The size of the squares of the chessboard should be approximately 1.25 to 1.3 times the diameter of the base of the king, or 50 to 65 mm. Squares of approximately 57 mm (2+1⁄4 inches) normally are well-suited for pieces with the kings in the preferred size range. The darker squares are usually brown or green and the lighter squares are off-white or buff.
Pieces of the Staunton chess set design are the standard and are usually made of wood or plastic. They are often black and white; other colors may be used (like a dark wood or even red for the dark pieces) but they would still be called the "white" and "black" pieces (see White and Black in chess). The height of the king should be 85 to 105 millimetres (3.35–4.13 inches). A height of approximately 95 to 102 mm (3+3⁄4–4 inches) is preferred by most players. The diameter of the king should be 40 to 50% of its height. The size of the other pieces should be in proportion to the king. The pieces should be well balanced.
In games subject to time control, a chess clock is used, consisting of two adjacent clocks and buttons to stop one clock while starting the other, such that the two component clocks never run simultaneously. The clock can be analog or digital though a digital clock is highly preferred under both USCF and FIDE rulesets. This is since most tournaments now include either an increment (extra time being added prior or after the move) or delay (a countdown to when a clock starts again) to their time controls. Before the start of the game, either the arbiter decides, or whoever is playing Black, where the chess clock is placed.