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If you’ve decided that you will now learn how to play chess, you’ve made the right decision. Chess is a game of strategy. It improves cognitive function, enhances focus, and increases confidence. Since its invention, the game has only had some minor changes. This means that the rules of chess game have remained pretty much the same throughout history. However, before you get started, it’s a good idea to learn more about all the chess pieces. 

A typical chessboard has 8 columns and 8 rows which make a total of 64 squares of alternate colours. Players sit on either side of the board and battle it out. Each side has 16 pieces, including a King, a Queen, two Rooks, two Bishops, 2 Knights, and 8 Pawns. In a game of chess, the White side goes first, followed by the Black. The game then proceeds with mandatory alternate moves from both sides. 

How to Play Chess?

When the game begins, all the chess pieces are in position and occupy one square at any given time. Players have to move the pieces from one square to the next. The goal of the game is to either reach a stalemate or a checkmate. While the former is a draw between the two opponents, the latter happens when one player captures the King of the other side.   

What are the Rules of Chess Game?

One of the first rules of chess is that White always moves first. After this, the Black side makes a move and the game continues. The second most important rule is that players will have to take their turn moving a piece even if it doesn’t work in their favour. Remember, every chess piece that you see on the board has its own way of moving on the board. 

You can move a piece from one square to another or capture a piece of the opponent. Apart from the Knight, a piece can only move on the board freely if its movement is not hindered by another piece. As per the rules of chess game, a King can only move from its occupied square to any adjacent square. If a King is about to be captured but has the chance to escape or protect itself – that’s a check! If your King is in check, you cannot leave it there. You have to either move it or use another piece for protection. 

Coming back to the movement of chess pieces, the Rook moves in a straight line, both horizontally and vertically. The Bishop is the Rook’s opposite and moves around the board diagonally. Keep in mind that a Rook that starts on a black square can only move diagonally on the black squares, and vice versa. The Queen piece has its perks – it can move like Rook or a Bishop without any trouble. The movement of all three pieces come to a halt only if the square they land on is empty or occupied by an opposing piece. 

When it comes to the Knight, the move gets a little complicated. It jumps in with two straight moves (forward or backward) and then goes to the right or left. On the other hand, a Pawn can only move one square in the forward direction. In case there is a piece before it, it cannot make a move. A Pawn can only capture another piece diagonally. 

Are there any special rules?

Apart from the rules of the chess game listed above, there are some special rules, listed below, that you need to keep in mind when playing. 

Castling – Invented in the 1500s, this is the only rule that lets you move more than one piece in the game. The intent of this rule is to speed up the game and balance out offence and defence strategies. During Castling, the king moves towards the rook (two squares) to castle while the rook is placed in the square through which the king passed.

It’s important to note that castling is possible only with a specific set of conditions:

  • Neither the rook nor the king should have been moved from their original positions
  • There should be no other pieces between the rook and the king

En Passant – This rule allows you to move a pawn two squares ahead of its original position. While it helps cover some ground on the chessboard, En Passant is only open for a single move. It was originally invented to speed up the game while retaining the idea of slow movement and restrictions imposed on pieces.

Pawn Promotion – With this rule, a pawn that reaches the edge of the opponent’s side is promoted. It can be converted to a knight or bishop, rook, queen, etc. With Pawn Promotion, your choice isn’t limited to captured pieces. As such, it’s theoretically possible to have multiple queens, bishops, knights, and other pieces.
The rules of chess game can be difficult to master. However, thanks to technological advancements, you no longer have to keep track of them all. Instead, you can check out Square Off’s exclusive AI-powered boards that let you play against computers or live chess. The sets help you learn as you play with automated piece movements, integrated lights, personalised coaching, and more