Check out how current chess design came about. The game of chess has come a long way since it first popped up in 6th century India. In fact, the rules of the game developed for about 1300 years before it started to look like the game we know today. As the game gained popularity in the competitive game-playing circuit a need for standardization emerged. The legend goes that in 1849 architect Nathan Cook designed the now-eponymous Staunton chess set.