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Chess Board Setup – What is the correct Way to set up a Chess Board?

Place your chess pieces correctly. The chess board setup is very easy. Many people, mostly home players, don’t know how to place the chess pieces correctly. Just remember the two rules outlined here.

Chess Board Setup – Rules

What is the correct way to set up a chess board?

1) The right corner Square must be a white Square.

Before you put any pieces on your board turn it around so that you see a white square at the right lower corner of your chess board.

2) Number 1 starts on the white Side

It doesn’t matter if you have the black pieces or white pieces in front of you.

You will see that the numbers are correct when you follow the rules above. That means the number 1 starts at the white side of the board and the number 8 is at the black side of the board.

When you have White the letter a starts always at the left and when you have Black the a starts at the right hand side.

Where does the King go on a Chess Board?

The white king goes to e1. The black king goes to e8.

Keep in Mind

  • Put the rooks at the corners
  • Put the knights beside the rooks
  • Put the bishops beside the queens and the kings

Look at the chess image below and you will see how the queens are placed and that there is a white square on your right side where your rook is located. No matter if you have Black or White.

When you turn the board around and have the black pieces in front of you, then there is also a white square on your right corner.

So the white king is always sitting on e1. And the black king is sitting on e8.

The white queen is always placed on the square d1, and the black queen is always sitting on d8.

The white pieces are sitting all on the first two rows, namely on row 1 and row 2, and the black pieces are always placed on row 8 and row 7.

chess board setup

Where do the King and Queen go on a Chessboard?

Look from the white side.

White Queen sits on a WHITE SQUARE
Black Queen sits on a BLACK SQUARE

White King goes to the right side of the Queen
Black King goes to the right side of the Queen

The first bishop is placed beside the king. The second bishop
is placed beside the Queen.

The Number 1 is on White’s side
The Number 8 is on Black’s side

If the board is turned around same rules apply. As you can see above there is a white square at the right hand side lower corner (where the rook is placed upon).

The board has 64 squares, 32 squares are dark and 32 are white squares.

Rows and Files

There are rows ( or ranks) and files. A row consists of 8 horizontal squares.
A file consists of 8 vertical squares.

chess board setup

Each square has coordinates. (for example: a2, h1 -See above-)

Chess Square Names

Black moves
chess board setup

The position above is described as follows:
White: Kc6, Rc8
Black: Ka7

Solution: 1…Ka6 2.Ra8++ checkmate


chess board setup

There are long and short diagonals. Make sure to place bishops on open diagonals where they can show their optimal power.

Back to – Chess Strategies for Beginners
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