“The game of chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it… Life is a kind of chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with.” -Benjamin Franklin

Learning how to play chess should be at the top of your learning list. Why's that? Chess is not only a fun hobby to play with your friends or by yourself, but it is also a fantastic game for acquiring transferrable skills that can be used in other aspects of life.

For instance, through the acquisition of chess, skills such as problem-solving, strategic thinking, patience, creativity, and sportsmanship conduct. Also, it is essential to state that since you play against an opponent, through game matches, you learn how to read your competitor, and you try to put yourself in their shoes and correctly determine how they think and feel.

Who knew that human compassion and the thorough understanding of persons could be acquired through playing chess! 

To encourage as many people as possible to learn chess, in today's article, we have provided some of the essential rules of chess and how they can be implemented to win matches and enjoy one of the world's oldest games.

The Rules of Chess Explained

getting a chessboard
Setting up a chessboard correctly is the first rule that novice chess players should learn. (Source: Unsplash)

Outlined, organised, and enforced by the FIDE, or the World Chess Federation, the rules of chess are varied, and a beginner must learn the ins and outs of the game to play effectively. The FIDE attempts to protect the rules of chess and ensure that they are kept the same in every country.

But what are the specific rules of chess that a person needs to follow carefully? Without further delay, we shall consider the rules of chess in the order that amateur players should learn them.

Setting Up the Board

To play chess correctly, the board must be set up according to the rules. To do so, a player must make sure that the chessboard must be laid out so that both players see the white colour square on the bottom right-hand side. The chess pieces are placed on the first two ranks in the following order:

  • The eight pawns are placed on the second row,
  • The two rooks are placed in the corners of the board,
  • The two knights are placed beside the rooks,
  • The two bishops go beside the knights,
  • The queen goes on her matching colour (black or white square),
  • The king is placed next to the queen on the last remaining court.

The following list shows where each piece is placed and lets beginner chess players know how many pieces there are.

Identifying the Special Rules of Play

Like almost all games, chess has a few rules that might not seem logical initially, but in reality, they were implemented to make the game much more exciting and fun. By knowing the extraordinary powers of play, you enhance your chances of winning important matches. The following are three essential rules that are unique and should be studied in more detail:

  • Castling, 
  • En Passant,
  • Pawn Promotion.

End of Game Rules

The final steps of a game are usually completed with a check and checkmate, which we will discuss in further detail in the following subheadings; however, there are some alternative methods to finish a chess match that beginner players might not know. Such as? The following list features a few additional end game rules:

  • Resigning,
  • Dead Position, 
  • Draw, 
  • Flag-Fall.

Additional details about each of the previously mentioned aspects can be discovered by clicking this link.

winning or losing
The rules of chess slightly differ depending on if you are playing for fun or professional competitions. (Source: Unsplash)

It is essential to state that the previously mentioned rules are designed for private chess games among friends and family. Chess rules are slightly modified when played at a level of significant competition. For instance, there are slight adjustments to the following rules:

  • Movement of the pieces,
  • Touch-move rule, 
  • Timing each match, 
  • Recording moves, 
  • Specific Irregularities, 
  • Conduct Amongst Competitors. 

Also, did you notice how we didn't cover the rules of how each chess piece moves, how pieces are captured, and the laws of a checkmate? Well, that's because we're going to consider those rules in-depth with more detail in the following subheadings!

How Chess Pieces Move

A chessboard with its pieces isn't simply a relic to observe. Rather a chessboard begs to be played, and the pieces wish to move across the board to pronounce you victorious against your competitors.

There are six types of pieces in the game of chess, and they are the following:

  • Pawn: there are eight pawns on a chessboard, and they have a numerical value of one,
  • Bishop: each competitor begins with two bishops, and they possess a value of three points,
  • Knight: there are two knights and, like the bishop, they have a total value of three points,
  • Rook: known as a significant chess piece, the rook is worth of total of five points, and there are two at the start of the game,
  • King: the king needs to be protected throughout the game so that there isn't a checkmate against you; however, the king has no significant numerical value.
  • Queen: the essential chess piece of them all is the queen; she is worth nine points and must be protected at all times.

Now that we better comprehend each piece's numerical value and quantity on the chessboard, it is essential to state that each piece uniquely moves across the board. Let's take a look!

Moving a Pawn

Pawns are the least powerful, yet they move in strange ways. For instance, a pawn moves forward on the board yet captures other pieces diagonally. On their first move, pawns may move two squares; however, they may only move one square at a time after that.

How to Move a Knight

The knight is original and is the only chess piece that can move over other pieces. Also, knights move ahead two squares in one direction and, after moving their two spaces, they move ahead one more square, kind of like an "L" at a 90-degree angle.

Positioning a Bishop

The bishop can move ahead as many spaces as it pleases, yet there are some exceptions. Such as? The bishop must only move ahead diagonally, and it must only move on the colour of squares it started from.

Moving a Rook

Since there are two rooks, they are best played together to compensate for their weaknesses. Rooks can move ahead forwards, backwards, and sides. Also, as far as the player wishes.

How to Move a King

The king is a critical piece because if it is trapped, it means the game; however, it does not boast any specific movements and can only move ahead one square at a time.

Moving the Queen

The queen can move ahead in any straight direction, forward, sideways, backwards or diagonally. The queen must never move through her pieces, and although she is mighty, she can only place once before waiting until the next turn.

Capturing Pieces and Getting Checkmate

pieces, pawns, and bishops
Your goal should be simple from the beginning of the game: to trap the opponent's king. (Source: Unsplash)

Before embarking on the adventure of learning chess, there may be some vocabulary words that are unknown to beginner players. Such as? For instance, the terms capturing, check, and checkmate might seem strange since they aren't used in everyday conversation.

The first word that was previously mentioned, "capture", must be learned from the beginning since it is the act of knocking down opponents and taking them off the chessboard. Capturing is done by both opponents and during many different times throughout a match to check closer to the king and trap him to get a checkmate.

Also, it is essential to state that to capture, one moves their chess pieces towards their opponent's piece, and they occupy their square. 

The following are some tips and tricks that greatly help first-time chess players capture their opponent's chess pieces more effectively:

  • Knowing the Rules of the Game: to become better at capturing and at chess in its entirety, you must know the rules that allow players to capture their opponents' pieces. A thorough understanding of how to catch other's pieces in chess can be learnt by reading books, watching Youtube videos, and looking at blog posts that touch on the subject.
  • Practising Regularly: to become better at chess, you must practice regularly. In the beginning stages of learning, we remarkably suggest taking the time every day to play against yourself, the computer, or a fellow chess enthusiast. By allowing time to hone your chess abilities, you will try out the different ways to capture chess pieces and be better prepared for competitive matches.
  • Ability to Identify Pieces: by knowing the moves and the numerical value of each chess piece, you will make wiser decisions when capturing a competitor's pieces since you recognise that trading a knight for a bishop is good common sense and that keeping your queen safe is the top priority. It is also essential to state that an intelligent chess player wants to capture as much or more value as their competitor when calculating the worth of pieces.

The previously mentioned pieces of advice are remarkable since they help novice chess players improve their gameplay. However, it is essential to state that to win, one must know how to check and beat with a checkmate.

For those who might not know, a check occurs when a competitor attacks the king with one of their pieces. After a check has been initiated, there are three legal moves that a player can do to get out of being checked. Nonetheless, if a competitor cannot move their king out of a check, a checkmate is initiated, and the game is automatically ended.

A checkmate marks the end of a chess match for both parties since one is claimed winner and the other a loser. No matter how poorly you might have played throughout the game, your primary objective should be a checkmate since that's how you win the game!

It's important to point out that there are various ways to play the game and get a checkmate. Beginners learn strategies about how to get checkmates by practising regularly or by reading informative resources about chess. The following are a few of the many potential checkmates chess players may complete:

  • Checkmate With Two-Rooks,
  • Checkmate With King And Queen,
  • Checkmate With King And One Rook,
  • Arabian Mate,
  • Fool's Mate,
  • Back Rank Mate,
  • Smothered Mate,
  • Anastasia's Mate,
  • Epaulet Mate,
  • Boden's Mate,
  • Opera Mate,
  • Blackburne's Mate,
  • Morphy's Mate.

As a way of concluding, it's important to mention that becoming a successful chess player is achieved by honing your skills, following the rules, and considerable practice. You don't have to be a genius to excel at chess. Instead, one must possess sincere dedication and time, which all of us have during this pandemic!

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