Staunton chessmen

  • Last updated on 8/1/07, 6:14 AM.

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The only type of chess set allowed in FIDE events.  In the 1978 World Championship match in Baguio, none of the chess sets shown to Karpov and Korchnoi just before the match were of the Staunton pattern.  Someone had to drive to Manila to find a Staunton chess set, which arrived just 15 minutes before the clocks were due to be started.   The Staunton knight pattern was modeled after the Greek horse of the Eglin Marbles in the British Museum.  The name of the standard pattern of chessmen in England before the Staunton pattern was the St. George design.  The pattern was designed by Nathaniel Cook in 1835.  The original Staunton chess pattern was first made by John Jacques and Son of London in 1849.


  • 9 years ago · Quote · #1




    Nathaniel Cook, the editor of the Illustrated London News,  had designed a neo-classical chess set which Staunton endorsed. Staunton's new brother-in-law, John Jacques, manufactured them while Staunton plugged them in the Illustrated London News, calling them the Staunton pattern and each set box was signed by Staunton and stamped by Jacques. Staunton received a royalty for each set sold.




    An ad in the Illustrated London News read: 

    "A set of Chessmen, of a pattern combining elegance and solidity to a degree hitherto unknown, has recently  appeared under the auspices of the celebrated player Mr. STAUNTON. A guiding principle has been to give by their form a signification to the various pieces - thus the king is represented by a crown, the Queen by a coronet, &c. The  pieces generally are fashioned with convenience to the hand; and it is to be remarked, that while there is so great an accession to elegance of form, it is not attained at the expense of practical utility. Mr. STAUNTON'S pattern adopts  but elevates the conventional form; and the base of the Pieces being of a large diameter, they are more steady than ordinary sets."

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