What Are the Basic Rules of Chess?


Quick Answer

The objective of chess is to put the opposing player in "checkmate," a state in which the player cannot move without his king being taken, or to get him to surrender in the face of a checkmate within several moves. Players take turns moving their pieces according to specific rules.

Continue Reading
What Are the Basic Rules of Chess?
Credit: Jose A. Bernat Bacete Moment Getty Images

Full Answer

Pieces are always arranged the same way on the board, with a row of pawns just ahead of a row of the other game pieces at the far side of each board. The player with white pieces moves first.

Players take turns moving one piece per turn. Each piece has unique rules about how it can move and capture other pieces.

Pawns can move two spaces on their initial move if so desired, but from then on, they can only move forward one space. To capture another piece, they must move toward it diagonally one square.

Rooks can move an unlimited amount of spaces vertically or horizontally of their current position, provided no other pieces are in the way.

Bishops can move an unlimited amount of spaces diagonally in any direction from their current position, again, provided there are no pieces in their way.

Knights can move in an "L" shape of one square in one direction and three squares in the other.

The queen can move an unlimited amount of spaces vertically, horizontally or diagonally from their current position, unless a piece restricts movement. The king can move one square in any direction.

Learn more about Board Games

Related Questions