Our Range of Chessmen
Chess pieces are one of our specialties, we stock a clear and concise range of of extremely high quality pieces. We stock The Regency Chess Company range of wooden chess pieces as well as other key brands such as SAC and Dal Negro. Our range of chessmen will only ever contain the best quality and most attractive styles of chess piece. Of course the most popular style is Staunton, the worlds most popular design of chessmen. Another very important set of chess pieces we sell is the collection of lewis chessmen. These are without doubt the second most popular design of chess piece available, and they carry quite a story.
If you are in the market for a set of pieces you will read a lot about weighting, single weighted, double weighted, triple weighted, the terminology is of course very confusing. The key of course is not to opt for more weight, but the ideal amount of balance. A truly high quality chess piece will be well proportioned with an ideal base to height ratio and weight installed only in the base of the piece. It's important to keep the mass of the weight low in the piece to get a perfect balance and center of gravity. This can be noticed when you pick up the pieces in your fingers and place them back down again. Or swing a long piece such as a king from left to right. Of course if you want the heaviest of heavy chess pieces our range of metal chess pieces are ideal, they are one hundred percent weighted!
Chess pieces, otherwise known as chessmen, have, in the game of chess, different capabilities and therefore different values. Each player starts with 16 chess pieces, one plays "white" the other "black". The black and white 64 squared board must be laid so that sitting directly opposite each other, each player has a white square in his or her right hand corner. Then the chess men are set out like this: The 8 identical pawns occupy the second row from the back of the board. Then the rooks go on the corner squares, the knights next to them, then the bishops and then the king and queen in the middle squares. The rule of thumb for where to place the king and queen is "Queen on her own color" so white queen on the white square, and her king beside her on black. It will be observed that the black queen on her black square will face her opposing chessman directly. Yes, the queen is still referred to as a chessMAN!
How the pieces move on the chessboard
The object of the game of chess is to capture the king, in a move known as "Check Mate". On the way to this climax of the battle the chessmen will be moved strategically and try to capture and eliminate powerful chess pieces and weaken the opposing force, making the final prize more easily achieved.
A pawn can move forwards one or two vacant squares on the first move they make. Thereafter these pieces can only move forward one vacant square at a time. One exception to this rule is that they can move diagonally one square to capture "take" the chessman on the landing square. The other exception is a move known as "en passant". This is where a pawn advances two squares at the first move, and is found on a square beside an opposing pawn, which can then move diagonally to the square as if the first pawn had landed there, and also remove that piece from the board.
Now for another chess board piece, the rook. Sometimes called the castle. This can advance forwards or backwards, left to right as many squares as are vacant, and can take a piece by landing on the square it occupies. There is another move it can do in combination with the King of neither of these pieces has been moved earlier in the game. The squares between the king and rook must be clear of other chess men, and it is not allowed in order to escape the capture of a king by an opposing piece – where the king is in check, or check mate. Called 'castling', the king moves two spaces towards the rook, which then moves to the square the King has passed through. The King can only move one square in any direction and can take an opposing chess piece on that square.
The knights move three squares in any direction on the chess board in a 1/2 or 2/1 sequence. To the side or forwards and back. They can jump over any other pieces. Early in the game a knight can bypass the row of pawns in front by moving forward 2 squares and then one square to the side. They can take a piece on the square, on which they land, not the chessmen they pass over. The beginner is often surprised at how a knight can seemingly appear from nowhere!
Bishops move only diagonally in any direction through vacant squares and can capture the piece where they land. Each opponent will have a bishop on a white square and one on a black square.
The queen has the freedom of movement of the rook and bishop combined. Any direction on vacant squares, forwards, backwards and diagonally. When a pawn reaches the far side of the board it can be exchanged for a queen or any other piece of the player's choice. The queen would be the first choice, being the most powerful chess man. Getting a pawn to the opponent's side of the board is the result of either one player's remarkable skill, or his opponent's sheer carelessness.