Modifications to chess equipment allow visually impaired
players to access chess sets, which they are allowed to touch during
tournament and league play. All the black squares on the Braille chess
board are raised about 3 mm above the white squares. Each
square has a hole in the centre where the chess pieces are placed. The sets
are pegged so each piece has a short piece of dowel underneath which fits
into the holes. For the pieces, one colour, usually the black pieces, have
a metal pin in their heads. These adaptations allow a visually impaired
player to distinguish squares and pieces by touch.
The BCA currently have pegged Staunton-style tactile chess sets available
in two sizes, the small set has a 25 cm board (10 inches)
and the large set has a 33 cm board (13 inches).
The cost of these sets is £42.50 for the smaller set and
£52.50 for the larger set. However, each UK VI member will be
entitled to buy one set at a reduced price: A small set at £30 or a larger
set at £40.
The BCA is also monitoring the development of other
designs including: magnetic sets and small travelling sets.
Currently, the Italian Braille Chess Association are developing such sets
and to find out further details about them, please email them.
Email the Italian BCA
We always welcome suggestions for improvements or variations on the design
of chess sets. Any suggestions or for further information contact our
Email the technical