Bishops and Knights, perhaps, formulate schemes before noon (8)
I believe the answer is:
'bishops and knights' is the definition.
I can't tell whether this defines the answer.
'formulate schemes before noon' is the wordplay.
'formulate' indicates anagramming the letters (I've seen 'formulating' mean this).
'before' means one lot of letters go next to another.
'noon' becomes 'n'.
'schemes' anagrammed gives 'chessme'.
'perhaps' is the link.
Can you help me to learn more?
(Other definitions for chessmen that I've seen before include "Pawns, knights, bishops etc - males only" , "Knights, bishops, rooks etc" , "Board pieces" , "Pawns, queens, rooks etc" , "Knights, rooks, pawns etc collectively - even the queen" .)