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Why Chess Board Has 64 Squares? (Explained!)

Staring at the chessboard I often wonder why the chessboard only has 64 squares. Why not any number greater or smaller than 64? So, out of my curiosity, I researched, and here’s what I got. Why chess board has 64 squares?

An 8×8 chessboard with a total of 64 squares is the ideal number for playing chess. A chessboard larger than this such as a 10×10 chess board would be much tiresome. Whereas, a chessboard smaller than this such as a 6×6 chess board would be too quick for playing chess.

Now this is just a short answer, ahead I’m going to discuss with you the history of chess board and some other logical reasons given for a chess board having only 64 squares. So keep reading till the end.

History of chess boards and its transformation from time to time

In the its earliest form of chess, ‘Chaturanga‘ the board used, was from another ancient game ‘Asthapada’.

As per Wikipedia, the board was monochromatic and divided into eight columns by eight rows.

After that when chess reached Ancient Persia, new variants of the chess board came into existence. More rows and columns were added.

For example one of the variant called as Tamerlane chess, the chess board had eleven column by ten rows and two extra squares to the right side of the second row of the player.

Later on, chess reached Europe. Here the chess board acquired the the checkered pattern.

In a book from that time called as ‘Libro de los juegos’ (Book of games) there is a description about the chess board. In that it is said that eight by eight chess board is the ideal number.

After that as the time went several new varieties of chess boards came. Even three dimensional chess boards have been made in which the third dimension is actually another two-dimensional chess board.

But the bottom line is as the 8 by 8 chess board having 64 squares became the standard chess board, it is what we see today.

However, this doesn’t stop us to give us logics so why not discuss that!

Logical reason of why a chess board has 64 squares

Firstly, as the number of pieces in chess (excluding the pawns and because we keep it on the second row) are 8 so it made quite sense to have a board having the breadth of 8 squares.

Also we wanted a square board so the length also had to be of 8 squares. Thus, we got an 8 by 8 chess board that means we got a chess board having 64 squares.


The second logical reason is somewhat similar with what I discussed with you earlier. The number of 64 squares is a sweet spot which doesn’t make the game too boring and also doesn’t make it too short.

The bigger the chess board, the higher would be possibilities of making the move. Already the game of chess is quite complex.

Yes, I know it is easy to learn the basics of chess but at the same time it is hard to master. People spend years becoming a chess master.

Do you know that (at present having the chess board of 64 squares) the number of possible chess games is even more than the total number of atoms in the entire universe. Just imagine!

But you know what, this quality of being such an easy to learn but also being more and more complex as you dive in deeper, is what makes chess so exciting!


Finally, it can be said that the chess board has 64 squares because it is perfect for playing and enjoying the game.

So, I hope you liked reading this article as much as I liked sharing this with you. If you found this interesting then please do share this articles with others.

Let them also know the exact reasons of why a chess board has only 64 squares. That’s it! Thanks! 🙂

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