What Is a Chess Tournament Board Set?

A chess tournament board set is a premium wooden set that includes a high-quality tournament-sized chessboard and a set of pieces. These sets are typically made from premium woods and include felt bases, which protect the pieces from scratching the chessboard. They are also usually weighted, which makes them feel substantial and easy to handle.


Most chess tournaments require that players supply their own chess boards and pieces. Pieces are typically made of plastic or wood and are often weighted to ensure stability during play. They are also distinctively shaped, with the pawns being smaller than the other pieces and the knight having a unique horse-like shape.

The board used in a chess tournament must provide high contrast between the light and dark squares. This allows players to clearly distinguish the position of each piece on the board and reduces eye strain during lengthy matches. In addition, the board must be large enough to accommodate the pieces used in tournaments.

Although the color of the board can influence a player’s perception and mood, it does not significantly impact gameplay effectiveness. However, it is important to be clear with your opponent if you have any doubts about the rules of the game or any specific board issues. If necessary, you can ask your tournament director (TD) to clarify any questions or disputes.


Typically, tournaments require participants to bring their own boards and pieces, although they may be provided by the venue. For most players, a cheap vinyl rollup board with normal club sized pieces is sufficient. For serious play, consider a wooden tournament-sized set.

Many chess sets are available in different designs. Some resemble stacks of orbs or disks, while others are tall and elaborate. In the early decades of chess’s modern popularity, many different patterns were in use; however, this variety created confusion for players unfamiliar with any particular set. The Staunton design quickly supplanted most other styles.

This handmade tournament chess board features dark squares of solid walnut and light squares of solid maple. Optional custom engraving is included. The board’s dimensions meet USCF and FIDE tournament standards. The board is backed with baltic birch for slip-free play. The set includes a drawstring pouch for storage. Each chessboard is unique due to the natural variations of wood.


There are a number of different tournament combination sets available for players at all levels. These include plastic chess pieces, standard Staunton-style sets with 3-3/4″ kings, and premium sets with a heavier weight that provides an excellent feel in the hand.

Tournament board accessories, such as padded covers and handmade lined solid wood boxes, add to the overall professionalism of a tournament chess experience. These padded covers help protect the chess board during storage and travel and feature a repeating geometric pattern for quick pattern recognition by players.

Several different sizes of chess boards are also available for tournament play. Regulation vinyl tournament chess boards with 2.25″ squares feature algebraic notation along the border and are durable enough to resist tears, spills, and other tournament abuse. Another popular choice is a portable folding tournament chess board that folds easily and can be stored in its carrying case. These chess boards are lightweight and sturdy and can be used in Blitz tournament play.


Aside from the basic requirements of the board and pieces, players at tournament level must adhere to certain rules and standards. These include the rules for announcing check and how to record moves.

In addition, it is important to understand that a player must not take notes or look at chess analysis during the game. If a player is caught doing so, he or she may forfeit the game. Additionally, a player is not allowed to talk to any spectators during a game.

When a player is unsure about a rule, he or she should stop the clocks and raise his or her hand to summon a tournament director. In this way, the question or dispute can be cleared up before it causes any confusion or controversy during the game. The TD will decide whether or not the claim is valid. The TD’s ruling is final. This is also true of disputes regarding the position of a piece during capture