Chess is a game to be played by two players, with one player having 16 black or dark color chess pieces and the other player having 16 white or light color chess pieces. The chess players move on a square chessboard. Each chess piece has a defined starting point or square with the dark chess pieces aligned on one side of the board and the light pieces on the other. The chess pieces are used both for defense and offence. Each player has one chess piece called the king. The ultimate objective of the game is to capture the opponent's king. When either side's king is trapped to where it cannot move without being taken, it's called "checkmate" or the shortened version "mate". At this point, the game is over. It takes only a while to learn chess rules and a lifetime to master it.
Setting up the board:
While setting the chess pieces on the board it should be made sure that the two armies or the opposing teams should be mirror images of each other. Please note that the light queen should be positioned on a light square and the dark one on the darker square. The following diagram explains the initial location of the chess pieces:
Movements on the Chess Board
Pawn: There are eight pawns located on each side of the board. The pawns can only move forward and not sideways or backwards. The pawns move only one square at a time. However there is exception for the first time when it can be moved forward two squares as long as there are no obstructing pieces.
Knights: The knight moves one square in any direction then diagonally one square away from its starting square. It is a flexible and a powerful piece.
Knight in the center of the chessboard has eight possible moves. If at the target square the opponent's piece is stationed, the knight can capture it. And if occupied by a piece of the knight's color, the knight is blocked and can't move to that square.
The knight can hop over any piece on its path; in fact it is the only piece that can jump over other pieces.
Bishop: The bishop can move any number of squares diagonally. Each player begins with two bishops, one, which is, positioned on a light square, the other on a dark square. It is interesting to note that because of the nature of the movement the bishop remains on the same colored squares.
The bishop in the center of an empty chessboard can move to 13 squares.
Unlike the knight, bishop cannot hop over other pieces.
Queen: She is the most powerful chess piece who moves in a straight line. She combines the chess moves of the Rook and the Bishop. She can move as many squares as she desires in any direction.
King: The game of chess is based on the protection of King. Loosing a king means loosing the game. The king can only move one square in one direction.
End of Game
Checkmate: The game ends when one of the players seizes his opponent's king. When a player's king is threatened by a conflicting piece it is said to be "in check". When the player keeps the opposing king in check he should announce, "Check". The player must ensure that the possibility of the movement of the opponent king's is completely curtailed. This is known as 'checkmate'. The player who captures the king is declared a winner.
Resignation from the game: A player can seek to resign from the game anytime when a player loses a major piece and possibility of victory is dim.
Stalemate/Tie: The game can be drawn when a player's only move is to place his own king in check however its current square is not threatened.
Chess Board notation
To keep track of all the moves made during a game of chess, the board is labeled in columns and rows, using alphabets and numbers, so that each square is identified individually.
Special Chess Rules
Castling: It is a defense strategy that balances the offense and defense. Castling occurs only when there are no pieces between the king and the rook. Also, neither king nor rook may have moved from the original position. It should be noted that there could be no opposing piece, which could possibly capture the king in his original square.
En Passant: Most of the chess players are unaware of this unique chess rule. The situation for en passant may or may not occur during a game. En passant is limited to a pawn moving from its original position two squares landing adjacent to an opponent's pawn. On the very next move and only the next move this pawn can be captured. All the pawns from both sides are subject to en Passant.
Promotion: Promotion occurs when a pawn clears across to the other side. In the same move of the pawn reaches a far square, it is removed and replaced with any chess piece, that is, except a second king.