What Are The Rules Of Chess?
- The chess board consists of 64 squares over 8 horizontal ranks and 8 vertical files.
- Every player has 16 chess pieces – one side White, the other Black.
- These include pawns, knights, bishops, rooks, queens, and kings.
- In total, each side has 8 pawns, 2 rooks, 2 knights, 2 bishops, and a single queen and king.
- The pawns are situated on the second rank in front of your other chess pieces. The rooks sit in the corners, next to them the knights, then the bishops.
- The queen sits on the square of her own color, and the king stands next to her.
Learning the basic rules of chess is surprisingly easy! Most people have seen somebody playing the game of chess or a chess board on TV, or maybe heard some news about the famous chess Grandmasters.
Did you ever want to know how to play this seemingly complicated board game? Are the chess rules a closed book to you? Don’t worry – help is at hand!
In many respects, chess is just like any other game. Before playing a soccer match, you have to learn what an offside is, and once you’ve understood all those rules, they’ll stick with you forever.
It’s the same with chess – you learn the chess rules once and then what used to be a closed book will be open to you all your life. In the following article, we’ll explain the rules of chess you need to understand to start playing chess games yourself!
The Chess Board
To start, we need to understand the fundamental tool we need to play chess – the chess board. The chess board consists of 64 squares over 8 horizontal ranks and 8 vertical files.
The horizontal ranks are labeled with the letters ‘a’ to ‘h,’ while the vertical files are numbered 1 through 8. A number and a letter (a coordinate) is matched to each of the 64 squares on the chess board, (see the diagram on the left):
Chess Board and Chess Pieces
But on this empty chessboard, there is still something essential missing – the chess pieces! Every player has an army of 16 chess pieces – one side White, the other Black – at the beginning of a chess game.
These include pawns (the humble foot soldiers), knights ( jumping pieces inspired by medieval knights on horseback), bishops (which look like a bishop’s hat), rooks (castle-like pieces that represent ancient chariots, or perhaps tanks in modern-day warfare) queens (powerful chess pieces that can dominate the chess board) and the all-important kings, who command their armies but whose loss is the end of the chess game. In total, each side has 8 pawns, 2 rooks, 2 knights, 2 bishops, and a single queen and king.
All the pawns are situated on the second rank in front of your other chess pieces. The rooks sit in the corners, next to them the knights, then the bishops.
The queen sits on the square of her own color, and the king stands next to her. The following image illustrates you the initial position of the chess pieces (see the diagram on the right):
Basic Chess Rules
Checkmate: After learning the basics of piece movement, let’s focus on the most important chess rules. Let’s start with the goal of the game.
The goal of every chess game is to checkmate the opponent’s king! This means victory to you! Checkmate is when the opponent’s king is attacked by one of your chess pieces and can’t escape, either by moving he king away or getting protection from other chess pieces.
When you attack the king, but he is able to escape, or other pieces can protect him, then you call it ‘check.’
Stalemate: There are also other possibilities than checkmate to end a chess game. One of the possibilities is a stalemate. When you stalemate the opponent, the game ends in a draw.
Stalemate is when a player isn’t able to make any legal move while the king is not attacked – for example, if Black only has a king remaining, but has no legal squares to move onto.
Stalemates are more common among young players or beginners when they have an advantage of many pieces but don’t know how to checkmate their opponent.
Draw: Another possible end of a chess game is when a player offers a draw after his or her move. The opponent can choose to accept it and the game is over. A player can also resign, usually when the game seems to be completely lost.
Time: If you want to play in chess tournaments, you usually play with a chess clock. In a game, you’ll be given a certain amount of time for all your chess moves. Run out of time before the opponent, and you lose.
When it is your move, your chess clock runs down until you make your move and push the chess clock, pausing your timer and activating the opponents. There are tournaments where you can have an hour for your moves, or 5 minutes, or 15 minutes depending on the tournament you participate in.
Another important thing you have to know when you want to play in a chess tournament is that you have to record all the chess moves on a scoresheet.