Because I'm odd, I'm interested in obtaining a nice-looking set (that need not be portable) for Capablanca chess, the third world champion's chess variant which is played on 10 x 8 board and features two new pieces for each side: a chancellor that can move like a rook or a knight, and an archbishop that can move like a bishop or a knight. Is there a place that sells such sets?

4 Answers 4


I'm recording this answer here because it took me quite a bit of searching to find something, primarily because I never found any sets going under the actual name "Capablanca chess." I did find workable sets under the names "Gothic chess" (apparently because of someone's fairly recent spin-off of Capablanca chess) and "Grand chess" (intended for a 10 x 10 board, see below).

I've only managed to find one 10 x 8 board, this one from House of Staunton. In addition, they have a full set of pieces (including pieces designed to be archbishops and chancellors, with a 3.75" king height) designed to fit the board, so that's at least a working answer to the question. Unfortunately, that piece set runs $200, so an alternative would be nice.

MindSports in the Netherlands has a set of pieces, which they intend for a game they call Grand chess that's to be played on a 10 x 10 board, that would work as a Capablanca chess set; the design of the archbishops and chancellors even reflect their movements, as can be seen in this picture (f- and g-files):

Grand chess pieces

That set costs a more reasonable $40, but features a 3" king, and so that set would unfortunately be out of proportion on the only 10 x 8 board I've found (the one above). If you're happy to use a 10 x 10 board (and ignore part of it for Capablanca chess), then this is one way to go.

From what I know now, the best alternative to the $200 set above for use on the 10 x 8 board would be the House of Staunton's plastic piece set for Seirawan chess. This set runs only $40, has a 3.75" king height, and has a Hawk and Elephant piece for each side,

Seirawan pieces

which can be used to represent the chancellors and archbishops of Capablanca chess.

  • 1
    Aesthetically, the Sierawan pieces hurt my face when mixed with Staunton pieces. They aren't in the same style, at all. That may not be important to you. I see the 'Grand' chess set above Frankensteins some pieces together. Have you considered getting extra Staunton pieces and modifying them? If it's just you, for your amusement, using Staunton pieces from a differently colored set would work.
    – Tony Ennis
    Jul 22, 2012 at 12:03
  • @TonyEnnis, yeah, I myself have no problem with the aesthetics of the Seirawan pieces. To my eye, those animals seem no more out of place stylistically than a handful of horses already do among the more abstract Staunton pieces.
    – ETD
    Jul 23, 2012 at 2:05
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    I love classic and out of the ordinary chess sets like this. It is good to play with chess sets that you could also appreciate the contours of the pieces. Of course, you still need utmost concentration even though you have fancy pieces like this. Chess is still a game of concentration and strategizing. Nov 12, 2012 at 3:43
  • many links in your answer have unfortunately gone stale.
    – hkBst
    Feb 15, 2016 at 10:32

In Ancient Chess site there are Capablanca Chess Set, is a luxury, albeit at a very expensive price. However, everything is wooden and very precious, including the board. The site: http://ancientchess.com/page/Capablanca-Chess.htm

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The good thing is that the movements of the new pieces (Chancellor and Archbishop) are easy to interpret because the shape of these pieces are a fusion of Knight and Tower and Knight and Bishop. Nobody will confuse.


Another set you could use is the Omega Chess set. This variation introduces two Wizards and two Champions, but you could use one each on just the 10x10 board, or a smaller 10x8 board. I would use the Wizard piece for the Archbishop and the Champion piece for the Chancellor. I think Omega Chess is still available commercially.


Gothic Chess sets are being sold in the United States in Florida and Pennsylvania.


The 10x8 board and the full set of pieces. Much cheaper than the House of Staunton which is always overpriced.

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