The game of chess can trace its origins back hundreds of years, but didn't morph into its modern form until the end of the 15th century. Originally an Indian war game based on military ranking and structure, chess has grown in popularity throughout the world. Today, professional chess players use a standardized board with regulation pieces. However, when making a homemade chess board, you can add personal touches and embellishments to truly make your board one of a kind.
The modern chess board is comprised of 64 equal sized squares laid out in an 8-by-8 grid. A regulation chess board will measure around 20 inches square, with each square measuring exactly 2 1/4 inches. However, outside of tournament play, these dimensions are just suggestions. Make the chessboard fit your application. Travel boards can be half that size, while oversized novelty boards can accommodate pieces 3 feet tall.
The simplest way to make a homemade chess board is to draw a grid on a piece of paper. However, boards designed for multiple use, or as heirlooms, should be made from sturdier material, like wood. More adventurous yet are boards of glass or stone, but without professional experience working with these materials, amateurs should stick with wood. For a beautiful checkerboard pattern, combine naturally dark woods, like black walnut, with a naturally light woods, like maple.
Chess boards should be designed with ease of use in mind. Each piece should fit completely and comfortably within each individual square. However, making the squares too large will make the pieces look awkward and make it difficult to play. Once the sizes of the pieces are determined, then you can begin designing your chess board.
A simple, elegant chess board design contrasts dark materials with light. But if the board is for children or is intended to be a gift, for instance, you could personalize it. Paint subtle designs on each square, stick on old family photos, or glue on old newspaper or wrapping paper clippings while still maintaining the alternating checkerboard color scheme.
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