The chessboard has 64 squares, 32 of which are dark and 32 of which are white. There are 32 chess pieces, 16 of which are white and 16 of which are black. For each side, there are eight pawns, two knights, two bishops, two rooks, one queen, and one king.
How To Set Up A Chessboard
To set up a chessboard, make sure the bottom-right square of the board is a light square for white. Both players will have a light square in the right corner of the board near them. From each player’s point of view, the setup appears to be identical.
Your pieces are placed on the two horizontal rows (ranks) closest to you. The major pieces are placed on the first rank. The pawns are placed on the second rank.
Chess, unlike checkers, makes use of every square on the board.
When setting up your chessboard, remember that White is always on the 1st and 2nd rank while Black is always on the 7th and 8th ranks.
You can start your piece arrangement from the rook or castle (whichever way you call it). Put a rook in each corner. When the game begins, each side has two rooks. The rooks begin the game in the corners of the chessboard, with White’s rooks on a1 and h1 and Black’s rooks on a8 and h8.
The rook is the second most powerful piece in chess! It is a long-range piece and is notorious for delivering back-rank checkmates!
Next is the knight. Place the knights alongside the rooks. The knights, who resemble horses, move to the right and left of the rooks. Knights move three squares in an “L” shape, two spaces in one direction, one space in the other, or one space in one direction, two spaces in the other. Knights are the only pieces that can hop over other pieces to make their moves. When a game begins, each side starts with two knights. White’s knights start the game on b1 and g1, while Black’s knights begin on b8 and g8. The knight is the trickiest piece in chess! It moves very differently than other pieces and can deliver the dreaded fork or even a smothered mate!
Starting next to the knights are the bishops. The bishop is a tall, round-topped piece with a beautifully carved arc on the head. Bishops move only along diagonal lines. At the beginning of the game, each side starts with two bishops. The light-squared bishop for White starts on the f1-square while Black’s light-squared bishop starts on the c8-square. White’s dark-squared bishop begins on the c1-square, while Black’s dark-squared bishop begins on the f8-square.
The bishop is an interesting piece because it can move as far as it wants but only on diagonals. It is a long-range piece and can be very dangerous!
Then you put your queen on the last matching-colour square. If you are on the white side, place your queen on the last white square in the middle of the first rank. If you’re playing black, place your queen on the last black square. The queen is one of the game’s tallest pieces, with a spiked crown. She can move any number of spaces horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, making her the most powerful piece on the board.
The white queen is placed on the d1-square, and the black queen starts on the d8-square (directly next to the kings).
Place the king on the first rank’s last open square. The king is usually the tallest piece on the board, with a rounded crown topped with a cross. The king can move in any direction, but only one space at a time. The rest of your pieces are used to protect your king. The king is less powerful than almost every chess piece, but it is also unique: the king is the only piece that can never be captured! If a king is attacked, it is in “check.” At the beginning of the game, the white king starts on the e1 square, and the black king starts on e8
Two very important aspects of the game of chess are attacking your opponent’s king while also keeping your own king safe and protected.
Arrange the pawns on the second rank. After placing your major pieces on the first rank, form a protective wall of pawns on the second rank. When a game begins, each side starts with eight pawns. The pawns begin the game on the second and seventh rank, white’s pawns start on the second rank, while Black pawns are located on the seventh rank.
The pawn is the least powerful chess piece, but it can be promoted into any other chess piece (except for a king). As Philidor once said, “Pawns are the soul of chess!”