Chess Game Rules

While one of the most fascinating and mind challenging games, chess is still one of those games which cannot be played until you deeply understand its rules and the possibility of using them in your favour. This is why, if you are thinking of learning to play chess you should learn the basics and only afterwards exercise your moves on the chessboard.

Generic information about the game of chess

Chess can be played only in two. There is no possibility to extend or compress the number of players. However, there are devices which can become your partner for a chess game if there is nobody around with whom you can play. They are called chess computers and sometimes can turn from great players into great teachers for those lacking time to attend regular chess training courses.

Chess pieces are in number of 32 with 16 called “white” (the lighter colour) and 16 called “black” (the darker colour). Each set of 16 pieces has the following structure: one King, one Queen, two Bishops, two Rooks, two Knights and eight pawns. The pieces move differently according to their rank.

In order to play chess, the players must move their pieces. They take tale turns in making their movements. The player may not pass their turn as making the move is obligatory. In order to keep better track of each one of the moves, the chess table is numbered. On one side there are numbers from 1 to 8, while on the perpendicular side there are numbers from A to H, the squares getting their name from the combination of the letter and the number to which the correspond. Thus, the first square will be A1 while its opposite square (on diagonal) will be H8. Basic Movement of the Chess Pieces

The chess game starts with the Queen and King on the lower row of each player followed by a Bishop, Knight and Rook at each side. On the next row there are all Pawns, in front of all the other chess pieces.

The first pieces to be moved are the Pawns. Normally pawns move one square in front. Yet, if the Pawns are still in their initial position, they can also be moved on the second square in front. When capturing the enemy pieces, the pawns can move one square on the diagonal.

The Rooks moves in line, horizontally or vertically. However, the Rook cannot jump over any piece. Also, the Rook may end its move on a square containing an enemy piece (which is taken), but it cannot end its move on a square containing a piece of the same colour.

The Bishop moves on the diagonal and cannot jump over other pieces.

The Queen can move in any vertical, horizontal or diagonal direction in straight line.

The Knight moves in an L shape, with the first movement horizontally or vertically and the next move in the perpendicular direction. The Knight can jump over other pieces and if it stops its move on a square which is occupied by another enemy piece it takes it. The piece over which the Knight jumps it is not affected in any way.

The King can move in any direction, prevented that it will never be in check position. There is also a special case, called castling in which the King and the Rook can move simultaneously.

Winning, Check and Stalemate


The King is the most important piece on the board and the only one which can be in check. The King is in check when it can be taken by on opponent piece.


One wins the game when the opponent’s King is in mate. This means that if the King cannot make any legal move when it is check to escape being taken, it is called that King is in mate and the opponent wins.

Winning also occurs when the other party gives up the game, thinking it has no chance to win.


The game is stalemate or undecided when none of the kings are in check, but there are no more legal moves to be made.

The chess rules may seem complicated at a first look, yet once starting to play they will come naturally to any chess player.