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Chess/Chess Boards Design with Different Contrasting Colors.


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Dear Tony‎‎

1. Can there be uncomfortable feeling for chess players including
Chess Grandmasters if Chess Boards are designed with different contrasting colors instead of traditional/conventional Black and
White Squares ?.

2. Can there be more impact in Rapid Chess Games ?. (Chess Moves to be made quickly by both players in less time).

For examples: Red and Green, Red and Blue, Blue and Yellow.

The Chess rules will remain the same.  

Example : Red and Green chess board.

Red has replaced white square and Green has replace the Black square.
32 red squares replacing the white squares.
32 green squares replacing the black squares.
Red will make the first move.

There will be 16 red pieces and 16 green pieces.

The placement of the chess pieces on the chess board will be exactly the same i.e. Red and Green Pieces.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Well, of course I can't speak for grandmasters... :)  But in my case at any rate, yes such alternate color schemes would cause pronounced discomfort.  Not due to their unfamiliarity, but simply because high contrast causes eye strain and leads to fatigue.

In fact, black and white are not the traditional colors (at least, not for officially-sanctioned play).  Tournament chess boards consist of off-white (usually called "buff") and green squares, to make the contrast as low as possible while still offsetting the squares (since of course a board featuring all the same color would make, for example, the bishops' diagonals more difficult to discern).

I have included a link which illustrates a standard board used in official play.  And yes, the "board" isn't really a board at all, but is made from a sheet of vinyl (for portability).  The letters and numbers along the sides of the board indicate the coordinates of the algebraic notation system, which is used for writing down the moves (a practice which is mandatory for all the players in a tournament).  The board is stored by rolling it up (not folding it, which creates creases).  In order to get it to lie flat, the board is usually rolled the other way for a moment just before use.  Alternately, you can purchase boards made of leather or rubber, which lie flat automatically (I in fact own one such leather board myself).


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Tony D'Aloisio


I've read a good deal on the subject and I can answer a lot of chess history questions (or at least I'll know where to look them up). Also questions regarding analyzing specific positions (although with the advent of powerful chess software, this isn't likely to have the importance it once did).


I was a national master in the US for a number of years. My peak USCF rating was 2290, and I was ranked in the top 150 in the state of California. My current published rating is 2177.

B.A. Sonoma State University 1984 (English major with Communications emphasis)

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