The wanigan I made a few years back had an 11"x14" birch art panel used as a sliding internal tray. It would now serve double duty as the removable board for play.
Wanigan with inner tray
The checkerboard pattern was marked out with 1-1/8" squares. Over a leisurely few days, the appropriate squares were burned at high heat. Decided to fill the remaining space on the rectangular tray with burned images of the two heirloom paddles for my sons. One is dark with negative pyrography, the other a light paddle burned in a positive image so it kind of fits the whole dark vs light theme in chess.
My sons' heirloom paddles
In retrospect, I should have sanded the birch panel surface with a finer grit before doing the burn as the board was a bit lumpy and it is blotchy in places. But it'll work for a functional game. Here's a photo before a light, waterbased varnish was added to protect the surface.
As far as pieces go, I ended up replicating a simple block design found on line (credit to Lanier Graham) ...
Made my light pieces from basswood and the dark pieces from cherry scraps. Sort of changed the piece for the King by adding another cut and making the top a four pointed crown. I've repurposed a sami-style coffee bag made from suede leather to carry the 64 pieces. Anyway, here is the finished set ready for our upcoming trip planning on the May long weekend...