It seems that most of the chessboards being offered for sale in the House of Staunton or Regency Chess - except for cheap vinyl tournament chess boards - do not have alphanumeric coordinates marked on the four sides.

Has this style fallen out of favor or are the markings considered to interfere with a minimalist look or even distract during play? I have possibly over 500 games under my belt but still being able to rely on markings is handy especially when taking notes or studying.

2 Answers 2


They are still selling boards with coordinates and still using them in official competitions.

With experience you will see that you will no longer need numbers and letters to help you throughout the game (just think battleship).

  • So which style is considered more professional, so to speak? Has FIDE pronounced on that? I am looking to buy a somewhat expensive board so I want to make sure I purchase the right type. The "still" in your answer seems to suggest that this style has fallen out of favor. Jan 30, 2014 at 14:03
  • 1
    I don't think professionals care either way. Many top competitions use electronic boards from DGT (easy for live broadcasting) and those don't have coordinates, but e.g. the official boards used for the Bundesliga (probably the strongest team competition) do have them. Total matter of taste. Jan 30, 2014 at 14:37

This may be true that they are not as popular as before but Regency Chess does still stock quite a lot of the Alphanumeric boards like this one http://www.regencychess.co.uk/16-inch-no4-inlaid-wooden-alphanumeric-chess-board-p-28.html.

I haven't bought one as yet but am considering it for sure.

  • The link no longer works.
    – Pere
    Jul 17, 2017 at 10:06

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