The Top 5 Iconic Chess Sets every Chess Collector Must Possess

Chess is a game of imagination, strategy, and patience. Believe to be evolved before 7th century in India, the game has now major dominanceBuy Vintage & Old Chess Sets Online in the field of indoor sport around the world. There are many chess championships, chess clubs, inter-school tournaments and among all the ever-growing community of chess collectors. Though, the manufacturing of wood chess sets was started in mid 19th Century in Great Britain, the British brought the knowledge and tools for making the chess set to India in early 20th century, once the British colony. India has always been known for its handcrafted art and making stone craved status of Hindu Gods. Popular stone craving in temples of Khajuraho or carving of Nataraja Statue is the living example of Indian mastery.

1950 Dubrovnik Bobby Fischer Reproduced Chess Set

The wood chess sets became popular in mid 19th century when J.Jaques Staunton produces a Staunton chess set in 1849. It took the world with craze and mostly the Staunton pattern became famous among various chess players and collectors. We, at chessbazaar, unearth the chess sets history through our various researches and have introduced the Antique category to our customers throughout the world. Though our 60% of the chess sets on sale are reproductions and antique, however, we believe that every vivid chess collector must possess these 5 chess reproductions in their collection.

Related: Evolution of Chess Sets

1. 1849 Antique Reproduced Chess Set: Famously known as J.Jaques Chess Set was the first Staunton design produced in 1849. This is among our best seller and is produced with the association of Alan Dewey, the famous living chess historian, restorer and collector. The chess pieces are manufactured with Antiqued Boxwood(light side) and Ebony Wood(black side). The process to make the boxwood antique is done artificially with the help of chemicals. A must have for Staunton loving chess collector.

Buy 1849 Chess Set Online

2. 1950 Dubrovnik Bobby Fisher Chess Set: Bobby Fisher is among the best and most rated chess player, America every produced. The reason that made Bobby fisher so famous is his match against his USSR counterpart Boris Spassky in a match held in Reykjavik during the Cold War era. In a radio interview, Bobby Fischer stated, “This (1950 Dubrovnik chess set) is the best chess set I have ever played on, it is marvellous.” We at chessbazaar, bought many variations and sizes of the Dubrovnik chess set to the chess community. Check our full range of Dubrovnik chess sets here >>

Buy Reproduction 1950 Dubrovnik Bobby Fischer Chess Set Online

Related: Chess Sets — Everything you need to know!

3. 1940-50 Reproduced (Soviet Era) Russian Series Chess Set: During the start of 20th century, USSR produces one of the finest chess players in the history of chess. 1940-50 Reproduced (Soviet Era) Russian Series Chess SetNo doubt, they also manufactured some of their own versions of chess sets played in various games till late 80’s. This chess set is among the famous Soviet design produced and played in 1940’s and 1950’s. Produced in 4.13” King the opposite crowns/finials make them different from the Staunton design. Check our wide range of Russian/Soviet chess sets here>>

4. 1950 Latvian Reproduced Chess Set: This old soviet design was produced in The 1950s Soviet (Russian) Latvian Reproduced Chess Set1950s. Chess is among the most popular indoor game among Russians and this
Latvian set is the central feature of their chess history and it’s a delight for the chess collectors. This chess set also come in Antique finish. A must have for Russian chess collectors. Shop Now >>

5. 1935 Botvinnik Flohr Reproduced Chess Set: This popular chess design was manufactured somewhere in USSR and was first used in the famous match between Mikhail Botvinnik and Flohr played in 1933. Reproduced in 2016 with the association of famous chess historian Mr. Alan Dewey, this replica is very famous among the chess collectors and being in high demand, it generally went out of stock when on sale. Shop Now >>

Alan Dewey and chessbazaar proudly presents the replica of 1935 Botvinnik Flohr Soviet chess set.

We have tried to put in the best 5 sellers every chess collector must have. Though, there are many other chess sets which are chess collectors delight, however, it also depends on the personal taste of a person and the feedback which we receive on daily basis from our chess customers community.

Chess Sets — Everything you need to know!

Chess pieces or chessmen are made in different materials, styles, and sizes. The difference in the designs of the chess pieces do not have any impact on the game, it is just that the different shapes, sizes, and materials are made to meet the different tastes of the players or chess collectors. In a standard game, each of the chess players starts a game with 16 chess pieces – 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 knights and 8 pawns. Different techniques and materials are used to make chess sets that give these chess pieces a unique look.

Materials used for making chess sets – Chess pieces are made from a wide variety of materials like plastic, stone, glass, metal, ivory, bone and wood. These materials greatly decide the price of the chess pieces. Plastic chess sets are available at very low prices in the market, whereas a hand carved wooden chess set will be costlier.

Materials used for making wooden chess sets

Wood has been the most important material for making chess pieces for generations. Sheesham wood, rose wood, bud rosewood. ebony wood and box wood are the most famous woods used for making chess sets. Bud rosewood and ebony wood are the luxury woods and are used to carve high-end chess pieces. Wooden chess pieces are also recommended by FIDE. The quality of our wooden chess pieces is being appreciated by great chess players and chess collectors in the whole world.

A technique used in making chess sets – Chess pieces are either hand carved or machine made and the technique depends very much on the material used. Metal and plastic chess pieces are made by melting them and then putting them in moulds of the desired designs. Chess pieces made from bone and stone are hand carved by skilled artisans.

Technique used in making wood chess sets

Handcrafted wooden chess pieces are turned on a lathe. The craftsmanship on the wooden chess pieces is done by experienced artisans. The knight being the most beautiful piece in the set carries enormous importance. The beauty of the chess set lies in the knight of the chess set. Our well-crafted knights represent the highest grade of knight carving skills.

Design of the chess pieces – Chess is a very old game and infinite designs have been originated till now. But the most famous one is Staunton. Staunton is also the officially recommended design by FIDE. Staunton chess pieces appear to be same but the designs have many variations. Chessbazaar offers a wide range of Staunton chess pieces, you will be amazed to see the variations in the designs of the chess sets. There are many other historical designs which are collected by chess collectors but they are very expensive and not everyone can afford those chess pieces. Chessbazaar has reproduced many of such historical and classical designs like 1849 chess set, 1935 Botvinnik Flohr, 1851 chess set, Dublin chess set, Piatigorsky chess set, Grand cigar chess set, and Dubrovnik chess set at very affordable prices  so that every chess enthusiast can buy and admire the beauty of these chess sets.

Chessbazaar Customer Reviews

Chessbazaar offers the most meticulously handcrafted wooden chess pieces by our skilled artisans. The expertly carved chess pieces are appropriately weighted and the thick green felt on the bases make your chess pieces walk smoother on a chess board. Explore our full range of wooden and bone chess pieces here >>


The Birth of the Staunton Pattern Design

The word “Staunton” in the “Staunton Chess Sets” has been derived from the famous chess master Howard Staunton. English chess master ‘Howard Staunton’ was one of the greatest chess player in the years between 1843 & 1851. It was due to his efforts that England became the one of the major chess centre in late 19th Century. He was not only a chess player, but also a chess promoter, writer and organizer. The Staunton Pattern Chess Set was designed in 1859 by Nathaniel and Jaques of London approved their manufacturing rights. Howard Staunton advertised this chess set made by Nathaniel and the set became popular under the name Staunton chess set. These chess sets have been used all over the world in all major tournaments since. Some common attributes you may find in all Staunton pieces are wide moulded base, Knight basically has head and neck like a horse, King has a stylish crown with cross pattee, Queen is slightly smaller than king with a small round ball mount on her head, Rooks feature stylized crenellated battlements and bishops a Western-style mitre. Pawns are the smallest pieces in the game with round head.

Unfortunately, finding a good and accurate Staunton chess set and matching chess board is not that easy. Most of the online chess stores are selling their chess pieces and chess boards separately either for a casual chess player or for a newbie; it is quite difficult task to match the chess pieces with a correct matching chess board. To make it easier for everyone to choose the right chess pieces with the right board, we have added the matching appropriate sized chess board as “option recommended” on our every product listing of chess pieces.



If you are looking for chess board to match an existing set of pieces then keep these points in your mind before picking up the one.

Staunton chess pieces are available in different colors, materials, sizes and weights. When matching pieces to a chess board, the size and wood color must be considered. The chess board should be approximately half (in cm) the height of the King (in mm).

Here are some predefined standard sizes:

70mm chess king suits a 40cm chess board

85mm chess king suits a 45-50cm chess board.

95mm chess king suits a 50-55cm chess board.

105mm-110mm chess king suits a 55cm-60cm chess board.

Note: If you can’t find your chess piece dimensions in a given standard size chart then use a larger chessboard square by up to 25%. Buying a smaller square size board will risk crowding the pieces. We have a great range of veneer chess boards, tournament chess boards. Please explore here.

Our Staunton chess pieces range starts from as low as $46 with a variety of sizes and woods. Every single listing of the chess pieces on our website is matched up with a suitable chess board. Browse our Staunton range here.

Some Examples of Popular Staunton Chess Sets

Reproduced 1849 Staunton Pattern Chess Set in Ebony / Antiqued Box wood with King Side Stamping – 4.4″ King
The Staunton Series Hand Crafted Wooden Chess Pieces in Sheesham & Box Wood - 4.0" King
The Staunton Series Hand Crafted Wooden Chess Pieces in Sheesham & Box Wood – 4.0″ King
Tournament Series Staunton Chess Pieces with German Knight - 3.7" King
Tournament Series Staunton Chess Pieces with German Knight – 3.7″ King


Evolution of Chess Sets

Chess has been one of the oldest games played in the civilized world. The nobility and upper classes of the society found the other popular games at that time like wrestling, animal fighting and other form of physical activities below their dignity to indulge in and this led to chess becoming popular in upper echelons of society far and wide.

chess sets, chess pieces, chess evolution

As the game of chess got popular all over the world, the chess pieces also underwent a lot of changes in design and material. The chess sets were made in different designs and materials depending upon the social, economic and political situation of the region it was played in.

Reproduced Antique Circa 1800 Series Handcarved Chess Pieces in Bud Rose & Box Wood - 4.6" King
Reproduced Antique Circa 1800 Series Handcarved Chess Pieces in Bud Rose & Box Wood – 4.6″ King

This led to different variants of chess design being used all over the world. In India and China where dexterous artisans and elephant ivory was available in abundance, the chess pieces were made in ivory. The kings, princes and nawabs took pride in getting made the chess pieces in ivory procured from the elephants hunted down by them.

Reproduced 1849 Staunton Pattern Chess Set in Ebony / Antiqued Box wood with King Side Stamping - 4.4" King
Reproduced 1849 Staunton Pattern Chess Set in Ebony / Antiqued Box wood with King Side Stamping – 4.4″ King

In Europe and Middle East, wooden sets were made which was then decorated with fine carvings. In Africa, where ebony wood was easily available, chess sets were made in ebony wood. Industrialization in mid 19th century led to bulk production of wooden chess sets in United Kingdom which could be standardized unlike chess pieces carved by hand.
The Reproduction 1950 Dubrovnik Bobby Fischer Chess Set in Stained Crimson / Box Wood – 3.6″ King

The advent of standard Staunton chess sets in middle of nineteenth century in UK led to the popular designs of chess sets slowly being replaced with Staunton pattern chess sets. The Staunton pattern chess sets became popular with players and soon all major tournaments and competitions were only played with this design of chess sets only. This practice of using Staunton Pattern Chess Sets at all major tournaments has continued since then and this design will keep dominating the chess equipment scene till some radically better design replaces this.

The Dragon Knight Series
The Dragon Knight Series