Chess Basics

Setting up the board

It may seem trivial, but it’s important to make sure that the board is correctly oriented.  Square h1 should always be in the lower right-hand corner from the perspective of White.

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Here’s what the different symbols on these diagrams represent:Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 3.52.24 PM


How the pieces move

The King

The king moves one square in any direction (subject to limitations described later on).

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The Queen

The queen is the most powerful piece. The queen can move in any direction along the whole length of any available line, as long as there is no obstacle in the way.

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The Rook

The rook is the next most powerful piece after the queen and it moves horizontally or vertically one direction at a time.

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The Bishop

The bishop moves diagonally in one direction at a time.  Due to the starting positions of the bishops, each player has one bishop that is always restricted to black squares and one that is always restricted to white squares.

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The Knight

The knight is the only piece that can jump over other pieces (either white or black).  The knight is also the only piece that has a fixed-length move.  It moves a total of three squares in a 2 by 1 L-shape.  The knight can only capture a piece that is on the last square of his move, NOT any pieces that have been jumped.

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The Pawn

The pawn can only move straight ahead by one square except on its very first move.  When any pawn is moved from its opening position, that pawn has the option of moving ahead by one square or two squares.  This applies to each pawn’s first move only and all subsequent moves are one square only.

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The pawn cannot move forward if it is blocked by any piece (Diagram 22).

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The pawn is the only piece that captures in a different manner than it moves.  The pawn moves by advancing straight ahead but a pawn can capture a hostile piece only if it is located on either of the diagonally-forward adjoining squares.

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