What is Chess?

Chess is a strategic board game played between two players on an 8×8 board. The goal of chess is to checkmate your opponent’s king by attacking it so it cannot escape capture, using six distinct pieces that each move differently.

Pawns typically move one square per turn, except on their first move when they can make two movements at once. Landing on enemy pieces allows pawns to capture them – provided it is undefended.

Game rules

Chess is a classic board game played between two opponents on a checkered board using specially designed pieces in two colors (typically white and black) of different hues, which must abide by strict rules to force the opponent’s main piece, the king, into checkmate. Beginners may find its rules easy to learn but with experience comes more intricate rules such as touch-move requirements often seen at tournaments or variants such as touch-move rules requiring that once touched by another player a piece must take legal action or risk being returned.

Starting the game off right, each player places a pawn on the second rank closest to them and moves only forwards; backwards or diagonally are not permitted. Once it reaches its row end it is promoted into one of three pieces – usually rook, knight or bishop – and follows their rules of movement accordingly.

Players cannot move their pieces through other pieces of the same color except when castingling (described below). A pawn’s initial move is to advance one space; its second step allows it to capture pieces differently (also detailed below). A pawn may only capture an opponent if there is an unoccupied square directly ahead of it.

A game continues until either one player’s king has been checkmated, mutual agreement between players leads to a draw agreement or the time control reaches zero; or one or both players resign before this occurs; it can also reach “dead” position where neither can checkmate their opponent’s king within any sequence of legal moves, leading to a tie result.


Chess pieces are arranged into rows and columns on a board, with each piece assigned its own color, and players alternate taking turns moving their pieces around on it. Players cannot move pieces into identical positions to those already held by an opponent, nor take possession of captured pieces that have already been captured by someone else.

Pawns (White on the left, Black on the right) begin the game on the second rank in front of all other pieces, moving two squares forward on their initial move or one square forward each successive turn. Additionally, they may capture enemy pieces on diagonal squares adjacent to them via “en passant” capture maneuver.

Bishops (Blue f1 bishop, White c8 bishop) can move either vertically or horizontally and can capture opponent bishops or knights along a straight line, as well as leap over opposing pawns if necessary – this action is known as “jumping.” Knights (Red f1, Blue c6) are more aggressive pieces, capable of moving in circles around other pieces while capturing them along their journey.

Queen (White or Black): As the most powerful piece, the queen has the potential to move in any direction, whether horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, killing opponent pieces that come within her range of movement and scoring nine points herself. Therefore it must be protected at all costs.

In July 2002, an ivory chess piece measuring less than 2 inches was discovered at Butrint, Albania and believed to be the oldest known. Dated 465 AD, this ivory piece may have formed part of an ensemble containing chariots, viziers and horses.


A king moves one square in any direction – horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. It can also use castling – an important move which involves moving two squares towards a rook before jumping over it – to gain more safety while making play more active for both pieces. Castling is essential to winning this game because it gives more protection to both pieces while increasing competition between them.

If you are uncertain whether castle is appropriate, an online chess engine can help you figure it out by showing if your king is at risk and offering solutions that may work. Plus, it allows you to run reports to see how the computer analyzes each position!

Not to be overlooked is that the king is also protected by rooks which cannot be attacked while on its home row or check, an especially useful protection if attacking an opponent’s king from the center of the board.

To avoid checkmating, castle early to move your king into safer territory. Use our free online chess engine to simulate different scenarios and determine the most optimal solution.

If you prefer more hands-on practice, why not give mobile chess a try? Apps on smartphones and tablets provide numerous features including virtual boards and real time clocks, and you can play either against an opponent directly or against the computer opponent. Once comfortable playing on your device, move pieces around by shifting or promoting pawns – these pieces may seem weak but with enough promotion they become powerful pieces!


Checkmating occurs when a player places his or her opponent’s king into an invincible position from which it cannot escape – this results in a win for that player and ends the game immediately. Conversely, checkmate can also occur when one’s own king can no longer escape; this situation is known as stalemate and in either instance forces either player’s resignation or runs out of time before play can resume.

Discovering how to checkmate an opponent can be an effective strategy for winning chess games. By recognizing patterns across many matches, it becomes simple to develop an arsenal of checkmate moves which will surprise and defeat your opponents and secure victories for you.

One of the easiest ways to checkmate an opponent is by seizing their queen. You can do this by placing your pawn on any square that adjoins their queen and moving your bishop onto square e4 with it – opening avenues of attack against their king while simultaneously protecting your queen.

Checkmate can also be achieved quickly using legal traps, which involve positioning bishops and rooks so as to block the opponent’s king movement. It is one of the quickest methods of checkmate, often combined with other tactics for more complex checkmate patterns such as Scholar’s Mate, Shepherd’s Mate, Barber’s Mate or Napoleon’s Plan.

Mastering these checkmate moves can be entertaining and useful, but it’s essential to remember that chess is a game of strategy and patience. Employing quick checkmate strategies as surprise weapons is one thing; developing an in-depth knowledge of openings, middlegame tactics, and endgame principles to become a strong chess player requires more.


Chess strategy refers to the aspect of chess play concerned with evaluating a position and planning long-term goals. This involves studying positions, devising plans, determining which moves are optimal and finding weaknesses within positions so you can attack them before your opponent does. Important components of chess strategy are material count, piece activity, pawn structure and space usage.

To improve your chess strategy, it is crucial that your pieces develop efficiently and fight for the center. This begins with opening moves and continues throughout the game as each piece should aim towards the center. When you can control this area of play, your options for attack and defense increase significantly; bishops should avoid blocking central squares while being strategically placed along open diagonals where they can strike at your opponent’s weak points.

One of the most essential steps you can take when playing chess is ensuring your pawns remain mobile. Though they may seem inconsequential at first glance, their movements have an enormous effect on the game. It is easy to forget they only move limitedly – pawns must never become caught in traps otherwise you risk losing!

Checkmating your opponent’s king is the objective of this classic board game, which you can accomplish any number of ways. But it could also end in a draw if neither player can use legal moves available to them to win; this phenomenon is known as dead drawing and can happen due to exchanged pieces, poor pawn structures or limited space on the board.