CategoriesWorld Chess

UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, Advocates For More Chess!

In a recent visit to the United States, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed his strong support for increased participation in chess among children. His words have sparked a renewed interest in the timeless board game and its countless benefits.

While on a tour at Friendship Tech Prep Academy in Washington, Sunak was captivated by a 3D printed chess set, a custom-made piece developed by the talented students. As he inspected the intricately designed chess pieces and the accompanying chess board, Sunak spoke passionately about his mission to motivate more UK children to engage with the game.

Sunak enthusiastically stated, “You know, I’m actually doing a little bit of work now on how we can get more people in the United Kingdom to play chess, because it’s so good for you.” His words carry significant weight, given the documented benefits associated with chess play.

Besides stimulating strategic thinking, chess is known for enhancing memory, concentration, and problem-solving abilities. The beauty of the chess set and the complexity of the chess board stimulate a unique cognitive workout. Sunak sees the value in this, adding that chess is “a great skill and it’s really good for helping you think and it’s a great hobby.”

Chess has long been revered as a ‘game of the mind,’ requiring strategic thinking, foresight, and problem-solving. These are not only vital skills for the game but also translate to many areas of life, including academic and career success. The mental workout that chess provides helps to improve memory and cognitive abilities, boost concentration, and foster logical thinking. By introducing more children to the chess board, we can provide them with a fun and engaging way to develop these essential skills. Moreover, each game of chess is unique, presenting a new set of challenges that can keep young minds engaged and intrigued. It’s a perfect blend of entertainment and education.

While the Prime Minister’s tour involved various activities, including a drone flight demonstration, planting jalapeno seeds, and assisting with a science experiment, his keen interest in the chess set was unmistakable.

Prime Minister Sunak’s enthusiasm for chess resonates powerfully with educators, parents, and children alike. His words reiterate the age-old belief that chess, with its beautiful chess sets and intricate chess boards, is not just a game. It’s a strategic tool that equips our young generation with valuable life skills.

CategoriesChess GamesThe Queens Gambit

Netflix to Release “Queen’s Gambit Game”

Unveiling the Unique Crossover of ‘Queen’s Gambit’ and Chess

The Queen’s Gambit, Credit: Netflix

Chess enthusiasts and fans of the critically acclaimed series “The Queen’s Gambit” are in for a treat. Netflix, in an innovative move, is set to launch a new mobile game that marries the drama and characters of the popular show with the strategic world of chess. The game, fittingly named ‘The Queen’s Gambit Chess,’ is slated for release on July 25th.

The Queen’s Gambit, which brilliantly captures the chess prodigy Beth Harmon’s ascent in the chess world of Cold War America, has received global recognition and a stunning 11 Primetime Emmy Awards. The series’ widespread success has helped elevate the star of the series, Anya Taylor-Joy, to new heights in Hollywood.

Immersive Gameplay: Merging ‘Queen’s Gambit’ Storyline with Chess Puzzles

The Queen’s Gambit Chess Game, Credit: Netflix

This summer, Netflix is launching a series of games, with 22 planned releases. ‘The Queen’s Gambit Chess’ stands out as it merges a traditional chess set’s beauty and intellectual appeal with the captivating storyline of the award-winning drama. Developed by Ripstone Games, renowned creators of Chess Ultra, the game aims to cater to every type of fan.

As players open this new chess set on their mobile screens, they will be transported into Beth Harmon’s world. They can learn chess strategies, solve intriguing puzzles, participate in matches, and compete against friends. This is not merely about moving pieces on a chess board; it’s a deeply immersive experience that invites players to step into the shoes of their favourite characters.

How Does the Game Seamlessly Blend the ‘Queen’s Gambit’ Narrative with Chess Strategies?

The Queen’s Gambit, Credit: Netflix

The game offers an array of iconic locations as settings, including Beth’s house and the Mariposa Hotel, a notable setting from the series. Players can also expect to interact with familiar faces from the show like Mr. Shaibel and Vasily Borgov.

It’s exciting to see how ‘The Queen’s Gambit Chess’ takes the chess board beyond the confines of eight squares. It successfully interweaves the game’s cerebral nature with the emotional narrative of the series. Whether you’re a novice who’s just learnt to move the pawns or a seasoned player who can deliver a checkmate in four moves, this game promises to offer something for everyone.

Will there be a Second Series of ‘The Queen’s Gambit’?

Although Netflix hasn’t officially confirmed a second season of the series, we have heard rumors of a spin-off on the horizon. This could be just speculation, so sadly, fans will have to bide their time to find out more. But this game, promising to bring the enchantment of ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ alive through chess, provides fans with a delightful consolation. The game will be available for both iOS and Android users.

The integration of the timeless game of chess with today’s technology, as seen in ‘The Queen’s Gambit Chess,’ is a testament to the enduring appeal of the game. As we await the game’s release, we can’t help but be intrigued about how this blend of traditional chess and dramatic narrative will further stimulate interest in the game of kings.

Queens Gambit Related Products

CategoriesRegency Chess Co. News

Regency Chess Chess Sets Now Available In France

For years our sets have been available all over the world but we are now pleased to announce that many of our lovely chess sets are available to French buyers through a dedicated website Le Palais Des Echecs. This superb website features a great number of lovely quality chess sets with great customer service and fast delivery. We are delighted to be partners of this great company and to see our sets presented magnificently on their website.

The website boasts

  • Fast Shipping to all of France
  • Competitive pricing
  • Great customer service
  • Top quality presentation and images
  • All products hand selected for their style, quality and value

CategoriesChess For Beginners

Help Guide: Buying the Right Chess Set

With so many choices available on our website, buying a new chess set might seem a little bit daunting, however, it doesn’t need to be. Whether you’re buying a chess set for yourself, or as a gift for someone else, this guide is here to help you narrow down your decision and make buying a chess set that little bit easier.


Consider the size

The first thing that you’ll need to consider is the size of the chess set. Whilst the larger sets are usually grander and have more intricate detail, particularly on the knights, it’s important to figure out whether or not the larger sets can be accommodated in their new home. If you, or the person that you’re buying it for, lives in a small apartment, then a set with a 23-Inch board would probably be a little too big.

From time to time, our customers will purchase a set from us, only to find that the chess board is either much larger or much smaller than they imagined. For this reason, we would strongly recommend using a tape measure and measuring out the size before buying. Another good idea would be to measure out the size using a scrap piece of card and then lay it out where you intend to play; this way you can easily visualise the size of the board in comparison to the rest of the room.

It’s also worth noting that, unlike televisions, the boards are measured across the bottom from end to end. Therefore, a 19 Inch board would be 19 x 19 Inches. The actual playing area (8×8 squares) would be a little smaller due to the border.


What’s the standard size?

There is no “standard size” for a chessboard per se, however, most tournament-sized boards measure between 19 and 21 inches. Having said this, chess organisations such as The World Chess Federation (FIDE) and The United States Chess Federation (USCF) will only specify a range that the square size should be, rather than the size of the board itself.

For example, FIDE rules state that the square size should measure between 5 and 6cm (1.97” to 2.25”) in both length and width. Given this, we know that the absolute minimum size of a chessboard would be 40cm (15.75 inches). However, this would be a board without a border surrounding the playing area. Although organisations like FIDE don’t have any rules requiring a border around the playing squares, most chessboards that are used in official tournaments will have one. Therefore, FIDE-compatible boards will usually be more than 15.75 inches (19 to 21) once you factor in the border.

Of all the tournament-legal chessboards, the one we sell the most is the 19 Inch No.5 Wooden Chess Board with Inlaid Mahogany. With this particular chessboard, the squares measure 2 inches across, meaning that the playing surface is 16 x 16. However, with a border thickness of 1.5 inches, the entire chessboard measures 19 inches.


How to pair the size of the pieces with the size of the board

The King is always the largest piece in a game of chess, for this reason, the King’s height is used as the primary measurement in each chess set. Each set of pieces will include the King’s height in the title.

If you’re looking for a set that is more in line with tournament regulations, then you’ll need to purchase a set with a King Height of 3.75 Inches (9.5 cm).


More often than not, King Height can be used to determine the size of the board that is needed. However, this assumes that the pieces are of a traditional Staunton design and that their size is proportional to their height and form, with the diameter of each piece’s base measuring 40 – 50% of its height.

Having said this, not all pieces are of a traditional Staunton design. Therefore, the base diameter of the King and Pawns are arguably more important when figuring out whether the chess pieces fit well with a board.

According to FIDE rules, the side of a square should be at least twice the diameter of a pawn’s base. So, if you’re looking at a set with pawns that have a 1-inch base diameter, you’ll need to pair them with a chess board that has a square size of at least 2 inches. Other rules state that the base diameter of the king should be no more than 75% of the diameter of the squares on the chessboard. However, not everyone wants a chess set to play in official tournaments. Many of our customers just play for the love of chess – so feel free to use this formula as a rough guideline only.


Buying the pieces only

If you’re buying the pieces by themselves, then you’ll need to read the first part of the guide, which covers the size of the chess board. This is because a chess piece with a 4-inch King height and a 1.8-inch diameter, won’t fit on a smaller board with say, 1.5-inch squares. Therefore, it’s fair to say that the size of the pieces will dictate the size of the board that can be paired with them.

If in doubt, please check the product description for the set of chess pieces that you fancy the look of – here it will say which board sizes they are compatible with.


The Style: Form vs Function

The Staunton chess design is considered to be the standard for chess pieces – this design is recommended for use in competition by FIDE. They are easily the most recognisable chess pieces and they tend to be what people picture when they think of chess.

In addition to the classic Staunton design, we also sell a range of luxury Staunton pieces. These pieces won’t always fit into FIDE’s tournament regulations due to their exaggerated design, but they’re still easily recognisable as honouring the traditional Staunton design.

We also stock chess pieces that are loosely based on the Staunton design. More often than not these will have a more contemporary look to them. For the most part, they include elements that are somewhat recognisable as Staunton, but if you’re not accustomed to using a set like this, picking them apart from the other pieces on the board may take some getting used to.

Moving away from the Staunton design, one of our best-selling sets is the Isle of Lewis chess pieces. These are some of the most recognisable chess pieces in the world –  loved by historians and Harry Potter fanatics alike. The King looks like a King, the Queen looks like a Queen, and the Knight depicts a Knight riding on the back of a horse. For the most part, they’re rather easy to play with…

However, the piece that most people struggle with a little at first, is the rook/castle. This is because most people will think of the crenellated turret design that is used in most rook designs. Even most themed sets will have a castle or siege tower design of some sort. However, with the Lewis set the rook is depicted as a Berserker biting a shield. Needless to say, this element of the set does take some getting used to.

The rest of the sets we sell are considered to be “themed pieces”. They come in all shapes and sizes and range from cats to dragons. These will vary widely in design and may take some getting used to if you’re more accustomed to playing using a traditional Staunton set. It’s fair to say that the themed pieces tend to value form over function.

Therefore, if you’re rather new to chess, or you’re buying for someone who is new to chess, we’d recommend sticking to the Staunton design, or at the very least going with a design that is at least loosely based on the traditional design (see third and fourth rook from the left). Similarly, if you’re buying a set for a chess enthusiast who plays in tournaments, you’d also be better off sticking to a traditional Staunton set and pairing them with a 19-21 Inch board.

All of these pieces are rooks, however, some are more easily recognisable than others.


Materials and colouration

Our chess sets are made from a range of materials, from wood and metal, to resin and alabaster. Your material of choice will mostly come down to personal preference. What do you like the look of, what do you like the feel of, and which colours do you like the look of?

You might want to think about the room where the set will live. If you plan on leaving it out as a feature piece, does the colour and style of the set complement the rest of the room? If you have a more contemporary home with lots of marble, for instance, then you might want to consider an alabaster chess set. If your room has lots of wood and warmer tones, then a wooden chess set may suit the room better.

If you’d like to know more about the different ranges of wood that we sell, please consider reading our guide to woods.



Harry Potter Chess Set Now Available, Wizard’s Chess Anyone?

Have you ever fancied playing Wizard’s Chess, just like Harry and Ron in The Philosopher’s Stone?

Well, Potterheads can raise their wands in delight. You can now recreate the famous chess scene at home with the new Wizard’s Edition Chess Set.

(Oh, and these pieces DON’T come alive and smash each other into bits…)

©NBCUniversal  – Image published under the fair use policy

In an iconic scene from the first Harry Potter film, The Philosopher’s Stone, Hermione enters the Great Hall at Hogwarts to find Harry and Ron Weasley settling in for a ‘barbaric’ game of Wizard’s Chess. 

Aside from the pieces moving hands-free and clobbering each other with chairs, the fictional game looks a lot like regular chess and aficionados will recognise the chessmen as the medieval, and appropriately mysterious, Isle of Lewis pieces. 

If you’d like a reminder of the scene, you can watch it here.

The great news for chess-loving Potterheads is that you can own a chess set that’s virtually identical to the one played by Harry and Ron – albeit completely inanimate!

The Isle of Lewis Chess Set Wizard’s Edition – THE Harry Potter Chess Set

The Isle of Lewis Chess Set (Wizard’s Edition) should look familiar to Harry Potter fans as it’s almost identical to the set seen in The Philosopher’s Stone.

We’ve been asked about the Harry Potter Chess Set more times than you can shake a wand at. So, after studying the scene we noticed that the chess pieces are the spitting image of our limited edition, red and cream Isle of Lewis chessmen. 

The Isle of Lewis chess pieces might not be as recognisable as the world’s-standard Staunton, but their fascinating history – and mystery – make them the perfect choice for Wizard’s Chess.

The original Lewis chessmen were discovered at Uig Bay, on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, in 1831. Most historians believe the chess pieces, carved from walrus ivory and whale tooth, were made in Trondheim, the medieval capital of Norway, in the 12th century.

Given their fascinating origin and links to the middle ages, the Isle of Lewis chess pieces certainly look at home in the Great Hall at Hogwarts.

The pieces in The Isle of Lewis Chess Set (Wizard’s Edition) have been made in England to the exact specifications of the original artefacts – and their cardinal and ivory colouring make them a perfect match for Harry and Ron’s set.  

For the board, we’ve chosen the beautiful, Italian-crafted black and cream leather board. The size, style and colour make this board identical to the one seen in The Philosopher’s Stone with the only difference being the lack of gold edging – oh, and the decades of wear by the hands of generations of Weasleys!

We believe that The Isle of Lewis Chess Set (Wizard’s Edition) is the closest Harry Potter fans can get to a game of Wizard’s Chess – and, with its elegant presentation box, it makes a magical gift to the Potterhead in your life.

What in Merlin’s beard is Wizard’s Chess anyway?

The game Harry and Ron are playing in the Great Hall looks like any other game of ‘muggle’ chess – except for the pieces being animated and violently attacking their opponents.

We can’t expect anything less from a world that introduced us to invisibility cloaks and extendable ears!

The pieces move under the command of the player, e.g., King to C7,  and the pieces seem to be somewhat sentient, as can be seen when one of Seamus Finnigan’s chess pieces advises Harry.

Buy your Harry Potter Chess Set with confidence

The Regency Chess Company is delighted to finally be able to offer The Isle of Lewis Chess Set (Wizard’s Edition) to Harry Potter fans. 

Beautifully crafted in England (the pieces) and Italy (the board), you can expect the superior quality and exquisite attention to detail that separates our chess sets from others on the market.

Rest assured that your chess set will be packaged well and dispatched quickly so your set will arrive in flawless condition without you having to wait long.

We know you can’t wait to play Wizard’s Chess!

CategoriesThe Queens Gambit

Queen’s Gambit Chess Sets: Meet The Spanish Family Behind The Boards

The Queen’s Gambit sent the world into a chess frenzy as the world’s love for the ancient game was reignited thanks to Beth Harmon and her narcotics-fueled rise to chess greatness. This came as a shock for chess retailers (we can attest!) as we saw an unprecedented boom in demand for chess pieces and boards. Many fans of the show are keen to know about the actual chess sets used in The Queen’s Gambit. That’s why we’re going to shine the spotlight on some of the chessboards used in the mini-series and their makers – a small family business from Catalonia.

Image courtesy of Netflix.

It was a typical autumn day in La Garriga, Spain (about a 40-minute drive from Barcelona) when David Ferrer, the boss of the renowned chessboard maker Rechapados Ferrer, found out about an interesting cameo in a certain Netflix mini-series. “One day I came into work and a colleague told me that Netflix had released a new series ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and some Rechapados Ferrer boards appeared in the trailer,” said David, whose grandfather started the company in the 1950s. It wasn’t only the trailer in which the boards from Barcelona featured, they turned up in several scenes of the critically acclaimed series including its glorious climax. In perhaps the show’s most iconic scene, a distinctive Rachapados Ferrer chess board takes centre stage in Beth Harmon’s final battle with Vasily Borgov in the 1968 Moscow Invitational Chess Tournament.

Image courtesy of Netflix.

Rechapados Ferrer was already enjoying a jump in demand thanks to Spain’s stringent lockdown policies in the Spring and Summer of 2020 – but, the Covid lockdowns impact on the chess industry was nothing compared to the effect of Beth Harmon fever.  Prior to 2020, Rechapados Ferrer would typically produce around 20,000 boards. This leapt to 22,000 in 2020 as folks were stuck indoors and seeking distraction during the start of the pandemic. 

In 2021, once The Queen’s Gambit had got a firm hold on the chess world, the Catalonian chess board makers DOUBLED their annual orders from 22,000 to 45,000.

Although this trend rippled through the entire chess industry (eBay famously attributed a 215% rise in sales of chess sets and accessories to the show’s success), the accolade of having your actual products featured in the show meant that Rechapados Ferrer has benefited more than its competitors. “When the Netflix series came out, it all just went crazy and drove sales of chessboards through the roof,” David continues, “We’d just finished supplying our orders for the Christmas season when one of our most important clients came back to us and asked for another order of the same size. We thought, ‘Wow! That’s odd’.” Although David doesn’t fancy himself as a grandmaster (busman’s holiday and all that), he admits that the series has reignited his love for the game.  “My chess is at a very basic level; nothing approaching professional,” he confesses. “But, to be honest, I’ve got back into chess and have been playing a bit more because of the series.” He’s certainly not the only one. The Queen’s Gambit is solely to blame for turning a dusty old game into a trendy, and dare we say it, sexy, one.

Where can I buy the chess boards seen in The Queen’s Gambit?

The actual chess set used in the film features a dark wooden chess board with a decorative border and Russian style chessmen. We have The Queens Gambit Chess Set available that features the exact board used as the prop and pieces that are very similar to the pieces used during filiming.


If you want to see more of Rechapados Ferrer’s chess boards – stars of The Queen’s Gambit – then feel free to explore our comprehensive collection today.


The Regency Chess Team.