Best Chess Pieces

Can you imagine a chess game without chess pieces? Neither can we! Chess pieces are the central and most important part of chess sets. They have transformed and evolved throughout history, taking on different characters and costumes. As chess spread all around the world, by the mid 19th century, there were so many different styles of chess pieces, that players often refused to have matches on each other’s boards, having trouble with differentiating the characters.

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Plastic Chess Pieces (13)

Themed Chess Pieces (7)

E-pieces (4)

Luxury Chess Pieces (10)

Staunton Chess Pieces (51)

This problem was solved in 1849, when journalist and illustrator Nathaniel Cook came up with the most simplistic and symbolic design, which we all know and love today, and named it after the English chess master Howard Staunton. That’s how now-classic Staunton best chess pieces were initially created. And since then, it’s the official style of sets for any chess tournament around the world. Chess, as we have already mentioned several times, is mostly played on a wooden board with wooden pieces. And if you are looking for the best handmade wooden chess pieces, then you are in the right place: Kaoori offers the highest quality wooden chess pieces of different types:
  • American Staunton Pieces Ebonise
  • Executive Pieces Sheesham
  • French Knight Pieces Ebonised
  • Stallion Knight Chessmen
  • Staunton Pieces Cherry
But let's dive back into the history of the game of chess. How it all began and how the figures changed their appearance and general purpose over the centuries!  

Short Story

The exact time and place of the invention of the game of chess are unknown. It is very likely that not a single person invented the game of chess in any given year. But the most common story is that this great game (in one version or another) originated in India in the 6th century AD (originally called chaturanga) and only then got to Persia, from where it later spread to Europe spread. The rules of this game, of course, changed numerous times depending on the historical period and region in which it was played. The last version, which we were all allowed to enjoy and play, was completed around the 15th century. Plus, the chess pieces have seen so many changes, both in style and material! The oldest known part of a chess set was found during an excavation in Uzbekistan and dates to around AD 750. This set also had rather large chess pieces! They were made of ivory and contained a few characters that are no longer used in the modern version of the game. Ivory was a trendy material for chess pieces for a very long time, until wood became more prevalent long after the Middle Ages. The game of chess was also perceived very differently in different parts of the world. In the Russian Empire it was considered a universal game because it appealed to all levels of society. From the simple cobbler to the royals. So the characters could have very different styles. From simple small wooden chess pieces for the common people to luxurious sets with intricately carved large chess pieces that are individually created and hand-painted for each person. For a long time in Europe it was mainly perceived as a game for the elite. Therefore, the development of the characters took a completely different turn. Then theme sets came up showing different monarchs of ancient and recent history.  

Modern rules

Now let's talk a little more about the game itself and the modern rules. Each player in a game of chess must start with a total of 16 chess pieces - eight pawns, two bishops, two knights, two rooks, a queen and a king. So let's take a minute and go through the individual pieces and the moves they are allowed to make on the board.

Pawn

The pawn is the most basic of all chess pieces, with the lowest value. But don't underestimate that. A pawn can be an excellent weapon in your arsenal. Although he only moves one square forward, he moves one square diagonally while capturing. And unlike a real battle, a pawn can be promoted and even turn from a simple soldier into a king or queen once he reaches the end of the opposing side of the board. Each of the players has a total of eight pawns in the front row, making them the least valued pawn. But, as we mentioned earlier, a farmer can still bail you out and be rewarded for doing it. As the transformation of the chess pieces went from complicated to simple over the course of history, the pawn undertook a journey from a soldier figure holding a shield to a simple round top on a base that widens towards the bottom, like a classic one Staunton theorem.