The game of chess
What is Chess?
Chess is one of the oldest and most popular recreational board games. It is played by two opponents on
a checkered board with 64 squares and various pieces such as Pawn, Knight, Rook, Bishop, Queen, and
King. In this game, two armies approach each other and fight for pieces and positions. The ultimate goal
is to capture and attack the opponent’s king. Once the king is under attack and cannot move to escape,
you must drop and surrender. It is called “Checkmate,” from the Persian word “shāh māt”- meaning
“The King is Dead.”
Just like a real-life war, there are small battles on each side of the board, so different strategies must
be executed in each battle. Chess is the battle of the mind.
“Focus and a huge amount of concentration must be put into every single game. A good
decision will earn you advantages and is essential to successfully win the game. The pieces on the board
signify the way of life in medieval times and their roles in war from a long time ago, though now it is all
just a game.
Get to know your board!
The chessboard is made up of 64 light and black squares
and divided by the horizontal rows are called “ranks” and
are numbered from 1 through 8. The vertical columns are
called “files” and are given letters A through H. Each
square is named after the ranks and files — d4, e4, d5, &
e5 are considered the downtown of the chessboard.
The Chess Pieces
The Pawn is the most numerous piece in the game and in common situations, the weakest ones. Each
player has 8 pawns and they are the first line of defense. Historically, they correspond to the infantry or
peasants. It can take one to two squares forward in its first move and one square at a time afterward.
The Rook is the castle-looking piece in the game. Representing the tower or the fortress, each player has
two of them and is placed in both corners of the board. It can move horizontally and vertically, as long as
they are not blocked by another chess piece.
The Knight is one of the most powerful pieces on the chessboard due to its uncommon movement
pattern. It has a horse-looking appearance and the only piece that can jump over other pieces. There are
two knights for each player placed between the rook and the bishop. Understanding the basics of the
Knight can help you develop a solid foundation and openings at the beginning of the game, and set your
opponent for checkmate.
The Bishop is the chess piece with a rounded top cut slit. Each player has two Bishops, placed between
the King/Queen and Knight. Its value has three points, less valuable than a rook but has an equal value
of a Knight. Bishop can move in any direction diagonally and it can travel anywhere on the board as long
as there is no other chess piece on its way.
The Queen is the most powerful piece and the most iconic in the game of Chess. Apart from the King,
she is the most valuable piece on the board. Her moves combine the power of the rook and the bishop,
so she can move any number of squares vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. By having a good
foundation of the basics on how you play the Queen, you can be unstoppable!
The King is the most important piece of the game, that’s why it is called the “King”. Every chess strategy
revolves on the same thing, the same goal – to protect the King. Like the Queen, the King can move in
any direction but only one square at a time. In the early game, the main priority must be the protection
of the King. The protection of the King can sometimes force you to sacrifice other pieces – to ensure its
Value of the pieces
covers one square at a time and the only piece in the game that does not have value.
covers 21 to 27 squares and is worth nine points.
covers 14 squares and is worth five points.
covers 7 to 13 squares and is worth three points.
covers 2 to 8 squares and is worth three points.
covers 1 to 4 squares and is worth one point
What are the Things to Remember When Playing Chess?
Here are some things to remember when playing chess:
● When setting up the board, the pieces start in the flowing order from left to right: Rook, Knight,
Bishop, Queen, King, Bishop, Knight, Rook. Pawns occupy the 2nd and 7th rank.
● On naming, “Knight” refers to the piece with a horse head; also, the tower-looking piece is called
“Rook,” not castle.
● The Knight is the only piece that can jump over. It can jump from light to dark squares and vice versa.
● Bishops can move on the same color freely and diagonally.
● Initial placement on the board:
o Queen on her color, or queens on the d-file, like “diamonds.”
o Kings and queens across from each other
o Bishops are close advisers to the king and queen
If the King is under attack, it must get out of the check immediately but the King cannot move
intentionally into check. The whole point of the game is not just capturing the opponent’s pieces, so you
can still win even if you fall behind in the number of pieces. If you are in check, and you can’t avoid,
block, or capture your opponent’s piece, you lose.
Is the move where two pieces can move at the same time – particularly the King and the Rook. The king
must move two squares to the side and the rook occupies the square that the king just jumped over.
Through this move, you can protect the King from being captured and it brings the rook into the
gameplay. Castling is an important move but some rules say you cannot castle: if any pieces are in the
way, if the Rook/King has moved, or from, through, or into check.
If the pawn reaches the last rank on the other side of the board, it can turn into any piece except a king.
Usually, the pawn is promoted to a Queen, the most powerful piece in the game. Also, promoting the
Pawn into other pieces like the Bishop, Knight or Rook is a rare event.
Is one of the most misunderstood rules in Chess. En Passant is French for “In passing” and it comes
rarely in each game. It is an easy rule to overlook, but it is one of the most important rules to be aware
of, keeping this uncommon move may come in handy once you face an unsuspecting opponent.
The game Chess is not just an ordinary board game – it is a game that will unleash your critical thinking
skills and improve your problem-solving ability. It is a great game that requires good decision-making
ability, focus, and concentration. It will not only teach you how to play but also a lot of valuable life
lessons that will suit all ages.