How do I determine which size chess board will best match my chess set?

Chess pieces usually have a rather limited range, when it comes to size. There are exceptions, such as small travel sets, which already come with a board (a magnetic one is the most convenient), or some luxury sets that are bigger than the standard ones. The most common sizes for a chess board are 15’’- 23’’. The general rule is the following: as the King is one of the largest pieces on the board, the measurements are done with the King. You’ll need him to occupy 78% of the board square. In other words, divide the base diameter of the King by 0.78 and you’ll get the proper square size for it to look harmonious with the board. Also, consider the material. If you already have the pieces and want to find an appropriate board, it has to look like they came from the same set, so having the wood colour match will be a great advantage. Each kind of wood used for the sets gives it a specific colouring and the finish matters as well.

How do I take care of my chess pieces and/or chessboard?

Any wooden chess set should first and foremost be kept away from humidity. The wood has the property to expand and swell when it’s exposed to high humidity for an extended period of time. It’s easy to keep clean if you have a travel chess set or any other folding set, or you keep it in a closed space. If you own a show-quality chess set that is out for most of the time, exposed to light and dust, you should sporadically use a soft, non-aggressive cleaner for wooden surfaces to remove the dust and dirt that will definitely accumulate over time.
If your chess set is metal, you should store the pieces in a box to avoid exposure to air, harmful dust particles and humidity.
If you are a big fan of chess esthetics and generally enjoy the look and feel of luxury chess sets, we offer you to keep at least two sets in the house. Get a simple but sturdy, standard Staunton chess set for everyday use, and another chess board, where you can proudly display beautiful and ornate chess pieces.

How to set up a chess board?

Setting up a chess board becomes a ritual for many people, like the tea ceremony in China. You have to put all the pieces just right and in the correct order, which will please the perfectionist in you and give you a splendid result.
First of all, you have to turn the board in the right direction. The right-bottom square from you should be white. With the horizontal axes having letters on it, and the vertical one – numbers. Once you have the board positioned correctly, you can start with the pieces. Most chess sets have standard Staunton pieces, so they are quite easy to distinguish. Take all the pawns and set them on second ranks (meaning the second rows). It will instantly clear out the clutter in your chess box and make the other pieces much more visible.
Take the rooks and place them on each corner square. They look like castles protecting their side of the board, so the place is easy enough to remember. Next, place the knights next to each rook. Imagine you are placing cavalry near the castle walls, so they are ready to attack on command. The bishops go next. Now, naturally, they have to stand next to the kings and queens, as they are the royal trusted advisers. Set them next to the knights.
Now, it is important to set the king and queen on the right square, and it matters greatly which square each one occupies, so try to remember this one. The queen goes on her own colour. She’s the most important one on the board, so she would never let herself stand on a colour other than her own. Once you picture it in your mind, you will never forget it. Set the white queen on the light square, and the black queen on the dark square. Next, set the kings and the game is ready to start!
If you are teaching a child how to set a chess board, always make up a story of the king’s army getting ready to go into battle, and as their imagination will paint a bright picture, they will never forget the right places of the pieces!

Where are your chess sets made?

We greatly value quality work, skill, and use only the best materials for our chess sets. They are all produced in Europe. Mainly in the UK, also in Poland, Germany and Slovenia. Our top-notch supplier’s artisans take their craft to the peak of their abilities, to deliver you a chess board with the smoothest surface, made from firm and warm-coloured wood, chess pieces that are intricately carved and treated with love and care. We have the best chess sets UK has to offer. Each of the countries manufacturing Kaoori chess sets has a long history of this craft and traditions that require years of practice. Our supplier’s artisans perfect their skill so you and your family can pass on the love for chess through generations and keep the chess traditions alive in our culture, just how it has been for centuries.

What is the best material for chess sets?

Before chess became popular in Europe, ivory was the main material for chess sets and that explains a lot. It used to be a game for the rich and for the royal, and ivory is the best material to reflect that. Wooden sets weren’t considered to have the same flourish about them. When chess was on the rise in Europe, many craftsmen started making beautiful, ornate chess pieces made of wood. Some of those exquisite works are still kept in various museums all over the world. And so wooden sets became more and more popular. Different kinds of wood were used in different countries, of course, but as wood is easier to work with, many craftsmen started gaining expertise in carving chess pieces and boards. Soon enough, wooden chess boards were common all over Europe. But the pieces weren’t yet standardized and all of them were portrayed in a more realistic fashion. The King was a figurine of the current monarch, as was the queen. The knight was carved as a member of the cavalry, riding a horse and wearing armour, and the pawn was a soldier on foot. Only in the late 18th century standardized chess pieces came along, called Staunton sets. They had the symbolic representation of all the pieces and this is what we know and love today.
Nowadays, wood is the most popular material for any kind of chess set. We have wooden travel sets, wooden luxury sets, antique sets, etc. Literally any category of sets has wood as a prime material. There are different kinds used for different set categories, but all of them have a high level of quality and craftsmanship.

Which set is right for a beginner?

As you enter the wonderful world of chess, you will see how versatile sets can actually be. And how much fun it is to have different sets available for every mood. As you are just starting your journey, you need the most practical and the most basic solution. Don’t get us wrong, it will still be a beautiful, skillfully crafted set, but don’t go overboard if your goal is to learn and make chess a part of your pastime. You will probably need a folding chess set, which is much more convenient to stash in your every-day bag and play with friends, or take to the nearest chess club and play there. We also have a range of travel sets that are equipped with magnets, which makes them very convenient to use when playing with children. They are fun to take on the road, and you don’t need to worry about losing any pieces on the moving train, or in the car. So to sum up, if you are a beginner, standard, folding chess set with Staunton pieces is your best choice.

Which chess set is best for a present?

Chess sets are truly very versatile and the nature of the present greatly depends on the recipient’s personality, lifestyle, habits, living conditions, etc. If the recipient is your boss, and on top of that they’re a chess connoisseur, who’s turning 60, you might want to look for sets on the luxury end of the spectrum. If you are looking for a set for your niece, who just recently got interested in the game, you need something basic and sturdy, like a folding wooden set, that will give her the opportunity to be more mobile with it, at plus, it’s a set that doesn’t require lots of special care. You can fold it when you have finished playing, and conveniently keep it somewhere on a bookshelf.
If the present is for your grandfather, who’s most certainly seen his share of great sets, a theme set might be an interesting option. If you are a player as well, you can share a game with any theme from ancient Greece or Rome to Egypt. From a gothic to fantasy theme. So, as you see, the options are endless. Think about the budget, and about the recipient. As long as you buy it with them in mind, they will feel the love and thought you put in their present and appreciate it greatly.

What is Kaoori?

Kaoori is a secret treasure place to find unique chess equipment. It is a place to discover exclusive collections of the best brands, special hand carved chess sets, to get inspired and see beauty in every detail!

How can I shop on Kaoori?

We are here to help you to find things you want; things that will bring their unique touch to you. In case you can’t find your preferred item on our website our consultants are here to help you, just contact us. Sign up to our newsletter for a regular dose of fresh updates.

Can I order via phone?

Unfortunately, no. However in case you have any question regarding placing your order our customer support agents will be happy to guide you through the buying process.

How will I receive my items?

We have 2 options of delivery:

  • FREE delivery in 3-7 business days
  • £9.95 Express delivery in 1-3 business days.

To track your order just go to My Account. If you can’t find your tracking there and it’s been 6 days since you ordered your item, please contact us by your account page.

Do you offer international shipping?

For now only shipping to UK and EU is available. You can subscribe to our newsletter here to be the first to know when the international shipping will be available.

What is your returns policy?

We all try to do our best to make your buying experience as pleasant as possible, but we understand that sometimes things happen. According our returns policy you have 30 days from receipt to notify us want to return an item, and additional 14 days to return the item directly to the boutique for a refund. Some items are excluded from this policy. To check all the details of our Return Policy here.

Can I cancel or amend my order?

We try process orders as quickly as possible to get your items to you, therefore in case your order has already been packed for shipping we are unable to cancel or amend your order. You can wait until your order will be delivered to you and then return it back to us. For return details check our RETURN POLICY.

I have a question about a specific product

In case you have a question regarding specific product our support team is here for you. Contact us via email or just call us  +44 20 3962 2020.

How should I use my promo/ discount code?

In the CHECKOUT step before clicking PLACE ORDER just enter your code in the PROMO CODE / GIFT CARD section.

Can I purchase a KAOORI Gift Card?

Yes, you can buy gift card starting from £30 till £500 and get the gift card certificate right to your email address.

How can I use my gift card?

Please notice that gift card are valid for 3 months.

On your gift voucher there is “VOUCHER CODE” , please apply that code in the CHECKOUT step before clicking PLACE ORDER. Just enter your code in the PROMO CODE / GIFT CARD section