Chess is one of the most ancient board games. It is a game worth learning because it keeps brain cells active. To begin with, you need to become familiar with its board. The chess board has 64 squares, i.e., 8 x 8 squares. The white squares on the board alternate with the black squares throughout the board. However, it is necessary to keep the board in pre-defined direction. That means the corner square on your right should be white and not black. Correspondingly the corner square on your left would be a black square.
Having oriented the chess board in the right direction, the next step is placing the chess pieces on them. On the white square in the right corner place the rook. This piece is followed by knight to its left, and then bishop. After bishop is the position of the king and then the queen. The queen is followed by another bishop, another knight, and another rook. The first row is filled with the 8 chess pieces of the same color. In front of this row is the row of pawns, again of the same color. If this is the white colored chess pieces set, then corresponding arrangement in black chess pieces is also done in the same sequence at the opposite end.
Brief introduction to movements of chess pieces:
If you want to learn to play chess, you should also know the movements various pieces are capable of. The rook can only move in straight line, either vertically, or horizontally. The knight’s movements are a bit more complex. A knight is capable of moving two squares straight vertically or horizontally and then takes a step on either side, effectively moving two and a half steps with every jump. The bishop moves diagonally across many squares. Therefore, one of the bishops covers white squares whereas the other bishop covers the black squares. But the number of squares that it can attack for defend depends upon the positioning of the bishop. The bishop can cover more squares with a single move. Unlike it, the knight can only hop once each time.
The king, however, can move only one step in any direction, including diagonally. The queen can move both diagonally like the bishops, as well as straight like the rooks.
There are no restrictions on its steps like those on knight’s movements. Therefore, it can move across 4 or six squares at one go. However, it can move only in one direction each time. Therefore, if the queen is moved diagonally, then it can’t suddenly change into straight line movement after a few squares. The pawn normally moves straight and only takes one step at a time, unless it is capturing. If it is capturing, it moves diagonally. The pawn, however, can jump start by taking two steps if need be.
Understanding the chess board:
Now comes the understanding about the board. Note that the central four squares of the board are the most coveted squares. This is because any of the chess pieces other than pawns placed in any of these four squares can attack or defend maximum number of squares from here. The next level of power is in the squares surrounding these four squares.
Understanding the power:
The Queen is the most powerful piece, followed by the rooks. Bishop is a tad better than knight, though in some situations, knight might be preferred.
The opening game
Now that you have understood the movements of all the chess pieces, and the powerful positions on the chess board, the next step in learning how to play chess is to understand how to open the game. The opening game is about capturing the central four squares and the squares around it, without casualties or captures. This can be done with pawns, and knights. Good planning of the opening game results in the player winning the game eventually.
While playing chess, it is necessary to remember the basic objective of the game. This objective is to save the king at all times and capture the king of the opponent, if possible, or corner the opponent’s king. Effectively, all chess pieces of the same are comparatively dispensable for the sake of protecting the king. But a better strategy is to keep the King hidden in a safe corner so that the rest of the forces can fight the battle. For safeguarding the king, a special move called castling is available to the king. The king can castle in the side of queen or the opposite side. In castling the king moves two steps towards the rook, and the rook jumps to come on the other side of the king.
Castling is preferred on the side that has its pawn defenses intact. This defense is not impregnable, but it is much better than no defense at all for the king.
Though pawns are not as powerful as bishops, knights, rooks, or the queen, they have the potential to become any of such pieces if they reach the last line of the opposite end. Therefore, the opening game should be well thought out, and pawns should not be treated as inconsequential. The battle is between the colors and respective forces, rather than the sizes or abilities of the individual chess piece. Every pawn needs to be protected be it with another pawn, or any other more powerful piece of the same color.
Focusing the forces
Now that the hierarchy of powerful pieces is known, and the four most powerful squares are identified, it is possible to start attack on the same square using the available pieces. While doing so, it is necessary to establish protection or defense. It would not be a proper to lose a knight for a pawn. Therefore, retreat is often necessary. However, aggression also pays off at times. Expecting the moves that the opponent would make before moving any of the chess pieces is important. It is necessary to think of the extent of damage in such cases.
The opening game in the chess is about understanding the importance of the central four squares on the chess board, and capturing them as well as safeguarding them. The opening game is also about protecting the king by pushing it in a protective corner.