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Clockwise from top left: Savano Series Artisan Chess Pieces, $1,195, houseofstaunton.com; Calvert Faux Ivory Chess Set and Board, $249, houseofstaunton.com; Rosewood Camelot Chess Men, $162, chessngames.com; Large Staunton Metal Men, $333, chessngames.com PHOTO: MARKO METZINGER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Hunched over the table, brows furrowed, timer ticking, two fervently calculating minds compete over a handsome, hand-made chess set that befits the Game of Kings. Chess boards can be as designed with as much care and scrutiny as a strategy for the game itself or it can adhere to standard, traditional shapes and styles. With over a millennium of gameplay to learn from and reflect upon, even a vintage or antique chess set represents but a drop in the ocean of thought and competition spanning the game’s impressive historical longevity. The wide inventory on eBay is home to chess sets for every occasion including: tournament style, travel-size, gorgeous decorative sets, novelty, and more. Shoppers can choose from hand-carved exotic wood or lightweight plastic Staunton designs. Shoppers should also bear in mind that a tournament chess set is relatively large, as tournament rules dictate the board must have 2.25-inch squares and a king that is approximately four inches tall. A slightly smaller set may be less reminiscent of the boards over which Garry Kasparov vanquished opponent after opponent in numerous world championships, but it may better fit your coffee table.

The first thing I had to do was  put a clean edge on each board. I had to clamp my straightedge to the boards and rip a clean edge on each. Then, with the newly clean and straightened edge against the fence I ripped them to about 4″ wide and cross-cut them to 28″.

I was very pleased when I opened this wood chess set. It is all wood and it doesn’t have the crack in the center like many boards with the hinges. I hate those since the hinges frequently break and the crack is a nuisance when pushing over to the enemy territory. This board is solid, not too large to be trouble storing and not too small, as a lot of them are today that look more like a tic-tac-toe board. Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, this one is just right.

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Th century. While this was sold to me as being an Italian chess set, it looks French to me. That being said, the knights are a little different than typical French knights in that they are nicer with …

This white marble and black onyx set is quite nice. The carving in the black pieces is gorgeous, but the white pieces are a bit marred by the white marble color irregularities which can look like repaired fractures. I presume that they are just variegation in the marble, however. The chess board itself is very lovely – the white and black are very glossy and smooth. I haven’t actually given it to my spouse so the pieces have not yet been played with, but I think that the markings, while not completely traditional for bishops in particular, will be adequate to allow for stimulating games with beautiful stone pieces.

The chessboard upon which the game of chess is played is made up of sixty-four squares, eight columns and eight rows in alternating colours of black and white, or light and darker shades of wood. In competition chess the boards will be coloured dark green and light buff.

We recently added two new styles of chess board to our huge range. The first is a very high quality black anegre and maple board that has been finished in a stunning gloss lacquer. These boards are available in sizes from around eighteen inches up to over twenty three inches. The second is a brand new design of chess board and is exclusive to The Regency Chess Company. It features black anegre squares and a rich brown palisander border. Like the black boards this is finished in a gloss lacquer and available in four different sizes. Both boards feature fine inlaid veneers and have been manufactured in Europe to a very high standard of precision and quality.

But before you do that, drill a few holes in the edge of each strip with a dowel jig so that you can keep the parts from sliding around during glue up. Our Deluxe Doweling Jig Kit is perfect for this project. The squares of your chessboard need to line up perfectly, so be extremely careful when drilling the dowel holes.

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  1. Roland Pearson

    But before you do that, drill a few holes in the edge of each strip with a dowel jig so that you can keep the parts from sliding around during glue up. Our Deluxe Doweling Jig Kit is perfect for this project. The squares of your chessboard need to line up perfectly, so be extremely careful when drilling the dowel holes.
    L.L. from AZ writes, “This chess set exceeded all my expectations. I’ve been looking for a red-lacquered chess set for quite sometime, and this is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Thank you, also, for meticulously wrapping each piece.”
    Handcrafted chessmen are magnetic and made from hornbeam and sycamore wood. Handcrafted Chessmen: These magnetic chessmen are handmade from hornbeam and sycamore wood. The elegantly intricate detail o…
    Few chess boards in America have the history of the Drueke chess boards. These boards are neither veneers nor inlays – they are actual solid blocks of wood made from American Walnut and Maple. This bo…
    Clockwise from top left: Savano Series Artisan Chess Pieces, $1,195, houseofstaunton.com; Calvert Faux Ivory Chess Set and Board, $249, houseofstaunton.com; Rosewood Camelot Chess Men, $162, chessngames.com; Large Staunton Metal Men, $333, chessngames.com PHOTO: MARKO METZINGER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

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