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Tournament Chess Sets Guide

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The chess equipment offered by the organisers (hosts) of a FIDE or Continental Championship, Olympiad and other FIDE registered tournaments shall conform with the standards specified by FIDE, and shall be approved by the Chief Organiser and the Chief Arbiter.

Here are the standards of the chess equipment for FIDE registered tournaments approved by FIDE:

  • Chessmen ( they can be named the Chess Pieces as well)

 

 

What is the material the professional chess pieces should be made of?


Chess pieces should be made of wood, plastic or an imitation of these materials.

The size of the pieces should be proportionate to their height and form; other elements such as stability, aesthetic considerations etc. may also be taken into account. The weight of the pieces should be suitable for comfortable moving and stability.

 

 

 

What is the best size of chess pieces recommended by FIDE?


 

Recommended height of the pieces is as follows:

King – 9.5 cm

Queen – 8.5 cm

Bishop – 7.0 cm

Knight – 6.0 cm

Rook – 5.5 cm

Pawn – 5.0 cm

 

The diameter of the piece's base should measure 40- 50% of its height. These dimensions may differ up to 10% from the above recommendation, but the order (e.g. King is higher than Queen etc.) must be kept.

 

Further information and detailed formulas on sizing Chess Pieces and a Board can be found in our Chess Size Guide.

 

What is the recommended form, style and colour of Chess Pieces?

 

Recommended for use in FIDE competitions are pieces of Staunton style. The pieces should be shaped so as to be clearly distinguishable from one another. In particular the top of the King should distinctly differ from that of the Queen. The top of the Bishop may bear a notch or be of a special colour clearly distinguishing it from that of the Pawn.

 

 

Black chessmen should be finished in a dark colour: in black or brown or other dark shades of these colours. So they can be painted in a dark colour or made of dark types of wood like: ebony, rosewood, Indain acacia.
White chessmen may be made of wood as well if only the type of wood used for them is light (natural colour of wood) like: hornbeam, boxwood. Chessmen should not be too shining (they should not be finished with a glossy lacquer or made of glossy metal or glass). Chessmen should be nice to the eye.

 

 

Chequers (they can be named the Chessboards as well)

 

Material and colour


For the World or Continental top level competitions wooden boards should be used. For other FIDE registered tournaments boards made of wood, plastic or card are recommended. In all cases boards should be rigid. The board may also be of stone or marble with appro-priate light and dark colours, provided the Chess Organiser and Chief Arbiter find it acceptable. Natural wood with sufficient contrast, such as birch, maple or European ash against walnut, teak, beech, etc., may also be used for boards. Combination of colours such as brown, green, or very light tan and white, cream, off-white ivory, buff, etc., may be used for the chess squares in addition to natural colours.

The most popular types of woods used for the Black squares are: mahogany (or sapele), walnut, padouk, wenge, ebony, Indian acacia, redwood. Ones for the White squares are: sycamore, maple, birch.

 

Here are configurations of the wooden inlaid tournament chessboards available in our current range:


Black squares: mahogany (sapele)

White squares: sycamore (maple)

 

Black squares: walnut

White squares: maple

 

Black squares: padouk

White squares: maple

 

Black squares: alder ebonised (Black)

White squares: maple

 

Black squares: wenge

White squares: sycamore

 

Black squares: Indian acacia

White squares: boxwood

 

Black squares: redwood

White squares: boxwood

 

 

Black squares: ebony

White squares: boxwood

 

 

All chessboards must have a dull or neutral finish, never shiny. Chessboards can go without alphanumeric notation or with an alphanumeric notation printed on along the borders.

 

 

 

Size of the square and the board



 

According to the FIDE statdards the side of the square should measure 5 to 6 cm. The side of a square should be at least twice the diameter of a pawn’s base (it means four pawns on one square).

The most popular size of chessboards seems one with the squares of 55mm. Chessboards with the 55mm squares are offered by DGT (e-boards). We have a wide range of Polish economic wooden tournament inlaid flat and folding chessboards as well. They are also available of cardboard (yellow/brown) and of plastic (foldable) or of vinyl (roll up chess boards).   

 

 

A comfortable table of suitable height may be fitted in with a chessboard. If the table and the board are separate from one another, the latter must be fastened and thus prevented from moving during play. Wooden chessboards should be equipped with protective felt pads. The felt surface provides for a board being moved on a table without abrasion.

 

Further information about selecting an optimal size of a chessboard can be found in our Chess Size Guide.

 

 

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