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Chess size Guide

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CHESS SIZE GUIDE

 

Aside from the total dimensions of the chess board its size is also determined by the square size of the board. One of the most important aspects of selecting a chess board and pieces is the relationship between the size of the squares on the board and the size of the pieces that are used.

 

By applying the rules and guidelines below, selecting a board and set combination should become much easier. No matter if you need:

  • a chessboard which fits best your own chess pieces
  • chess pieces which fit best your own chessboard
  • a chessboard and chess pieces  which fit best each other

 

Of course the colour of chess pieces and one of a chessboard should match with each other as well.

 


You should start with the chessboard. First of all you should specify the max size of the board which would correspond with the space on your desk or table. Additionally you will need some more space on the desk, on the outside of the board. It will  be useful for a chess clock, chess pieces put aside or a glass of drink.

 

No matter if you use a folding or a flat chessboard. Aside from its total dimensions the following other features should be considered as well:

  • square size

· diameter of the King’s base

· diameter of the Pawn’s base

  • King’s height (however a diameter of the King’s base seems crucial)


Some chess players consider the weight of each chess piece type as important as the diameter the King’s  base. Both features influence stability of the chess piece.

 

How to find out a system for sizing chess pieces and boards?

 

For properly scaling chess sets and boards the diameter of the King and the diameter of the Pawn, resting on its square, gives us the best visual indication of scale and proportion.

 

What size of the chessmen and the chessboard fits best each other?


There are some official formulas published by different vendors or organizations on the recommended ratio of the diameter of the King’s base (or the diameter of the Pawn’s base) to the square size.  According to them;

 

The ratio of the diameter of the King’s base to the size square should be between 72 and 82%.

 

So if the ratio shoud be roughly 77% we can determine the diameter of the King’s base using use the following formula:

diameter of the King’s base = 0,770 x square size

For example, the King which fits best the square size of 55mm is one with the base diameter of 42,35mm

 

The diameter of the Pawn’s base should be around 50% of the square size.

 

So according to this formula we should be able to put 4 Pawns on one square. It may happen that a single Pawn seems still too small when compared with the board square. In that case another formula would be recommended as well: if we put two Pawns on the diagonal of the square the ratio of the diameter of the Pawn’s base to the square size would be 58,6%.

Then we have a new formula:

Diameter of the Pawn’s base = 0,586 x the square size

For example, the Pawn which fits best the square size of 55mm is one with the base diameter of 32,23mm

 

So these formulas allow us to determine chess pieces which fit best a given chessboard. If we want to select a chessboard which fits best a given King or a given Pawn we should use the following formulas:

 

 

Square size = diameter of the King’s base / 0,765

and

 

Square size = diameter of the Pawn’s base / 0,586

 

Of course a chess set for amateurs need not match with the tournament standards. Particular preferences of players should be assured as well. The diameter of the King’s base cannot exceed the square szie. That is the crucial point.


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