Chess pieces come in a huge array of different designs. There are so many of them and they are highly collectable. Some people who do not even play the game buy chess sets because they love the look and feel of chess pieces or chessmen, as they are also known.
The Different Chess Pieces
For a standard game, each player plays with 16 chess pieces. They consist of a king, one Queen, two Rooks, two bishops, two knights and eight pawns. One player plays with white pieces was the other one place with black pieces. However, it is not uncommon to find pieces, which are in different colours than the standard black-and-white.
All professional games are played with a Staunton chess set. The pieces were designed by Nathaniel Cook, but named after the English chess master Howard Staunton. He signed the first 500 sets that were produced. Today, as you can imagine, these things are worth an absolute fortune. They were made by John Jaques of London (aka Jaques and Son of London).
A standard set was deemed necessary for the sake of fairness in competitions. Many different kinds of chess sets were being used throughout the world and the shape of the pieces varied widely. It was determined that playing with slightly unfamiliar shaped pieces gave some players a advantage and disadvantaged others. Therefore, the decision to standardise the shape of the pieces was taken.
However, not surprisingly, this did not stop people wanting to own and play with individualised chess sets when they played casually. Because of this, a whole new industry grew up which produced chess pieces in a huge array of different designs.
Where to Buy the Best Chess Pieces
On the High Street, you do not see a huge range of chess sets for sale. The vast majority of those sets you do see contain Staunton pieces. If you want to buy chess pieces with unique designs, you need to look on the Internet. There you will find literally thousands of different themed chess sets. Each set has a unique look and playing with them can be great fun.
If you love unique chess pieces visit the Chess Direct website. We sell a huge range of designs and update our range on a regular basis.