Are there really that many chess stamps? Yes, several hundred, from many dozens of different countries. All but one of the countries with a rich chess heritage have issued chess stamps. The missing country? The US, I am sorry to say.
Is that all there is to collect? No, there's much more!
Members enjoy collecting first day covers, imperforate issues, deluxe sheets, and proofs. There are also more than 1,000 commemorative postmarks from chess tournaments and related events (these date from 1927!), postal cards from early chess clubs, autographs from great players and tournament winners, postal cards used for correspondence chess, as well as many varieties and errors. What you collect is up to you!
There's no need for you to thumb through catalogs looking for chess stamps. Our own Secretary/Treasurer, Jim McDevitt, has been maintaining a list of chess stamps and a separate list of errors.
Existing catalogs are out-of-date (Checkmate, Flexa, for example) or, in our view, seriously flawed (Domfil). Several members are creating a comprehensive online catalog with pricing and much useful data. Contact the editor if you are interested in aiding the effort.
Where can I purchase chess stamps?
You don't need to spend a fortune to assemble a really nice chess stamp collection. COSSU operates a Society Sales Service. Many members buy there and take advantage of communication with other members to buy and trade. eBay and other auction sites are very useful... just search for chess in their stamps area. And of course, our advertisers here will be happy to help. They sell a range of attractive and scarce items that will spice up any collection.
Members are welcome to submit their want lists to the editor for posting here. I am posting mine to get this started.