Chess/Content/Playing The Game

< Chess‎ | Content


Chess is not a game of luck or chance. The outcome depends on the choices of the players.

One player has white pieces and another player has black pieces. You can choose who gets which color by flipping a coin.

Order of play

First put all the pieces in their starting locations. Then White makes the first move. White always makes the first move. After White has moved, Black will then make a move. Then White, then Black, then White, then Black, and so on to the end of the game.

General movement rules

  • A move is moving a single piece to an empty square on the board.
  • If a piece is moved onto a square that has the other player's piece on it that piece is removed. That piece has been captured or taken.
  • The pieces can not jump over each other (except for the knight).
  • You cannot make a move that puts your king in "check" or passes it though check.

The Pieces



The king can move one square at a time in any direction.The king is the most important piece belonging to each player but isn't very powerful.


If a king is about to be captured, that king is in check. If a king is in check then it has to move out of check, move another piece to block the check or capture the piece giving the check. A player cannot move any other piece when they are in check unless it is to eliminate the check.

If the king is placed in check and cannot escape, then it is in checkmate. The first player to checkmate the other player's king wins the game. Each player has one king.



The queen is the strongest piece, and can move any number of squares in any direction. It can move left and right and up and down and diagonally. Each player has one queen. A queen always starts on its color, next to the king.



The bishop can move any number of squares diagonally. Each player has two Bishops, one on white squares and one on black squares. An important thing about the Bishop is that it can only move on the same color squares. Bishops are often good early in the game, but cannot do much late in the game.



The knight moves in a L-shaped. It moves two squares in one direction up or down or left and right and then one square perpendicular. The knight is the only piece that may jump over or move between other pieces. Each player has two knights.



The rook can move any number of squares left and right and up and down straight, but not, diagonally. The rook cannot jump over any pieces. If the rook takes the place of another piece, then it has captured it. Rooks start in the corner, and each player has two rooks.



Pawns can move one square forward. On a pawn's first move, it can move two squares forward. The pawn can move one square diagonally forward to capture a piece, but it cannot capture pieces by moving straight forward, except with en passant.

Pawn Promotion

If a pawn makes it to the far edge of the board, the pawn is promoted. A promoted pawn can be replaced with any other piece (except king). For example, a player could get any other piece of his/her liking from pawn promotion that has previously been captured.

Special Moves


Castling is a move involving the king and one of the rooks. It is the only move where more than one piece can be moved in a turn. When castling, the king moves two squares toward the edge of the board, and the rook moves two or three squares to the center. This can only be done if the king and rook have not moved, there are no pieces between them, and the king is not in check.