Basic Chess Moves...

There are many basic chess moves you'll need to learn before you can master the game. Of course, not all chess pieces behave the same on the board; each one is moving in a different way. 

Some chess pieces move only one space at a time, others can move many spaces and cover the entire length of the board in one move. Ok., let's start at the top...

Chess King's Moves

The King (denoted by K) can move only one square at a time, horizontally, vertically or diagonally. 

For example, considering an empty board, a King on e4 (we write Ke4 in chess notation) may move to e3,e5, d4, f4, d3, f3, d5, f5. 

While the King is the highest ranking chess piece, the moves it can make are extremely limited

Chess Queen's Moves

The Queen (denoted by Q) can also move in all directions, namely horizontally, vertically or diagonally, but any number of squares.

This increased mobility makes the Queen the most valuable amongst the pieces. 

Consequently, a Queen located at d4 (we write Qd4) may move to all 7 squares on the d file, all 7 squares on the fourth rank, all 7 squares on the 'a1-h8' diagonal and all 6 squares on the 'b7-g1' diagonal, a mere total of 27 possible moves. 

Chess Moves Rook

The Rook (denoted by R) is capable of moving only along files and ranks, again any number of squares.

The Rook is the next most valuable piece after the Queen.

So a Rook placed on b5 (we write Rb5) may move to all 7 squares on the b file and all 7 squares on the fifth rank.

Chess Bishop Moves

The Bishop (denoted by B) can only move along diagonals, any number of squares. 

So, the Bishops are always moving on squares of the same colour. 

A Bishop moving on white squares is called a 'light-squared bishop', as opposed to the 'dark-squared bishop', which moves on black squares. 

The Bishop is about the same as valuable as a Knight, may be slightly more. 

Chess Knight Moves

The Knight (denoted by N) has an awkward way to move : its move forms an 'L' in any direction, namely it moves two squares horizontally and one vertically or vice versa. 

Thus, a Knight on d7 (Nd7) may move to b8, b6, c5, e5, f6 or f8. 

Chess Pawn Moves

Finally, the Pawn (denoted by P) is moving in the simplest way, since it can only move one square forward (ie. across the file and towards the opponent).

However, when the pawn is on its initial position, it may move two squares forward as well.

For example a white pawn on e3 (Pe3 or simply e3) may only move to e4; a black pawn on e3 (Pe3 or simply e3) may only move to e2; but a white pawn on d2 (Pd2 or simply d2) may move either to d3 or d4.

Pawns have less value in comparison to the other pieces.

The pieces' ability to move in certain squares determines their value.

The Queen, having the maximum flexibility, is worth 9 units. The Rook, coming next, is worth 5 units. The Bishop and the Knight both equal to 3 units, while a Pawn is only worth 1 unit.

These arithmetic values assigned to the pieces provide a general idea of the material balance on the board. In practice, one should consider other factors too; for example, a badly placed, pathetic Rook may be of less value than a centralized, powerful Knight.

To read the next article in this series, An Introduction To Chess Sets, click here...

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