avlerchess Logo
_
pixel
chess stuff  Chess Store  Play  Forums 
pixel

Chess Tutorial Menu

Learn the Basics

Special Chess Moves

Learn Chess Notation

Chess Strategies

Back to Game Page


Check out the bookstore to learn chess from the pros!

Popular Titles:
Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess

Chess for Beginners (Fireside Chess Library)

Chess For Dummies


Need a gift? Check out Avler's chess sets!
Avler Chess Sets


How to Play Chess
This guide is meant to serve as a quick start guide for beginners that are new to the game. The basic principles and rules of the game are explained. Advanced tutorials and strategies are located in the strategy section.

Setting Up The Game

Chess is a game of strategy (and maybe luck) played against two people. Each player controls an army of sixteen pieces. The chess board consists of an 8x8 matrix of squares. One easy way to remember which way the board is set up is to remember the phrase "white on right." That means the lower right corner on your right should be the light color of the board. Another tip is that the king is placed on the opposite color box, so the black king would be placed on the white square. You can also remember the phrase "queen on her color". Everything else is pretty symmetric when placing the pieces on the board.

chess board setup

The Object Of The Game

The object of the game is to capture the opponents king. It is possible that the game may end with no king being captured, but those special cases will be explained later in the rules.


The Game Pieces

KING
Your king is the most important piece, but not the most powerful. The best bet is to keep the king protected. When the king is threatened by another piece, the king is said to be in "Check" and the player in danger must make his next move to free the king from the threat. The king can move in any direction by 1 square.
QUEEN
Your queen is the most powerful component of your army. Keep this piece well protected too, as any other piece would gladly sacrifice itself for the queen. The queen can move in all directions as many squares as she can.
BISHOP
The bishop moves in diagonals any amount of squares as long as the path is clear. Their movement restricts them to move on only one color of the chess board.
KNIGHT
The knight is a special because it is the only piece that can jump over other pieces. They must move exactly 3 squares and change directions exactly once per move. Their movement resembles a "L" shape.
ROOK
The rook is one of the more valuable pieces of chess. It can move in any strait line as many squares as the path is clear.
PAWN
You have eight pawns to start with. These are the least valuable pieces because they can only move in the forward direction and only capture pieces in the diagonal direction. They can only move one square per turn unless it is their first move in which they may move two squares.

Basic Rules

1. White moves first.
2. Only one piece may occupy a square at any given time.
3. A piece captures a piece when it moves onto a square occupied by the opponents piece.
4. When a pawn reaches the other side of the board, it is promoted to a any piece the player wishes. It is legal to have more than one queen too.
5. When a king is under attack (in Check), the player under attack must move to protect the king.
6. When a player is not in Check, but can not move because any move would lead to a Check, the game is "stalemated" and ends in a draw.
7. If a position is repeated three times, the game ends in a draw.
8. If no player has enough pieces to checkmate the opponent, the game ends in a draw.
9. If each player makes 50 moves without a pawn being moved, the game is a draw.
2001 Avler, All Rights Reserved.

Home | Help