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 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 chess. How it all began and how the pieces changed their appearance and general-purpose throughout centuries!
Brief HistoryThe exact time and place of the invention of chess are unknown. Chances are, a single person did not invent chess in a particular year. But the most common version is that this great game (in one version or another) was born in India in the 6th Century AD (originally named chaturanga), and only then moved through to Persia, from where it later spread to Europe. The rules to this game, naturally, changed numerous times, depending on the historical period, and the region where it was played. The last version that we all got to enjoy and play, was finalized around the 15th century. Plus, the chess pieces underwent so much transformation both in style and material! The oldest known partial chess set was found during a dig in Uzbekistan and dated roughly around 750 AD. This set had quite large chess pieces too! It was made of ivory and featured a few pieces no longer in use in the modern version of the game. Ivory was a trendy material for chess pieces for a very long time until wood became more mainstream, long after the middle ages. Chess was perceived very differently in various parts of the world, as well. In the Russian Empire, it was considered to be a universal game since it occupied all layers of society. From simple cobblers up to the royals. So the pieces could feature very different styles. From simplistic wooden small chess pieces for commoners to luxurious sets, featuring intricately carved large chess pieces, created for each person individually, and hand-painted. In Europe, for a long time, it was mainly perceived as a game for the elite. Thus the evolution of the pieces took a very different turn. That’s when themed sets came along, featuring various monarchs in ancient and recent history.
Modern RulesNow, let’s talk some more about the game itself and the modern rules. Each player in a game of chess has to start with a total number 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 over each of them and the moves they make across the board.