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Basic Chess Rules

Learn the basic Chess Rules first to understand how to move the chess pieces. Chess is the greatest game on earth, you just don’t know it yet.

Chess is becoming more interesting after some years of playing when you will finally understand the true spirit of this wonderful game. Then the magic of chess will capture you for the rest of your life, I promise.

What are the basic Rules of Chess?

Names of all Chess Pieces

The Man who invented Chess

Who invented Chess?

How to set up the Chess Board?

Learn here how to put the pieces on to the right squares.
Chess Board Setup

The Board

I explain to you first the chess board itself, so you get to know the squares. Please click on the links to read the articles, after reading always come back here and go to the next article.
The Chess Board

The Chess Pieces

So you know now how each square of the board is described.
Now it’s time for you to understand, how the king, a bishop, a knight, a rook or a queen are moving. Look at them as energy units. What energy has each piece?
How the Chess Pieces move?

This was just to get a general idea about how the pieces move, but we will get into more detail and try to understand the moves of each piece on its own. Each piece has its own character.

The Pawn

The Pawns are the soul of the chessgame. That’s what the french composer Francois-Andre Danican Philidor (1726-1795) said. He was at his time the best chess player in the world. However, the rules of the Pawns will be explained in:
The Chess Pawn
Chess Pawns Structures

The Knight

The Knights love it, when they sit right in the area, where the enemy King lives. With unpredictable forks they can decide a game very fast. Always check the Knights of your opponents. What do they want and where do they possibly go? Once the enemy Knight has penetrated into your position you often have a hard time to remove it.
The Chess Knight

The Bishop

The Bishop moves fast on the diagonals. You have two Bishops, one for each color. The Bishop has about the same value as a Knight but the value can change when the position changes. Study now:
The Chess Bishop

The Rook

The Rook is a bit slow, but strong. Give him open files and ranks then he will be happy. Learn about the Rook here.
The Chess Rook

Hey! Do you understand the chess game rules now? Take your time. It is just a matter of time until you grasp it.

The Queen

The Queen is very strong. If you let her come close to your King, she is going to mate you with the help of another piece quite easily. Study the way she moves.
The Chess Queen

The King

Yes, the king can be a fighter eating up enemy pawns in the endgame, but you will learn about that later. Just study now how the king can move.
The Chess King

The Value of Chess Pieces

The Chess Pieces Value

Chess Castling (King-Rook Switch)

Chess Rules for Chess Castling

The Stalemate

What is a Chess Stalemate?

The “Zugzwang”

What is Zugzwang?

The En Passant Rule

How do I take En Passant? ( chess en passant rules )

The Draw

The Chess Draw – half a point each

Chess Terms

Chess Terms

The Notation

Chess Notation


Question: If I am in check (not checkmate), is it legal for me to put my opponent in checkmate without first taking myself out of check?

Answer: Don’t think too complicated in chess. It is a straightforward game. If your king is in check, you have to get the king out of check first, of course, before you do anything else. Read more about the “Checkmate”.

More Chess Game Rules

Touch Move Rule

If it is your turn and you touch one of your pieces then you must move it, if it can be legally moved.

If your hand has not placed the piece on a new square completely you can place it on any other legal square.

If you touch one of your opponent’s pieces then you must capture that piece if it can be captured. If the touched piece can not be captured there is no penalty.

I advice you when you have touched one of your pieces always move the touched piece. Even if you just play a friendly game in the park. Nothing annoys a real chess player more, than if the opponent touches a piece, holds it in his hand, then puts it down and moves something else.

This is because your mind is calculating the position permanently and when a piece is lifted the position changes immediately and your mind starts calculating the expected move. And when the move is not executed because the opponent puts the piece back and moves something else instead then this breaks your mental calculations.

Never take a Move back! Never allow it!

If a move is executed it cannot be taken back. Never allow yourself or others to take moves back. This is bad discipline and in the end you are the loser.

If your opponent has blundered his queen and you allow him to take back the move and move something else, then where does this end.

Next time you are asking to take a move back in return, he might not allow it, because he found a great move and wants to win. Then you get really upset and the argument starts. Take pride in your game and don’t be a whimp. Chess is a hard game. If you have made a big mistake and lost the queen, then give up and start a new game.

Now you finally made it, you know the basic chess rules now. It’s time for you to go further and learn more…

Now read the Answers to these Beginner Questions and this will clarify a lot.

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