The Wood Shoppe - #1 How to properly size chess pieces to boards

Dec 24, 2010, 7:35 AM |

Buying a chess set is easy…. right?  Yes and no.  After spending hours on-line, you find a combined set of chess-pieces with the board, the pieces are perfect but the board is not what you're looking for.  Looking further, you're able to find the chess pieces without the board.  Two hours later, you find a board that you really like.  How do you know that the chess pieces will be properly scaled to the board? 

Fitting chess pieces to a known board size:  The guideline that we use works well, pay close attention.  The base diameter of the king in question will fall within a range of 68% to 75% of the square size.  If for example you want to buy a 2.25" board (each square is 2.25" x 2.25" or 57.1mm x 57.1mm) then the chess pieces you choose should have a king's base diameter of 2.25 x (0.68) to 2.25 x (0.75).  This equates to a king's base diameter range of 1.53" (38.9mm) to 1.687" (42.9mm).  You will find many sets with king base diameters falling into this range.  Other factors will be covered in future blogs.


In the attached photo, and in accordance with our example above, the board comprises 2.25" (57.1mm) squares.  The set chosen has a king's base diameter of 1-5/8" which in decimal terms is 1.625" (41.3mm) which falls at 1.625/2.25 or 72%, nicely in the midrange of the targeted 68% to 75%.  Use this photo as a guideline, you may want to adjust above or below midrange based on your own individual taste.

Fitting a board to existing chess pieces:  Similarly, and using the same example, you have chess pieces with a king's base diameter of 1-5/8", in decimal terms 1.625" (41.3mm).  To establish the square size range that this would fit into, divide this number by 75% and also 68%.  The range is then 1.625/0.75 to 1.625/0.68, or 2.16" (55.0mm) to 2.389" (60.7mm).  You can see that a board with a square size of 2.25" (57.1mm) would fit nicely into this range.


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