Chess, game of skill and strategy between two people, played using specially designed pieces on a square board comprised of 64 alternating light and dark squares in eight rows of eight squares each. Chess, with a history that extends back thousands of years, is a popular game played around the world.

How Chess Is Played

In chess each player controls an army comprised

In chess each player controls an army comprised of eight pawns and eight pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks (sometimes called castles), two bishops, and two knights. Although the term "pieces" is sometimes used to refer to all 16 chess figures, it technically does not refer to pawns. The two armies are of contrasting colors, one light and the other dark, and are always called White and Black regardless of their actual colors. The vertical columns on the board that extend from one player to the other are called files, and the horizontal rows are called ranks. The diagonal lines across the board are called diagonals.

Initial Setup

The board is always placed for play with

The board is always placed for play with a light square in the corner to the right of each player. White`s pieces are set up on White`s first rank from left to right in the following order: rook, knight, bishop, queen, king, bishop, knight, rook. Black`s pieces are set up on Black`s first rank from left to right in the order of rook, knight, bishop, king, queen, bishop, knight, rook. The pieces face their exact counterparts at opposite ends of the board, and each queen stands on a square of its own color. The pawns are placed on the second rank of each player, directly in front of the pieces.

Moves of the Pieces

White always moves first

White always moves first, and the players then alternate turns. A move consists of transferring a man to another square that is either vacant or occupied by an opponent`s man. If it is occupied, the opponent`s man is "captured" (removed from the board and replaced by the capturing man). The only exception is the king, which is never captured (see Object of the Game below). A move to capture is not required unless it is the only possible move.

Only one piece may be moved each turn except

Only one piece may be moved each turn except when "castling" (see below). All pieces except the knight move along straight, unobstructed paths; only the knight may move over or around other pieces. The king moves one square in any direction, but not to a square that is attacked by an enemy piecethat is, a square to which an enemy piece can go on the next move. The queen moves as far as desired in any uninterrupted direction. The rook moves as far as desired in any horizontal or vertical direction. The bishop moves as far as desired in any diagonal direction, but is confined to squares of the color on which it began the game. The knight moves a distance of exactly two squares to a square of the opposite color. The path of the move resembles the letter Ltwo squares horizontally or vertically combined with one square at a right angle. The knight may go over or around any piece in its way.

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