Wooden Chess Game


                                                                     (Photo: Chess.com)

Chess, the
king of all mind games….

Chess is perhaps the most popular and
treasured board game in the world. The history of chess goes back to many
years, decades and even centuries. But who really invented the game we all
love? What was the origin of this famous mind game many millions of people
play? How is it made? Many questions arises and rises our curiosity to know
about it even more.

So, the tale
begins about 1500 years aback when it originated in India. In India, the game
was referred as Chaturanga, and has been mentioned in Persian manuscripts. From
India, chess travelled to Persia, and through Muslim influence, it spread
throughout the Europe. The game became very popular in the Muslim world, and it
was carried throughout Islam, across North Africa and eventually into Europe.

With time
the rules changed. Chess spread like a wildfire throughout Europe after the
rules had been changed so that queen and bishop had greater mobility,  and was even called “mad queen chess”. This
was the start of our modern chess, and the popularity and growth of chess has
not stopped since then. It remains a highly popular pastime in these days. In
India, this game is very famous and thanks to the grandmaster Vishwanathan

Now another big
question which arises is that: How are they made? A chessboard is made up of 64
square blocks. Thirty-two squares are dark and 32 are light. The task of making
a wooden chessboard is quite challenging but once you master yourself, it’s
super easy.  The prospect of accurately
cutting and gluing together 64 blocks is daunting, so don’t do it. The first
thing to do is to select two type of woods, it can also be of same type. Take
the boards and put a clean edge on each board. Then, with the newly clean and
straightened edge against the fence rip them to about 4” wide and cross-cut
them to 28”. Clean up one face on each board. Next clean up one edge on each
board. Mark an “X” on the cleaned edge of each board. With the X edge against
the fence and the X face on the table of your table saw rip 2 strips from each
board 1-1/2” wide. Now you will get some strips about 3/8” thick. Set them
aside for use on the border of the board. Now crosscut the 4 boards to 14”. You
should now have 8 boards 1.5” wide X 14” long. Now gather up your clamps, set
it and glue the edges. Try to keep all the boards held firmly and with even
pressure. Let it sit for 3-4 hours. After the interval scrape away all the
excess dried glue. Cut perpendicular strips. Lay out the cut strips and flip
every other strip to form the chessboard pattern. Now it’s time for the second
glue up. Glue up the edges and clamp it like you did before. Once dry, scrape
the glue and plane it flat again. Make the border with those 3/8” scrap pieces
and sand it up from 150 grit all the way to 320 grit. Then a thorough wipe down
with mineral spirits. And then your chessboard will be ready.

Next comes
the pieces. The wooden chess pieces are very valuable and expensive in the
market because of the exotic woods used. So, we need to handle the process very
effectively. So, the first step is to choose a design and then only you will go
into the next step of choosing wood. It can be between 1.5-4.5m as long. The
blocks are dried before in the sun. It’s only when the blocks turn out to be
good the transformation begins. The most challenging part is “fine carving”. You
can carve your chess pieces using special tools and your hand. Spinning takes
place at 2400 rpm. And then the sanding process starts. It is very important to
sand the pieces, in order to get the smooth and even surface. Chess pieces are
then treated with a solution to preserve. Then final touches are made and chess
pieces are polished to give it a shine.

Hence the transformation of wood into chessboard
and chess pieces completes. It is a time-consuming process however it’s also true
that it is worth of time.