How Much Does a Chessboard Weigh?

Chess Equipment / By Andrew Hercules

Chess is a classical game enjoyed by many in society. The game has a very strong history and continues to attract interest from new players all over the world. A chess board consists of the playing board itself and other pieces. The pieces include the Pawn, Bishop, Knight, Rook, Queen and the King.

Each piece makes restricted moves and follows the guidelines set. When buying a chess board, amongst other factors, it is important to consider the weight of the pieces and the chessboard itself.

So, what is the right weight for a standard chessboard? This article answers this question and anything else that you may need to know on the topic.

How Much Does a Chessboard Weigh?

According to experts, a standard chessboard should weigh around 50 ounces. A normal chessboard comes with 34 pieces (16 pieces for each player and an additional 2 queens). The average weight of each wooden piece is 1.47 ounces. As for the board itself, you can get its weight by multiplying the length by the width and by the thickness.

Most chessboards vary in weight because they are made from wood, plastics or other viable materials that may differ. Also, chessboards are categorized under weighted and unweighted categories depending on the materials used to create them.

Weighted Chess Sets

In chess, it is common to hear phrases such as “triple-weighted” or “double-weighted” chess sets. In the past, chess set manufacturers used to place weights in the chess pieces that they produced.

Triple-weighted chess piece simply means that the pieces have 3 weights. Today, these categories are rarely used. Instead, chess pieces with extra weights are simply known as weighted chess pieces.

Most players prefer weighted chess pieces because they are easy to move, have perfect balance and do not topple over easily.

Unweighted chess sets

Unweighted chess sets refer to chess pieces that are very light. Most players do not like these chess pieces because of their instability and their very light feel in the player’s hand when moving them.

Why it is Important to Consider Weight When Buying a Chessboard

If you are wondering why it is important to consider the weight of the chessboard when purchasing one, here are some answers for you:

1. Standard chessboard are quality

Buying a chessboard that is within the stipulated weight range guarantees quality. The pieces are neither too heavy nor too light. Light chess pieces are uncomfortable to move and are hard to settle on the chessboard.

Very heavy pieces, on the other hand, may strain the player’s hands over time. This explains why most chess players prefer slightly weighted chess pieces over the unweighted ones.

2. Weighted chess sets are durable

Purchasing weighted chess sets guarantees durability. The materials used to make these pieces are stronger and more durable. They can withstand wear and tear therefore maintaining the player’s high gaming standards. With these, you get good value for money spent.

3. Enjoy uninterrupted gaming

When playing chess, it is possible that emotions might kick in and you can accidentally hit the chessboard. Sometimes, your leg might move a little or a passerby might bruise the chessboard slightly.

You can never tell exactly what and when anything can happen to disrupt your gaming experience. If you have very light chess pieces, chances are that any slight touch on the chessboard means that you have to restart the game. Unless, maybe by chance you had mastered the position of each piece.

Unweighted chess pieces are weak and unstable and can cause huge disappointments. On the other side, chess sets that have the standard weight are heaven sent. They are steady and strong.

They only move when done so intentionally or when the chessboard is hit really hard. This means that small accidents on the chessboard might go unnoticed thereby giving you ample time to enjoy your game.

4. Enjoy your chess on the go

If you travel a lot and you like to carry your chessboard with you, having a chess set with the perfect weight can go a long way in saving you unwanted troubles.

Weighted chess pieces can withstand pressure and can definitely survive in your travel case throughout the journey. Chess pieces that have little weight are feeble.

This means that they can crumble under pressure when travelling. Imagine how disappointed you will be when you set up your chessboard and you find out that some pieces are broken! You will be stuck with a broken king and a maimed queen.

The History of the Weighted Chess Pieces

During the 19th century, there was a buzz about this new game (at the time) called chess. Before that time, chess existed but it was not really known by many.

When more players started to realize how engaging the game can be, it was decided that there should be uniform chess pieces. Some of the aspects that needed standardization include the colors, decorative nature and the weight of the pieces.

Most chess players complained that some chess pieces were so light and did not settle steadily on the chessboards. It was then that it was decided that the chess pieces should carry extra but manageable weight to help gamers enjoy the game undisturbed.


Chess is a game that has undergone revolution with the passage of time. The weight of the chess pieces is one aspect that has been a subject for debate. How much does a chessboard weigh?

Well, there is no outright answer for this because chessboard manufacturers continue to release varying chessboards into the market. However, what most chess players have agreed upon is that the chess pieces need to be slightly weighted because of the numerous advantages.

Weighted chess pieces are durable, steady and are satisfying to move around a chessboard. You do not want to start the game afresh just because someone accidentally bruised the chessboard slightly when passing by.

The next time you are out to purchase a chessboard, the weight of the chess pieces should be one of the factors that you consider. It ensures you get the bang for your buck.

Andrew Hercules

Hercules Chess, launched in 2020, is a website that teaches you about chess. We started as a chess blog and became a chess training platform in early 2022.

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