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How to Play Chess

 

Chess is a fascinating and challenging board game, invented thousands of years ago. Throughout its long history, chess has earned great respect and is considered to be the "king" of board games. Today, it stills attracts people from all over the world, regardless of their age. Chess is captivating because it allows players to put their technique, experience and inspiration into the game.

You can have many hours of pleasure to go along with fair intellectual progress, since chess is known to improve analytical thinking, creativity and judgment. In the past, chess was mainly played by courtiers; today everybody may enjoy this privilege. Several well-known personalities were also famous for their chess skills. Napoleon, Nikola Tesla, Charlie Chaplin and Einstein were among them. But don't be intimidated--the rules of chess are easy to learn.

All you need to start playing chess is the chessboard and the chess pieces (you need absolutely nothing if you wish to play chess online). Your goal is simple: trap the enemy King. The chessboard is a 8 x 8 board with alternating black and white squares. There are 32 chess pieces are in total; 16 white pieces and their 16 black counterparts. One player owns the white pieces (we call this player WHITE) and his opponent (BLACK) gets the black ones. The 16 pieces are the King, the Queen, two Rooks, two Bishops, two Knights and eight Pawns.

When the game starts these pieces are placed in their initial positions, which are predefined. This initial arrangement is as follows: each player has his own pieces positioned along the two ranks (rows) of the board that are closest to him. All 8 pawns are placed on the innermost rank of the two. The rest of the pieces are placed in the outermost rank in the following order : Rook, Knight, Bishop, Queen, King, Bishop, Knight, Rook. This order is from left to right for WHITE and from right to left for BLACK, so that same pieces are opposed on each file (columns) of the board.

Chess Positions

Chess players invented a notation to facilitate descriptions of chess positions, known as 'algebraic chess notation' (there is also the descriptive notation, which is quite obsolete). It is particularly easy to learn and helps us quickly identify squares and pieces on the board. It works like this: viewing from WHITE's perspective, the leftmost file is named 'a', the next one is named 'b' and so on until we reach the rightmost file, which is file 'h'. Moreover, the rank that is closest to WHITE is 'rank 1', or the first rank. Next comes 'rank 2' (the second rank) and so on until we get to the eighth rank, which is the rank closest to BLACK.

Now that we have appropriately named the ranks and the files, we may identify a square by looking up the rank and the file to which it belongs. Thus, still viewing from WHITE's side, the bottom left square is the square 'a1', since it belongs to file a and to the first rank. Its adjacent squares are 'b1' on the right and 'a2' just above it. So, using chess notation, the initial positions of the pieces are: the white pawns are placed on squares a2 through h2, while the black ones are placed on squares a7 through h7; the white rooks are placed on a1 and h1 and the black ones on a8 and h8; the white knights are placed on b1 and g1 and the black ones on b8 and g8; the white bishops are placed on c1 and f1 and the black ones on c8 and f8; the white queen is placed on d1 and the black queen on d8; finally the white king is placed on e1 and the black king on e8. Note that the chessboard should be so placed that the a1 square is black.

 

 

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