History of Chess

The origins of chess are not exactly clear, though most believe it
evolved from earlier chess-like games played in India almost two
thousand years ago.The game of chess we know today has been around since
the 15th century where it became popular in Europe.

The Goal of Chess

Chess is a game played between two opponents on opposite sides of a
board containing 64 squares of alternating colors. Each player has 16
pieces: 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 knights, and 8 pawns. The
goal of the game is to checkmate the other king. Checkmate happens when
the king is in a position to be captured (in check) and cannot escape
from capture.




When a king is under direct attack by one (or possibly two) of the opponent’s pieces, the player is said to be in check. When in check, only moves that remove the king from attack are permitted. The player must not make any move that would place his king in check. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent; this occurs when the opponent’s king is in check, and there are no moves that remove the king from attack.

The king can move only one square horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Once in the game, each king is allowed to make a special double move, to castle. Castling consists of moving the king two squares towards a rook, then moving the rook onto the square over which the king crossed. Castling is only permissible if all of the following conditions hold:

  • The player must never have moved both the king and the rook involved in castling.
  • 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 squares that are under attack by enemy pieces. As with any move, castling is illegal if it would place the king in check.
  • The king and the rook must be on the same rank (to exclude castling with a promoted pawn).


The rook moves any number of vacant squares vertically or horizontally (it is also involved in the king’s special move of castling).


The bishop moves any number of vacant squares in any direction diagonally. Note that a bishop never changes square color, therefore players speak about “light-squared” or “dark-squared” bishops.


The queen can move any number of vacant squares diagonally, horizontally, or vertically.


The knight can jump over occupied squares and moves two spaces horizontally and one space vertically or vice versa, making an “L” shape. A knight in the middle of the board has eight squares to which it can move. Note that every time a knight moves, it changes square color.


Pawns have the most complex rules of movement: A pawn can move forward one square, if that square is unoccupied. If it has not moved yet, the pawn has the option of moving two squares forward, if both squares in front of the pawn are unoccupied. A pawn cannot move backward. When such an initial two square advance is made that puts that pawn horizontally adjacent to an opponent’s pawn, the opponent’s pawn can capture that pawn “en passant” as if it moved forward only one square rather than two, but only on the immediately subsequent move. Pawns are the only pieces that capture differently than they move. They can capture an enemy piece on either of the two spaces adjacent to the space in front of them (i.e., the two squares diagonally in front of them), but cannot move to these spaces if they are vacant. If a pawn advances all the way to its eighth rank, it is then promoted (converted) to a queen, rook, bishop, or knight of the same color. In practice, the pawn is almost always promoted to a queen.





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