New to Chess

How to Move the Pieces

How to Move the Pieces

Get to know the chess pieces and how to set up the board.

  • The King and the Goal

    Chess is an exciting game and easy to learn. It’s played on an 8x8 board with 64 squares and 32 pieces. The game is won by checkmating - trapping - the king. Although the king is the most important piece, it’s not the most powerful. The king can move to any square that’s directly next to it: up, down, sideways or diagonal.

    • 1 min
    • 5 challenges
  • The Queen

    The king is the most important piece in chess, but the queen is the most powerful. The queen can move forwards, backwards, sideways and diagonally like a king. However, unlike the king, the queen can move as far as it wants to in each of these directions. The only thing that the queen can’t do is jump over any pieces along the way.

    • 1 min
    • 5 challenges
  • The Rook

    The rook can move forwards, backwards and sideways like a queen. However, unlike the queen, the rook can't move diagonally.

    • 1 min
    • 5 challenges
  • The Bishop

    The bishop can move diagonally like a queen, but not forward, backwards or sideways. Each side starts with two bishops, one on a light square and one on a dark square.

    • 1 min
    • 5 challenges
  • The Knight

    The knight is the only chess piece that doesn't go in straight line. The knight moves two squares in one direction and then turns and goes one in another direction. For example, a knight could move up two and one to the left. The knight could also move two squares to the right and one square down. It always follows that two and then one pattern, which resembles an L. Another thing that makes the knight unique is that it's the only piece which is able to jump over other pieces.

    • 1 min
    • 5 challenges
  • The Pawn

    Typically pawns move one square forward each move. However, pawns have a couple of special features. A pawn can advance either one or two squares on its first move. Additionally pawns don't capture the way that they move. Pawns can only capture a piece that is one square diagonally ahead. Pawns are also the only piece that can only go forward.

    • 2 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Pawn Promotion

    When a pawn reaches the end of the board it promotes, which means it turns into another piece. You can promote to a knight, bishop, rook or queen. Since queens are the most powerful piece, that is by far the most common choice.

    • 1 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Setting Up the Board

    Now that you know how the pieces move, it's time to set up and start the game. Each player starts with a light square in the lower right hand corner. Rooks are placed in the corners, with knights next to them, followed by bishops. Kings and queens are placed in the center squares of the back rank with the queen on her own color. All White pawns start on the 2nd rank and all Black pawns start on the 7th rank.

    • 2 min
    • 8 challenges
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