Chess - Tabletop Classics

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Chess game goal

The ultimate aim in the chess game is delivering a checkmate – trapping your opponent´s king. The term checkmate is an alteration of the Persian phrase “Shah Mat”, meaning literally, “the King is ambushed”, and not “the King is dead”, that is a common misconception.

General Chess Rules

White is always first to move and players take turns alternately moving one piece at a time. Movement is required. If a player´s turn is to move, he is not in check but has no legal moves, this situation is called “Stalemate” and it ends the game in a draw.

Each type of piece has its own method of movement. A piece may be moved to another position or may capture an opponent´s piece, replacing on its square (en passant being the only exception). With the exception of the knight, a piece may not move over or through any of the other pieces.

When a king is threatened with capture (but can protect himself or escape), it´s called check. If a king is in check, then the player must make a move that eliminates the threat of capture and cannot leave the king in check.

Checkmate happens when a king is placed in check and there is no legal move to escape. Checkmate ends the game and the side whose king was checkmated looses. Chess for kids would be a great option to help the kid enhance his thinking capability with the chess strategies involved.

King Movement

The king, without any doubt, is the most important piece in chess. The purpose of the game is to capture the opponent’s king so that its escape becomes impossible, which is also called “checkmate” in chess term. If an opponent’s king is threatened with capture, it is said to be in check, and the player must remove the threat of capture on the next move. If this cannot be done, the king is said to be in checkmate. Although the king is the most important piece, it is also one of the weakest pieces in the game.

King in chess

Queen Movement

The Queen is, without a doubt, the most powerful piece on the chessboard. She can move with the combination of both bishop and rook in any direction (barring any obstruction). In the diagram below, the green dots indicate the squares the queen may move. She can cover 27 squares. This is a healthy percentage of the board, 42 percent. This is a reason that in mostly every chess game, the pawn is promoted to a queen. In a chessboard, a white queen sits on a white square and the black queen starts on a black square.

How the Chess Queen moves

Bishop Movement

The bishop sits next to King and Queen in the chess game. It may move any number of squares in a diagonal direction (barring any obstruction). Each player begins the game with two bishops, one on White Square and one on Dark Square. Because they move only diagonally, they always remain on the same colored squares. They may not jump over the pieces like a knight, but together they can cover a large area and can limit the opponent’s movement.

How the Chess Bishop moves?

Knight Movement

The knight in the game is generally represented by a horse’s torso. Unlike any of the chess pieces in the game, the knight may jump over other pieces. This gives it a degree of flexibility and makes it a powerful piece especially in a game where the board is cluttered with the pieces. Each chess player starts with the two knights each one on the different squares. In the diagram below, the yellow dots are the opponent’s pieces which are being passed over and the green dots are the squares where the knight may move or captures the opponent’s piece)

How the Chess Knight moves?

Rook Movement

The rook, mostly shaped like castle or towers, is among the powerful pieces on the board. The value of the rook is 5, more than bishop and knight and only after the Queen. The rook can be worth a bishop/knight and two pawns. The rook can move any number of squares (barring any obstruction) in a straight line along any row or column. As shown in the diagram below, the rook can move or capture in any square that has green dots.

How the Chess Rook moves?

Pawn Movement

In a chess game, players start with eight pawns on either side. These are one of the weakest pieces in the chess game and their value is 1, though they have the potential to become the Queen if a pawn reaches to the opponent’s main squares, i.e. a2 reaches a8. Pawns cannot move diagonally or backward, but they move straight ahead unless they are taking another piece where they can change their column.

How the Chess Pawn moves?

Castling

Castling is the only time in the chess game when more than one piece moves during a turn. This chess move has been invented in the 1500´s to help speeding up the game and improving balance of the offense and defense.

During the castling, the king moves two squares towards the rook he intends to castle with, and the rook moves to the square through which the king passed.

Castling is only permissible if all of the following conditions hold:

  • Neither king nor rook involved in castling may have moved from the original position;

  • There must be no pieces between the king and the rook;

The king may not currently be in check, nor may the king pass through or end up in a square that is under attack by an enemy piece (though the rook is permitted to be under attack and to pass over an attacked square)

En Passant

En Passant may only occur when a pawn is moved two squares on its initial movement. When this happens, the opposing player has the option to take the moved pawn “en passant” as if it had only moved one square. This option, though, only stays open for one move.

Image result for chess en passant
The En Passant move was developed after pawns were allowed to move more than one square on their initial move. The idea behind this rule was to retain restrictions imposed by slow movement, while at the same time speeding up the game.

Pawn promotion

If a pawn reaches the opponent´s edge of the table, it will be promoted – the pawn may be converted to a queen, rook, bishop or knight, as the player desires. The choice is not limited to previously captured pieces. Thus its´ theoretically possible having up to nine queens or up to ten rooks, bishops, or knights if all pawns are promoted.