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Making A Chaturaji Set

Chaturaji literally means “4 Kings”. It is a 4 handed Indian chess variant with written sources dating back to 1030 A.D. Like many of the ancient chess variants, sets can be hard to find. In true maker fashion, I found some STL’s of the Nishapur Chess pieces and had a friend 3D print them for me. The King and Queen pieces look similar enough where you can make the 4 sets of pieces needed for Chaturaji. With the help of my 3 and 5 year old daughters, we painted the pieces different colors. Painting chess pieces with children is….interesting. Let’s just say many layers of colors (including some very muddy ones) were involved.

The board is an 8x8 inch red oak plywood which was originally the start for another game. I played around with the grid and it ended up with this imprecise and rustic look. In the end, I felt like the set came together and it was a fun way to spend some time with my kids.

chaturaji in progress chaturaji white closeup chaturaji white and gold closeup chaturaji all 4 closeup chaturaji done