chess game

The Chess Game – What are the basics ?

The fascinating chess game is a board game that was invented thousands of years ago. Throughout its  history, it has earned constant acclaim and is regularly thought of as the ‘king’ of board games. There have been several famous personalities who were reputed to have great chess skills. Charlie Chaplin, Napoleon, Einstein and Nikola Tesla were among them.

Chess can give the players many hours of pleasure, as well as stimulating the brain. As  it is generally accepted that the game  improves analytical thinking and stimulates creativity and judgment.

In the past chess was mainly played by courtiers. Now everyone may enjoy this privilege. And of course with the advent of the internet and suitable software it is not just limited to the physical game. Chess appeals to people of all ages from all over the world. Chess is intriguing. It allows players to pit their wits, experience and inspiration against a competitor, and there is no language barrier to the contest.

All that you need in order to be able to play chess are your choice of chess pieces and a board. If you wish to play online, then all you need is your computer. The chessboard is a square board with eight rows of eight alternating black and white squares ; nearly everyone is sure to have seen one.

Starting the Game

At the start of the game, there are 32 chess pieces in total; 16 white pieces and their 16 black opponents. One player owns the white pieces (so we will call this player WHITE) and the opponent (the BLACK) plays with the black ones. The 16 pieces of each colour comprise: the King, the Queen, two Castles (also referred to as Rooks), two Bishops, two Knights and eight Pawns.

At the start of the game the chess pieces are placed in their opening standard starting positions. Each player positions his pieces along the two rows of the board (called ranks) that are closest to him.  Starting with the white pieces, and moving from left to right, they are placed on the row of squares nearest to the player in the following order.  Castle, Knight, Bishop, Queen, King, Bishop, Knight, and Castle. All of the eight pawns are then placed in front of these pieces on the next row. For the player with the black pieces, the same order applies but it should be read from right to left. In this way pieces of the same kind will be opposite each other in the same line of squares.  Squares in this direction are called a file.

Referencing the Squares

To help with identifying the individual squares on the board an alpha numeric notation was developed. Viewing the board from the White player’s side: the row of squares nearest the player  (i.e. the first rank) isreferred to as ‘1’ the next is ‘2’ etc – up to 8 which is then the row nearest to the player with the black pieces.  Again viewing from the white pieces, the squares in the other direction start with the leftmost column of squares (the file) being labelled as ‘a’. Then the next ‘b’ – up to ‘h’ on the extreme right hand side of the board  (from white’s side) .

Square can then be referenced by referring to the rank and file number. So at the start of the game the white castles would be on 1a and 1h, with pawns on 2a – 2h.   The equivalent black pieces would be located at 8a and 8h with the pawns on 7a -7h

The  goal is to move the pieces to trap the enemy King, with each piece moving in a different way.

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