Chess/Print version

Chess is an ancient Indian game of strategy, played by two individuals on an 8x8 grid. The objective is to maneuver one's pieces so as to put the opposing king in "checkmate". This book will cover the basic pieces of chess, before going on to some more advanced topics.

© Copyright 2003–2006 contributing authors, all rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Document License, version 1.2. A copy of this is included in the section entitled GNU Free Document License.

Contents

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Playing The Game

Chess, unlike many other games, does not involve direct chance such as the roll of a dice or which card is drawn. The outcome completely depends on the decisions of the players. However, because of its vast complexity, the far-reaching consequences of some decisions are practically unforeseeable.

One player ("White") has the white pieces while the other ("Black") has the black pieces. Sometimes the colors are not black and white (for instance, light and dark, or yellow and blue), but they generally contrast each other. In friendly games the choice of colors can be made by any method, such as flipping a coin. If there is no coin at hand, another typical way of deciding would be to conceal a black piece in one hand and a white piece in the other and ask one's opponent to select a hand. The colored piece selected will be the opponent's color. In competitive games the players are assigned their colors.

Order of play

Once all the pieces have been arranged, White (or the lighter color) makes the first move. White always makes the first move; this is important for notation, and any chess player will insist upon it. After White has made the move, Black will then make a move. The gameplay will continue in alternating fashion, White making a move, followed by Black.

General movement rules

  • A move consists of moving a single piece, in accordance with its rules of movement, to a square that is unoccupied or occupied by an enemy piece. A player may never move a piece onto a square already occupied by another of his or her own pieces.
    • Exception: There is a special move called "castling" where two pieces, a rook and the king, are moved; see below.
  • If a piece is moved onto a square occupied by an enemy piece, the latter piece is removed from play and the first piece replaces it. The removed piece is said to have been captured or taken.
    • Exception: In en passant capture, a pawn moves to an unoccupied square but still captures another pawn "in passing"; see below.
  • Most pieces move and capture opponent pieces in the same way.
    • Exception: The pawn has separate rules for moving and capturing opponent pieces.
  • Most pieces may only make a move to a non-adjacent square if all the intervening squares are vacant (pieces may not 'jump over' other pieces).
    • Exception: The knight can move to any suitable final square regardless of occupants of other squares.
    • Exception: In castling, a king and a rook jump over each other.
  • No player may make a move that leaves their own king "in check" (see below).
  • The player must always make a move when it is his or her turn. In other words, he or she cannot choose not to make a move. If no legal move is possible the game ends in a draw (see below), except when the king is in check - this is called checkmate, and is usually how the opposing player wins.

Also, when a pawn moves to a square at the opposite end of the board, it becomes a different piece (pawn promotion); all of these exceptions are covered below in more detail.

The board

Traditionally, the game is played on a board of 64 alternating black and white squares turned with a white square to each player's near right-hand corner. "White on right" is a helpful saying to remember this convention. The light and dark squares on the chessboard and the light and dark chess pieces are traditionally referred to as "white" and "black" respectively, although in modern chess sets almost any colors may be used (as long as they are not the same colors.)

The horizontal rows of squares are called ranks and are numbered 1-8; the vertical columns of squares are called files and given the letters a-h. This way any single square can be easily identified by its rank and file, making it possible to record games by writing down the starting and ending position of the piece that moves every turn.

A chess diagram is always printed from the White player's perspective.

a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Chess board


The pieces

The movement of the individual pieces is described below. In all the board diagrams shown, the squares to which the piece in question can move are indicated with x's.


Pawn

Chess pll44.png

Pawns can move one square straight forward, or optionally and on their first move only, two squares straight forward. The pawn is the only piece that can't move backwards.


a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black pawn7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black pawng6 black kingh6 cross6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 crossg5 black kingh5 cross5
4a4 crossb4 black kingc4 crossd4 black kinge4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 crossb3 black kingc3 white pawnd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 white pawnb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Pawn move


Capturing Pieces

The pawn can move one square diagonally forward to capture a piece, but cannot capture a piece by moving straight forward. For this reason, two opposing pawns on a file may become blocked by each other. In the first diagram below, legal capture moves for the white pawn are indicated with black circles.

To capture means to displace a piece, meaning, to replace the captured with the capturer.

In the second diagram below the White pawn is prevented from moving forwards by the Black pawn immediately in front of it (in the d-file) which it cannot capture, but it can capture the adjacent Black pawn by moving diagonally forward as seen in the last diagram.

The pawn is the only piece that moves and captures differently.

a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black circled5 black kinge5 black circlef5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 white pawne4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Pawn capture
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black pawne5 black pawnf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 white pawne4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Position before capture
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black pawne5 white pawnf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Position after capture


Knight

Chess nll44.png

The knight has a unique move that allows it to flank the other pieces. The easiest way to describe this move is that he moves to a square of the opposite color from the one he's on that is exactly two squares away from him.


a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 crosse6 black kingf6 crossg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 crossd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 black kingg5 crossh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 white knightf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 crossd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 crossh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 crosse2 black kingf2 crossg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Knight move, When starting from a light colored square he moves to a dark square two away
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 crosse7 black kingf7 crossg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 crossd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 crossh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 white knightf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 crossd4 black kinge4 black kingf4 black kingg4 crossh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 crosse3 black kingf3 crossg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Knight move, when starting from a dark colored square he moves to a light square two away
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 crosse7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 crossd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black circleh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 crossc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black circlef3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black circled2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 white knightb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
The knight moves along straight lines like all other pieces, two such lines marked here


Another way to visualize the move is this: of the 16 squares that are 2 away from a knight he reaches the 8 that are of the opposite color of the square he's on and the other 8 can be reached by a queen where she on his square.


a b c d e f g h
8a8 black circleb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black circlef8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black circlec7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black circlef7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black circle7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black circled6 crosse6 black circlef6 crossg6 black circleh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 crossd5 black circlee5 black circlef5 black circleg5 crossh5 black king5
4a4 black circleb4 black circlec4 black circled4 black circlee4 white knightf4 black circleg4 black circleh4 black circle4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 crossd3 black circlee3 black circlef3 black circleg3 crossh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black circled2 crosse2 black circlef2 crossg2 black circleh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black circlec1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black circlef1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black circle1
a b c d e f g h
Knight move compared to the queen move
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black circled7 crosse7 black circlef7 crossg7 black circleh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 crossd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 crossh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black circled5 black kinge5 white knightf5 black kingg5 black circleh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 crossd4 black kinge4 black kingf4 black kingg4 crossh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black circled3 crosse3 black circlef3 crossg3 black circleh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Knight move compared to the queen again. Of the squares 2 away, the knight has 8 marked X and the queen could reach the other 8


It is important to remember that the knight moves in a straight line like all the other pieces, it's just along lines of movement no other piece uses. Consider this comparison: A queen moves ordinally along the ranks and files - North, East, South, and West on a compass rose; and she also moves diagonally - Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest on a compass rose. The knight moves along the wind lines of the rose - North by Northeast, East by Northeast, and so on. These lines pass between the squares adjacent to the knight and pass through the middle of the squares that are one square away from the knight. The knight moves to the first square its line of movement passes through the middle of, so like the King the knight has eight squares he can move to when he is near the center of the board. Since the knight is moving between the squares adjacent to him pieces do not hinder his move whether they are allied or enemy.

Capturing Pieces

The knight captures any opponent's piece that occupies a square it can move to by removing that piece from the board and placing the knight in that square. An important consequence of the knight's use of wind lines is that it can attack (that is, threaten to capture) pieces without being threatened in return so long as they are not also knights. The reverse is also true - pieces attacking a knight are never threatened by it.


a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black pawne6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black rookd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 black kingg5 black pawnh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 white knightf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black bishopd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black rookh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black queene2 black kingf2 black pawng2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Knight capture
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black queene6 black kingf6 black queeng6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black queend5 white queene5 white queenf5 white queeng5 black queenh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 white queene4 white knightf4 white queeng4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black queend3 white queene3 white queenf3 white queeng3 black queenh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black queene2 black kingf2 black queeng2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Knight capture - Jumping over pieces


Bishop

Chess bll44.png

The bishop can move any number of squares diagonally. The bishop may not jump over any piece of either color.

The bishop is restricted to the color of squares on which it began the game. Each player starts out with one light-square bishop that moves on the light colored squares, and one dark-square bishop that moves on the dark colored squares. In the diagram below, the bishop stands on a light square and can only move to other light squares.


a b c d e f g h
8a8 crossb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 crossc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 cross7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 crossd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 crossh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 crosse5 black kingf5 crossg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 white bishopf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 crosse3 black kingf3 crossg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 crossd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 crossh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 crossc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 cross1
a b c d e f g h
Bishop move
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black queenc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 crossd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 crosse5 black kingf5 black queeng5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 white bishopf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 crosse3 black kingf3 crossg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black queend2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 crossh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black queen1
a b c d e f g h
Bishop capture


Capturing Pieces

The bishop captures any opponent's piece that it encounters during the movement described above, and then occupies the captured piece's square. In the diagram above the bishop may take any of the black queens. Notice that bishop may not move (jump) to squares behind or capture pieces hiding behind the queens.

Rook

Chess rll44.png

The rook can be moved any number of squares horizontally or vertically, but not diagonally. Like the bishop, the rook cannot jump over any pieces, except for "castling".


a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 crossf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 crossf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 crossf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 crossf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 crossb4 crossc4 crossd4 crosse4 white rookf4 crossg4 crossh4 cross4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 crossf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 crossf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 crossf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Rook move
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black queenf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 crossf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 crossf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 crossf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black queenc4 crossd4 crosse4 white rookf4 black queeng4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 crossf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black queenf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Rook capture


Capturing Pieces

If the rook attempts to occupy a space already occupied by an opponent's piece, it captures the piece. In the diagram above the rook may take any of the black queens.

Queen

Chess qll44.png

The queen is the most powerful piece, being able to move any number of squares in any lateral or diagonal direction. It is best described as the combination of a rook's and bishop's movement capabilities.


a b c d e f g h
8a8 crossb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 crossf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 crossc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 crossf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 cross7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 crossd6 black kinge6 crossf6 black kingg6 crossh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 crosse5 crossf5 crossg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 crossb4 crossc4 crossd4 crosse4 white queenf4 crossg4 crossh4 cross4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 crosse3 crossf3 crossg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 crossd2 black kinge2 crossf2 black kingg2 crossh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 crossc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 crossf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 cross1
a b c d e f g h
Queen move
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black queenf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black queenc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 crossf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 crossd6 black kinge6 crossf6 black kingg6 black queenh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 crosse5 crossf5 crossg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black queend4 crosse4 white queenf4 crossg4 crossh4 black queen4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 crosse3 crossf3 black queeng3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black queend2 black kinge2 black queenf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Queen capture


Capturing Pieces

The queen captures any opponent's piece that it encounters during the movement described above, and then occupies the captured piece's square. In the diagram above the queen may take any of the black queens.

King

Chess kll44.png

The king can move one square at a time in any direction, as long as doing so does not place himself in check (see below).


a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 crosse5 crossf5 crossg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 crosse4 white kingf4 crossg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 crosse3 crossf3 crossg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
King move
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black knighte5 black kingf5 black knightg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 white kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black knighte3 black kingf3 black knightg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
King capture
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black knightf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black knighte4 white kingf4 black knightg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black knightf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
King capture


Capturing Pieces

The king may capture any opponent's piece adjacent to it, as long as doing so does not place himself in check (see below). In the diagrams above the king may take any of the black knights.

Check

The king is the most important piece belonging to each player, though not the most powerful. If a player moves a piece such that he threatens to capture his opponent's king in the next move, that king is said to be in check.

If a player's king is in check, he must immediately remove the check by moving the king, blocking the check with another piece, or capturing the checking piece.

In the diagram below black's rook has checked the white king. White may avoid the check by moving the king one step sideways, blocking the check by putting the rook between the attacking black rook and the white king, or capture the black rook using the white bishop. Other normally legal moves, like moving one of the pawns, are illegal in this position since they will not remove the check.

In a friendly game, a check is usually announced by saying check after the move is completed.

a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 white rookf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 white bishope4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 white pawn3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 cross2
1a1 black rookb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 crossf1 black kingg1 white kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
White king in check


Checkmate

If the king is placed in check and can not escape, it is said to have been checkmated (or "mated" for short). The first player to checkmate the opponent's king wins the game. Note that the king is never actually captured, since it is obliged to move out of check whenever possible (and the game ends when it is impossible). In the diagram below white has no options to escape the check from black's rook, he is therefore checkmated.

a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawn2
1a1 black rookb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 white kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
White king in checkmate


Special Restrictions — Avoiding "Self-check"

Players may not make any move which allows their king to be captured in the next move, i.e. places their own king in check. Thus two kings may never occupy adjacent squares, since they would have put themselves in check by moving there. This is called the "opposition" and is indispensable when, for instance, you are using a queen or rook to checkmate a king.

The White king in the following diagram cannot move upwards or to the left since it would be in check from the bishop, or diagonally downwards which would leave it adjacent to the Black king. Also, as no piece is threatening it if it fails to move, the king is not currently in check. Similarly, the Black king cannot move diagonally upwards as that would put it next to the White king.

a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black bishoph7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 crosse5 black kingf5 crossg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 white kingf4 crossg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 crosse3 crossf3 black kingg3 black circleh3 black circle3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black circleg2 black kingh2 black circle2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black circleg1 black circleh1 black circle1
a b c d e f g h
King may not move to an attacked square


The diagram below shows a position where the white bishop's movement is restricted by the same rule; the bishop can not be moved since the move would let black capture the white king in his next move. The white king on the other hand may move to any of the adjacent squares.

a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black rookf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 white bishopf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 white kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Bishop may not move


Special Moves

Pawn Promotion

If a pawn makes it to one of the eight squares along the far edge of the board from their initial position, the pawn is "promoted". Upon reaching the far rank the player exchanges the pawn with either a queen, a rook, a bishop, or a knight. The player's move ends when the new piece occupies the promoted square.

The new piece need not be a previously captured piece. Thus a player can have more than one queen, and more than two rooks, bishops or knights on the board. The player may never have more than one king, since the pawn can not be promoted to a king. In theory it is possible to get up to nine queens, or ten rooks, bishops or knights since there are eight pawns to promote. In practice however the pawn is usually promoted to a queen, since it is the most powerful piece, and it is rare for a player to have more than two queens on the board. If an extra queen is not at hand, an upside-down rook is usually used as a substitute.

a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 crossf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 white pawnf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Pawn promotion - before move
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 white queenf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 black kingg2 black kingh2 black king2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 black kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
Pawn promotion - after move

Castling

Kingside castling: O-O
Queenside castling: O-O-O

Castling is a move involving the king and either of the rooks. Castling performed with the king's rook is called kingside castling, performed with the queen's rook is called queenside castling. A castling is typically done to move the king to a protective 'castle' surrounded by three pawns and a rook.

Subject to restrictions detailed below, a player may move his king two squares towards the rook, and subsequently, on the same turn, move the rook adjacent to but on the opposite side of the king, (onto the square over which the king has just passed).

The restrictions specific to castling are:

  1. Neither the king nor the participating rook may have moved previously in the game
  2. The king must not be in check at the start of the move, though it may have been in check previously in the game.
  3. The square over which the king passes must not be under attack ('in check') from an enemy piece. (This would expose the king to a "check" in passing.) The rook(s) may be under attack, or the queens' rooks may pass through an attacked queens' knight square.
  4. The king must not be in check at the end of the move. (Also applies to all normal moves.)
  5. The squares between the king and rook must be vacant.

The diagrams below show examples of positions where castling is not legal.

a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black rookf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawn2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 white kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 white rook1
a b c d e f g h
King in check before move
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black bishopc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 black kingg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 black kingb2 black kingc2 black kingd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawn2
1a1 black kingb1 black kingc1 black kingd1 black kinge1 white kingf1 crossg1 black kingh1 white rook1
a b c d e f g h
King passing attacked square
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black kingb8 black kingc8 black kingd8 black kinge8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black king8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black kingd7 black kinge7 black kingf7 black kingg7 black kingh7 black king7
6a6 black kingb6 black kingc6 black kingd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black kingg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black kingf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 black kingf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black king