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Chess Strategy

Updated on December 24, 2009

This complex board game, which simulates warfare, is almost as old as civilization. It is played on a board of 64 squares, alternately white and black, arranged so that each player has a white square at his near right-hand corner. Each player has sixteen pieces, coloured white or black, and he arranges these in the two rows nearest him, using every square. From left to right on the back row the pieces' are:

Rook (or Castle), Knight, Bishop, Queen, King, Bishop, Knight, Rook. On the second row are all eight Pawns. Each piece has different powers
of movement.

The object is to force the enemy King into submission. The King is the only piece never actually taken, but when threatened he is 'in check' and must move in any direction to an adjacent square' if unoccupied by any pieces, or he may remove the attacking piece, or
interpose one of his own. If he cannot do this freely it is 'checkmate' and the game is finished.

In the process of attacking the King, each player attempts to weaken the enemy forces by capturing pieces.

The Fork

White's knight has just moved to attack the Black king and queen at the same time. Black must move his king out of check, and the knight can take the Black queen on the next move. A good player must find moves that threaten several chessmen at the same time so that if his opponent protects one piece, he will lose another.

The Discovered Check

White's rook is pinned next to the king. White can win the bishop, however, by advancing his pawn one square, uncovering a discovered rook check on the Black king. At the same time, he attacks the Black bishop with the pawn. Black must move his king out of check, and White's
pawn takes the bishop next move.

The Pin

Black's bishop has been pinned against his king by the White rook. Black cannot move his bishop out of attack because he cannot make a move that would leave his king in check.

The X-Ray Attack

With the positions of the Black king and bishop reversed, White has an X-ray attack. Black is obliged to move his king out of check, and then White's rook can capture Black's bishop.


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