess boards and playing pieces are made of wood. With its good hand feel, it is the favored material of most players, and is always used in top-level games and competitions.

You can use a lightweight, portable chess board card covered in linen or felt, or even a canvas mat chess board for on-the-go or outdoor play. But, there’s a good chance you’ll really get into the game once you start playing - after all, it’s the most popular board game in the world. So, why not express your personality, and later, your chess “status” and your knowledge of chess history through the type of chess boards you use?

Many players opt to have several distinctive chess boards and complete chess sets in different locations of their home or in different homes, using unique designs as a statement and an artistic flair, while showing off the real prize: their chess-playing skills.

Chess boards have 64 squares, with eight dark and eight light colors, variously called “white” and “black,” or “light” and “dark” (though competition-level play chess board colors are buff and dark green). Squares criss-cross in eight rows (also known as “ranks”) and columns (or “files”). Files have corresponding letters from a to h, running left to right for the “white” player; rows use numbers 1 to 8, starting with 1 at the same player’s edge and leading away. The chess board is always set between players so that each player’s closest right-hand corner is a white or light square.

Chess board size is based upon the size of pieces, which are taller than they are wide. The pieces themselves should be balanced, as well-turned wood ones will surely be, and the height of the king, the tallest figurine, will vary under 2.5 inches, but up to 4.4 inches. Since most players choose a king height of about 3.5 inches, the chess board will be a corresponding 16 - 23 inches.

The most well-known and sought-after chess sets today follow the Staunton design, named after famed 19th Century English chess champion Howard Staunton. Jaques of London, the longest running manufacturer of chess sets today, made the first Staunton sets and accompanying chess boards in 1849, and still manufactures the highest quality chess sets, chess boards and accessories used on the planet.

Jaques produces superior quality chess sets, handmade by expert English craftsmen, and also produces chess boards of the finest quality. Chess boards come with inlaid walnut, maple, sycamore and mahogany woods, many with meticulously inlaid borders and spacious edging. Jaques even has complete multi-game sets that use a chess board, another board for backgammon and other game elements included. As inventors of numerous games, they’ve been renowned for making game lovers happy for centuries.

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