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Checkerboard vs. Chessboard — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on September 18, 2023
A "Checkerboard" is a board for the game checkers, typically 8x8 squares, while a "Chessboard" is specifically for chess with the same dimensions. Both have alternating colored squares, but their associated games differ.
Checkerboard vs. Chessboard — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Checkerboard and Chessboard


Key Differences

"Checkerboard" and "Chessboard" both refer to a square board with alternating colored squares, typically black and white. However, while a "Checkerboard" is used for playing checkers, a "Chessboard" is designated for chess.
The design of the "Checkerboard" and "Chessboard" is practically identical, both usually consisting of 8x8 squares. Yet, the pieces used on them and the rules of the respective games differ significantly.
A "Checkerboard" generally uses uniform round discs as game pieces, which move diagonally. Meanwhile, a "Chessboard" uses a variety of pieces, each with unique movements, such as the knight, bishop, and queen.
Historically, both checkerboards and chessboards have cultural significance. While the "Checkerboard" traces its origins to ancient times, the "Chessboard" is tied to the strategic game of chess, with roots in India.
In broader contexts, "Checkerboard" might refer to any pattern resembling the game board, whereas "Chessboard" typically keeps its association with the game of chess, even metaphorically.

Comparison Chart

Primary Use

For playing checkers
For playing chess


8x8 alternating colored squares
8x8 alternating colored squares


Uniform round discs
Variety, including pawns, knights, bishops, rooks, etc.


Ancient times
Ancient India

Extended References

Might refer to any checkerboard pattern
Typically maintains its association with chess

Compare with Definitions


The playing surface for the game of draughts.
Grandpa taught me to play on the old wooden checkerboard.


A board for playing the game of chess.
He meticulously arranged the pieces on the chessboard.


An 8x8 grid of alternating colored squares.
The picnic blanket had a checkerboard pattern.


A term metaphorically representing strategic scenarios.
The geopolitical situation resembled a giant chessboard.


A pattern resembling the game board.
The kitchen tiles had a checkerboard design.


An 8x8 grid of black and white squares.
Each chessboard square is critical in the game strategy.


A checkerboard (American English) or chequerboard (British English; see spelling differences) is a board of chequered pattern on which draughts (checkers) is played. Most commonly, it consists of 64 squares (8×8) of alternating dark and light color, typically green and buff (official tournaments), black and red (consumer commercial), or black and white (printed diagrams).


A geometric pattern specifically related to chess.
The story was a complex chessboard of political intrigue.


A board on which chess and checkers are played, divided into 64 squares of two alternating colors.


The battleground for chess, a strategic game.
The grandmaster visualized multiple moves on the chessboard.


A pattern resembling the alternating squares of such a board.


A chessboard is the type of gameboard used for the game of chess, on which the chess pawns and pieces are placed. A chessboard is usually square in shape, with an alternating pattern of squares in two colours.


A pattern of squares of alternating colours.


A game board marked with 64 squares, used in playing chess.


A board, usually square, covered with such a pattern; especially such a board with 8×8 squares, used to play chess and draughts/checkers.


(chess) The square board used in the game of chess, subdivided into eight rows of eight squares each, the squares in each row and column being of alternating colours.


(film) A style of negative cutting that avoids visible splice marks.


(topology) A mathematical construction based on this pattern of squares


(transitive) To checker; to mark with an alternating pattern of light and dark.


The board used in the game of chess, having eight rows of alternate light and dark squares, eight in each row. See Checkerboard.


A board with sixty-four squares of alternate color, used for playing checkers, chess, or draughts.


A checkerboard used to play chess


A board having 64 squares of two alternating colors


A square board for playing checkers.
She set up the checkerboard for a quick game.


A geometric design of two alternating colors.
The artist painted a checkerboard on the wall.

Common Curiosities

Can you play checkers on a chessboard?

Yes, since the design is the same, you can use a chessboard to play checkers.

Are the pieces interchangeable between the boards?

No, checkers uses discs, while chess has a variety of pieces with distinct moves.

Which came first, the checkerboard or the chessboard?

The checkerboard, as checkers or draughts, dates back further than chess.

Can I refer to any alternating square pattern as a checkerboard?

Yes, "checkerboard" can describe any similar pattern, not just the game board.

How many squares are on a checkerboard and a chessboard?

Both have 64 squares.

Are checkerboards and chessboards made of the same materials?

They can be, including wood, plastic, and cardboard, among others.

Are the squares on a checkerboard and chessboard always black and white?

Traditionally, yes, but they can also be other contrasting colors.

Can a checkerboard be 3D?

While traditionally flat, artistic and novelty versions might be 3D.

Is the size of each square on the checkerboard the same as on the chessboard?

Typically, yes, but the actual size can vary based on the specific board design.

Why are alternate colors used on the boards?

Alternating colors help distinguish individual squares, aiding gameplay.

Can both boards be used in educational settings?

Yes, both games can help improve concentration, strategy, and logical thinking.

What's the primary difference between the two?

They differ mainly in the games they host: checkers vs. chess.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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