The game is played on a checkered board with 64 squares, arranged in a eight-by-eight square, the chess board. The two players control each one a set of sixteen pieces, white or black colored. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent's king, whereby the king is under immediate attack (in "check") and there is no way to remove it from attack on the next move. Chess is a great game! If you don't have a chess board, buy one now, learn the rules, and play with a friend!
Chess is believed to have originated in India 1,400 years ago, as this was the earliest finding of chess pieces. However, artifacts that bear a resemblance to chess pieces have been found in Italy. Therefore, the true date is unknown.
Chaturanga was the name of the game that the people of India played. When Buddhists came as missionaries to India, they took the game with them. Chaturanga continued to move through the countries, sometimes having it's name changed. When Persia received the game, it was named chatrang. Arabs conquered Persia and took their game, renaming it to shatrang. Spain and Sicily then got the game and brought it to western Europe. In Europe, shatrang became widely popular. During the European control of shatrang, its rules were changed. The queen and bishops were added to the boards, as the India version of the game had neither of these. In order to add excitement to the game, they added the rule of promotion. This new game became even more popular in Europe. In the nineteenth century, America learned of this great game. But even today, chess continues to be a widely popular game around the world. In 1924, the World Chess Federation (Fédération Internationale des Échecs, FIDE for short), the governing body of chess tournaments, formed.
This is a rough explanation of the rules of chess. While it does not delve into strategy, it is enough to get you started.
The player using the white pieces moves first in Chess, then a move is made by the player of the black pieces. The white pieces are the good guys and the black pieces are the bad guys. Each player is obligated to move on their turn. If it is not possible to make a legal move, stalemate has been achieved, which is a drawn game. The goal of chess is to checkmate your opponent's king. Draws can also occur through the fifty move rule, stalemate or threefold repetition. If neither player has enough material to checkmate the opponent, the game is therefore declared a draw.
Check and CheckmateEdit
A check is an immediate threat to capture the king or queen. A king or queen so threatened is said to be in check. In the following move, the player whose king or queen is in check must get his king or queen out of check, if it is possible. Either the threat must be stopped (by interposing a piece between the threatening piece and the king or queen, or by capturing the threatening piece) or the king or queen must be moved to a space where it is no longer in check. If the king or queen is in check and there is no legal move which gets the king out of check, or if the queen gets captured, the king is said to be checkmated and the game is over. You can also checkmate by capturing all of your opponent's pieces (except the king or queen.) The player whose king is checkmated loses and the opposing player wins the game. In this usage, the words "check" and "chess" come via Arabic from Persian shāh, meaning "king." (when your queen gets captured, you have a decision to keep playing or quit.)
Pieces: Info, Setup and Movements Edit
The pawn is arguably the least powerful piece and the weakest in chess, however it can promote to any other piece (except a king and itself) advancing all the way to the opposite side of the board. (see Special Moves below).
The eight pawns are set on rows two and seven, as shown to the left.
Pawns are unusual in movement and use. Unlike all the other pieces, pawns may not move backwards. Normally a pawn moves by advancing a single square, but the first time each pawn is moved from its initial position, it has the option to advance two squares. Pawns may not use the initial two-square advance to jump over an occupied square, or to capture. Any piece directly in front of a pawn, friend or foe, blocks its advance.
Unlike other pieces, the pawn does not capture in the same way as it moves. A pawn captures diagonally, one square forward and to the left or right.
The pawn has two "special" moves: En Passant and Promotion.
A pawn that advances all the way to the opposite side of the board (the opposing player's first rank) is promoted to another piece of that player's choice of a queen, rook, bishop, or knight of the same color. The pawn is immediately (before the opposing player's next move) replaced by the new piece. The choice of promotion is not limited to captured pieces: players may have as many as ten knights, ten bishops, ten rooks or nine queens. In game 11 of their 1927 world championship match, José Raúl Capablanca and Alexander Alekhine each had two queens in play at once.
An even more unusual move is the en passant capture. This arises when a pawn uses its initial-move option to advance two squares instead of one, and in so doing passes over a square that is attacked by an enemy pawn. That enemy pawn, which would have been able to capture the moving pawn had it advanced only one square, is entitled to capture the moving pawn "in passing" as if it had advanced only one square. The capturing pawn moves into the empty square over which the moving pawn moved, and the moving pawn is removed from the board. The option to capture en passant must be exercised on the move immediately following the double-square pawn advance, or it is lost and may not be made later.
The bishop is placed on the third column and sixth column of the first and eighth row.
The bishop has no restrictions in distance for each move, but is limited to diagonal movement. Bishops cannot jump over other pieces. A bishop captures by occupying the square on which an enemy piece is staying, but it cannot capture nor move trough a piece on its own side.
Knights are placed on the first and eighth row, on the second and seventh columns.
The knight move is unusual among chess pieces. When it moves, it can move two squares horizontally and one square vertically, or two squares vertically and one square horizontally. The complete move therefore looks like the letter 'L'. Unlike all other standard chess pieces, the knight can 'jump over' all other pawns and pieces (of either colour) to its destination square. It captures an enemy piece by moving into its square, but it cannot move in the same square of a piece on its own side.It moves in an L shape as 2 and 1 or 1 and 2.
Rooks are set on the first and eighth row, on the first and eighth column.
The rook moves horizontally or vertically, forward or back, through any number of unoccupied squares. Like other pieces, it captures by occupying the square on which an enemy piece stands. The rook also participates, along with the king, in a special move called castling. It cannot capture nor move through a piece on its own side.
The queens are set up on the first and eighth column, and on the fourth column.
The queen can be moved any number of unoccupied squares in a straight line vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, thus combining the moves of the rook and bishop. She cannot move on a square that is threatened by an enemy piece. The queen captures by occupying the square on which an enemy piece sits. It cannot capture nor move trough a piece on its own side.
The king is placed on the first and eighth row and on the fifth column.
A king can move one square in any direction (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally). The exceptions to this rule are that it may not move onto a square that is threatened by an enemy piece, or one that is already occupied by another piece on its own side. As a result, the opposing kings may never occupy adjacent squares. As with all pieces except the pawn, it captures by moving onto a square occupied by an enemy piece.
In conjunction with a rook, the king may make a special move called castling, in which the king moves two squares toward one of his rooks and then the rook is placed on the other side of the king. Castling consists of moving the king two squares on its first rank toward either one of the original rooks, then moving the rook onto the square over which the king crossed. However, in order to castle, the following conditions must be met:
- The king cannot be in check nor pass through check
- Neither the king nor the rook moved previously
- There cannot be any pieces in between the king or the rook
Deciding who is "winning" or "losing" in chess cannot be left to the sheer numbers of pieces on the board; each piece has a distinct value, measured in centipawns. The centipawn is a unit of measure used in chess, equal to 1/100 of a pawn, so 100 centipawns = 1 pawn. Calculations of the value of pieces provide only a rough idea of the state of play. The exact piece values will depend on the game situation, and can differ considerably from those given here. In some positions, a well-placed piece might be much more valuable than indicated by heuristics, while a badly-placed piece may be completely trapped and, thus, almost worthless. Also, values does not include tactical (positional) factors, which may very important in a game. Usual values are as follows:
- King none - Queen 9 - Rook 5 - Bishop 3 - Knight 3 - Pawn 1
See centipawn for more informations about the material value of the chess pieces.
Chess strategy is concerned with evaluation of chess positions and with setting up goals and long-term plans for the future play. During the evaluation, players must take into account the value of pieces on board, pawn structure, king safety, space, and control of key squares and groups of squares (for example, diagonals, open-files, and dark or light squares). Another important factor in the evaluation of chess positions is the pawn structure (sometimes known as the pawn skeleton), or the configuration of pawns on the chessboard. Being the least mobile of the chess pieces, the pawn structure is relatively static and largely determines the strategic nature of the position. Weaknesses in the pawn structure, such as isolated, doubled or backward pawns and holes, once created, are usually permanent. Care must therefore be taken to avoid them unless they are compensated by another valuable asset (for example, by the possibility to develop an attack).