How to play chess the rules and basics

Many know how to play checkers, fewer people know how to play chess. Or at least they know how to play well and usually do it. Chess, in fact, not only a simple game, but almost a  philosophy , which demands a rigid strategy to anticipate the opponent’s moves and “overwhelm” him.  There are not many rules to be learned per  but a lot of practice is needed  to be aware and ready at the moment of action.The game of chess has elements for the chessboard and pieces.

The chessboard is made up of 64 squares, alternately white and black, arranged in such a way as to form a square plane of eight squares per side in which each square is adjacent to one of the opposite color. It is customary to imagine the chessboard divided into eight vertical columns and eight horizontal crosspieces. The chess pieces are 16 in one color (generally white) and 16 in the opposite color (generally black). For each of the two colors there are a King, a Queen, two Towers, two Horses, two Standard bearers and eight pawns.

Initial arrangement of the pieces on the chessboard.

By convention, the chessboard is arranged in such a way that each of the two players has a white box on their right. The pawns of each color occupy, in relation to the players, the second crossbar, while the remaining pieces the first. Given the mirror symmetry of the two sides, we can distinguish on the chessboard the side of King from that of Queen or Woman. Conventionally,the Woman white is on a white box, while the black one is on a black box. 

The movement of the pieces.

The king.

He can move only one square at a time in any of the eight allowed directions on the board to go to occupy a square free or occupied by an opposing piece replacing it. It cannot occupy free squares that are immediately adjacent to the opposing King, nor squares that are under the dominion of opposing pieces. 

Queen o Woman.

It can move an indefinite number of squares in any of the eight possible directions passing only through free squares, ending its path by stopping on a free square or on one occupied by an opposing piece replacing it.

The two standard bearers.

At the beginning of the game, each player has two bishops: one placed on a white box and one placed on a black box. Each standard bearer can move an indefinite number of squares in any of the four oblique directions, passing only through free squares and stopping either on a free square or on a square occupied by an opposing piece replacing it. This shows that the bishop on a white box remains on a white box for the duration of his stay on the chessboard, just as the one on a black box remains on a black box. This is why it is customary to distinguish the Standard bearers in: Light field standard bearer, dominating the white boxes; and Bishop darkfield dominating the black boxes.


The two horses.

The movement of the Horse is not linear like the others. In fact, it is customary to say that the horse moves to L. More precisely, the Horse can jump from one square to another located at the opposite corner of a rectangle of 2×3 squares. Starting from a central square on the board the Horse has eight squares to go on, starting from a square on the edges of the board the squares to go on are fewer.The box on which the Horse is going to rest must be empty or occupied by an opposing piece, in this case the horse occupies the place of the opposing piece, while it does not matter what the intermediate boxes between its starting and finishing square contain.

The two Towers.

Towerit can move an indefinite number of squares in a straight line up, down, left or right. It can only pass through free squares and must end its path on an empty square or occupied by an opposing piece by replacing it.

The eight pedestrians.

Each pawn can move one square forward to land on a free square: white pawns towards the black side; the black ones towards the array of white; however, when he moves for the first time he can advance at the choice of the player, by one or two squares, provided that none of the squares on which he moves is occupied. See Fig. Above. The pawn can also move obliquely to his left or to his right by one square in the direction of its own direction of travel, only when it occupies a square in which an opposing piece is located, replacing it.


See figure below.

In addition, the pawn is the only piece that can enjoy the promotion. In fact, when the pawn reaches the fight and the last square of his vertical is replaced with a piece chosen by the player who has succeeded in the task: with a queen, a tower, a horse or a standard bearer, but never with a king.

Special movements.

“En passant” socket.

If from the initial position a player moves his pawn two steps going alongside an opposing pawn placed in the adjacent column , as in the figure above , the opponent has the right … (only for the next next move) to take the Pedestrian in the usual way, that is, diagonally, as if the Pedestrian had advanced only one step. See Figure Below.


The Arrocco.

The castling is a combined movement of kings and rooks that can be done only once during a game and only if the following conditions are met:

  1. The King etower with which it is intended to castling have not yet been moved;
  2. The intermediate boxes between King and Tower are free;
  3. The King does not move, nor does he move, on squares threatened by opposing pieces;
  4. The King is not in check when it is decided to cast a castling.

There are two types of castling: the Arrocco Corto and the Arrocco Lungo, depending on whether the king is castling with the tower closest to him or farther away. In both cases the King moves two steps towards the edge of the board whiletowerit is placed on the square immediately beyond the King towards the center. In the figures below you can see the situation before the castling and after: in the specific case, white makes the castling short, black the castling long.




Action of the pieces and purpose of the game.

Arranged the pieces on the board as in fig. 1, by convention white makes the first move and then each of the two players takes turns taking one move at a time. When a player moves his piece onto a square occupied by an opposing piece, the opposing piece is “taken” and therefore is removed from the board. If a player moving a piece places it on a square from which it is possible to take the opponent’s king on the next move, the opponent’s king is said to be in check. The player who from Chess has the option to announce the Chess to the opponent by saying: << Chess to the King >>.

The player who suffers the check has three possibilities:

  1. move your King to a free space that is not threatened by enemy pieces;
  2. interpose a piece between your King and the one who is in check;
  3. take the piece that is in check;

if none of these choices is possible he is said to be in Checkmate and lose the game.

Cases of a draw game.

For Stallo.

There is a draw for a deadlock when a player has to move because it is his turn and he is not in a position to do so without putting his king in check.

For insufficient material.

There is a draw for insufficient material when it is evident and irrefutable that neither player has enough pieces to force the checkmate. Eg King against King, King and Bishop against King, King and Horse against King, King and two Horses against King etc.

Per perpetual check.

There is a draw for perpetual check when a king is repeatedly checked and there is no possibility of avoiding check.

By position repetition.

There is a draw for position repetition when a position is repeated three times with the stroke to the same player. In this case the player with the stretch must ask for the draw by indicating to the referee the move that repeats the position before even executing it.

By agreement between the players.

Unfortunately, it often happens to see “games” like this: White says to black: << Patta? >> and Black: << Patta! >>. These cards are made by “players” who in my opinion do not really like to play checkered and abusing this rule.

For the 50 move rule.

There is a draw for the 50 move rule in the event that within 50 moves there is no change of position: that is, no capture and no pawn advance on both sides. This rule was introduced to protect the player from “players” who hope to win even games that are impossible to win by insisting on moving the pieces back and forth without reaching any result, in the hope that the opponent will be wrong.


Algebraic notation Abbreviated.

To keep the games played, different systems of transcription of the moves have been devised: the most common is that of “Abbreviated Algebraic Notation”. Considering the chessboard from the point of view of white, this notation consists in assigning to each column from left to right the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and in numbering the crossbars from the bottom to the l high with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

In this way, each box is identified by one and only one letter – number pair. See figure above.

Each move played is accompanied by the following symbols:

R King
D Woman or Queen
TO Bishop
C Horse
T Tower
P Pedestrian
oo Short castling
ooo Long castling
+ Scacco
++ Double check
# Check mate
= D Promotion of a pawn to Regina
! Good move
!! Excellent move
? Weak move
?? Wrong move
ep En Passant socket
= Even position
+ – White is better
– + Black is better

In addition, the following rules must be kept in mind when transcribing moves:

  • For pedestrians just indicate the arrival box. For example, considering the figure above , the writing: 1. e4 indicates the movement of the white pawn from e2 to e4 at the first move.
  • The movement of the pieces is indicated by the symbol of the piece that precedes the indication of the box in which it is placed. For example, considering figure 1, the writing 1. Cf3 indicates the movement of the white horse from box g1 to box f3 on the first move.
  • When two identical pieces can move on the same square, the starting square of the piece that moves to avoid misunderstandings is also indicated.
  • Each grip or change is expressed with the X sign .

The chess “bag”.

Considering the value of the pawn as a unit of measurement, the pieces have the following value:

– Horse = 3

– Standard Bearer = 3.15

– Tower = 5

– Woman = 9

– Re = invaluable


These values ​​are purely indicative as the value of a piece depends both on its position and on the phase of the game.


Decalogue of the good Player

  • Never underestimate your opponent: pretend yours is Kasparov (but don’t run away)
  • Concentration is the basis of the game of chess therefore silence is indispensable.
  • Smoking is bad for the health of non-smokers, so smoking is prohibited during the game.
  • When two players are playing a game it is absolutely forbidden to suggest or comment on their moves.
  • Before moving a piece, check that your hand is connected to the brain.
  • The rule << piece touched piece moved >> is not optional.
  • A good chess player must always respect his opponent.
  • However hard the defeat can be, you have to lose with dignity otherwise the spirit of the game is betrayed.
  • Each game makes history in itself.
  • It improves by analyzing the lost games and not bragging about those won.

Elements of chess theory

Now that you have learned the rules of the game, you can finally play chess: But how do you win? Over the centuries many masters have tried to give an answer to this question by proposing each time the “own system”: a large chess theory was born that is constantly evolving. A comprehensive exposition of the evolution of chess theory goes far beyond my skills and the same purpose as this booklet. Therefore I will limit myself to expounding some general principles that can help the amateur, like me, to achieve some victory.

The match checkered is usually divided into

  •  Opening
  •  Mediogioco
  •  Final.

This division is made mainly for teaching convenience and the limit between the aforementioned three phases cannot be defined exactly: it will be the experience that will make you understand in which phase of the game you are. So let’s consider the above steps in detail:


The opening

The first moves of a chess game serve to mobilize your pieces. Several manuals indicate general principles on how to play open well, without considering that these principles are not absolute. In other words, I believe that the first principle that must always be kept in mind during a chess game is the following:

Each rule has exceptions.

So never apply the general principles of openness that follow unless you have carefully assessed the contingent situation first. Keeping in mind the above, here are some principles to start a chess game well:

  •  Try to occupy and / or control the center of the board with your pieces: who dominates the houses E4, E5, D4, D5 has already gained a significant advantage;
  •  Mobilize your pieces as soon as possible in the most effective houses by avoiding moving the same piece several times and launching yourself in a premature attack: when you start a football game if you shoot on goal from the center of the field instead of scoring, pass the ball to the Opposing team;
  •  Limit the moves of the pedestrians to those strictly necessary to allow the harmonious development of your pieces: the pedestrians are the bones on which the muscles of the pieces rest, without an integral bone structure the muscles are of little use;
  •  Try to castle as soon as possible: with castling you not only secure your King, but you also develop a tower.
  •  Avoid nailing: a nailed figure is as harmless as a tiger locked in a cage;
  •  First develops the Horses and Standard bearers, then the Towers andthe Woman : soldiers and cavalry advance first in war;
  •  Understanding your opponent’s plan is as important as developing your own: your plan must be flexible, that is, adapted to the circumstances, otherwise it will be easily broken by your opponent and lead to defeat.


The Mediogioco.

Middle game or middle game means the phase of the game that starts after the pieces have been placed on the pitch. Hence it is characterized by many developed pieces among which it is included as wellthe Woman.

The aim of the game is to obtain the maximum advantage from the pieces developed in order to pass to an advantageous final.

The tracks on which the “train” of the middle game runs are the Strategy is tactics.

The strategyit is the long-term plan that each player imagines to win the battle. For example, conquering the center of the board, placing a tower on an open column, avoiding dubbed pedestrians are all strategic plans that the player implements knowing that even if they do not involve an immediate advantage, they will prove him right in the long run.

The tacticit is the art of discovering combinations. So its basis is the short-term calculation: for example the gain of material or the gain of quality (change a standard bearer or horse figure with a tower). From the above it is clear why the current computers are excellent tactics and mediocre strategists: in fact their game is based only on the pure calculation of the variants of a position and not on strategic concepts.

However it would be a mistake to consider the Strategy is tacticsas two separate units, as I have already said, they are two tracks that run parallel and on which the same train travels. In fact, a just strategy is not enough to win a game: the glance, the opportunism, the ability to find combinations in a wordtactics it is essential to achieve victory!

To improve your tactical skills you need to study the standard mechanism of numerous combinations. For this reason I recommend understanding (and not learning by heart) the ideas that underlie the combinations of the games that are studied.


The end.

Usually the Final of a chess game starts when there are few pieces left on the field and especially when the Women have left the scene. It is also customary to say that the ending begins when the King, who usually has a passive function during the game, begins to activate. In fact, in all the finals the King always plays the role of the first actor and his contribution becomes decisive and irreplaceable.

Some general rules for the Final are the following:

  •  In the Final you have to have “lead feet”.

In fact, if an error in the opening and a little less in the middle game can be remedied, whoever misses even one move in the final will face a sure defeat or missed victory. Remember: whoever makes the penultimate mistake wins! Therefore in the Final, before moving, it is necessary to evaluate more than ever the consequences of the move you are about to make, even the most banal and the simplest.

  •  When you have extra pawns, you must push your opponent to change any remaining pieces and not the pawns.
  •  Never place pedestrians on houses of the same color as your bishop’s field: if you are left with the bishop, put your pedestrians on black houses, otherwise you will limit the action of your bishop.
  •  Locate your Torre behind the passed pawn.
  •  Avoid dubbed pedestrians.


The other more technical rules are:

  •  The rule of the square
  •  The opposition
  •  The minus-maior rule
  •  The zugzwang
  • Triangulation

The rule of the square.

Let’s look at the diagram: can the black king who has the move prevent the promotion of the white pawn?

The answer it is yes and it is not necessary to do the calculation manually, just apply the rule of the square that says: if the opposing King is inside the imaginary square that has for its side the houses that are between the house of the pedestrian and his house of promotion including the houses of departure and promotion, then the pedestrian can be arrested.

1 … Re4! The King enters the square. And the rest is history. 2. a5 Rd5 3. a6 Rc6 4. a7 Rb7 5. a8 = D + Rxa8 It is necessary to be careful not to apply this rule if the pedestrian is in his initial position (in the second cross for whites and in the seventh for blacks) In fact in this case it must be remembered that it can move two steps at the first move and therefore escape the rule and capture.


The opposition

This rule can be considered the fundamental principle of the Finals of Kings and pawns:

  •  When the two Kings are facing each other and one of the two can prevent the other from passing and / or has the possibility to pass if it suits him, he is said to have the opposition.

To know which of the two kings in the example has the opposition, just apply this general principle:

  •  When the two Kings are facing each other and the number of houses placed between them is equal, the King who has the trait has the opposition. On the other hand, when the number of houses is odd, the king who has no trait has the opposition.


Considering the example in diagram 1. Re3! Re6 2. Re4 !! opposition 2. … Rd6 3. Rd4 Rc6 4. Re5 Rc7 5. Rf5 Rc8 6. Rg5 Rd7 7. Rxh5 Re7 8. Rg5 Rf7 9. Rf5 Re7 10. h5 Rf7 11. Re5 Re7 12. Rd5 Rf6 13. Rc5 Rg5 14. Rxb5 Rxh5 + –


The Minus-Maior rule

This rule occurs in pedestrian finals, when a minor force stops a major force. In the example, the white pawn can block the two black pawns by playing … 1. b4 !! leading to a tie in the otherwise lost game.

It would have been a serious mistake to play 1.Rc3 ?? black would have won with a5! 2. Rd3 a4 3. Rc3 Rc5 4. Rd2 Rb4 5. Rc2 a3 6. Rb1 Rb3 7. bxa3 Rxa3 8. Rc2 b4 9. Rb1 Rb3! Opposition 10. Rc1 Ra2 11. Rd2 b3 and the promotion cannot be prevented .


Zugzwang occurs when the obligation to move leads one of the parties to defeat. In the position considered black, having to move and face certain defeat: 1. … Ra7 [1. … Rc7 2. b6 + Rb8 3. Rb5 Rb7 4. Rxa5 Rc6 5. Ra6] 2. Rc6 Rb8 3. Rb6 Rc8 4. Ra7 Rd7 5. b6 1-0


No, don’t go wrong, it’s the same position we saw with the zugzwang rule, only now it’s up to white to move: what must he do to win? We have seen that if it were up to black to move, white would win the game so this is the way forward.

To this end, the rule of Triangulation comes to our aid: The King uses a triangular path that makes him waste time since the opponent cannot take the same path. In the case of the example we have: 1. Rd5 Rc7 2. Re6 Rb6 The black king cannot carry out triangulation because he has the house c6 inaccessible. The white king carries out the triangulation and settles on .. 3. Rd6 Rb7 4. Rc5 Returning to the starting position with the huge difference that now moves the black!

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment