display | more...

A chessboard is a flat, perfectly square playing surface comprised of eight rows (ranks) and eight columns (files) each containing alternated light and dark squares. "White on right" is an ear-worm of a reminder to novice players that the nearest right hand corner of each player should be a white (or lighter) square. Traditionally, a chessboard is bought or built to match a specific set of chess pieces. As such, there is recommended sizing guidance that the length of a single square be approximately 33% larger than the diameter of the King piece - the largest piece in every set. This means that the diameter of the base of the King will take up approximately 75% of the length of a single square - a ratio that is both practically and aesthetically pleasing.

A chessboard can be made out of as many types of materials as can the set pieces. There are myriad combinations of wooden, marble, and stone boards. Beginner sets often come with a vinyl or cardboard playing surface, while some elegant, high-priced variants can be found made out of glass or metal.

Each different material has its own tone and feel. In my opinion each material lends itself to looking its best in one particular cut of cloth (Staunton or Modern). The color of chess pieces and their board is entirely up to personal preference; I still choose to document some of the more common variants below.

Material TypeWeight and feelPiece StyleCommon Color Variants
PlasticLight
Hollow
Gliding
Staunton
Modern
  • Black and White
  • Black and Natural
  • Black and Camel
  • Red and Camel
  • Red and White
WoodenLight or Bottom-weighted
Solid
Gliding
Staunton
  • Ebony and Natural
  • Ebony and Tan
  • Ebony and Brown
  • Ebony and Red
  • Tan and Natural
  • Brown and Natural
  • Brown and Tan
  • Red and Natural
  • Red and Tan
  • Red and Brown
StoneLight
Solid
Placing
Staunton
Modern
Historical
Thematic
Marble or Onyx
  • Black and Natural
  • Red and Natural
  • Green and Natural
  • Green and Blue
GlassHeavy
Solid
Placing
Staunton
  • Transparent and Acid-etched
  • Transparent and Amber
MetalDense
Solid
Clanking
Modern
  • Aluminum and Aluminum
  • Aluminum and Brass
  • Brass and Aluminum
  • Brass and Brass




Those who are good with their hands may be interested to know that creating one's own chessboard is a popular and accessible hobby goal. With studious preparation to select materials, and some independent research, one can easily create a chessboard over the course of an industrious weekend. Due to the complexity of tools/materials required, most in-home chessboard construction projects are limited to wood, glass, or plexi-glass.

Wooden

  • Shop for and select your favorite color set pieces
  • Research and select two contrasting wood species which will agree with your set
  • Measure the diameter of the base of the King
  • Calculate the size of a single square L = 1.33*Dking
  • Calculate the length of the board S = 8*1.33*Dking + 7*kerf
  • Purchase 8 planks of each species where width = L = 1.33*Dking and length = size of the board = S
  • Using a high quality wood glue, glue one plank of each species to each other and leave in a vice grip to cure. Repeat four times.
  • Once the pairs are cured, glue two sets of pairs together - be sure to alternate colors! - and leave in a vice grip to cure. Repeat twice.
  • Once the sets are cured, glue the two sets together - be sure to alternate colors! - and leave in a vice grip to cure.
  • On a table saw, set the width of the fence to the calculated width of a single square. Pass the board through the saw smoothly and evenly, creating a single plant of alternating light and dark species. Repeat seven times.
  • Alternating the new rows of planks, glue together as per the prior method to create a finished chessboard.

Glass

  • Shop for and select your favorite color set pieces (recommended for this surface: black and white; black and cream; red and cream)
  • Measure the diameter of the base of the King
  • Calculate the size of a single square L = 1.33*Dking
  • Calculate each side of the board S = 8*1.33*Dking
  • Purchase a single pane of glass the size which your set requires
  • Either: pay for the glass vendor to laser etch the chessboard pattern OR purchase gloves, breathing mask, etching tape, and etching acid to create an acid-etched glass chessboard at home

Plexi-glass

  • Shop for and select your favorite color set pieces (recommended for this surface: black and white; black and cream; red and cream)
  • Measure the diameter of the base of the King
  • Calculate the size of a single square L = 1.33*Dking
  • Calculate each side of the board S = 8*1.33*Dking
  • Purchase a single pane of plexi-glass the size which your set requires
  • Purchase square stickers to be placed on the underside of the pane to create the chessboard pattern.



A chess board can also be illustrated in electronic media for the purpose of analysis, instruction, or puzzle solving. The earliest, and dominant, means of illustrating the chess board was by arranging hyphens, pipes, and plus-signs in a preformatted area on the page using the tag structure <pre>content</pre>.

A simple text field as noded by gitm

                     Diagram 1: After 2. Bc4
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |BR |BN |BB |BQ |BK |BB |BN |BR | 8
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |BP |BP |BP |BP |   |BP |BP |BP | 7
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 6
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |   |   |   |   |BP |   |   |   | 5
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |   |   |WB |   |WP |   |   |   | 4
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 3
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |WP |WP |WP |WP |   |WP |WP |WP | 2
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |WR |WN |WB |WQ |WK |   |WN |WR | 1
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                  A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H
                        

Thanks to the documentation of liveforever, we know that we have special HTML characters (Unicode Chess Pieces) to represent each of the twelve unique chess pieces. Let's place those, shall we?

♔ ♕ ♖ ♗ ♘ ♙
♚ ♛ ♜ ♝ ♞ ♟

                     Diagram 1: After 2. Bc4
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |♜ | ♞ |♝ | ♛|♚ | ♝ |♞ | ♜ | 8
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |♟ | ♟ |♟ |♟ |   |♟ | ♟ |♟ | 7
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 6
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |   |   |   |   |♟ |   |   |   | 5
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |   |   |♗ |    |♙ |   |   |   | 4
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 3
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |♙ | ♙ |♙ | ♙ |  |♙ | ♙ |♙ | 2
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                |♖ | ♘ |♗ | ♕ |♔|   | ♘ | ♖ | 1
                +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                  A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H
                        

Ah. Progress. We've gone from notation to illustrated diagrams, but the overall appearance has become a bit of a mess with drunken wanderings of the files. An improvement, but does it feel finished?

We mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger.



Dreamvirus solved the appearance challenge of the grid system by replacing the field of preformatted text with an HTML table. By November 24th, 2012 they had created a public draft showing the effect a table would have for chess writeups on Everything2. Since bgcolor - background color in html - is not supported on E2 they cleverly used nested table fields to create an illusion of alternating light and dark squares. My version of a chessboard table would have been entirely impossible for me to create without standing on the shoulders of Dreamvirus' public example. /hattip

ASCII BOARD by Dreamvirus


Edit 12:45AM 1/13/2018: With great sadness I share that the ASCII BOARD cannot exist in a node. While the nested tables work on homenodes or within drafts, there appears to be a safety mechanism within nodes by which there cannot be a TABLE tag nested inside a TR tag.

In order to view the board and its method of creation, please visit either ASCII BOARD or Chessboard Laboratory.



We've a proper grid system. We've a proper set of pieces. We've excellent and equal file spacing. Rank spacing leaves a bit to be desired with the way &nbsp; reserves vertical space, and while the nested tables differentiate between light and dark squares admirably, they don't quite scratch the itch for easy and thoughtless visual tracking.



bgcolor is an unsupported HTML tag on E2, but we do have a means by which to hack together a two-tone table. By alternating the designation of table cells as containing either header information, or data information, the table will be rendered by most themes in all browsers as two-colors. By default, a table will pick a theme enabled dark hue for table cells containing header information, and it will pick a theme enabled light hue for table cells containing data information. This principle is illustrated in the collaborative public draft Tables in HTML on E2 (containing original work crafted by myself and IWhoSawTheFace).

By alternating the TD (light) and TH (dark) tags within a singe TR (table row), we find that a more than suitable chessboard can be displayed within E2's HTML functionality.


The game-opening setup, white to move.



               
               
               
                                       



This place needs some incredible new chess content. Let's begin.




Citation of work cited, inspired, co-opted and cobbled to create the final deliverable

Chess"board` (?), n.

The board used in the game of chess, having eight rows of alternate light and dark squares, eight in each row. See Checkerboard.

⇒ The chessboard and the checkerboard are alike.

 

© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.