Play Chess: A Review of Chess Rules

Chess Rules

Chess is an ancient board game in which opposing players try to trap each other's top piece or "king." Players are designated as either black or white. Each player has 16 pieces on his or her side: 8 pawns, 2 rooks, 2 knights, 2 bishops and a king and queen. Each kind of piece moves in a different way from the others. All have the power to capture enemy pieces (barring the king) within their range of movement.

Chess Pieces

Symbol Value Movement King K - 1 square, all directions Queen Q 9 Straight and diagonal Rook R 5 Straight Bishop B 3 Diagonal Knight N 3 L-shaped, can jump Pawn P 1 Straight, diagonal for capture

The queen can move horizontally, vertically or diagonally for any number of squares; but she stops behind a square occupied by an ally. If she captures an enemy piece, she takes that square and stops moving.

The rook moves straight only, for any distance but stops under the same conditions as the queen. Ex: a3-a7 or b4-g4.

The bishop moves diagonally and also stops before a friendly piece's square and on an enemy square. Ex: d5-e6.

The knight moves unusually. From where he stands, you can move him 3 squares in an L-shape, with the horizontal line being the knight's current square. So if the knight is at f3, he can move to g1, e1, d2, h2, h4, d4, e5 and g5. (See board coordinates below.)

The pawn moves straight when moving, but diagonally when capturing. A pawn can never move backward. A pawn that reaches the enemy back rank is promoted to any piece desired (usually a queen).

Chess Setting

The chess board is a perfect square made up of 64 alternating black and white squares. On setting up the board, the white square at the backmost rank is at the player's right. The queen is invariably set on a square of her own color (i.e. black queen on black square).

To locate pieces, the board has assigned coordinates:

8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 A B C D E F G H

Pawns of each side are in their second rank. This is rank 2 for white and rank 7 for black. The pieces are all on the back ranks, rank 1 for white and rank 8 for black. They are arranged thus:


Chess Play

Play begins with white making the first move. During the match, players chase each other's chessmen around the board, capturing what they can and occupying important squares. A captured piece is removed from the board permanently.

To protect the king, a castle is made. The king moves two squares at once to his right and the rook jumps over to his left. There must be no bishop or knight between them.

Chess rules that when a king is attacked, the player must immediately make a move that removes the check. A move is illegal if it would put the king in check.

Chess ends in a checkmate or a perfect entrapment of a king, or a draw.

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