chess setup

Chess Setup Step By Step Guide

Chess is one of the most popular games in the world. Whether you are interested in learning chess as something to do for fun or you plan on taking your interest in chess all the way to tournaments, one of the first things you need to know how to do is set up a chess board.

Chess board setup is fairly simple once you learn how to do it, but knowing how to do it requires patience and knowledge of where–and why–each chess piece goes in its designated location. If you want to know how to get chess pieces set up, consider the following chess setup guide that will take you through the process step by step.

Step I: Placing the board in the right direction

chess board set up

The first thing you need to do in order to set up a chess board is to place the board in the right direction or orientation. Look at the square son the board, and look for the white corner squares. You want the white corner square to be on your right–or as the chess saying goes, “Put the white square on the right.” Your opponent’s white square should be on their right as well.

Once you have the board in the right orientation, you can move on to setting up the first chess pieces on the board.

Step II: Place the pawns in second rank

Chess pieces pawn

Next, you will need to set up the first chess pieces on the board. In this case, this refers to the pawns which ill be placed in second rank–or second row. The pawns should go in a straight line starting from the second row in front of you. They can go on both black and white squares.

Putting your pawns up makes placing the rest of the chess pieces easier, as you can more readily figure out where other pieces go based on the placement of the pawns in the second row.

Step III: Place your rooks in the corner

rook chess pieces

Your rooks are the “towers” of your chess pieces, so you should put one in each corner on the first rank or first row of your board. Once you have the rooks in place, you can move on to placing your knights on the board in the next step.

Step IV: Put your knights next to your rooks

chess pieces knights

Now it is time to set up your knights, which go in the spaces right next to your rooks. One way to remember this is to imagine that you want your horses next to your tower in case you need to ride away from it. You may want to change this metaphor based on the look and style of your chess pieces.

When you have your knights in place, it’s time to move on to bishops.

Step V: Place your bishops next to your knights

bishop chess pieces

The next thing you need to do is place your bishops in the right spot. Your bishops need to go next to your knights–they will be placed in between your knights and your king and queen. One way to remember this is to imagine that the bishop acts as the intermediary between the knights and the queen and king, who wouldn’t talk to a knight directly on their own.

Once you have the bishops in the right space, it’s time to finally move on to the queen.

Step VI: Place the queen on the right color

chess queen pieces

Your queen needs to go on the square that matches her color! If you have the white queen, place her on the white square; if you have the black queen, place her on the black square. Your queen needs to be on the right square for the game.

Once you have placed the queen in her proper space, it is finally time to place the king.

Step VII: Place the king next to the queen

king chess pieces

There is only one more empty space on your board, right next to the queen: and this is where the king should go. You shouldn’t have any trouble placing it, but in case you do forget or you place the pieces out of order and need a reminder: the king always goes next to his queen!

Who Goes First?

chess board setup

Once all the chess pieces are set up on the board, it’s time to start playing the game. However, there is one question that plagues may chess players, especially those who are new to the game: which side goes first? The answer is always the same: white goes first. The player who is controlling the white pieces during the match gets to go first.

If you have any debate regarding who should get to play the white pieces, then you can always do something like flip a coin or place a white pawn and black pawn in each hand behind your back and have the other player pick a hand; whatever pawn they pick is the color they get to be for the game.

Final Considerations

It may be difficult setting up your chess board for the very first time, especially if you are new to the game or you find all the pieces confusing to understand. However, once you set up a chess board a few times on your own, you will find it much easier to remember where each of the pieces ago. Before long, you will be able to set up the chess board without needing to reference a guide at all!

And remember, when it comes to playing chess–practice, practice, practice! The more you practice and play chess, the better you will be at the game. Finding friends, family members and other chess players to practice with is the best way to get better at the game; you can also look up tips, tricks and strategy guides to help you improve your game as well.

The next time you are planning on setting up a chess game, don’t stress: just reference this guide that will remind you how to set up the game step by step.

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