When looking for a chess set to buy, you can see descriptions of the games that include a size, usually in inches. This is the height of the king, and in a standard tournament chess set, the height of the king is 3.75 inches. If you're buying a game to use in a tournament, this is the size you should aspire for. Games with 4 or more kings tend to be very impressive as display pieces, although the larger the pieces, obviously, the higher the cost, since larger pieces tend to be more ornately carved.
Very often, you can calculate the cost of a chess set by the detail of the gentleman's size, since this piece usually requires more craftsmanship than the other pieces, which are mostly symmetrical and can be rotated on a lathe. When buying a game, it's important to ensure that the pieces are properly weighted, as unweighted pieces may appear too light and prone to tilting, especially if you play on an uneven surface or on a rolling board. Since the middle of the 19th century, high-quality chess pieces have been weighed with lead, and in many games you can see that there is a hole in the lower part of the piece where the weight has been inserted, which is usually covered with felt, so that the pieces do not scratch the board. In some cheaper games, this hole may be present, but no weight has been added, and you'll have to weigh it yourself. Easily the most recognizable chess set of all games, the Staunton pieces are named after the 19th century English master, Howard Staunton, considered the world's strongest player in the 1840s.
Staunton himself did not design the pieces -they were designed by Nathaniel Cook and first produced by Jaques of London in 1849-, but instead lent his name to promote them in one of the first examples of sports sponsorship. Staunton pieces resemble smooth columns, which taper upwards from a wide base and are topped with a stylized motif representing each piece. Staunton's most recognizable piece is the king, whose crown is always topped with a cross. The Zagreb style, and the similar Dubrovnik style that influenced it, are mid-20th century Eastern European variations on the traditional Staunton pattern. They have a softer and more rounded feel than most Staunton outfits, and the pieces usually have finishes in different colors (the decorative orbs and the crosses that finish off the pieces), so that the white queen can be topped with a black orb and vice versa.
Another distinctive feature of the style is the gentleman's shape, which normally has a curved S-shaped neck and a face that points downwards. The Dubrovnik style differs from the Zagreb style, in that the king's crown is usually topped with a simple orb, rather than a cross. Also known as Edinburgh Upright, this style of pieces was one of the immediate forerunners of Staunton's design and was popular between the early and mid-19th century, especially among European aristocracy. The pieces resemble tall, slender columns, topped with simple motifs. The queen with the head of an orb almost looks like a very tall pawn, and the bishop's divided mitre is typical of pre-Staunton era.
Like many sets of that time period, tall thin pieces were prone to tilt during play -a problem not shared by sturdy Staunton pieces that replaced them. However, Upright style remains a striking and elegant design worthy of any chess enthusiast's collection. The pieces of French Regency are named after Café de la Régence in Paris -one of most important chess centers of 18th and 19th centuries. Almost all great masters of time played there together with famous figures like Voltaire and Napoleon. Such was renown of Café de la Régence as chess center that pieces used there -which were common pattern in Europe at time- came to take its name.
The pieces resemble stacks of orbs and discs and like many other sets in use at time queens bishops and pawns look lot like each other differing only in height often creating confusion for players who weren't familiar with pattern explaining why Staunton pieces replaced them easily. However pieces from French Regency remained in use until 20th century. Lund pattern was one several similar English game sets available late 18th early 19th centuries including St George Calvert Merrifield patterns. Like whole French Regency all these patterns had common baluster ribbed column looked like pile orbs discs although shared mitered bishop vertical style queen usually topped tip crown making these pieces more distinguishable than French style. These sets were intended for serious competitive play their popularity only diminished after introduction Staunton pattern. Also known Lewis Chessmen Uig Chessmen this style chess game based collection 12th century pieces found 1831 Isle Lewis Outer Hebrides west coast Scotland.
They were discovered man named Malcolm Macleod who according one story looking lost cow time Most pieces now British Museum other pieces game found same cache. It believed they were made master craftsman Trondheim Norway late 12th century lost buried way.