When talk arises of tabletop games, chess is no doubt a classic. It has been there for centuries, yet it is quite popular and hugely fascinating to date.
A look into chess history will explain to you the importance of the game. The second book ever printed in the English Language was about chess.
Many consider it to be complicated, and it is; however, it is built on very straightforward foundations. But once you start, you might find learning how to play chess to be easier than you envisioned!
Playing chess is always fun and exhilarating. There are not many games out there that would teach you something new every time you play them.
Even after decades of playing chess, professional chess players admit that they are still learning new strategies because almost no two games are alike.
Initially, new players tend to play an all-out game of attacking chess. However, later on, they understand the subtle art and beauty of playing positional chess.
The game matures with you, and for many, it is responsible for enhancing their cognition and critical thinking capabilities.
When talking about learning how to play chess, the first thing that you should understand is the rules. Like any other game, chess also has some basic rules that make the game what it is.
Universal Rules Of Chess
The complexity and richness that we all have come to expect from chess are mainly due to its unique rules.
As is true for any field of competition, understanding and going through the rules is an excellent way to begin learning how to play chess.
Chess carries several exciting and diverse concepts, such as:
- Promoting your pawn to a piece of higher value
- Allowing pieces to jump over each other
- Navigating the game towards a stalemate by restricting the king to illegal moves
Knowing what is allowed and what isn’t is critical knowledge you need to have while learning how to play chess effectively.
All of this may sound complex or even bizarre to you; however, soon, all of these rules will become second nature to you.
It is rightly said that practice makes perfect, and learning how to play chess is no exception. The more you play, the more you would practice the rules and use them to your advantage in the game.
You can also learn to play chess online as there are multiple practice websites available to provide you with a real-time experience.
However, if you want to learn comprehensively, here is a guide on choosing a qualified chess instructor.
Setup And Arrangement Of The Chess Board
A chessboard has eight-by-eight squares, and it is measured as such, and it is played by two players. There are no exceptions to the number of players that can play a chess game.
The sixty-four squares present on the board have alternating colors between dark and light, though more commonly, it is black and white; however, there are specialty boards that use different light and dark colors.
When a chess board is set up correctly, the light/white square must be on the rightmost square beside the edge closest to both players.
The player pieces are lined up in two rows horizontally (most commonly called ranks) closest to both the players.
Additionally, the second row from the player’s side or the second rank comprises a line of eight pawns, with each of them placed on a single square.
The first rank is almost symmetrical; the castles or rooks are lined on the rightmost and leftmost corners. They are followed by the knights in the inner space next to the rooks and then bishops.
The king and the queen occupy the central squares, with the latter placed on the square that matches her color. In contrast, the king occupies the square next to the queen of the opposite color.
This arrangement means that both queens and kings face each other, creating a perfectly symmetrical setup amongst both players.
In a game of chess, the white/light player always makes the first move. The players take alternate turns until one player is defeated through a checkmate or they resign.
A stalemate/draw is also agreeable between the two players.
When using an optional timer for playing, like in tournaments, the first player who runs out of time forfeits the game.
And if you’re still a learner, these are some things you may want to keep in mind when learning.
Some Basic Rules Of Chess
There are also fundamental disciplines – independent from the rules mentioned above – that must be kept in mind when learning how to play chess.
When playing chess, both the players take a turn to make a single move. Choosing to skip a turn is not an option; therefore, the players must move a piece during their turn.
Each chess piece has a certain way it can be moved, and it must always be moved according to the route its legally required to follow.
The pieces cannot move through a conflicting color piece without capturing them or stopping when they are the same color. However, the knight is the only exception to this rule, which can jump over the pieces.
If you’re intrigued by the game and seek private lessons, here is a breakdown of what they may cost you.
Movement Of Chess Pieces
The awkward and unique movement laws are the main reason why most people find chess confusing to grasp.
However, familiarizing yourself with these differences does not take much of your time, and it is pretty straightforward.
Learning how to play chess without understanding the movement of the pieces is not possible, and your resulting moves would not be referred to as ‘chess.’
Throughout chess history, the two pieces that are most shrouded in mystery regarding their movements are perhaps the knights and pawns.
Pawns can simultaneously move forward a single square, whereas they capture the opposite pieces diagonally a single square ahead.
When the game starts, on the first move, you have the option of moving your pawn ahead by two squares if there is a vacancy.
And when you capture a piece, make sure you remember ‘en passant,’ something most people forget. Ensure that you add this to your list of rules to know while learning how to play chess.
En passant makes it possible for you to capture the other player’s pawn when you have your pawn on the fifth rank, and the other player moves their pawn two squares forward.
The other player does this hoping that they can avoid getting captured by moving past your pawn. But you can catch their pawn according to the rule of en passant – it would be as if the pawn had only moved forward a single square.
Moving on, the knight always moves in an L-shaped direction (2 squares by 1 square). Another advantage knights have is that they can move in any direction, be it backward, forwards, or sideways.
Keep in mind that knights are also the only piece that is an exception to the jumping over the other piece rule.
While learning how to play chess, you must attain the skill to get the most of your pieces, which only comes through practice.
Capturing Chess Pieces
Whenever your piece lands on the space with your opponent’s piece, the opponent’s piece would be seized and removed from the chessboard.
You cannot place pieces of the same color on the same square.
And whenever your piece seizes an opponent’s, you have to finish the current move action and then end your turn.
Check And Checkmate
Whenever you move your piece in a way that allows you to capture your opponent’s king on the next turn, you have to announce ‘check.’
They now have to move their king or another piece to stop the attack in the next turn. This can be achieved by capturing the attacking piece or blocking the move using another piece.
If you have created a situation where your opponent cannot stop their king from being captured in the following turn, you must announce ‘checkmate,’ effectively winning the game.
Remember that the king is never captured; instead, the game finishes when someone announces a triumphant checkmate.
And if you find yourself following a losing path of moves, resigning is also a respectable option at hand.
Become An Expert At Playing Chess With A Professional Tutor
Learning how to play chess will significantly enhance your thinking skills, analysis skills, and capacity to retain information.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that children involved in playing chess from an early age had improved grades in school.
Chess also improves your patience level and enhances your concentration, improving your life in general.
If you still have a problem understanding chess and learning how to play chess, you can always count on Superprof. Superprof will provide you with experienced when learning chess for beginners.
Playing chess is not easy; however, with their diverse chess tutors, Superprof can help you turn this feat into a piece of cake.