Black and White Chess Boards

How to Choose the Perfect Black Chess Board

Chess is one of the oldest and most popular board games in the world. The board used to play the game consists of 64 squares of alternating black and white colors. The black chess board is the foundation on which the game is played, so it's important to know the basics of this board before playing.

In this article, we'll take a look at the different types of black chess boards available, as well as their features and uses:

History of the black chess board

The history of the black chess board is a long and varied one, with evidence suggesting it's in use since at least the 1500s. Generally, black-and-white checkers or chess boards were primarily used in Europe until the 1700s when they became popular with players around the world. During this time, boards were typically either carved from wood or constructed using matte paper or canvas and often decorated with elaborate motifs based on tournament themes.

The black chess board has been shaped by many influences including cultural and religious beliefs of the era. For example, during medieval times in Europe, religious beliefs heavily influenced designs with biblical symbols such as crosses and stars often printed on them as a part of game pieces. These designs typically change over time to reflect new fashions or interests that emerge over time. In Asia most notably China, Japan and Korea where there is a preference for ‘dark’ colors for board gaming, black is often preferred for aesthetic reasons – emphasizing an air of mystery, even danger.

Modern style boards largely owe their design to changes made during World War 1 when mass production methods were used to produce tournament sets made from hardwood veneers, which eventually replaced paper and canvas ones favored by earlier players. Over the last century these sets have seen numerous tweaks from different colors to highlighting squares such as dark outlining or hatching – on plain squares they now generally feature geometric patterns called algebrasic patterns – giving them a modern appearance that we are now familiar with today.

Types of black chess boards

Chess boards come in a wide range of styles, from basic designs to elaborate work of art. Each type of chess board provides its own unique playing surface and style. The most common types of black chess boards are wooden and metal boards.

Wooden Chess Boards
Wooden chess boards are the classic style for playing the game, crafted from hardwood such as rosewood, walnut, mahogany and more. Wooden boards tend to be the more affordable option, with prices varying depending on quality. Many wooden boards feature either an inlaid design or carved accents.

Metal Chess Boards
Metal chess sets are typically made with either brass or stainless steel pieces and a metal board that is designed to hold them in place for long-term use. Metal designs tend to be more intricate than wooden pieces, often featuring textured surfaces that require extra care when cleaning them. Prices for these types of sets can range from moderate to luxury items depending on size and craftsmanship details.


If you're looking to set up a black chess board, you'll need to gather a few materials. Of course, you'll need the chess pieces and a chess board, which can be found at most hobby stores. You'll also need some decorations to complete the look, such as a colored chess board trim, chess board corners, and board-edge pieces.

With the right supplies, you can create a stunning black chess board that everyone can enjoy.


Wood is the most common material used to make chess boards, and there are many varieties of wood available. Some of the most popular include Walnut, Maple, Cherry, and Oak.

  • Walnut is light to medium brown in color and provides an elegant look with its graining pattern.
  • Maple has a light yellow tint with intricate grain variations and is a sought-after choice for high-end boards.
  • Cherry has a reddish-brown color which darkens over time, creating a luxurious look that improves with age.
  • Oak is known for its durability as well as its pronounced grain patterns, so it can be easily modified during production for desired effects.
  • Many boards feature exotic woods such as Ebony and Rosewood for their stylish beauty and strong characteristics.


Plastic boards are often made from polystyrene, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA or acrylic), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or celuka foam. The vast majority are injection-molded on a standard board pattern, with the squares usually being fitted together by interlocking tabs and slots.

Plastic boards can be generally categorized into two groups: “regular” weight and “ultra” weight. The former is lighter in comparison and usually cheaper, while the latter is heavier and often more expensive. These high quality boards have smooth surfaces due to the use of a multi-part celuka foam construction which reduces moisture absorption and eliminates warping over time.


Metal chess boards are specialized decorative pieces that are often a great choice if you’re looking for something that will stand the test of time. Most chess boards found in this material are crafted from solid brass (often with a black, brushed finish), and occasionally aluminum.

Solid brass boards offer a great deep color that complements any existing décor, and they’re often framed with ornate artistry. Aluminium have been gaining popularity due to their lightweight and durability – also, they range in color choices from light grey all the way to graphite black.

Metal chess boards offer an elegant alternative to other materials, and tend to outlast others over time.


A black chess board is the traditional choice for the game of chess. Its design is crisp and straightforward, and players can easily recognize it from afar. There are a few elements to consider when designing a black chess board, from the size and shape of the squares to the materials used.

Let's take a look at the details:

Standard Square

The standard square on a black chess board measures eight centimeters (3.15 inches) on each side, traditionally providing a 64-square chessboard. The individual squares are usually referred to by algebraic notation – so the squares can be identified by column and row with the starting square known as “a1“. When combined with opposite colors, these equal squares form an ideal platform for the game's strategy.

To help differentiate between black and white, players will often use dark or light wooden pieces or a combination of colors to make distinguishing pieces easier. These may include

  • green
  • red
  • gold for kings and queens

Non-standard Shapes

Chess pieces come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. While most boards feature a standard variety of pieces – pawns, rooks, bishops and knights – there are many other sets that feature unusual shapes and designs. Non-standard chess sets can be seen with designs based on animals, movies or television shows, or real-life cultures. In some cases these innovative pieces accentuate their individual design by using the traditional black and white color scheme found on most chess boards.

For instance, the Klee Chess set consists of four different animal forms painted in black and white – a penguin for the kingpiece, an eagle for the knightpiece, an owl for the bishoppiece, and a dove for the rookpiece. Other sets use uniquely shaped pawns such as circles or pyramids to represent these important foot soldiers of the game.

Still others emphasize variety within each type of piece by introducing unusual head shapes such as comb-over hairstyles on bishops or cartoon characters' likenesses on knightspieces. Some companies go even further by offering more elaborate boards that depict figurines constructed from metals or other natural materials such as rocks or minerals found in nature. Such variety allows players to enjoy their game in a more personal way that may also reflect their own taste in style.


Choosing the right color for a black chess board can be challenging. Black chess boards come in several different shades and tints of both black and white. Black boards typically range from a deep, true black to a very light gray. The most traditional chess board has black and white squares, but some variations use different colors for different pieces or themes.

It is important to consider how the board will interact with the other elements in the space when selecting a color for your board. Consider elements such as furniture, flooring, walls and décor that may be adjacent to it. You also need to think about what type of lighting will be used with the board. A lighter shade of black may look best in low or indirect light while a deeper black may make more of an impact in direct light or when accentuated by brighter colors like white or yellow.

Additionally, larger boards should use darker colors because they tend to have greater presence and make it easier to see the pieces on them while playing the game. Whereas smaller ones should have lighter colors so they don’t overpower their surroundings too much and blend well with their environment instead.


Keeping a black chess board in pristine condition is an important part of extending its lifespan. Maintenance can include tasks such as cleaning, touching up scratches and chips, and protecting the board's finish. Knowing how to properly maintain a black chess board is essential to ensure its longevity.

In this article, we'll discuss the various maintenance steps you can take to keep your black chess board looking great:


Cleaning a black chessboard requires special attention to detail. While the board itself is hardy and durable, the black squares may require more frequent cleaning than their lighter counterparts. This is due in part to the dirt and particles that may accumulate along their dark surface.

Before beginning any process of cleaning, it is best to check if any debris or substances have been spilled on the board or its contents. If so, first use a dry cloth to clean off excess material and then blot up any wet patches with a paper towel or similar absorbent material before continuing with additional maintenance steps.

Once you’ve ensured the board has been adequately wiped down from any recent messes, it’s time to get started on cleaning your black chessboard and its squares specifically. For this step:

  • Dampen a soft cloth with lukewarm water and wring it out until it is no longer dripping.
  • Gently dab at each of your darker tiles while evenly distributing liquid over all 32 squares of your playing surface.
  • Let your now slightly dampened gaming-piece sanctuary air dry naturally for the results you seek (or alternatively buff it gently with a soft microfiber cloth if required).
  • Be sure to inspect areas paying close attention for spots missed during this process which may require specific treatment such as light scrubbing or spot cleaning as needed.


Polishing is an important part of properly maintaining a black chess board. As you use your chess set, abrasive pieces like sand and dirt may begin to accumulate themselves on the surface of the board and pieces, giving them a dulled appearance. To ensure that your board keeps its luxurious black sheen, use a soft, dry cloth to gently polish away any dirt or grime from its surface.

Additionally, avoid using wax or polishes with which contain abrasives like ammonia or alcohol as they can damage the board's finish. For best results, polish your board after every few games, then follow up with a lacquer layer to protect it and keep it looking brand new.


Storing your black chess board correctly can help ensure it retains its beautiful good looks for years to come. Proper storage is key to minimizing the wear and tear on wood boards, as the wood can easily absorb moisture or warp if not taken care of properly. To make sure your board is protected and in tip-top condition:

  • Put your board in its designated box after every game. This will help keep out dust, humidity, and temperature fluctuations which can damage the material.
  • Place a few desiccant packs inside the box. These will help absorb any moisture that could damage the board while it’s stored away.
  • Ensure that the box or package used for storage is clean, dry, and covered securely with a lid or other form of closure to deter pests or other intruders from entering it.
  • Ensure that the box or package is stored in an environment with low humidity and a consistent temperature to avoid any warping or cracking due to extreme changes in weather or climate conditions.
  • Do not store your board near any heat source such as a fireplace or radiator as this could cause discoloration and damage over time.


When selecting a black chess board, there are several features you should consider. The first step is to decide whether you want a wooden or plastic board. Wood boards require more maintenance but can provide a nicer aesthetics and feel than the plastic alternative. Also, consider the size of the squares to ensure that they fit your style of play. Finally, ask yourself what type of material and finish will work best for your needs – both functionally and aesthetically.

Regardless of your choice, taking the time to carefully weigh these features will help to ensure that you get the right board for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What size is a black chess board?

A1: A standard black chess board typically measures 64 cm x 64 cm.

Q2: What material is a black chess board made from?

A2: Black chess boards are typically made from either wood or plastic.

Q3: Does a black chess board come with pieces?

A3: No, a black chess board usually does not come with pieces. You will need to purchase chess pieces separately.

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