Chess Pieces

Chess pieces come in a range of different sizes, styles, and material. Buying chess pieces on their own without a chess board gives you more control over the look and feel of your set. You will typically buy all 32 chess pieces at once.

At Official Staunton we have a wide range of chess pieces for sale. We have a variety of styles and materials, from Isle Of Lewis to Staunton chess pieces, and plastic to wooden chess pieces. If you aren’t sure which style of pieces will suit your board, speak to our expert team for some advice.   

What Are The Pieces In Chess Called?

The chess pieces that make up a traditional chess set come in six types. These chess pieces are called:





Rook (or Castle)


How Many Chess Pieces Are There?

A complete chess set contains 32 chess pieces, which is 16 pieces per player, made up of:

1 King per player

1 Queen per player 

2 Bishops per player

2 Knights per player

2 Rooks (or Castles) per player

8 Pawns per player

Some full sets of chess pieces actually contain 34 pieces as they are supplied with two extra Queens.


Different Styles Of Chess Pieces

Chess pieces come in different styles and materials, from the traditional to the contemporary. 

While they are usually made of wood – including cherry, oak, mahogany, ebony, and pine – there are many other materials available. 

The most popular styles and types of chess pieces are:

Wooden Chess Pieces

Wood chess pieces are highly recommended for both the beauty and durability of the pieces. Some chess enthusiasts claim that wood has a natural feel to it and when playing chess compared to plastic chess pieces. 

Wooden chess pieces are usually more luxurious, with intricate details in the pieces hand carved by craftsmen. This usually means that wooden chess pieces are more expensive, but they are of higher quality.

At Official Staunton, our range includes a variety of wooden chess pieces, including antique mahogany, ebony, rosewood, and more. 

Metal Chess Pieces

Metal Chess pieces are often made of brass and can be glossy, which complement various wooden boards be it glossy or matte and are available as well. They are extremely durable and hard wearing, meaning they will last a lifetime. However, metal chess pieces can be slightly more expensive than other materials like wood and plastic. 

Resin or Plastic Chess Pieces

Resin chess pieces often cost only a fraction of what a wood chess piece costs. However, resin chess pieces are made of a higher quality than other types of plastic chess pieces, meaning resin is more expensive to buy than plastic pieces. Plastic chess pieces don’t tend to be as hard wearing as wooden and metal either. 

Weighted Chess Pieces

Weighted chess pieces are weighted with metal to improve their feel while playing. A slug or plug of iron is inserted into each piece during the manufacturing process. The weight of the slug installed determines whether the chess pieces are single, double, triple, or quadruple weighted. What weight you choose comes down to personal preference. 

You can buy weighted chess pieces from our range at Official Staunton. Speak to our experts to find more information on our weighted pieces. 

Staunton Chess Pieces

The most popular chess piece style is the classic Staunton. Staunton Chess Pieces are widely recognised by their design which has been in existence since 1849. It is the only style of chess pieces that is approved for official chess tournaments across the world.

The design of the Staunton chess pieces promotes the king as the highest piece on the table (due to its importance, probably) with heights varying from 3.5” to 4.5”. The King is carved with a crown and a cross sign on the top of it, the Queen is smaller, wearing a coronet and a small ball on the top, while the Knight has the shape of a horse head. The Rook looks like a tower with crenellated battlements, the Bishops are determined by a mitre, while the Pawns have only a ball on the top. Each one of the pieces has its base covered in felt (or even leather in most recent, luxury sets).

Our range of Staunton pattern chess pieces is by far the most popular and are handcrafted by the most talented artisans in the world. You will find a variety of Staunton chess pieces in different materials in our range, including rosewood and ebony

The second most popular style is the Isle Of Lewis chess pieces. At Official Staunton, we have a range of Isle Of Lewis chess sets in multiple sizes. 

Travel Chess Pieces

Travel chess pieces are light, economical, and playable on the move. If you’re travelling, you need a chess set that isn’t heavy but is small and portable. That’s why travel chess pieces are less about design and beauty than there are about practicality. 

At Official Staunton, our travel chess pieces include a diverse collection of magnetic, wooden, and cardboard sets, like Anegre Eco Classic Sets, Morphy Anegre, Morphy Rosewood, Mahogany and Black Walnut sets. 

Tournament Chess Pieces

While many of the grand chess clubs in the world still practice the old-fashioned, large chess boards and pieces, now a smaller group of chess enthusiasts are embracing hand carved wooden chess pieces. While most people prefer to play on a larger board with heavier boards, you can certainly enjoy your own personal chess game while playing with your own hand-carved chess pieces.

How Choose The Best Chess Pieces

Choosing the right chess piece comes down to your style and playing habits. A tournament chess player will need different chess pieces to a recreational chess player. But whatever you need to buy chess pieces for, you should consider: size, appearance, and style.

Chess Piece Sizes

Traditionally, size does matter when it comes to chess pieces. The base diameter of a King, placed over the diameter of a square on the board should be 75 per cent, giving it enough space around the edges. It should not be overly crowded or give a sense of isolation on the board, as it weakens the chessmen’s appreciation for the exquisiteness of each piece. Same goes for the height, width and general outlook of the Bishop, Queen, Rook, Pawns and Knights. The heads of each should vary and the bishop and pawn should be identifiable without causing exhilarating confusion during the game. 

Style & Colour 

While size is a factor that should be calculated correctly and can play a large role in the aesthetic appearance of the entire chess set, other factors such as colour and style are left to the discretion of the buyer’s tastes and imagination. That’s the beauty of putting together your own chess sets with separate boards and chess pieces. But you should still consider material, sizing, colouring, aesthetics, and whether these are collectible pieces or for either travel or home.

Although most chess pieces on sale come in a wide range of colours and designs, there are differences to take into consideration when it comes to materials. For example, wood pieces work best with antique chess sets that have a matte finish, although some people also like to use them on glossy chess boards. Most wooden chess sets for sale also apply the use of contrast, making use of light rosewood chess pieces with dark chess boards, while an ivory chess set often uses black and white pieces on a lightly coloured board. Similarly, metal chess pieces are often made of brass, which can complement any wooden chess board or more vibrant colours such as red and blue. A metal chess set usually has a glossy finish to it overall even if the accompanying board is made of wood.

Matching Your Chess Pieces With Your Board

The chess pieces also reflect the quality and colour of the board and should be selected accordingly. If for instance, the chessboard is Mahogany, then the chess pieces should be a Crimson or a Honey Rosewood to complement its beauty. There are various wooden chess pieces from Rosewood, Boxwood, Hornbeam, Acacia, Ebony, and Red and Ivory gloss finished pieces that can grace your chess board in the finest of ways. Ebony chess pieces are the purest with very little grain and are black in colour inside and outside. Also, Ebony is one the rarest and hardest woods to find, its chess pieces are a collector’s item and often paired with traditional boxwood sets. 

Official Staunton Chess Pieces

If you want to buy chess pieces either individually or in full 32 or 34 piece sets, our team at Official Staunton can help. Our specialists know a thing or two about chess and can help you to pick the perfect chess pieces for you, whether you are in the UK or abroad.

Whatever your preference may be, we are absolutely certain we have the chess pieces for you, take a look around our website and fall in love with our beautiful catalogue of the finest chess pieces in the World.



Norway has been a nation that has been well-known for its winter sports prowess, but it has not had much success in competitive chess. Magnus Carlsen's win at the World Chess Championship last month has seen the game grow in popularity in Norway. The 23-year old chess prodigy is now poised to take the title and lead the sport for many years.

Carlsen was 13 years old when he became a chess grandmaster. This made him the second-youngest grandmaster in history. While the sport was still relatively quiet in Norway, Carlsen was able to make chess a very popular game in a game that didn't even have snow.

Magnus Carlsen's story began to blossom as he won more tournaments and saw his rank steadily rise. He was the highest-ranked chess player with a rating of 2810 by 2010. At just 19 years old, he was already beating the best players in the world like Vladimir Kramnik or Veselin Topalov. He also won various tournaments such as the Corus Chess Tournament and the London Chess Classic.

However, his FIDE chess ranking of number one would not hold up throughout the year. His celebrity status and his experience at the top of the world of chess influenced his mind clearly. G-Star Raw was his first modeling company. Many felt that his activities away from the chessboard distracted him. In the fall of that year, he would lose unexpectedly at the Grand Slam Masters Final. This resulted in him falling to rank 2 and in this world.

Carlsen would not lose his belief. However, he would continue to work throughout 2011 to restore his dominance at top of the chess game. He would regain the number one ranking by the end of the summer. He was only 20 years old at the time.

Carlsen was praised for his natural ability to play while in training. He rarely uses his mind to computer-driven statistics strategies and instead relies on his intuition. Carlsen is a gifted player with a sharp mind. However, he is known for his aggressive play and ability keep his mind open during long tournaments and matches. Carlsen is a calm and reserved chess player who can withstand the fatigue at the end of tournaments. He plays the game with brilliance, ease, and brilliance even under pressure. It's no surprise that Carlsen, a young man, has achieved such great success in the sport.

The youngster was ready to record his progress and development in the game. In January, he set a new world record with a FIDE rating of 2861. Carlsen was able to compete with Viswanathan, the former Chess Champion of India, after he won the Candidates tournament by beating Kramnik in a tiebreak. Carlsen had lost many tournaments before this monumental match, but he was confident and building his confidence.

Carlsen was held last month in Chennai (India) and would need to take the title from Anand, his opponent far away from home. Anand held the title since 2007, but it was clear that his game was falling apart. His FIDE rating was now 8 , the eighth globally. He had also stopped participating in chess tournaments to prepare for this match.

It was obvious that Carlsen was here to play from the beginning. After four consecutive draws, Carlsen made a breakthrough and won game 5. From then on, he would be in complete control. The action was closely followed in Norway. A large audience watched the matches live on TV, which attracted a lot of viewers. Online broadcasts with detailed analysis and discussion of the games were also very popular during the competition.

As the nation watched their rising chess star, it seemed like everyone stopped! The nation was buzzing as university students were riveted to every move on their computers screens. Even those with no interest in the sport were captivated when they saw the first Norwegian player become the World Chess Champion! Carlsen would become the first Western European player in 76 years to be a champion! In those days, chess was dominated mainly by players from India, Russia, China. But times are changing.

Magnus Carlsen, who had not lost one game to the reigning champion, was declared the World Chess Champion at the end of game 10. His popularity in Norway and the popularity of chess have simply exploded.

Official Staunton has witnessed a significant rise in the national interest in the sport, and chess set orders are up tremendously, especially for the holiday season. We are now able to offer discounted shipping. This will allow many new chess enthusiasts to enjoy this mind-bending game on a stunning new chess piece board.

Norwegians will be interested in the remarkable replica of the Lewis Chessmen. The unique replica of the historic Lewis Chessmen was discovered on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland. It is one of very few surviving chess sets from medieval times, and most likely came from Norway. The Lewis Chess Set Replicas are the ideal item for anyone from Norway who is interested in the game.

Magnus Carlsen is the new celebrity of Norwegian chess. The sport is experiencing a huge revival in Norway. Youngsters and players alike want to emulate their heroes. Perhaps Norway will soon be a major player in the game, just like Russia and China. For the near term, Carlsen will continue to lead the way for both the country and the sport for many years. The young adult, who just turned 23 years old, will now be focusing on the preservation of his position as the most intellectual sport in the world. He seems certain to hold this title for many more years, thanks to his extraordinary poise and brilliance. He will now need to be defeated by his challengers. Although it is possible that Carlsen will one day be dethroned, his dominance in the sport will not be matched and he will soon be a household name around the globe. The entire Norwegian population seems to be thrilled by their celebrity and is showing their love for chess. This is a fantastic opportunity to buy a new Official Chess Company chess set. It's also a great chance to celebrate the sport of Chess and the amazing rise to fame of Magnus Carlsen, the latest chess champion in the world.

Stay in touch

Official Staunton™ is the leading brand in quality hand carved chess sets

Latest posts

  • How do you clean a chess set?

    All our products are finished and polished, waxed or waxed before they reach you. They will need some maintenance over time to look as beautiful as they did when you first received them. Different products need different cleaning and preservation techniques. Here are... Read more →

  • The Best Classic Board Games

    For a second there, it appeared as though modern society had killed off humble board games. After all, how could Monopoly or Cluedo compare scrolling on Facebook, playing with your friends in an online game of Fortnite, or binge-watching an... Read more →

  • Bobby Fischer- The Troubled Chess Genius

    In 1972, the U.S. found an unlikely weapon in its Cold War battle against Soviet Russia: a teen chess prodigy by the name of Bobby Fischer. Though Mr. Fischer would be celebrated for many years to come, as the world's... Read more →