Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Chess - How To Move The Pieces

Chess - How To Move The Pieces

Now that you have a general idea of the object of the game and the pieces involved, the next step is to learn how to move these pieces around the chess board. Learning how to move the chess pieces is actually not very difficult. Learning how to move them strategically is another thing altogether. Strategic movement will be covered in another article. For now we'll just concern ourselves with moving them legally.

Starting with the lowest ranked piece and moving up, we have the pawn. Pawn's move one square at a time with one exception. On the first move for each individual pawn, that piece may move 2 squares. After its first move it can only move one square at a time. Pawns have a special ability that no other piece has. If it should happen to make its way to the other end of the board it can be promoted to any piece that the player chooses. Sometimes being just a pawn ahead can mean the difference between winning and losing.

One of the strangest moving pieces in the game of chess is the knight. The knight is the only piece in the game that doesn't move in a straight line in some direction. The knights moves are in what they call an L shape. The movement is a total of 3 squares, which can either be 2 squares to the left, right, front or back and 1 square either left or right or front or back afterwards, or 1 square to the left, right, front or back and 2 squares either left or right or front or back. One thing the knight cannot do is retrace its steps. If it goes 2 squares forward it cannot then go 1 square back. Also, the knight cannot go 3 squares in one straight direction. After moving its first 2 squares it must then turn either left or right, if moving forward or backward, or it must go forward or backward if it moved to the right or left. If it sounds confusing, don't worry. You'll get the hang of it fast.

The bishop is easy to follow. Bishops move on diagonals. One bishop starts on the red squares and the other bishop starts on the black squares. So whichever color the bishop starts on, it must stay on that color for the entire game. Bishops can move any number of squares in a turn as long as they don't run off the board.

Rooks are also very easy to follow. Rooks move either forward or backward or left or right. Rooks can also move any number of spaces. The only way a rook can't move is diagonally. Rooks also have a special move with the king which is called castling. Rooks, which are placed at the far left and right of the board in the rear row (we'll go over piece placement later) can move in conjunction with the king to castle provided that the king and the rook you want to move has not already been moved in the game and there are no pieces between them. To easily remember how to castle, simply do the following. To castle king side, move the king all the to the left of the rook on the king side and then place the rook to the left of the king after you have moved the king. To castle queen side, you move the king 2 squares to the left and then move the rook to the right of the king that you just moved.

The final piece is the queen. The queen can move diagonally like the bishops or forward and backward or right and left like the rooks. In other words, the queen can move any way possible except in a knight movement. Queens are the most powerful piece in the game as these moves should show.

Now that you know how the pieces move it's time to get into more advanced instruction. That's coming in our next instalment.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Chess


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello...good post and article.happy know with you from indonesian chesslovers.thanks

4:24 PM  

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