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    How Did Current Chess Design Come About

    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

    Check out how current chess design came about.

    The game of chess has come a long way since it first popped up in 6th century India.

    In fact, the rules of the game developed for about 1300 years before it started to look like the game we know today.

    As the game gained popularity in the competitive game-playing circuit a need for standardization emerged.

    The legend goes that in 1849 architect Nathan Cook designed the now-eponymous Staunton chess set. Neoclassicism was all the rage in the day and Cook melded its aesthetics with those already popular in the game.

    The creation story of modern chess also has some drama. The major players in the tale are Henry Staunton, the chess guru, Nathan Cook, the designer, and John Jacques, the marketing and manufacturing mastermind.

    Rumors spread that Cook didn’t design the set. Rather, his brother-in-law Jacques just used Staunton’s name and Cook’s media connections to push the set as it was fast and cheap for him to manufacture.

    Regardless, it was wildly popular and adopted as a standard by worldwide chess organizations in the 1920s.