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Chess for Everyone!

Updated on March 16, 2014

Learn to Play Chess

Today we're going to learn a game that's been played for thousands of years, and is often called (with good reason) the king of games. I am of course talking about chess, which today is played by millions of people all over the world, both as a competitive sport and as a fun recreation. Let's get down to it and look at the basics.

The names of the squares
The names of the squares

The Chessboard

The chessboard is our battlefield. It has 64 squares, 32 black and 32 white (although they can be brown, red, yellow and so on, they're always called the black and white). Each square has a name, for example b2, c4, g7 etc.

The image to the right shows the names of the squares.

Tips for setting up a chessboard

It doesn't matter if you have the white or black pieces, the square in the right corner is always white (white in the right). Many chessboards have coordinates, that is letters and numbers on the edges. The letters should be in front of you. The vertical lines on the board are called files, for example the d-file. The horizontal lines are called ranks, for example the second rank. The white pieces go on the first and second rank and the black ones on the seventh and eighth.

The queen must always start on her own colour, the white queen on a white square and the black queen on a black square!

The picture shows how it should look when you've set up the chessboard.

Bishop
Bishop

The Bishop

There are initially 32 "soldiers" (chess pieces) on the chessboard, 16 for each player. We'll get to know each of them right now, and how they move. Let's start with the bishop. It moves diagonally (easy peasy!):

The Bishop

Part II

It can’t jump over pieces, but it can capture the enemy ones.

The Chess Poll

Do you play chess?

See results

The Rook

The rook can go up and down, right and left.

The Rook

Part II

Since we have a white one, it can capture a black piece.

The Queen

Her majesty the queen is the strongest player on the field. She can do the same things as the rook and the bishop combined.

The Queen

Part II

Of course she doesn't eat her own children, but those of the enemy are often in danger!

The Knight

This guy is like the Kobe Bryant of chess. He can really jump!

The King

His majesty moves rather slowly, but do not underestimate him. In the endgame, he's often a force to be reckoned with.

The King

Part II

The king is the only piece that can't be sacrificed. You can't put it in the enemy line of fire.

The Pawn

Not the prawn!

When it starts out, it can move either one or two squares forward:

The Pawn

Part II

After that, it can move one square forward:

The Pawn

Part III

When something is in front of it, it’s stuck. So here both the white and the black pawn are stuck:

The Pawn

Part IV

The white pawn in this picture actually has three options: capture either of the black pawns or just pass between them:

The Pawn

Part V

When a pawn has reached the other end of the board, it gets promoted. You can choose whether you promote it to queen, rook, bishop or knight. Since the queen is the mightiest piece, it's most often the right choice (there are exceptions which you can learn later).

Take it to the Next Level

Now you've learnt the basics, but there is so much more to chess than this. That's why I've created a website where you can explore further. It's called Restless Knights. Have fun with it!

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    • amandascloset0 profile image

      amandascloset0 3 years ago

      Great lens! thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      I spent many hours playing chess with my brothers. It's a wonderful game.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've been teaching chess to my children over the last year, though I'm by no means a great player. It is a great game with a lot of strategy and can really push you mentally.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Chess is a wonderful game. :)

    • RestlessKnights profile image
      Author

      RestlessKnights 5 years ago

      @pheonix76: We share a love then! I learnt it from a friend when I was 11, and started going to a club when I was 13. Have been more or less hooked on it since. I've taught it to children for many years as well, nice to get paid for something you like.

    • RestlessKnights profile image
      Author

      RestlessKnights 5 years ago

      @WriterJanis2: Couldn't agree more. I've been playing it for more than a quarter of a century now, and make part of my living teaching it.

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 5 years ago from WNY

      I love chess. It's a brilliant strategy game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. My dad taught me how to play chess when I was quite young. Thanks for sharing.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I think chess is a great game.