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Chess is one of the most popular strategy games around the world. It can be a daunting game to understand when one is new to it. Learning about chess rules and chess pieces names takes time and effort.

On that front, this article will help the novice in chess or the general reader get an in-depth analysis of chess pieces names and moves and vital information about chess pieces and equipment.

Before we begin, it has to be noted that chess pieces and moves have evolved over centuries to reach the present stage. And we cannot rule out the possibility that chess pieces rules along with chess names and chess rules would not further morph into something else over time.

Chess Pieces Names And Moves

A chess game involves a total of 32 chess pieces spread over a chess board, each of which each player gets to handle 16 pieces. With the chess pieces and equipment in their place, players battle it for the win. 

Standardised chess rules, overseen by the international chess body – Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE), dictate how players use these chess pieces and equipment in their games.

These chess rules ascertain the various chess pieces and legal moves in a chess match. All officially recognised chess tournaments follow chess rules while holding competitions.

There are 6 types of chess pieces that are used in the modern version of the game. They are the king, the queen, the bishop, the knight, the rook, and the pawn. In the following segment, we will discuss chess pieces names and moves in detail.

The King

Arguably the most important piece on the chess board, the king must be protected from rival pieces at all times. The principal strategy of every chess player is to find the best possible way to attack the opponent’s king without jeopardising the safety of their own king.

As far as the king’s movement is concerned, it can move only one square/tile in each direction. However, there lies a catch here. Chess rules restrict a king from moving to a square already under attack by a rival piece. In other words, a king can never voluntarily subject itself to a check from the opponent.

The Queen

The second piece we will take up on our quest to know about chess pieces names and moves happens to be the queen. The queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard in practical terms. Although a chess game is centred around protecting and capturing the king, it is the queen that has the potential to inflict maximum damage to rival chess pieces if used wisely and with effect.

The queen can move any number of squares in any direction; and however, it cannot change its path while it is moving either upwards, sideways, or diagonally. No wonder the queen frequently features in the top chess strategies of the day.

The Rook

Rooks are valued slightly lower than the queen but higher than both bishops and knights. A rook can move upwards or sideways to any number of empty squares on the board.

Rooks are doubly useful while castling the king. More than a single rook, two rooks in front of the other form a deadly pair that wreak havoc on the opponent’s chess pieces.

The Bishop

Next in our chart comes the bishop. The bishop is another versatile piece that creates openings on the board and reserves the potential to break down defences when manoeuvred correctly.

Bishops move only diagonally, and each bishop can remain only on similar coloured squares all the time. When combined with the queen, bishops cause significant difficulties for rival players.

The Knight

Even though a knight is considered a ‘minor’ piece in chess circles, it can bring opponents to their knees if played correctly. A knight has a unique movement style that is different from all other chess pieces on the board, and it is the only piece that can jump over other pieces.

The knight uses its unique character to jump over obstacles when the centre or any other board region becomes cramped up. It is important to note that knights can move only in an L-shaped direction. That is to say, a knight will first take two steps in one order, then take either a single left or a right to finish its move.

The Pawn

Last but certainly not least, we come to the board’s sixth and final chess piece – the pawn. Pawns are accorded the lowest value as per chess rules. Each player controls 8 pawns at the start of every game. Pawns can be instrumental in setting the tone and pace of a game.

Pawns can solely be moved in the upward direction and can capture rival pieces diagonally. Pawns can move either one or two squares in the first move from their starting spots. But after that, each pawn gets ahead one square per turn.

When a pawn manages to evade all threats and hurdles strewn across the chess board to reach the final square to the rival’s side, it gets promoted to a piece of the player’s choice, either a queen or rook bishop or a knight, except a king. This feature of a pawn is called ‘en passant.

Improve Your Chess Play With Advanced AI

Now that we have covered all chess pieces names and moves, one must get to know all the chess rules that govern the game. Click on Learn All The Rules Of Chess Game to understand how chess should be played.
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