chess moves

How the Chess Pieces Move

When playing chess for the first time, chess newbies think that the rook can move in a diagonal direction. A classic rook-ie mistake. Yes, laugh now, but the look on the face of a pro seeing someone doing such a chess move is priceless.

Let’s do a quicker-than-making-a-coffee-order history lesson.

The exact origin of chess dates back to India more than two millennia ago. See, that was faster than ordering a macchiato with cream on top, buttermilk caramel, two cinnamon biscuits sticks, and warm milk, no hot.

Now, get your “coffee” to talk about the game.

Learning names of pieces and how chess pieces move is vital to understanding the game. Chess has rules. But what will happen if a person and Bobby Fisher go to a restaurant with checked tablecloths? 

It does not mean that if he asks for the salt, it will be two hours until it reaches the other side of the table.

It is important to know how a chess piece moves to be able to play the game, thus it is necessary to know how they move. 

The most complex pieces to learn the movement are knights and pawns.     

Each player has exactly 16 pieces:

  • 1 King;
  • 1 Queen;
  • 2 Rooks;
  • 2 Bishops;
  • 2 Knights;
  • 8 Pawns.

The objective in a game of chess is to beat the king through “checkmate”. Now let’s play ball… sorry, chess. 

The first player to move is the one who has chosen the light-coloured pieces. Now you need to find out how the pieces move in chess. Yes, daunting at first, but there is nothing special about it.

Each figure has a trajectory. Their paths are simple and easy to remember. In a basic move, there are pieces unable to go through others. Before making a move, you should think about how and what piece to place to defend the territory or capture the opponents in the next move.

King

For a successful game, it is not enough to know the main points about how the pieces move in chess. The king is both very important, as in VIP, and the weak link. It can move only one square but in any direction. However, it cannot stand on the square that is already in “check”.

It is the largest piece in chess and moves one square at a time, in all directions. The king is like the game “capture the flag”. It is the one that no one can capture. Its value? The game.

Queen

The queen is the most powerful. Like the king, it moves in any direction. It can move through any number of cells, but without jumping over other pieces. Its value is 10 points.

Rook

This is a unique piece that combines the capabilities of the king and queen. It can move through any number of cells, but its moves are vertical or horizontal. The rook can also do castling together with the king. Its value is 5 points.

Bishop

The bishop is considered a light piece. It can move through any number of squares, but only in a diagonal direction. It is worth noting at the beginning of the game, one bishop occupies a dark cell and the other a light one. They cannot change the original color in any way. Each player has two pieces that can move and capture an opponent’s piece in both the dark and light squares. Its value is 3 points. 

Knight

The only combat unit in chess is the knight. It can jump over the rest of the pieces (well, it’s a horse, a newbie might say). The cavalry moves in an L-shape fashion, so its movement is limited. 

The knight can move two squares vertically and one square horizontally, and it doesn’t matter their sequence or the direction. Since the knight is able to jump over other pieces, it can “check” the king. This can put the royal in a no-escape position. Its value is 3 points.

Pawn

Most people know which pieces move first in chess. But there are more complexities in their “walking” style. It can move only a single square in a forward direction and only one diagonally.  On the first move, the pawn can advance a couple of squares. It does not move backward. The pawn has no chance to beat a piece or make a move until the place in front of it is free.

It is the bravest piece in chess. It goes forward and never goes back. To capture a pawn the attacking piece does it diagonally. Its value is 1 point.

Pawn TRANSFORMER!? 

At first glance, the pawn seems like a worthless piece. But it has an interesting feature that only experienced gamers know about. If a pawn reaches the opposite side, it becomes any other piece of a higher value. Only the pawn can do this and, as a rule, it becomes a queen.

Castling

This means performing two important actions in one move. Move one: secure the king, and two, remove the rook from the corner. The rook in this case acts as a bodyguard. 

Mate

The main task of the players is to “checkmate” the opponent’s king. This will finish the game when the main piece is under threat of “check” and cannot be easily avoided. 

If there is no opportunity for an escape, then the king finds himself in the “checkmate” situation and the game is over. The king doesn’t leave the board, as it is done with captured pieces, but rather the game is simply over.

Draw

Very often, a draw decides the end of the game. This can happen if there are not enough pieces on the board to checkmate or the usual consent of both players to a draw. Other textbook rules apply to declare a draw. 

Up to this “end of the board” a new player is now able to identify the pieces and how they move. Together with piece-specific moves important in the game. Now, make sure the salt container is shaped like a bishop, a queen, or a rook; in case the chess grandmaster attends dinner and the tablecloth is checkered.

chess strategy

Chess Strategy For Beginners: Everything You Need To Know

The life of chess players goes through different phases to learn how to play chess. It must be so for them to improve and enjoy the game. This article will provide a basic insight into chess strategies. These strategies could make a beginner player avoid a certain level of stagnation. They will also help find ways to understand difficult concepts to shake off the “bad luck” and win matches.

New players must be aware of the fact that there are chess techniques that work in 80% of the cases. But it is true that if you know them you will improve your piece play. 

Knowing chess is not the same as playing well.

A player can understand the chessboard to design a strategy but to fail in execution. You may learn a chess strategy, but you fail to put into practice, even if in theory everything is correct. 

A short session on basic chess strategy and tactic.

Chess strategies and tactics are not the same. Without being too strict here is how players can view them:

Tactic 

  • Short-term advantage
  • Look for material advantage or a checkmate
  • It is the main concern of beginners
  • It is easy to train and improve
  • It generates specific threats.

Strategy

  • Long-term advantage
  • Aims to improve board position
  • Grandmasters dominate tactics and their main concern is a strategy
  • The improvements are intangible.

Some authors define tactic as “knowing what to do when there is something to do.” If a player can get a bishop, go ahead; if the king is in the line of fire and checkmate is possible, great.

A strategy is “knowing what to do when there is nothing to do.” It means that there is nothing visible to do. That is when the player prepares an offensive to occupy the strategic ground. Tactical moves will allow you to gain positions on the chessboard. 

Question-based exercises help players learn the proper course of action. These exercises are often called “manoeuvring and visualization tests”.

The format is simple. The chess coach can raise a question putting with the pieces arranged in a given position. The answer comes through plays. The purpose is to capture abstract ideas to generate concrete variants with plays. 

For example, a bishop is either blocked or unable to play. Then, analysis and response: Why is this happening? Because his pawns prevent him from doing so. Finally, execution: move the pawn in front of the bishop, for well, the bishop will have a good life.

Quick fixes don’t exist.

Don’t believe anyone who promises to teach chess tricks so you can win games without effort. It is more likely that tricks will lead to building bad playing habits.

Improving at chess or reaching a professional level takes time. A player does not need to mortgage the rest of his life. Rather, you will have to study and understand rules that are not “simple drugstore remedies.”

The relationship between time and matter

Don’t be afraid. we are not going to get philosophical or talk about thermodynamics. Though the rules of the latter apply in this case.

If a pawn reaches the other side of the board, it can “rise” and become another piece, even as high as a queen. Improving the power, your piece is not always at the expense of the loss of power of our adversary. Players organize their forces to increase the level of activity. If done well, in chess, any transformation improves the quality of the position. In exchange for time, the knight can improve his situation. The opponent has to spend a move or two to capture a pawn that you sacrifices. Allowing the player to intensify the attack. 

No luck

Do not expect to win at chess by luck. Chess is not poker or casino. Sometimes, when beginners lose, luck is usually blamed for it. But what happens is they omit the chess strategies. This usually happens when they play following their gut.

Improve openings by understanding position commitment

There are chess techniques and tactics that do work. Control of the centre, pieces development and putting the king in a safe place in the first 10 moves. The players have many options to choose from. There are times when these principles conflict. Be sure to select the best move deciding on the least compromising one. 

Study relevant chess matches

Who is not fascinated by a surprising play? Moves representing a brilliant idea. Moves that people recognize around the world. Chess scholars and students reproduce and analyze these players and matches. They also suffer modifications or variants. 

The game of the century, was the match between Robert James “Bobby” Fischer and Donald Byrne, in New York, 1956. 

The game had lots of moves out of this world. But another reason for the great recognition of this game was that Bobby Fischer was only 13 years old. He was facing one of the best players in the United States. Fisher won. 

Some consider the match of the century the one between Boris Spassky and, again, Bobby Fischer. This one took place in Reykjavík, Iceland in 1972, where Bobby Fisher emerged victorious yet again. 

One-shot, one kill… or two.

When possible, “aim” one of the pieces at two pieces of the enemy, who can only save one of them. The piece that engages two of the enemy must attack pieces that are of greater value. By doing so a player secures material gain, even if your opponent captures the piece later. Another way is to “nail” a piece, making it impossible for the enemy to move it. A nailed piece might uncover the king if your opponent moves it.

The final piece of advice for a chess player that we have is – play, but do not get affected by the outcome of a given move. Keep you cool, mind your “poker” face and avoid your opponent’s psycho-warfare.

These chess strategies and chess techniques are a must-do for all players. Observe them from the simplest to the most advanced. You will notice the game improvements over time.

The Chess Rules For Beginners

Chess is ancient, intriguing, and fascinating. It can also be intimidating sometimes, especially to a beginner. 

There are lots of rules, many chess pieces to follow and it is easy to get a bit confused. But practice makes perfect and there’s always a lot to learn when it comes to chess rules, moves and captures. 

This short review of chess game rules is specially made for beginners, so the first set of rules we should mention is the moves and the captures of all the chess pieces on the board. So, without further ado, let’s get to it!

Basic chess rules of moves and captures 

  • Pawn 

Move: As you well know, the pawn can move vertically one square forward. It cannot move sideways, or backward.  There’s one more rule when it comes to the pawn. The first move of every pawn during a match can be a double one, meaning two squares instead of one. This is an optional move, which has another interesting twist. Read on to find out more! 

  • Knight

Move: When it comes to the rules of chess, the knight is the oddest piece on the board. It moves in an ‘L’ in any direction  (two squares straight and one to the side, or vice versa) and can ‘jump’ over other pieces, which no one else on the board can do, even the queen (which says a lot, considering she’s the toughest one out there). 

  • Bishop 

Move: Bishop moves only diagonally any number of unoccupied squares in any direction. The only obstacle in his way is another chess piece of the same army. He cannot ‘jump’ over other pieces, he can only capture them. 

  • Rook

Move: The rook, as opposed to the bishop, can move for any number of squares only vertically, or horizontally, but never in a diagonal line.  

  • Queen

Move: Surprisingly, the queen is relatively new on the chess board. The game has been around for more than a thousand years, but the queen is young – only a few hundred years. She quickly gained power and in modern rules, she can move in any direction, as long as it’s a straight line (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally). 

  • King

Move: The king can move in any direction, but only for one square. The only limitation is that the king cannot sacrifice himself, or put himself in a vulnerable position, causing a ‘check’ situation, or a ‘checkmate’. 

Chess Rules beginners should know 

Now that we’ve covered the basic rules, there are some specific chess moves that beginner players should be aware of. These moves will help develop a strategy and up the game.  

En passant

Remember the rule about the pawn having the right to move two squares on its debut? Well, it just so happens, that an adjacent pawn of the opposite army can capture this daring pawn that moved 2 squares, ‘en passant’, or ‘in passing’. 

How does that work? The diagram shows it all. 

Usually capturing means occupying the opponent’s square, but not in this case. Let’s say the white pawn make a 2-square move and now occupies the square next to the black pawn. 

Is the black pawn going to let him sneak past and be on his way to promotion (we’ll explain that in a sec)? 

No! He can occupy the square the white pawn would have been on, if he had only moved one square instead of two, and capture the white pawn ‘in passing’. 

What do we have as a result? The black pawn captured as if the white pawn had moved only one square instead of two! Imagination comes to life. 

The catch is that the en passant capture must immediately follow the 2-square move. In other words, you should take the chance while it’s still there, you snooze – you lose. 

Castling

Castling is another classic move all beginners would do well to remember. As you can guess from the name, it involves a rook (or a castle) and the objective is to provide protection for the king. Again, obvious. But let’s take a closer look at how it’s done properly. 

As shown in the picture, the space between the king and the rook is open. In this case, the king can move two squares toward either the king-side rook or the queen-side rook. Then the rook can ‘jump’ over the king, and occupy the square next to him, keeping him protected. 

This begs the question why would you want to do that? Well, first of all, the king is in greater danger when he stays in the middle of the board, and as you guessed from his moves and captures, he’s not very good at defending himself. Plus, the rook is pretty useless snoozing in the corner, when he can be quite effective in the thick of the battle. 

There are some rules when it comes to proper castling:

  • You can’t castle if the king is in check. In other words, castling is not a valid way to avoid an attack. 
  • Castling is also not allowed if, to do so, the king has to pass through a square ‘under fire’.  
  • You can’t castle the king if, doing so, puts him in check or checkmate. Remember the rule about the king not being suicidal? Here it is again. He cannot put himself in danger. Ever. 
  • The fourth restriction is that this move is legal ONLY in case the king and the castle have not been moved during the game. Castling should be their first move, otherwise, castling is illegal. 

Promotion

Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Promotion is only possible if a pawn has reached the first rank on the opposite side of the board. So basically, if a pawn somehow manages to survive and reach the opposing edge of the board, it can be promoted to any other chess pieces, besides the king. 

Sorry, there can only be one boss. Usually, the pawn is promoted into a queen, just because she can move more freely and capture anything that moves past her. But sometimes the situation calls for ‘underpromoting’ the pawn to a knight. The knight’s ability to move in a curve can be extremely helpful in some situations! 

We have discussed the basic chess rules and some specific moves that can help beginners up their game a bit and use new skills. These moves are well-known to the chess community and very frequently used. 

There’s always room to improve, learn new moves and strategies, and develop as a player! 

So learn, play more and good luck in all the matches to come! 


Must Know Chess Tips & Tricks

Chess is one of the most popular games in the world for people of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels. Learning how to play chess is fun and rewarding, and the more you play and practice, the better you will become. If you are a beginner chess player or a novice player looking to improve your game, then you’re in luck: the following are some must-know chess tips that tricks that will help you improve your basic chess strategy, know which chess rules to keep your mind on while playing, and even learn how to win chess in 2 moves.

Best Chess Tips and Tricks

Tip #1: Opt to get those central squares first

The most important squares you want to take are those central squares, as these will set up essential block posts for the rest of your pieces. Taking central pawns will add more value to your strategy that taking pawns on the flank. Controlling the center of the board also gives you a greater defensive position, which will help you protect your king or other pieces when the time comes.

Tip #2: Consider your opponents moves carefully

It’s not enough to plot out your own chess moves and think ahead to what you want to do during your turn. You should be evaluating every move your opponent makes. Ask yourself: Why did they make that move? Which of my pieces are they aiming to take? What steps do I need to take to thwart their plan? It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own chess plans and forget that the other player is also engaging in a strategy of their own. Keeping yourself aware of your opponent’s moves and evaluating the reasoning behind their strategy will help you avoid traps.

Tip #3: Never play without a plan

One of the most common rookie mistakes is simply “playing” chess-never play without a plan of your own! Even a simple (or outright weak) strategy will be more effective than playing without any plan whatsoever, so make sure that you head into each game with some sort of plan in mind.

Tip #4: Keep track of your king

It can be surprisingly easy to forget about your king during a match, so make sure that you are constantly aware of your king’s position and the position of your opponent’s pieces as it relates to your king. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to “castle” your king as soon as you can, as this provides added defense.

Tip #5: Win in 2 movies with this simple strategy

If you want to know how to win chess in 2 movies, follow this surprisingly simple strategy: First, move your pawn to E6. This will open up your queen. Your opponent will respond by moving their pawn in an attempt to close in on your queen. In your second move, move your queen to H4. This will result in a checkmate for your opponent’s king. They will have nowhere to move and no piece they can block your check with. You’ve won!

chess openings

Top Winning Chess Openings

Welcome to the delightful world of chess problems and matches, chess queens, pawns, and all the rest of the soothing logic in the world of chaos. If anyone’s serious about advancing their skills and becoming a better player, constantly worrying about how to play chess even better, there’s a lot to be learned. But don’t be intimidated by complicated moves and combinations, and let’s start from the beginning. 

Now, we assume our reader is already familiar with all the chess pieces, their moves, captures, and knows all the rules, basic and special. So this is the perfect time to talk about chess opening moves and how they fit into the chess strategy.  

What are they, what are the best chess openings for beginners to lead with, and why they are important? These are some of the questions we’ll be discussing today.  

Importance of opening chess moves 

As we are all well aware, chess is a game of tactics and strategy, so the first sequence of moves you make on the board shouldn’t be random if you hope to win the match. Good chess players know what they’re doing, and plan ahead for at least the next few moves.  

Plus, the whites have an advantage as they have the opening move. The blacks can hope to equalize the situation first and gain an advantage later. So what is the main purpose of structured chess opening moves and sequences? 

  • Development and impact. Development is basically introducing the chess pieces to the game. The pawns have to be moved strategically in order to give way to the more powerful pieces on the board, as they can impact the game and the whole outcome by gaining more favourable positions.
  • Center control. This is a pivotal point for the outcome of the match. Gaining control of the centre portion of the board can make all the difference and become a big advantage throughout the whole match.
  • King’s protection. The king is, no doubt, the most important piece to protect. You lose the king – you lose the match. But he can’t do much on his own, so he constantly needs to be protected, and as the game unfolds, there are more and more chances for the opponent’s army to corner him. 
  • Coordination. A chess board is first and foremost a battlefield, so all of the chess pieces should be working toward a common goal, and doing it in coordination with each other. If you hope to dominate the board, there are a few key positions that your chess pieces should take, and do so in a coordinated manner. 

Now that we’ve established the significance of a chess opening move, we can finally move on and discuss the most common openings, and how to perform them. 

Most common chess openings

  • The Italian game

This opening is defined by the bishop’s development. Remember we talked about move sequences? Well, the Italian game openings typically begin with the following sequence:

  1. e4, e5. Meaning white and then black pawns move to e4 and e5 respectively.
  2. Nf3, Nc6. The white and the black knights respectively take the f3 and the c6 positions. 
  3. Bc4. White bishop comes to c4 and gains control of a strategically important position. 

The Italian game is one of the most analyzed groups of openings, as it was documented in the 15th century. It has many variations, but the main starting moves are similar. 

  • Sicilian Defense 

The Sicilian defence is played toward the centre of the board, the most typical move being 1. e4 c5. By moving the pawn 2 squares, the battle for the centre of the board begins! 

This is one of the best chess openings for white, as statistics show, it gives a better chance at final victory. Naturally, the Sicilian defence has plenty of different variations as to what happens after that initial move. 

  • French Defense

This is rather a chess defence strategy for Black than one of the classic chess openings for white. The first characteristic move is 1. e4 e6. The most common follow move is the 2. d4 d5. 

Now, surely, there are other options, but this is the most widespread ‘reaction’ to the initial move for the french defence to be successful. 

  • The Ruy-Lopez opening

This opening is named after a Spanish priest, that gave a lot of thought and analysis to this opening. As it’s hard for Black to gain equality of power on the board after this opening, it is also known as the ‘Spanish torture’. 

The signature moves are as follows

  1. e4 e5
  2. Nf3 Nc6
  3. Bb5

After the bishop occupies the b5 square, he basically blocks the knight, gaining better control of that sector of the board. 

  • Slav defence

The Slav Defense is very well-established in chess theory and has often been used by players of Slavic descent, hence the name. The first two moves are:

  1. d4 d5
  2. c4 c6 

This sequence has many options to follow of course, but typically the White will then develop both knights, and Black can develop only one of them, hence there are some tough decisions to be made concerning the pawn structure.  

  • English opening 

The English opening chess move is defined by the White playing c4. Now that’s weird, isn’t it? 

We know, that it’s generally in the player’s best interests to play e4, or d4 first, thus developing the king pawn and the queen pawn early on, but the best thing English opening does, is it throws the opponent off. 

Plus, it gives the chance to secure some positions, before you play the e4. 

Obviously, each of the described openings has a lot of theory behind it and a lot of different variations too. 

It’s quite hard to remember all possible outcomes, so the best way to advance skills is by combining these theoretical lessons with actual matches. 

Practice with friends, join a chess club in your area and open new horizons for developing as a player! 

Good luck in all the matches to come!