Tournament Chess Sets

Tournament chess sets are a must for all professional players. These are standardized sets that are used in most international chess competitions. There are many different tournament chess sets available today. You can find anything from wooden tournament chess sets UK to handmade tournament chess sets and everything in between. Before you go on to choose your very own tournament chess set, let’s take a look at the history behind the development of these sets and what exactly tournament chess sets entail.

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History of Chess Tournament Sets

As you might have guessed, the origins of tournament chess sets trace back to the development of chess tournaments as a whole. By the late 18th century, chess had become an extremely popular game and the need for tournaments and competitions grew. However, for these competitions to be fair, standardized design and chess sets were a must. It was important because unfamiliarity with an opponent's chess board could result in confusion and even loss of the game entirely. In the 19th century, the first standardized chess sets were developed allowing international tournaments and competitions to be more cohesive on a broader scale.  The 1840s marked the era of chess competitions as standardized tournament standard chess sets made them easier and more engaging for chess players and chess fans alike. In 1886, the first recognized 'world championship' chess match took place between Wilhelm Steinitz and Johannes Hermann Zukertort, whose privately arranged match made headlines in Europe. Throughout the rest of the 19th century and into the mid-1940s, chess tournaments continued to be private and each competition had different rules determined by the organizers. Some private tournaments allowed players to use their personal chess boards, while others required a specific type of set such as a Staunton. In 1948, however, the foundation of the World Chess Federation announced standard rules and regulations regarding chess tournaments, which included regulating the types of sets that could be used in tournaments. These regulations are still in force today and professional players have to comply with them, and if you’re one of them then it’s time to purchase a tournament chess set and start practicing.    

What Makes a Set a “Tournament” Set?

World Chess Federation has creal design regulations that define tournament chess sets. Generally speaking, these regulations refer to the size of the chess squares and the size of the king. These two regulations set the tone for the rest of the board, as they indicate the general size of the board as well as the proportional height of the rest of the chess pieces. Most tournament pieces are weighted and feature a felt bottom for more stable and easier play. There are many different options available, ranging from wooden pieces to plastic pieces and everything in between. Professional players can practice with any kind of chess set - themed, antique, luxury, wooden or Staunton but when competing, they have to play with a tournament chess set. Therefore, many prefer to also practice with one to get accustomed to it.  Browse Kaoori’s collection of tournament chess sets and start practicing right away!