Developed in India around 6 AD, chess was once a game played primarily by kings, aristocrats, and other people in high society. Today, however, chess is enjoyed by people of all ages and is the most popular board game in the world.
Those who play chess know that it doesn’t take long to learn, but you can, however, spend years trying to perfect your game. The object of the game is to put your opponent’s King in checkmate, which means the King is put in a position where he can’t move without being captured. This requires a great deal of strategy.
If you would like to learn how to play chess, the following is a basic overview of the rules of chess.
Chess is played on a board of sixty four squares, with equal numbers of white and black squares in a checkerboard style. There is a specific way to set up the pieces of your chess army. When the armies are assembled, they are mirror images of each other.
Capturing other pieces
You can “take” your opponent’s pieces by landing on them at the end of your move. Pawns can take pieces that are in the square directly diagonal to the right of them.
Movement on the Board
Keep in mind that when playing chess, the White side always moves first. The following are the various pieces and the rules of their movement on the board:
•King. The King can only move one square in any direction, one space at a time. The King should be protected, but should also have sufficient space to escape.
•Queen. The Queen is the most versatile and mobile of the pieces. The Queen can travel across any number of unoccupied squares she wants, either diagonally, horizontally, or vertically.
•Bishop. The Bishop can only travel diagonally, but he can travel across as many unoccupied squares as desired. The Bishop stays on the same color of square throughout the game.
•Rook. The Rook can be moved any number of unoccupied squares either vertically or horizontally across the board. The Rook is also used during Castling, which is a move usually used in more serious play.
•Knight. The Knight has a unique move in that can be described as an “L” shape, two squares up and one square over, or two over and one up. A knight can “jump” over pieces as well.
•Pawns. The Pawns have a number of different rules regarding movement. The Pawn travels vertically one space at a time, except when they are taking the pieces diagonally to the right of them. If it is the pawn’s first move, it can move two steps forward to an unoccupied space.
Another interesting rule regarding the Pawn is that if the pawn makes it all the way across the board to the farthest square without being taken, you can “trade” your pawn in for queen, rook, bishop, or knight of the same color. Most people opt for a queen.
Check, Mate, and Stalemate.
•Check. When the king can be taken by the oppenent’s piece, he is in “check.” The player in check must then move the king out of check on his next move.
•Mate. When a King is in “mate,” he is unable to make a move that moves him out of check. The other player then wins the game.
•Stalemate. A stalemate occurs when the King is not in check, but any movement would put him in check. The game then ends in a draw.