Best board size

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #1


    Hi all,

    I will shortly be recieving a brilliantly beautifull chess set. The King will be 4 inches tall and the King's base has a 1 3/4 inch diameter.

    What is the best board (field) size for a chess set this big?

    My current set is has a King that is 2.99 inch high, with a base of 1.377 inch. The fields on my board are 1.77 inch (converted it from cm to inch). I like the space on the board between the pieces.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #2


    I am guessing a 2 1/2"  square is appropriate for that size set at least that  is what i would use

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #3


    2-1/2" squares is what I prefer for my Collector of the same size (4" king). Some are fine with a smaller square.

    An example of the above combo:

    And on a 2-3/8" board"

    Those pics should give you an idea. It really is personal taste though.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #5


    Daniel, congratulations on the new set! I'm interested in this because I'm also looking for a new board for my old set.

    My kings have 1-3/4" bases and I've been looking at 2-1/4" and 2-3/8" boards. Now that I see goldendogs pictures I may have to reconsider 2-1/2". If you like space then you'll probably be happiest with 2-1/2". In my case, I'm also considering that someday I may get another set with slightly larger bases and I won't want to get another board.

    I would love to see what you decide on. What color are the men and how will that influence your choice of board?

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #6


    Reb wrote:

    Is that your chess set in the pictures ?  Nice set !

     Indeed it is and thanks. It's a great set if too fragile for amost anything but analyzing or playing over games solo. Drops and collisions would chip and break the thin and sharp parts pretty readily. It handles wonderfully too--the balance is exceptional and the pieces are pretty heavy.

    It's a HOS set and it conforms to the very early Jaques sets. Man, I spent a few decades with sets nowhere this class. In fact, they just weren't available until Frank of HOS decided to have them made maybe 15 years ago.

    Nothing advertised in Chess Life&Review ever came close, not even the Jaques $1000 set that was a replica of the Fischer-Spassky set they used in Iceland.

    Now is a golden age of great and affordable sets though. Even the cheap sets are great.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #7


    allright. Thanks all!
    The set I purchased is the one below. I really really adore this set. Arn't these the most beautiful Knights ever?


    Have to find a nice bord (colorwise) to go along with this set. The one pictured below is not my taste, too shiny.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #8


    Check out the House of Staunton website. I think you'll find the recommended ratio of king diameter to square size is 0.78.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #9


    The material is Bud Rosewood. What exactly do you mean by style? Staunton?

    More info can be found here:

     Oh, and the board does not necessarily have to comply with tournament rules.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #11


    I am also looking to purchase a set and based on what I've seen online one website recommends the base of the king should cover no more than 3/4 of the square. If the base covers more than 3/4 of the square, your pieces would become crowded.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #12


    Daniel, I love your chess set.
    Did you buy it in the Netherlands? Or where did you find it.
    I find it hard to find such pieces

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #13


    That's a beautiful set! I agree, those knights are very nice.

    The prettiest boards I've seen are on this site: Unfortunately, he's in the US and I don't know if he ships to the Netherlands. I also don't know anything about him except his boards are beautiful. I've been trying to figure out finances to buy one from him but yesterday I had to pay for some emergency house repairs and now I have no budget.

    Again, congratulations on the very nice set and I hope you end up with a board you love.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #14


    Just to tease you, here's a shot from old HOS inventory. Brazilian Rosewood and quilted maple. I believe it's been illegal to export Brazilian Rosewood for quite awhile now so good luck ever getting a board made out of one, but what a lovely and appropriate wood for a board. Rich brown with a hint of red and a very attractive and not too busy figure. The frame: I could go simpler. I find the old fashioned boards with a minimal frame great for me. If you are using it for furniture, then more may be better.


  • 8 years ago · Quote · #15


    An answer to Bastiaans question: no, I got the set shipped from the US. I have not been able to find a set like this in the Netherlands. ( is where I got the set from).

    Thanks Gomer_pyle for the tip, but I think I'd prefer to take my set along with me in the quest for the right board.

    @goldendog: the board indeed is very prety, however I don't like the frame at al. Too much levels, detail, design.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #17


    Reb wrote:

    Even the plastic sets at HOS are very nice and even better than some wooden sets I have seen over the years !  Is there any site better than HOS ? For the best chess tables go to :

     I love my HOS plastic set. It goes well with my vinyl board (from the guy with the magnetic pocket sets) and it's all cheap and durable, and it looks great feels great and is heavy and well felted. I wish I had a set of black men to go with it just so I could be fully compliant with USCF regs. Red doesn't bother me--I like red--but I never see red at tourneys.


  • 8 years ago · Quote · #19


    Reb wrote:

    Thats also a nice set. Do you have a set you play blitz on ?  The very first chess set I ever had came from the local dime store back in the 60s and the pieces were red and black on a checkerboard with red and black squares. The pieces were hollow without weights and the king might have been 2 inches. A strong gust of wind would clear the board when trying to play outdoors !  LOL  I now associate red chess men with white and not black. Cant you just get the same pieces but in black ?

     Yup it's a nice set and it even gets blitz action in if there's no concrete below. Those pieces are pretty tough. I got the set years ago off HOS ebay, real cheap. I asked him for a quote on a box of black pieces and I thought it was kinda high. No matter. I got a set of inexpensive but surprisingly good quality wood men that are a near exact copy of the solid plastic USCF Special we all had (I still got mine after >35 years and it has got lots of miles left), nicely weighted and felted, and a good folding vinyl board that are great for blitz, USCF, whatever.


    A wood set I could bring to a tournament and not worry about. Cheap and tough. The board is much better color/contrast-wise than what passes for vinyl boards these days, which typically don't lie flat and have light squares that are bright.

    Whenever I find something better my nephews inherit the old sets :)

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #20


    Daniel, that is one of the nicest sets I have ever seen, I also have pieces that size and use a 2.5'' board. Smile

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