How to Play Chess





Introduction: How to Play Chess

About: Hello, my name is Grant. Probably the most important thing about me is I am non-denominational Christian. I like messin with airsoft guns and fire. My favorite band is red, and you can listen to them at w...

Learning how to play chess is simple, yet the gameplay is somewhat complicated. If playing against a person who takes his chess playing very seriously, the game can get technical and confusing. This Instructable will just cover the basics of gameplay

Please note that I am not responsible in any manner for injury or death from conflict of competitive opponents.

Step 1: The Art of Chess.

Chess is a two player game that is played for recreational and competetive purposes. Each player has a set of characters all one color (usually black and white). Each player takes turns using strategy to overcome the enemies forces and destroy the King. If you lose your King, the game is over and you have lost. Try to defend your King, while trying to destroy the enemy King.

Step 2: The Pieces.

In chess, there are six different units to send out to do your bidding. You have eight pawns, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, one Queen, and one King.
The locations of each unit will have to be told, because the picture of the board will not let me put notes on it. Each vertical line is marked by a letter a-h, and each horizontal is marked by a number 1-8.
The most basic, a pawn, can only move forwards one space at a time. However, the pawn kills an enemy that is one space diagonal of him, but cannot kill enemies that are diagonally lower than it. The pawn cannot go through pieces. The pawns are lined up on the horizontal line 2.
The rook can move up, down, left, and right an unlimited amount of spaces (staying on the board of course). They destroy a peice by landing on the space the enemy peice was before death. The rook cannot go through pieces. The two rooks are placed on A1 and H1.
The knight, or immaturely called the horse, is the only piece that can go through other units. It moves in a specific "L" shape on the board. It moves vertically two spaces, the horizontally one space, or two spaces horizontal, one vertical. The knight is the only unit that can go through, or jump, other units. The knights are placed on B1 and G1.
The bishop moves any number of spaces diagonally and stays on one color. Each team has a bishop that is stationed on the black sqares, and one that is on the white squares. The bishop destroys an enemy by landing on the enemy spot. The bishop cannot go through other pieces. The bishops are placed on spaces C1 and F1.
The Queen is probably your most useful offensive unit. The queen moves in any direction however many spaces you want. The Queen cannot go through other units. The Queen is placed on D1.
The King is your most important piece. He is purely defensive, and can move in any direct one space. If your King is dead, you lose. The King is placed on E1.

Step 3: Rules

Now that you know where each player is and how it moves, we should move onto the rules.
Each player should pick a color, then decide who begins. Usually, though, white goes first. Each player takes turn moving one unit per turn. When an enemy unit is about to destroy your king on the next turn, they must call out,"Check." When there is nothing a player can do from defending his King from the check, the player loses and the opponent calls out, "Check-mate."
Now lets get down to a few specifics. One fancy move to save your King is called castling. Castling can only be used if one of your rooks and your King haven't moved at all during gameplay. You move your King as far as you can towards your rook (without going through pieces), and place your rook beside the King.
When you are going to move a pawn for the first time, you have the option to move him two spaces forward.
Also, if one of your pawns reaches the enemy's first row, you can upgrade that pawn to any other unit on the board (besides King). So you could have nine queens on the board at once!



    • Clocks Contest

      Clocks Contest
    • Planter Challenge

      Planter Challenge
    • Make it Move Contest

      Make it Move Contest

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    did you know that check mate originated from the Arabian word shah mat which means "king dead"

    OK technically the king would be captured however because of the rule that the "rule" that you have to move out of check exists, he simply resigns by tipping the king, he could simply move another piece and the game would be over anyways by you taking it. So it really is correct from both perspectives.

    The King is not purely a defensive piece. King can be very much an offensive piece. There are games, rare as they may be, where the king willing comes out and plays a support role in the game. Even more common is during the end game. The king is a vital offensive piece. Especially when it comes down to keeping your pawn alive as it moves across the board.

    Castling can only be used if one of your rooks and your King haven't moved at all during gameplay. You move your King as far as you can towards your rook (without going through pieces), and place your rook beside the King.
    Actually the king is move two squares in either direction. When castling queen side the king moves to C1 not to B1 and the queen side rook would consequentially move to D1. When castling king side, the king moves to G1 and the king side rook would move to F1. When playing you must always move the king first. If you move the king the two spaces it is required that you castle because it is a special move outside of normal limits. However simply moving the rook first is within the limits and would be there by counted as you move and it would be the other person's turn. (This is important with more serious players, not so much for recreation)

    To address another few points, yes, white does ALWAYS go first. The queen point wise is worth the most (9) next to the king (invaluable, duh =P) However that does not make it the best piece. It is close to impossible to win solely on your queen and it is more that possible to win with out one. Does it help? Sure, usually in mid to end game though. Brining her out first only gives the opponent a set target and you spend half your time getting her out of harms way. It really is personal preference, my friend love knights and considers them the best. I love rooks and bishops more the rooks though. Its really is all about the combinations.

    There is some other good techniques that i would like to explain such as pin, fork and skewer and other tricks and such but that would require a whole separate instructable. Hope i helped.

    Try to defend your King, while trying to destroy the enemy King.
    You have to checkmate (trap the King so it can't get out of danger) the King, not capture/kill/destroy/whatever it.

    Each player should pick a color, then decide who begins
    White always goes first

    The Queen is probably your most useful offensive unit
    No. Most attacking is done with other pieces, and combinations of. No one piece is most useful.

    Castling can only be used if one of your rooks and your King haven't moved at all during gameplay. You move your King as far as you can towards your rook (without going through pieces), and place your rook beside the King.
    The rook is moved to theother side of the king.

    You missed en passant

    Standard teminology includes words like take and attack, not kill, destroy, dead etc


    6 replies

    White does always go first. The Queen is the most powerful piece. How the hell do you castle?

    ok im not perfect at chess.....but white doesnt always go first, at least not in america the queen is used offensively and i meant that it is your best character.....and USEFUL is not the same as COMMONLY USED that is correct about castling, i just looked it up i didnt want to include en passant because i find it difficult to understand as a beginner, leastways it was for me

    Well, queen is highest value and powerful. My point was that the best attacks use combinations. Wading in with a queen is risky, and can leave you severly compromised, but I know what you mean.
    OK, who goes first is subject to local (but not official) rules.
    I was being picky about en passant, and apologise for it. Athough having read the other Chess Instructable afterwards I noticed it did get a mention.


    Heh...I beat my sister once with en passant, though I don't think the supreme victory was quite worth the slap...probably should have told her what it was beforehand...

    Yes, well maybe she should have familiarised herself with the rules? L

    i dont know how to play chess. haha. i know pyro tho.

    @ llama13
    I guess he beat us to it? but in either case, we should publish yours in a while, I've made a 3D chess set to show move positions, and it can be animated very easily.

    Nice Instructables pyr0man1ac, although lama13 and had placed a dib on this one. _

    3 replies

    latobada, you and llama13 can collaborate on it with me if you 2 would like

    although lama13 and had placed a dib on this one.

    He actually beat llama to it - it just got caught by robot who had to read through it first ;)

    But ya, Jeff's the man :p

    No worries. As I said, everyone who makes a valid effort wins! Just make yours as good as possible!