Two opponents play chess on a board consisting of 64 squares arranged in eight rows called ranks and eight columns called files. When you’ve set up your wooden chess set, all you need to do is know how to play. The pieces are placed at the intersection of a row and a file, occupying one square on the board.
The game’s object is to checkmate your opponent’s king by placing it under attack from one or more of your pieces without being in danger from it. Pieces do not have specific movements, and a piece may be moved according to the rules.
Each player begins with sixteen pieces, eight pawns, two knights, two bishops, two rooks, and a queen. A pawn’s initial movement is one square forward from its starting position if it is not capturing another piece or being captured itself.
A knight moves in an L-shaped manner. A rook moves from one square to another vertically or horizontally. The bishop is a long-range piece, able to move along a diagonal line, and the queen is the most powerful attacking piece.
Rules for Moving Pieces in Chess
1) Pawns have an initial two-step option through which they can either move forward or capture another piece.
2) A knight can move from two squares away from its initial position, one square horizontally and another vertically or vice versa.
3) A rook has an unlimited number of possibilities to move through all the files and ranks on your wooden chess set.
4) A bishop has a limited movement through diagonals only. Though it cannot capture any piece, it can move to any of the unoccupied squares by another piece.
5) The queen is the most powerful and valuable piece in chess. It can move in any direction, vertically or horizontally and diagonally, and can capture one piece at a time during its movement.
6) A player forfeits the game if his king is put in check, i.e., when it is attacked by another piece and cannot move out of this position to a square that is not under attack because the squares surrounding it are occupied by enemy pieces.
7) A player also loses the game if his opponent successfully puts all of his pieces in positions where they cannot be captured or are forced to die because they cannot be moved.
8) A player can also win the game if his opponent resigns before the end of the match.
Rules of Castling in Chess
1) The king may move two squares toward its sides, i.e., towards a rook on either side if it is not attacking or being attacked by another piece. This move will be called ‘castling’.
2) The player castles only when the king is not in check, and there are no pieces between it and either of the rooks. Also, castling can occur only if neither of the squares adjacent to the king is under attack from an enemy piece.
3) After castling, the position of the king and rook is exchanged.
4) Castling rights are not lost once they are used. The king can castle again later on in the game even if previous castlings have been done.
Ending a Game
1) A player wins when his opponent’s king is put in check, and the latter cannot escape from this condition. The game can end before checkmate by resignation or forfeiture of the match.
2) If there is no legal move available to avoid check, and the piece in question cannot capture any other enemy piece because all the squares surrounding it are occupied, it is said that the piece has been ‘put in a stalemate’. It does not count for either player.
3) If none of the pieces can make any move without being captured by another piece, the game is declared as a draw.
What Do You Need to Play Chess?
Chess is played between two sets of 16 pieces each. It includes eight pawns, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and a queen on either side.
A traditional chess board with 64 squares (eight rows and eight columns) should be available for playing chess. These should be numbered from 1 to 64 along the rows. The extra squares alternate between black and white on either side of the board. There is also a ‘queen’s rook’ at the right end of each row.
Choose a high-quality wooden chess set made of walnut wood with a chess board case and a chess set featuring a Staunton design.
The pieces need to be of an appropriate weight and size, neither more nor less than 25 grams, while the average height of the pawn is 15 millimeters or half an inch. The king’s piece measures a little less than a half-inch in length and a third of an inch in width.
The pieces should be easy to lift without adding too much weight to the board, so solid wood pieces are preferred over plastic ones.