Playing Chess is easy! It is a two-player board game played on an 8×8 chessboard between a white side and a black side. A Chess game has 32 pieces at the start, with 16 pieces for each side. 

There are three phases of a chess game: The opening, the middle game, and the end game. You can play Chess with a chess clock.

Thanks to technological advancement, Chess is no longer exclusively played on a physical board. Still, You can also play Chess on an online chess platform like this website or other platforms.

Playing Chess

The Chess board

The Chess board comprises 64 squares—32 light squares and 32 dark squares, with each square having its unique name, thanks to files and ranks. A file is a vertical line of squares. In other words, files are columns on a chessboard, lettered a-h. Hence, there are eight files on a chessboard.

A rank is a horizontal line of squares. They are the rows on a chessboard, numbered 1-8. To name a square using files and ranks, a player must place the file letter first before the rank number. Hence, we have square names like c2, a7, b4, etc.

Chess Actions

Capture: The act of taking a piece off the game. It is notated as “x.”

Check: This is when the King is under direct threat, and the player MUST make a response to that threat. It is notated as “+.”

Checkmate: This is when the King has been successfully trapped and has nowhere to go. It is notated as “#.”

● Castle: This is when a king and a rook collaborate on a single turn. There are conditions to castling. It is notated as “0-0” or “0-0-0”. 

Chess Pieces and Their Movements


Pawns are foot soldiers in Chess that are placed on the war fronts. They move one square forward, although they have the option to move two squares EXCLUSIVELY on the first move. Pawns don’t capture pieces the same way they move. 

Instead, they can capture a piece when it is on a square. Pawns are the only pieces that can be promoted to other pieces except for the King. They have a point valuation of 1, and they are the smallest piece by size on a chessboard.


A Knight looks like a horse and has the most complicated move on the chessboard. Its movement is described as an “L,” and it is the only piece that can JUMP over another piece, either an ally or an enemy. The Knight captures the same way it moves. 

This piece is notated as N because of its first consonant sound, and it has a point valuation of 3. Knights are also called minor pieces.


A bishop is distinguished by its pointy top, which has a slit. It moves strictly diagonally to any length of the board as long as another piece does not obstruct it. Because of its movement, if a bishop starts on a light square, it remains on a light square throughout the game. The Bishop also has a valuation of 3, and it is a minor piece as well. 

The Bishop is notated as “B.”


The rook is one of the most influential pieces on a chessboard. It looks like a castle, but don’t mistake calling a rook a castle because the term “castle” is already occupied as a chess term with another meaning. With a valuation of 5, this significant piece moves horizontally and vertically to any board length, provided another piece does not obstruct its path.

The rook is notated as “R.”


She is the most powerful piece on the chessboard and is one of the tallest pieces on the bottom. The Queen is distinguished from the King by the crown on her head instead of the King’s cross. Her move is a direct combination of a bishop and rook’s move; she can move diagonally, horizontally, and vertically to any board length, provided she is not obstructed. The Queen is notated as Q.

The Queen can move from a focal point in all angles and affiliated angles of the cardinal points. Note that the Queen cannot emulate the movement of a Knight. 


The King is the most critical piece in Chess. He is so valuable that he has no point valuation. If anything happens to the King, the game ends instantly. The King moves similarly to the Queen but without long rangeability. The King can only move one square at a time in any direction. 

The King is notated as “K.”

It is the only piece that cannot be captured. It can only be trapped after a check on it cannot be removed.

How To Play Chess

A standard chess game is played with 32 pieces that consist of 6 unique chessmen on the square chessboard. Each side has eight pawns, a pair of Rooks, Bishops, Knights, and the Royal Pieces—a King and a Queen. The primary aim of the game is to checkmate the King, and checkmate ends a chess game. 

Mastering how the pieces move is the first step to learning how to play Chess. The next step is applying strategies and tactics. As a battle, every chess game must use strategies and tactics. Hence, the player with a better understanding of strategies and tactics wins. So, what strategies and tactics help one play a chess game?


A strategy is a long-term plan implemented to give a player some advantage in the game. It is important to note that every advanced strategy emerges from a primary strategy. The basic strategy every chess player must know include;

● Gain Control of the Center: The center of the chessboard is crucial because it is the most accessible area to reach by all the pieces on the board. Hence, the center of the board is the point of equilibrium between the white side and the black side. 

● Develop The Pieces: It is always good practice to place your pieces where they can be helpful; how your pieces are set up instead of how your opponent’s pieces are set up plays a vital role in the game’s outcome. 

● King Safety: Since a player will lose the game if any harm comes to the King, it would make sense to keep the king safe at all times. Castling, a maneuver between the King and the rook, was invented to take the King away from the center of the board, where it is highly prone to attacks.

● Material Count: The King has an army ready to lay down their lives for him. A player must get rid of the King’s minions by capturing them to get to the King. While having the better material does not guarantee a win, it often indicates that a player is winning. So, deploy tactics to capture as much of your opponent’s pieces as possible. 

● Maintain A Good Pawn Structure: A chess legend, Francois-Andre Philidor, once said that the pawn is the soul of Chess. Connected instruments are some of the most potent forces in a chess game because no piece, aside from a fellow pawn, would capture a pawn protected by a pawn. A good pawn structure is a great asset in the endgame, a chess game’s third and final stage.

● Maintain Time Advantage: Recently, speed chess has become more accepted in the chess world. Time is now considered a factor in a chess game because when a player is low on time, they tend to lose their composure. Note that if a player’s time runs out, they lose.


Strategy birth tactic. The reason for this analogy is simple. Tactics are instantaneous. Hence, a chess player must use them as tools to secure a long-term plan. Unlike strategies in Chess, basic tactics don’t give rise to advanced tactics. There are simply basic tactics and advanced tactics. Some of the primary tactics include:

● Forks: This is when one piece attacks two or more of their opponent’s pieces after a single move. Every piece on a chessboard can execute a fork, including a pawn and a king. 

● Pins: This is when a piece is forced to remain on a square because moving it would yield devastating consequences if it can be moved legally. Pieces can be pinned to the King, the Queen, the rook (major pieces), or an unprotected Knight or BishopBishop (minor pieces). A piece can also be pinned to a vulnerable square.

● Skewers: This tactic can only be used by long-ranged pieces; that is, the Queen, the rook, and the Bishop. The skewer is executed by forcing a piece of higher value out of the line of fire to capture the piece behind it. 

Some of the advanced tactics include:

● Deflection: This tactic aims to force an opponent’s piece out of a square to achieve a desired position on the board. A deflected piece is typically pushed out of its defensive position.

● Decoy: In this tactic, a piece is lured from a better square to exploit the weakness created by the departed piece.

● Triangulation: This tactic typically occurs in the end game with limited moves. Triangulation aims to create a reserve tempo. The side that successfully triangulates will force the opponent into a state whereby their next move MUST be a losing one.