Learn Chess Step by Step –
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My 60 Memorable Games Paperback:
Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess Mass Market:
Complete Book of Chess Strategy: Grandmaster Techniques from A to Z:
Hi. My name is Rebecca Taxman and I’m with Chess NYC and I’m going to tell
you, today, how to set up the chess board and understand the chess board.
So to start, there’s a couple things we need to know.
First of all, there is 64 squares on a chess board. This might not seem
like a lot, but let’s put it into perspective. There are more possible
chess positions within these 64 squares, than there are tiny grains of
sands in all the beaches of the world. So, this game is huge. And now, we
need to understand it in simple terms within these 64 squares.
So, first thing we should always notice is that we have two colors. We
have black or dark and we have white or light. Now unlike checkers, we use
all of the squares. Going up and down, we have our file. Each file is
recorded by a different letter. So for example, this is the E file. This
is the D file. And going across, we have our rank. Each rank has a
specific number. This is the fifth rank. This is the sixth rank. It’s,
like, rank and file like in the army.
Then, we have long diagonal. Our longest diagonal is here and here. Each
square on the board has its own name. For example, we use our rank and
file to find our name. This is A1. This square would be B4. If I wanted
to find E6, it would be right here, E6.
Now, we are going to learn how to set up the chess board. So to begin, we
place our rooks in the corner of the board, and we always start with the
white pieces down by the one and two and the black pieces start on seven
and eight. For this tutorial, I’m just going to set up the white pieces.
Our rook starts on A1 and H1. Next to the rook goes the knight. Now, we
never want to call this the horse, the horsey, or the pony. In chess
language, this is the knight and the knight starts on G1 and B1. Next to
the knight, we have the bishop. The bishop is considered, like, the king’s
messenger and the bishop starts on C1 and F1. And then, we have the king
Now, we have these two center squares. How do we know which one goes
where? Very simple; the queen always goes on her own color. So since this
is a light colored queen, she goes on the light square of D1 and the king,
her partner, goes right next to her on E1.
Then, very simply, we just place our pawns as a little gate in front of our
pieces. So, there’s the basics of how to understand and set up the chess
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