Chess for Beginners

The goal in chess is to checkmate your opponent’s King. A checkmate or “mate” is when the King is put in a position where he can’t avoid being captured on the next move.

The King is allowed to move one square in any direction. He can capture an opponent’s piece if it happens to be on one of those squares, as long as one the piece is not protected. The King is not allowed to move to a square that is under the opposing army’s control. This would put the King into check.

The King can participate in one move that is very unique. The move involves the King and a Rook, and is called “Castling.”

To castle, move the King two squares toward the Rook, them move the Rook over the King to the square on the opposite side of him.

There are a few things that you’ll have to remember in order to castle legally.

  • Your King can never castle his way out of a check.
  • Castling has to take place on the first move of both the King and the Rook.
  • All squares between the King and the Rook must be empty, with no pieces of either army occupying them.
  • Your King cannot pass by or arrive upon a square that is under the control of the opposing army because that would put him into check.

You may castle under these conditions if your Rook is being attacked. The Rook may pass by a square or squares that are under control of the opposing army.

The Rook can move any number of squares either horizontally or vertically, but cannot jump any piece of either army.

The Bishop can move any number of squares, but can only move in a diagonal direction. He can move either forward or backward, but in only one direction per move. A Bishop cannot any pieces of either army. All squares between the Bishop and his destination on the board must be clear and not occupied by pieces of either army.

When the board is initially set up, each army has a Bishop on one black and one white square. When they move diagonally, each Bishop must remain on his own colored squares. Example: The white Bishop always remains on the white squares; the black Bishop remains on black.

The Queen is the most powerful piece on the board. Her powers are the combination of those of a Rook and Bishop. The Queen is allowed to move in any direction on the board. She can move as many squares as she her player wishes, as long as the squares between her and her destination on the board are not occupies by either army. It is risky to bring out your Queen early in the game. Once she’s been captured, chances are you’ve been defeated.

The Knight is the only chess piece that can pass over other pieces. He always makes an “L” shaped move. The “L” can be backwards, forwards or sideways. The Knight is allowed to capture pieces of the opposing army by making any of these moves, one at a time. However, the Knight can never share a square with another piece of either army.

Continued at Chess For Beginners.