How To Play Chess
How To Play Chess
Chess is an ancient and noble game of strategy and skill for two players. Dating back to the middle ages, it's been played by genii, intelligentsia and ordinary people throughout history, and is a great game to play with friends and family. We're going to teach you the basic rules of chess and set you on the path to becoming a grandmaster.
Step 1: You will need:
- Chess board
- Chess pieces
Step 2: The chess board
Chess is played on a square board which is divided into 64 squares of alternating colours. By convention these are referred to as light and dark squares.
Step 3: Chess pieces
A chess set consists of two identical groups of pieces. One is white and one black. One player plays with the white pieces, the other with the black. Each player has: one king, one queen, two bishops, two knights, two rooks, and eight pawns. White always makes the first move in any game.
Step 4: Object of the game
The object of chess is to capture your opponent's king. In practice, the king is never actually captured, but trapped so that he cannot move without being taken. This is known as checkmate, and is the end of the game.
Step 5: Board layout
The chess pieces are lined up at either end of the board in predetermined places. They are configured as follows:
The queen is always placed on her own colour, nearest the middle of the row. Next to her, in the middle, is the king. The king and queen are flanked by their bishops. Next come the knights and finally the rooks. The pawns are lined up in front of the other pieces, on the second row in.
Step 6: The pieces
The king is the most important piece in the game. He can move one square in any direction.
The queen is the most powerful piece in the game. She can move any number of spaces in any direction - horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
Bishops can only move diagonally, but they can move any number of spaces in one move.
The knight is the only piece that can 'jump' over other pieces. He moves one space horizontally and two spaces vertically, or two spaces horizontally and one space vertically.
Rooks can move any number of spaces in one move, but they can only move horizontally or vertically.
When any of these pieces land on a square occupied by an opponent's piece, the player "takes" that piece, removing it from the board and out of play.
Pawns have three different standard moves.
The first time they are moved, they can move either one or two spaces forward.
For the rest of the game they can only move one space forward at a time.
To take an opponent's piece, the pawn must move one space diagonally forwards. They cannot take by moving vertically forwards, nor can they move backwards.
Step 7: Special moves
If a pawn reaches the other side of the board, it can be promoted to the rank of queen, bishop, knight or rook. It will then be able to move in the same way as that piece.
In special circumstances, a pawn can also take en passant - by passing another pawn.
The first time a player moves their pawn they may move it two squares vertically.
If, when he does this, there is an opposing pawn on an adjacent square, the opponent can take the first pawn by moving diagonally into the square passed over by the first pawn's double-step. If a player decides to take En passant, he must do so immediately following the double step move.
Under certain conditions, a king and a rook may move simultaneously in a move known as castling.
This is a move to a strong defensive position, and is worth making if you can.
In order to castle, the following conditions must be met: Neither the king nor the rook have yet moved in the game; there are no pieces in between the rook and the king; the king is not moving into check;
none of the opponent's pieces are able to attack any of the squares in between the king and the rook.
Provided these conditions are met, the castling move may take place.
The king moves two spaces towards the rook, and the rook moves over the king to the next square.