Chess is a game played by two people, and on the one hand, it is simple, but on the other, it is incredibly difficult. The history of chess has about one and a half thousand years, the game came to us from India, but at the same time it was modernized by European players – the basic rules of modern chess, known as “classical”, developed by the 15th century, and finally by the 19th century, when international chess tournaments became regular.

The game is played on a board divided into 64 cells of two colors (they are conditionally called black and white, although the chess field is often made light brown and dark brown), the size of the board is 8×8 cells. The vertical rows of cells are marked with Latin letters from a to h (they can be seen at the bottom of the board), and the horizontal rows are marked with numbers from 1 to 8 (they are located to the right and left of the rows of cells). For the game, the board is positioned so that the extreme corner field to the right of the player is white.

Each player before the start of the game has the same set of 16 pieces – one is conditionally white, the other is conditionally black. Moreover, the players themselves are called the same – “white” and “black” – depending on the color of the selected pieces. The first move is made by “whites”, but who will play with what pieces is determined by a draw.

Each player has 16 pieces, but there are only six varieties of these pieces: a pawn (8 pieces), a knight (2), a rook (2), a bishop (2) and one queen and one king each. Chess pieces are also divided into classifications: a knight and a bishop are light pieces, a rook and a queen are heavy pieces, a king is the most valuable, but is classified as heavy or light, a pawn is not so valuable, but also by itself, is not classified in any way.

Moves vertically forward one square. The exception is the first move in the game – in this case, it can make a move two fields forward. The only piece that has a difference between a normal move and a move with the capture of a piece – the second option is possible only diagonally with forward movement. The pawn is easy to recognize by its smallest size, it is considered the weakest, but it is capable of a surprise: according to the rules, if a pawn reaches the opposite end of the board during the game, it turns into any piece as the player wishes (usually, into a queen). There are a lot of pawns – 8 pieces each – and they are extremely important in defensive operations, acting as a kind of “cannon fodder”.

Moves with the Russian letter “G” or the English “L” forward, sideways or back, always falling into a field of a different color: two cells in one direction and one in the other, but not diagonally. Moreover, during the move, he can ignore both his own and other people’s pieces – literally jump over them. It is not difficult to find it among chess pieces – it is usually done with a horse’s head.


This piece is not limited in the number of squares it can look like, but moves only diagonally. Also, like a knight, it can ignore its own and opponent’s pieces during the move, stepping over them. Each elephant stands on a field of the same color and moves only along it throughout the game. In the hierarchy of figures below the king and queen, you can recognize the figure on the board by the drop-shaped upper part, which stylistically reproduces the attire of Catholic bishops – that is why the bishop is called in English, and the figure is also often called “officer”.

It walks, like an elephant, on an unlimited number of fields, but only forward, backward and sideways. Usually it looks like a fortress or siege tower, in old Russian chess it was made in the form of a ship (rook), hence the name, but in English it is just called “tour” (tower). The rook takes part in castling – a chess move when the rook horizontally changes places with the king.

The second in the hierarchy and the strongest figure in the game plan, because it walks as it wants – in the direction and number of cells is not limited. Outwardly, the figure looks like a king, but with a small pom-pom ball on top. About a hundred years ago in Russia, the queen was called the “queen”.

The most valuable piece, the mere threat to lose the king, which cannot be eliminated in any way, means “checkmate”, that is, the end of the game. If the threat can be eliminated – for example, to cover the king with another piece or move it to the cell where nothing threatens him, then such a chess situation is called “check”. And one more situation is worthy of attention – “stalemate”: this is when the king is not able to “check”, but there is no way to make a move, since all the free fields are under the threat of an opponent’s blow. The king moves one square in any direction. It is easy to recognize on the board – the king is higher than all other pieces.

So, as they say, all the moves are recorded – it remains only to sit down, start playing and find out how diverse, interesting and deep chess can be.


By Yara

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