How Many Pieces Are in a Chess Set?

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A chess set contains 32 pieces, 16 pieces for each player. Each player has one king, one queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights and eight pawns. In a Staunton chess set, half of the pieces are white and the other half are black.

The goal of chess is to checkmate the opposing player’s king by trapping it so that it cannot escape. The Staunton game set that many people use today was created in 1849 by Nathan Cook and made popular by famous chess player Howard Staunton.

To set up a board, seat each player face-to-face with the board in the middle. Each player should have a white square in the bottom right square. Each player should choose a color, either by agreement or toss of the coin, bearing in mind that the white player always goes first. Each player should then place their pawns on the second row away from them.

On the row closest, the rooks are placed on each corner of the board, the knights in the next two squares, the bishops in the next squares and then the king and queen go in the two center squares. The queen must be in the same color square as her suit, so the white queen always goes on the white square and the black queen always goes on the black square. The king sits on the remaining square.