Taster Lessons

Start playing and learning Chess

Firstly, make sure that you have the board the correct way around!! – We are not joking – just take a look at some pictures on google and you will see the number of times this is incorrectly shown.

The white square must be on the right hand side and the numbers must start from rank one, moving from whomever is playing white going up the board to rank number eight and vice versa.

Like this if you are white

 Or this if you are playing Black

The aim of the game

The aim of the game is to trap the opponents King. In short – to check the King, so that wherever it moves, it cannot move out of check.

 

Understanding basic chess piece movements.

Pawns

Pawns are worth one point each, and start the game from the 2nd and 7th ranks respectively. They can be moved one or two spaces forward on the very first move (ie a Pawn can move two spaces only if they have never been moved before), thereafter (whether you have moved the Pawn one or two squares) the Pawn can then only advance one square forward at a time, never backwards!

These eight pieces can also take diagonally forwards in either direction, but only on to the square which is occupied by another piece. If two pawns of opposing colours reach each other on the same row (files) they are blocked until they are taken, or can take diagonally.

Finally, the most special feature of the Pawns is their ability to become new pieces when they reach the end of the board (rank eight or one). At this point, the Pawns can convert into Bishops, Knights, Rooks or Queens.

En Passant

There is a very special move that both sides can carry out with the Pawns called En Passant, which means caught in the act of passing. This is quite complicated to explain and to understand for new chess players, however the essence of the move is this, if you move a pawn 2 spaces (so it has never been moved from the starting position) and it moves past your opponents pawn “area of attack” it can be taken.

So the result of this move is …

Or if you are playing black…

So the result of this move is …

Knights

Knights are the ONLY piece that can jump other pieces and are worth three points each. The basic rules for Knights are two spaces forward, backwards or sideways in either direction followed by a turn one space up or down and left and right. This can also be repeated in the same way by moving the Knight one square forwards, backwards or sideways, followed by a two square journey up and down + left and right. The key feature when moving Knights is that they will always go to a different colour square in small and large L shape movements. It is worth noting that this shape is just one move, NOT two. (There are 16 possible moves to reach the eight squares shown below, just remember it does not matter how you get to the square, as either movement is OK… and it is only one move )

Remember, every other chess piece cannot move if they are blocked, whereas the Knights simply jump and land on their new square.

Bishops

Bishops move back and forth in straight lines across their own coloured diagonal squares and are not limited by the distance they can travel. These pieces are also worth three points each, and depending on the position can become stronger or weaker than the Knights. Each side also has a dark and light squared Bishop, meaning individual Bishop’s must remain on their own coloured square throughout the entire game.

Queens

Queens are the most versatile piece on the entire board and can move diagonally back and forth on either colour square in straight lines, up and down the board (on the files) in straight lines and back and forth across the board (on the ranks) in straight lines.

The Queen is not limited by the distance they can travel either, making them the most valuable piece on the board – worth a total of nine points each. Although the Queen is entitled to go to any colour square on the board, she must remain on white or black squares when moving diagonally; that is, until the next move – when she can reach her final destination, which could be a white or black square!

Kings

Kings can only move one space in any direction at a time, unless they are castling and are valued at one point each, or the game, depending on your viewpoint. Most importantly, Kings always remain on the board right to the very end. They cannot be taken at any time. Furthermore, Kings of opposing colours can never meet face to face – they must stay one square away from each other in any direction, mostly as a mark of respect to each other! Finally, Kings can never castle out of check, into check or through check.

Rooks (Castles)

Rooks are second only to the Queen in terms of value, and are worth five points each. These energetic, long range pieces, can move in straight lines up and down (files) and left and right (ranks) across the chess board and are not limited by the distance they can travel either.

Castling

Castling is one move that can only take place once for either side during any given game. It can only occur if you have not moved your own King or Rook off its original starting position. As stated above in the Kings section, you may NEVER Castle out of check, into check or through check.

So once you have moved the two pieces it looks like this, remember it is only one move:

King-side Castling

OR

Queen-side Castling

World Master example game.

Watch the whole game above by clicking the arrows.