Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chess Basics: How to set up the chessboard

Chess is one of the board games played between two players seated one opposite to the other with the chessboard placed in between the two players.

Before going further, let us try to understand what is a chessboard, what does it comprise of and how to use the board for playing the game. This article does try to explain the same to you.

The board usually comes folded and needs unfolding. Open the board between you and your opponent. The square closest to you on the left-hand side must be dark. If not, just turn the board until it is.

The chess board is made up of 64 squares with 32 being black and 32 being white, but sometimes you may encounter different coloured squares. That means there are 8 rows of 8 squares each. In a chess game, the horizontal squares are named 'a' to 'h' from left to right, and '1' to '8' from bottom to top. This naming is from the white player's side of the board.

Each side consists of: Eight pawns, two Rooks, two Knights, two Bishops, one King and one Queen.

First, you must take your two Rooks (otherwise known as Castles) and deploy one at each corner of the board in the first row. To simplify; There are four rooks in total, between the two sides and they will be occupying each corner of the board.

Take your two Knights and deploy them adjacently, to each Rook, so that you are working toward the middle of row one. Then, take your two Bishops and do the same, except this time, they will each be, three squares in, and sitting right next to the knights.

Row one is almost complete and there are two squares and two very important pieces remaining; The King and the Queen!

The positioning of the Queen may seem peculiar, but it has been a rule observed from the beginning of chess time; The Queen, must sit on her own color square!

If you happen to be the player with the black pieces and your black Bishop, just happens to be sitting on a black square? Then this will be the determining factor, that the next piece to be placed on the board, cannot be your Queen!

Obviously, the same rule applies to the white side and once the key pieces are set up, you will observe that both, the white Queen and Black Queen, will be facing each other from across the board. This rule will undoubtedly leave no question, as to where the King should be placed.

Now that the first row is in position, the remaining pieces, have their rightful place, as I mentioned previously; The pawns, all eight, will be sitting and occupying row two, completely.

We have successfully set up the chessboard and all the pieces at the appropriate places. You can start playing the game once you know the elements of chess, not mere names, but what they are, how they operate and how to use them effectively in your chess strategies to win over the opponent.

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