“The beauty of chess is it can be whatever you want it to be. It transcends language, age, race, religion, politics, gender, and socioeconomic background. Whatever your circumstances, anyone can enjoy a good fight to the death over the chess board.”  -Simon Williams

There aren't many games around like chess. Not only is chess a game for methodical thinkers and strategists, but it also requires players to try their best to understand their opponent. It forces humans to imagine ourselves in another person's shoes where we try to imagine what they think and what motivates them to make decisions on the chessboard.

Honestly, the beauty of chess connects people and brings them together in thought and feeling. After a long day's work or a stressful encounter, playing a chess game against yourself or a trusted opponent makes you concentrate on the game and forget everything that is going on around you. Also, since chess knows no socioeconomic boundaries, everyone who learns the rules can play; it isn't for the elite or wealthy.

Although chess has been around for centuries, it has experienced a resurgence of popularity in the past year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. How's that? With so many people staying at home, individuals have been searching for hobbies, and chess was one of them. Also, due to a popular Netflix series that has been racking up the awards and praise called The Queen's Gambit, people of all ages, and especially women, have taken an interest in the game of chess.

Therefore, to provide individuals of all social classes and ages with more information about chess, we shall discuss how chess pieces move in today's article.

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Identifying the Pieces on a Chessboard

the functions of each piece
Each chess piece has a unique name, point value, and specific role in the overall game's importance. (Source: Unsplash)

Before instructing learners about how and where each chess piece should move, it is essential to familiarise yourself with the names and the quantities of each element on the chessboard.

It is essential to state that there are six different types of chess pieces and, when the board is stacked, there should be 16 pieces on each side. 

So, for beginner chess players, the following is a brief list of the possible chess piece and how many there are of each:

  • Pawn: of all the pieces, the pawn is the most plentiful, with eight pieces on each side; however, it is also the least powerful and is only worth one point.
  • The Bishop: each side starts with two bishops, one on a light square and one on a dark square. Considered a minor piece like the knight, the bishop is worth three points.
  • The Knight: as is the same with the bishop, there are two knights at the start of the game. A knight has the same point value as the bishop and is worth three points.
  • The Rook: at the beginning of the game, both sides start with two rooks located in the four corners of the board. The rooks are major pieces and are worth five points each.
  • The Queen: of all the chess pieces, the queen is the most important. There is only one queen on each side at the start of the game, and she is worth nine points.
  • The King: like the queen, the king is a major chess piece and must be protected at all times. However, though necessary, the king doesn't have a significant value.

Now that you can easily recognise each piece on a chessboard, you might be asking yourself, how do they move? Continue reading to find out!

How the Chess Pieces Move

the game of a lifetime
If you effectively know how to move your pieces across the chessboard, you're flirting with victory. (Source: Unsplash)

Before moving your chess pieces aimlessly during your first game, it is essential to mention that each of the six chess pieces moves differently. You cannot move one of your pieces through another, and it is impossible to have two pieces on the same square; there is no sharing in chess! The only time you can move a chess piece onto the same square as another piece is to overtake or capture an opponent's piece.

You want to be strategic in the way you move your pieces, remembering that they should be put into positions where you can capture the opponent's pieces or protect your own from your competitor's strategies. Nonetheless, how are each of the six pieces on the chessboard moved in their unique way? Let's find out by analysing each piece in order of importance/point value.

Find more chess training here on Superprof.

How to Move a Pawn

As we have seen in the previous subheading, pawns are the most plentiful chess pieces yet the least powerful. Their moves are a bit strange compared to other pieces because they capture and move in distinct manners. For instance, they move forward on the board, yet they capture the opponent's pieces diagonally.

Pawns have the limitation of only moving ahead one square at a time except on their first move to move ahead two spaces. Pawns must only capture pieces that are in one space in front of them diagonally. A pawn can't move or capture backwards.

Moving a Knight in Chess

A player has two knights that they can move across the chessboard, and their functions are unique compared to other pieces. How's that? The following list describes the moves of a knight chess piece:

  • Knights can move two squares in one direction,
  • After moving ahead two spaces, a knight piece can move one more square at a 90-degree angle, like an "L".

Also, it is worth stating that the knight is the only piece that can move over other pieces.

Learning How to Move a Bishop

There are two bishops per player, and the bishop gets to move around as far as it wants; however, there are some exceptions. For instance, the bishop must only move ahead diagonally, and since it starts on either a light or dark space, it must only move on the colour of squares it started from.

Since there are two bishops, it is worth mentioning that they work well together because they cover up each other's weaknesses.

How to Move the Rook in Chess

There are two rooks, and players can move them ahead as far as they want forwards, backwards, and sides. Just like the bishops, the rooks are best utilised when chess players recognise how great they can be used together.

Don't underestimate the power of a rook piece!

Moving a King in Chess

Although the king is the most critical piece on the chessboard, it is not the most powerful. The king can move ahead one square in every direction. A player can never move the king into check. However, when the opponent attacks the king, this becomes a "checkmate."

How the Queen Piece Moves Ahead

There is no beating around the bush; the queen is the most vital and most powerful chess piece on the board. She must be protected at all costs. The queen can move ahead in any straight direction, forward, sideways, backwards or diagonally. The queen must never move through her pieces.

A player must recognise that although the queen is mighty, as soon as she captures an opponent's piece, her move is over; she doesn't get to play twice!

There you have it, folks, the unique ways each of the six chess pieces can move around the board. We recommend looking at informative YouTube videos that provide readers with a more visual depiction of how chess pieces move.

Ever wonder how you could get better at playing chess right from the start? Read the following subheading to get the tips you need to succeed!

Tips on How to Get Better at Chess

the fear of questions
Never be afraid to ask questions to more experienced chess players; that is how you will learn the answers. (Source: Unsplash)

Unlike most other board games, chess has a serious following of dedicated players from around the world. There are significant competitions where the best competitors from each country play against each other to be declared the best. Therefore, it isn't much of a surprise that amateur players look for advice to consistently improve their skills and eventually play against worthy opponents.

So, what are the best tips and tricks to improve chess playing and win against all opponents? The following are some of the best pieces of advice to get better at chess:

  • Practice Every Day: to get better at anything, a lot of practice is required, and chess is no different. So, play chess every day and take the time after to analyse your moves and how you either lost or won. Even if you played against yourself, you could have your game reviewed by a coach, friend, or family member by posting your virtual game. A little bit of practice every day is much more beneficial than a massive review session once a week.
  • Ask the Pros for Advice: do you want to get better and impress your opponents? If so, you can't be too proud to ask for advice, playing strategies, and valuable tips or tricks. The suggestions from professional players will most likely increase your playing techniques ten or twenty-fold.
  • Study the "Important Stuff": there are many books, blogs, and YouTube channels that talk about chess and how to improve your skills. Nonetheless, if you're not careful, you could get carried away and not focus on the crucial aspects of chess playing. Such as? A lot of experts suggest only mastering a few openings and concentrating on not too many endgames.
  • Hire a Private Tutor: of all the advice on this list to become a chess player, the best is to hire a private chess tutor. Why's that? The invaluable advice provided by a chess tutor helps improve playing skills dramatically. Also, chess instructors act as your playing partner and, during gameplay, they might helpful tips and tricks of methods to adopt and harmful playing habits to avoid. Chess tutors on Superprof can be hired for either in-person or virtual lessons.

In conclusion, we are confident that by learning how each piece moves at a beginner stage, you prepare yourself to become a chess master!

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Daniel

A student by trade, Daniel spends most of his time working on that essay that's due in a couple of days' time. When he's not working, he can be found working on his salsa steps, or in bed.