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Staunton Chess Pieces

Imagine a chess game without any chess pieces. It is impossible, isn't it?  Chess pieces are the most common and core component of chess sets. Throughout history, they have changed and grown, adopting various “personalities” and “costumes.”

As chess became more common around the world, there were so many different types of chess pieces by the mid-nineteenth century that players sometimes declined to play matches on each other's boards because they couldn't tell the characters apart.

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In 1849, journalist and illustrator Nathaniel Cook devised the most basic and symbolic concept, which we all know and love today, and named it after English chess master Howard Staunton. That's how the now-classic Staunton pieces were born. Since then, it has been the standard set style for most chess tournaments around the world.

If you play chess professionally or just for fun, you've almost certainly come across Staunton chess sets and pieces without even realizing. Staunton chess pieces are a common choice among professionals, hobbyists and chess enthusiasts alike. Due to their simplicity, Staunton chess sets are considered the classic. At Kaoori, you can find a large collection of Staunton chess pieces as well as complete sets. 

Staunton chess set history 

The Staunton chess set has a long history, dating back to 1849, though the creation of the set dates back much further. Prior to the mid-nineteenth century, there were no uniform chess sets; each player had their own set, which could have different styled pieces, different sizes, and other variations, making competitions difficult. These differences were so significant that they meddled with the end result of the game. The unfamiliarity with an opponent's chess set could have a huge effect on the game's final outcome, so standardized chess sets emerged. John Jacques of London invented the first modular chess set for mass production in 1849. This chess set was eventually called the Staunton chess set, after Howard Staunton, one of the most well-known chess players of his time. This set's popularity grew to the point that it was determined that the Staunton sets would be the norm for tournament play. This rule still holds true today, and Staunton-style chess sets are widely regarded as the gold standard in chess.

Chess pieces from Staunton

The king, queen, knights, rooks, bishops, and pawns on the Staunton pieces are all modeled to look like medieval figures. The pieces have a base that makes them easy to handle and move, as well as a top that instantly identifies them to the player and everyone watching the game. A Staunton chess set's pieces can be constructed from a variety of materials. Ivory or high-quality wood is often used to make antique chess sets. Wooden chess pieces, as well as plastic, metal, and composite materials, are the most widely used today. Depending on the material used to produce the chess pieces and whether or not the set is intended for travel, the pieces may or may not be weighted.

Why do people like Staunton?

Staunton chess sets are unquestionably common all over the world, even outside of conventional tournament play. Staunton chess sets are famous because of their classic design, which perfectly embodies the game of chess. Furthermore, people adore the classic look of the items, which allows them to recognize each one at a glance without having to consult visual guides or otherwise think too hard. Staunton chess pieces are among the world's most well-known and distinctive pieces. Consider adding a Staunton chess set to your list, whether you're new to the game or a seasoned veteran.


You can never go with Staunton pieces, so browse Kaoori’s collection and purchase your very own set today!