Sixty-four squares. That's it. Two colors, same size, alternating. Those are the requirements for a chessboard. It's simple. Yet it's not easy to make. The first decision is to find the two contrasting colors of wood, forget staining, and obtaining them.
Once you have the lumber, you have to cut them into 2 inch wide strips, 17 inches wide. This gives you space for the kerf you will cut in a little bit.
Once you have the 8 strips cut, glue them together edge to edge, using a gluing jig and waxed paper.
Then you cut the strips crosswise, this gives you 8 more strips that we glue with the alternating squares.