How to play chess

ChessThe rules of chess are commonly referred to as the laws of chess. These rules govern the play of chess. While it is not fully clear where the original rules of chess come from, an international chess organization has set the standard rules. This article will outline how chess is played and will outline its rules. The game of chess is not an easy game, but this article will make it easier to understand.


The rules of chess have changed a lot over time. It is said that the first game of chess was played in India in the 6th century. While the Indians have introduced their rules when chess was first played, the rules have evolved much over the centuries. The rules have also changed from area to area. The modern rules of chess were introduced in Italy. This happened during the 13th of century. The biggest change was the fact that more mobility was given to pieces which are usually restricted. Pieces which have restricted movement are the bishop and the queen. The role of these pieces will be explained in the following paragraphs. During this time, the basic moves of the king, knight and rook remained unchanged. Also, currently the game of chess is played with a time limit. This was, however, not always the case. Until the middle of the 19th century the game was played without any time limit. It was during a chess game in 1834 that two famous chess players took an incredible long amount of time to make a move. For example, at one point in the game it took almost 1,5 hours for one of the players to make a move. There was also another game where a game of chess was postponed to the next day since  it took incredibly long for the players to make a move. During this game only 29 moves were made. After this game a time limit was introduced. One of the following paragraphs will address the topic of a time limit in the game of chess.


The game chess is played on a chessboard. A chessboard is a square board which is divided in 64 different squares. It is a board which is divided by a total of eight by eight squares in alternating color. The squares on the board have two different colors. 32 squares are white or are also referred to as light colors, and the other 32 squares are black or dark colored. At the beginning of the game sixteen white pieces and sixteen black pieces are placed on the chessboard. The chessboard is placed in such a way that a white square is in each player’s right corner. The vertical rows on the board are referred to as files while the horizontal rows are called ranks. There are a total of six different types of pieces. Each player has one king, one queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights and a total of eight pawns to play with. The pieces cannot be placed on the chessboard just like that but have to be places in a specific order. The pieces are placed as one on a square on a specific spot on the board. The rooks are places  on the outer right and outer left corners on the board. Immediately inside the rooks are the knights. Inside the knights are the bishops located. The queen is placed on the central square of the same color of that player. This means that the white queen is placed on the white square and the black queen is placed on the black square. The king is located on the vacant spot right next to the queen. The eight pawns are placed one square in front of all the other pieces on the board.

Basic moves

Each of the six different kinds of pieces move in different ways. For example, pieces cannot move through other pieces and can never more onto a square with one of their own pieces on it. However, a piece can be moved to take the place of an opponent’s piece which is captured. Pieces are generally moved into spots where they can capture other pieces. Pieces also move in such a way that they can defend their own pieces in case of capture or control important squares in the game. The king is the most important piece but it at the same time also one of the weakest pieces. The king can only move one square in any direction, or can move one square diagonally. The queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard. She can move in any straight direction. She can move forward, sideways, backwards or diagonally. She can also move as far as possible as long as she does not move through any of her own pieces. Moreover, if the queen captures an opponent’s piece then her move is over. The rook is a piece which can move as far as it wants. This piece can only move forward, backward or can move to the sides. The rook is considered to be an important and powerful piece when they are working together and protecting each other. The bishop is a piece which can only move diagonally, but as far as it wants. The bishops starts on one color and must also stay on this specific color. Bishops are also considered to be powerful pieces they can cover each other’s weaknesses. The knight is the only piece with moves in the shape of an “L”. They go two squares in one direction and then make one more move at a 90 degree angle. The knight is the only piece which can move over other pieces. Pawns only move forward one square at a time. However this is not the case for their first move because they can then move two squared forward. They can also not move backwards and can only capture one square diagonally in front of them.


As explained earlier, chess tournaments are now played under time constraints. They are called time controls and chess games are played by using a chess clock. Each player is meant to make his move within the time control or otherwise forfeit the game. There are different types of time controls that can be used to play a game of chess. In certain cases each player has a certain time limit within which he has to make a certain number of moves. In other cases a player is given a certain amount of time within which he has to make all his moves. It is also possible  to win a certain amount of time. If a player makes a checkmate then the game is over. This also means that this player wins no matter what the time on the clock is. If one player does not have the possibility of checkmating the other player, then the game is a draw. The United States Chess Federation has other rules when it comes to using time constraints for the game of chess. For example, if a player believes that his opponent is trying to win the game on time and not by normal means, then the player can claim a draw with the arbiter. This can only be done, however, when the player has less than two minutes remaining. Also, normal means implies checkmating the other player. If the arbiter decides that the player is right, he can declare the game to be a draw and allocate two additional minutes to the opponent.


The equipment on the chessboard are specific pieces and the chessboard itself also has specific measurements. The size of the squares on the board should be between 50 to 65 mm. Most squares have a diameter of 57 mm and are considered to be well-suited for the game. The squares should also be about 1.25 times the size of the base of the king. The color of the squares also depends on the board. The darker squares on the board are usually brown, or can sometimes also be green. The lighter colors on the board are either off-white or have more of a buff color. One of the most famous chess sets is the Staunton chess set design. The Staunton design is considered to be the standard and the sets are usually made or wood or plastic. The set is often black and white but it could also be that they have different colors. Nevertheless, while they might have a different color they are mostly still referred to as black and white pieces. The height of the king of the Staunton set is usually between 85 to 105 mm. Most chess players prefer a height between 95 to 102 mm. The other pieces do not have specific measurements  but should be in proportion to the king and should be well balanced. With the regards to the chess clock used for time control, the clock can either be analog or digital. Most chess federations prefer a digital clock because of its easy use. Also, the chess clock usually has two different clocks and buttons two stop one clock while starting the other. This is in order to make sure that the two clocks never run simultaneously.

End of the game

The game can come to an end in different ways. As mentioned above, the game mostly comes to an end when the king is checkmated. This means that the player’s king is placed in check and that there is no legal move which the player can make to escape the check. When the king is checkmated, the game comes to an end and the player loses. Unlike other pieces, the king can never be captured or removed from the board. Once the king has been “captured”, the king has been checkmated and the game comes to an end. The game can also come to an end when a player decided to resign. Each player can resign at any moment in the game meaning that their opponent wins. This usually happens when the players is likely to lose the game and does not have the opportunity of winning the game. The player can either verbally say that he or she resign from the game of can write “resigns” on the score-sheet. Another way of indicating that you want to resign is by tipping over the king. This way is not frequently used and most players usually say they want to resign. Stopping both clocks does not mean that you want to resign but could also be used to call the arbiter.


Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 2422x
Added: 16-08-2016 01:38
Last modified: 18-08-2016 15:50

Relevant links


There are already 331 articles added to this website.
The copyrights of apply!