Chess is played on a square board of eight rows (called ranks and denoted with numbers 1 to 8) and eight columns (called files and denoted with letters a to h). The colors of the 64 squares alternate and are referred to as “light” and “dark” squares. The chessboard is placed with a light square at the right-hand end of the rank nearest to each player.
By convention, the game pieces are divided into white and black sets, and the players are referred to as “White” and “Black” respectively. Each player begins the game with 16 pieces of the specified color, which consist of one king, one queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights, and eight pawns. The pieces are set out as shown in the diagram and photo, with each queen on a square of its own color, the white queen on a light square and the black queen on a dark.



The king moves one square in any direction. The king has also a special move which is called castling and involves also moving a rook.

The rook can move any number of squares along any rank or file, but may not leap over other pieces. Along with the king, the rook is involved during the king’s castling move.

The bishop can move any number of squares diagonally, but may not leap over other pieces.

The queen combines the power of the rook and bishop and can move any number of squares along rank, file, or diagonal, but it may not leap over other pieces.

The knight moves to any of the closest squares that are not on the same rank, file, or diagonal, thus the move forms an “L”-shape: two squares vertically and one square horizontally, or two squares horizontally and one square vertically.
The knight is the only piece that can leap over other pieces.

The pawn may move forward to the unoccupied square immediately in front of it on the same file, or on its first move it may advance two squares along the same file provided both squares are unoccupied (black “‚óŹ”s in the diagram); or the pawn may capture an opponent’s piece on a square diagonally in front of it on an adjacent file, by moving to that square (black “x”s). The pawn has two special moves: the en passant capture and pawn promotion.

October 12, 2016