I have a chessboard made of alternating frosted and clear glass pieces. I'm never sure how to orient the board. Which is the official "light color" to put in the lower right corner?

  • 14
    Doesn't matter as long as you and your opponent agree.
    – Tony Ennis
    Nov 14, 2015 at 4:52
  • we had this problem on a human chess event on my school (we used chalk on a dark green floor, couldn't decide if the ones with white strips where the light squares or not), stubborn teacher made us play with weird king/queen placement and at some point our regular board didn't match the live human pieces and it was a painful experience
    – ajax333221
    Nov 20, 2015 at 23:38
  • See the discussion here: chess.com/forum/view/general/glass-chess-sets---piece-colors
    – JRN
    Feb 11, 2021 at 6:01

4 Answers 4


At the lower right corner, the square's color should be White. I have seen some glass chess boards and most of the times the frosted pieces/squares represent the Black side, and the clear pieces/squares the White side.

  • 1
    though is the orientation of the board specified? Rotating the board 90 degrees would change the color of hte right corner? Sep 18, 2020 at 21:42

A few points for consideration here for Standard Chess:

  1. Lower Right Corner is White
  2. White King is placed on black square, 4th from right. This square becomes e1.
  3. Point 2 leads to Black King being placed on white square, 4th from left. This is now e8.

Now when you place the board like this, it doesn't really matter whether you treat frosted or clear glass as white.

Just for records, I have seen most people treating frosted glass as WHITE. But there are people who play as white with clear glass pieces.

It should not matter as long as you orient the board right.

  • To me clearly the frosted glass is white. May 19, 2016 at 7:20
  • Yes, most people plays frosted glass for white. But there is no thumb rule for this.
    – vohrahul
    May 19, 2016 at 8:28

Naturally, clear is white and frosted is black. But it doesn't quite matter as these sets are meant to be aesthetic rather than functional.

Edit: it appears I'm in the minority. I think of it more as clear and shaded. If the tint on the pieces were green, wouldn't the lighter (clearer) ones be considered white?

In some chess books, the white pieces on paper are clear while the black ones are shaded.


I've always done it in correlation with the squares on a glass chess board. The clear squares on the chess board look black where as the frosted ones look white, so it makes sense for me to use the clear pieces as black and the frosted pieces as white.

  • The clear squares would look the same colour as what the board was put on, which could well be darker than the frosted squares, so that's another reason to use the clear squares as dark squares.
    – Rosie F
    Jan 17 at 19:04

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