What is chess?
Chess is a strategy and tactics game where each chess player (chess player) moves 16 pieces on a board of 64 squares. The objective is to perform the final move that captures the opponent’s king, leaving him with no options for movement, called checkmate.
How to play chess
The game of chess is conditioned by the knowledge of the players, a series of strategies are used throughout the game. For a good game, every move must be intentional and planned, the pieces must not be moved at random.
Before starting the game, you must observe some elementary rules.
Name and starting position of pieces on a chess board
At the beginning of a game, each player has 16 pieces: eight pawns (P), two rooks (T), two knights (C), two bishops (B), one queen (D) and one king (R). Each of the pieces has a value and follows a different movement.
The positioning of the pieces takes place according to the following rules:
On the line closest to the player, the rooks occupy the edge squares, followed by the knights, the bishops, the queen (on the square with the piece’s color. White queen, white square; black queen, black square) and the king. The pawns are lined up in the next row, occupying all eight squares.
By tradition, the game is always started by the white pieces (or light ones, in case the pieces have colors other than black and white).
Chess pieces movement
Chess pieces move according to the following rules:
- Pawn- moves forward, in a straight line, one square at a time. In the initial position of each pawn, it is allowed to move up to two squares (at the chess player’s choice). The pawn does not retreat (walk backwards) under any circumstances. If the pawn manages to advance to the eighth row (first of the opponent), it is promoted and the player can exchange it for any piece, except pawn or king.
- Rook- moves vertically or horizontally, the number of spaces the chess player wants, as long as there are no other pieces in the way. Pieces of the same color limit movement to the previous square, opponent’s pieces can be captured, taking their place.
- Bishop- moves diagonally freely, also as many squares as the chess player wants as long as there are no other pieces in the way. The bishop never changes the color of the square on which it moves.
- Knight- moves in “L”, one square as a rook (vertical or horizontal) and one as a bishop (diagonal). Only the knight is allowed to jump pieces that are in the way of its movement.
- Queen- moves freely in all directions, as a rook or as a bishop (vertical, horizontal and diagonal).
- King- moves like a queen, but only one square at a time. The king’s movement is also limited by the squares defended by the opponent (he cannot put himself in check).
Capture of parts
Capturing the pieces, also called conquering, taking or “eating” is an essential part of the game. The captured pieces are removed from the game, with the exception of the king, as its capture decrees the end of the game.
The piece you captured must then occupy the square on which the captured piece was. The capture respects the basic movement of each of the pieces.
The pawn is an exception. It moves vertically, but captures diagonally, laterally as it advances. If an opposing piece is in front of a pawn, it limits its movement and cannot be captured. As the pawn only advances, it cannot capture backwards either.
Check and Checkmate
The move in which the king is threatened by the opposing pieces is called check. The player proposing to attack the king says the word “check” to announce that the king is at risk (in check).
After the check is decreed, the player who receives it is only allowed to move pieces to defend the king and, thus, get out of check.
Victory in chess is determined when a player makes an attacking move to the opponent’s king, leaving him with no option to move to defense or escape to the king. When this occurs, the player who carried out the attack on the king decrees “checkmate” and seals his victory.
Traditionally, the defeated player acknowledges his opponent’s victory with a handshake.
Is chess a sport?
Even having never participated in the Olympic Games, the answer is yes. Since 1999, chess has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a sport.
As it is an almost exclusively mental sport, their participation in the Olympics is restricted, as are motor sports competitions (car racing, speedboats, etc.).
Despite this, chess has a recognized international sports federation (FIDE) and its own Olympics (Chess Olympiad), played by teams every two years.
A brief history of chess
The widespread and practiced chess today, known as international or western chess, began to be practiced in Spain and Italy in the mid-15th century, but only had its rules fully defined in the 19th century.
However, the origin of chess goes back to 6th century India, in a traditional game called chaturanga. Since then, the game has been exported to different locations, taking on some regional characteristics.
The first chess tournaments were played in the second half of the 19th century, establishing themselves at the beginning of the 20th century.
Over the years, many names have dominated international competitions, for example, the Cuban José Raul Capablanca champion during the 1920s. Capablanca’s birthday was chosen as the date for the celebration of International Chess Day (19 November).
In the second half of the 20th century, with the development of computers, chess took on its digital format, giving rise to the construction of machines capable of analyzing and practicing moves.
One of the sport’s great moments was the famous disputes between world champion Garry Kasparov and IBM’s supercomputer, dubbed Deep Blue.
The matches took place in 1996, with the victory of Kasparov and in 1997, the rematch had the supercomputer as victorious.
Some other names stand out in the history of chess such as:
- Bobby Fischer
- Magnus Carlsen
- Anatoly Karpov
- Viswanathan Anand
- Emanuel Lasker
- Mikhail Botvinnik
- Alexander Alekhine
List of Acronyms Related to Chess