Chess was a board game and "one of the four universal games" of Faerûn along with draughts, dice, and Talis.[1]


In Faerûn, chess was played on a checkered board with six types of pieces: pawns, rooks, knights-errant, priests, queens, and kings.[2]


While the more common chess sets were made of carved and dyed wood, finer sets were often made of more exotic materials. These included ebony and ivory[3]for the pieces and marble for the board.[2]

Chess sets often used well-known figures, such as rulers or deities, for the king pieces.[2] For example, in addition to traditional sets, a selection of specialty sets were available from Aurora's Emporium:[1]

The "Avatar Set" 
This hardwood set included figures from the Time of Troubles.
White Black
King Elminster Cyric
Queen Mystra Razor's Edge
The "Horde Set" 
This stone and iron set included figures from the war against the Tuigan.
White Black
King Horde leader Azoun IV
Queen Horde leader Alusair
Other Pieces horsemen Vangerdahast

Chess Piece GalleryEdit

The following are sample chess pieces from a variety of sets:

Regional VariationsEdit

In Calimshan, a piece must be moved once it has been touched, but that rule was not used in Cormyr.[4] In Cormyr, a player needed to announce their move out loud.[3]


Chess was the most challenging of four "universal" games. Nobles often played chess as a diversion in the winter months when not at war.[1]

The goddess Red Knight used a red knight-errant piece as her holy symbol.[5]


External LinksEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Jeff Grubb, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend et al (1992). Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue. (TSR, Inc), p. 112. ISBN 0-5607-6327-2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 96. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 James Lowder (January 1991). Crusade. (TSR, Inc), p. 3. ISBN 0-8803-8908-7.
  4. Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb (April 1998). Cormyr: A Novel (Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 286. ISBN ISBN 0-7869-0710-X.
  5. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 103. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.