Chess is the earliest board game which everybody used to know! Its exact time of invention is not clear, but what’s sure – chess history goes back to thousands of years. There are various speculations and famous legends about the invention of the game and the chess rules.
People who are not familiar with the famous game of kings and queens often hesitate to dare start dealing with it, because, at first glance, the rules of chess seem to be really complicated. However, it isn’t that complex! As with many things, as soon as you start developing a deeper understanding, you realize how tricky the game can be. But, never mind – anyone can learn the basic chess rules easily with a little motivation!
In the following article, we would like to facilitate your first steps into the world of chess and give you a basic understanding and overview of the most important chess rules. Hopefully, everything won’t seem that tough after reading this article and you’ll be motivated to start off with your first chess games!
Before we’re able to play, we need to get to know how to set up the chessboard. 64 black and white squares which are numbered vertically with the numbers 1 to 8 and entitled horizontally with small letters from a to h. To each square, we match a number and letter.
The files one and two belong to the white pieces at the beginning of a chess game, while file 7 and 8 belong to the black ones. Thus, each player has 16 pieces in the initial position. Each player has 8 pawns, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, one queen and the most important piece – a king! Look at the image on the left to see the initial position of the chess pieces.
How Chess Pieces Move
Let’s have a closer look at concrete chess rules. If you want to play a game, we need to know how the chess pieces move.
The pawns are pretty restricted in their movement. In their first move, they can move two squares forward, in all other moves only one square. The only exception is when they capture an opponent’s piece – then they move one square diagonally forwards. A pawn can never move backward!
The rook’s movement is the easiest of all chess pieces. The rooks can go forward, backward, to the left or to the right, so in any direction. They can never jump over other pieces.
The knight moves in an L-shape into any direction. The special thing about the knight is that it’s the only chess piece that can jump over other pieces!
Bishops can move in any direction diagonally as many squares as desired, while there are no pieces in their way. They can capture any piece which is within their reach.
The queen has the widest reach of all chess pieces. She can move in any direction – diagonally, vertically and horizontally – and any number of squares. The queen piece can capture any of the opponent’s pieces that are in her way! She is the most powerful piece in the game that frequently helps to win the game!
The king is the most important of all chess pieces in the game, but unfortunately limited in his movement. He can move just one square in any direction, but only if he isn’t placed in check (any opponent’s pieces attacking him) by doing so.
The player with the white pieces always starts the game. Each player can move one piece when it’s his move.
The Chess Clock
A basic part of the equipment required to play a real chess game is a chess clock. Each player has a specific amount of time for his moves. After each move, you have to push a button on the chess clock and the thinking time of your opponent starts running.
There are various time modes like, for example, 5 minutes for each player, which is called a blitz game, or 1,5 hours for each player, which is already one of the classic time modes for a long chess game in a tournament. This time mode means that your game can last up to 3 hours! In consequence, you need a long attention span and a good ability to concentrate for chess!
However, it is always essential to distribute the spent time for your moves appropriately, so that you don’t get into time trouble in a complicated position. Hence, always have a look at your clock – time runs faster than you think!
Basic Chess Rules Everyone Needs To Know
Till now, you’ve heard a lot about basic chess rules. But what is the goal of the whole game? The main goal of a chess game is to checkmate the opponent’s king! A checkmate position is on board when at least one of your pieces attacks the opponent’s king and he’s neither able to escape, nor his pieces can protect him. Studying basic mate motifs is very useful! See an example for a checkmate position on the diagram on the left.
If you think that the position is equal, you can offer a draw after your move. If the opponent accepts it, each of you gets a half point. We call the third possible end of a game stalemate. If one player isn’t able to make any move, although it’s his turn, each player gets a half point as well. The last possibility is that one player resigns, then the opponent gets a full point.
One of the most important chess rules is that in a tournament where you have more than 30 minutes thinking time, each player has to write down his and the opponent’s moves on a scoresheet. After the game, the scoresheet offers the possibility to analyze efficiently to improve your skills – learning from your own mistakes is the best way to improvement!
Surely, there are numerous chess rules which you still can learn like the promotion of pawns, castling, en passant, your first openings, tactics and so much more. A good idea, in the beginning, is to get some good equipment like an interesting chess DVD series for beginners to start your career! Just visit our shop on ichess.com! Surely, you’ll find the one or another little treasure trove to start your training and improve your skills rapidly!