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Based on the FIDE Handbook Laws of chess found at https://handbook.fide.com/chapter/E012018
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For tips on how to play chess, see [[Tips_chess]]
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This page is based on the FIDE Handbook Laws of chess found at https://handbook.fide.com/chapter/E012018
 
   
 
   
 
== The nature and objectives of the game of chess ==
 
== The nature and objectives of the game of chess ==

Revision as of 12:39, 7 December 2021

For tips on how to play chess, see Tips_chess

This page is based on the FIDE Handbook Laws of chess found at https://handbook.fide.com/chapter/E012018

The nature and objectives of the game of chess

The game of chess is played between two opponents who move their pieces on a square board.

The player with the light-coloured pieces (White) makes the first move, then the players move alternately, with the player with the dark-coloured pieces (Black) making the next move.

The objective of each player is to place the opponent’s king ‘under attack’ in such a way that the opponent has no legal move. The player who achieves this goal is said to have ‘checkmated’ the opponent’s king and to have won the game. The following are not allowed:

  • leaving one’s own king under attack
  • exposing one’s own king to attack
  • ’capturing’ the opponent’s king

If the position is such that neither player can possibly checkmate the opponent’s king, the game is drawn.

The initial position of the pieces on the chessboard

The chessboard is composed of an 8 x 8 grid of 64 equal squares alternately light (the ‘white’ squares) and dark (the ‘black’ squares).

At the beginning of the game White has 16 light-coloured pieces (the ‘white’ pieces); Black has 16 dark-coloured pieces (the ‘black’ pieces). These pieces are as follows:

Piece King Queen Rook Bishop Knight Pawn
Number 1 1 2 2 2 8
Symbols King
 
King
Queen

Queen
Rook
 
Rook
Bishop


Bishop

Knight


Knight

Pawn
 
Pawn

The initial position of the pieces on the chessboard is as follows:

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
8
Rook
Knight
Bishop
Queen
King
Bishop
Knight
Rook
8
7
Pawn
Pawn
Pawn
Pawn
Pawn
Pawn
Pawn
Pawn
7
6
6
5
5
4
4
3
3
2
Pawn
Pawn
Pawn
Pawn
Pawn
Pawn
Pawn
Pawn
2
1
Rook
Knight
Bishop
Queen
King
Bishop
Knight
Rook
1
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
File
Vertical column of squares.
Rank
Horizontal row of squares.
Diagonal
A straight line of squares of the same colour, running from one edge of the board to an adjacent edge.

The moves of the pieces

It is not permitted to move a piece to a square occupied by a piece of the same colour.

If a piece moves to a square occupied by an opponent’s piece the latter is captured and removed from the chessboard as part of the same move.

A piece is said to attack an opponent’s piece if the piece could make a capture on that square.

A piece is considered to attack a square even if this piece is constrained from moving to that square because it would then leave or place the king of its own colour under attack.

Bishop

The bishop may move to any square along a diagonal on which it stands.

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
8
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
8
7
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
7
6
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
6
5
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
5
4
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Bishop
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
4
3
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
3
2
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
2
1
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
1
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H


Rook

The rook may move to any square along the file or the rank on which it stands.

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
8
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
8
7
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
7
6
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
6
5
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
5
4
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
4
3
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Rook
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
3
2
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
2
1
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
1
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H


Queen

The queen may move to any square along the file, the rank or a diagonal on which it stands.

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
8
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
8
7
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
7
6
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
6
5
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
5
4
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Queen
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
4
3
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
3
2
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
2
1
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
1
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H


When making these moves, the bishop, rook or queen may not move over any intervening pieces.

Knight

The knight may move to one of the squares nearest to that on which it stands but not on the same rank, file or diagonal.

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
8
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Bishop
Knight
Rook
8
7
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Pawn
Pawn
Pawn
7
6
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
6
5
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
5
4
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
4
3
Empty Square
Empty Square
Knight
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
3
2
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
2
1
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
1
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H


Pawn

The pawn may move:

  • forward to the square immediately in front of it on the same file, provided that this square is unoccupied, or
  • on its first move only the pawn may also advance two squares along the same file, provided that both squares are unoccupied, or
  • the pawn may move to a square occupied by an opponent’s piece diagonally in front of it on an adjacent file, capturing that piece.


A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
8
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
8
7
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
7
6
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
6
5
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Pawn
Empty Square
5
4
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
4
3
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
3
2
Empty Square
Pawn
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
2
1
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
1
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H


En passant

A pawn occupying a square on the same rank as and on an adjacent file to an opponent’s pawn which has just advanced two squares in one move from its original square may capture this opponent’s pawn as though the latter had been moved only one square. This capture is only legal on the move following this advance and is called an ‘en passant’ capture.

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
8
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
8
7
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Pawn
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
7
6
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
6
5
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Pawn
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
5
4
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
4
3
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
3
2
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
2
1
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
1
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H


Promotion

When a player, having the move, plays a pawn to the rank furthest from its starting position, they must exchange that pawn as part of the same move for a new queen, rook, bishop or knight of the same colour on the intended square of arrival. This is called the square of ‘promotion’.

  • The player's choice is not restricted to pieces that have been captured previously.
  • This exchange of a pawn for another piece is called promotion, and the effect of the new piece is immediate.

King

There are two different ways of moving the king:

  • by moving to an adjoining square, or
  • (once in the game) by ‘castling’.


A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
8
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
King
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
8
7
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
7
6
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
6
5
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
5
4
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
4
3
Empty Square
Empty Square
King
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
3
2
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
2
1
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
1
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H


Castling

This is a move of the king and either rook of the same colour along the player’s first rank, counting as a single move of the king and executed as follows: the king is transferred from its original square two squares towards the rook on its original square, then that rook is transferred to the square the king has just crossed.

Before black queenside castling After black queenside castling
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
8
Rook
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
King
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
8
7
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
7
6
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
6
5
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
5
4
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
4
3
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
3
2
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
2
1
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
King
Empty Square
Empty Square
Rook
1
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
8
Empty Square
Empty Square
King
Rook
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
8
7
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
7
6
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
6
5
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
5
4
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
4
3
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
3
2
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
2
1
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Empty Square
Rook
King
Empty Square
1
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
Before white kingside castling After white kingside castling

The right to castle has been lost:

  • if the king has already moved, or
  • with a rook that has already moved.

Castling is prevented temporarily:

  • if the square on which the king stands, or the square which it must cross, or the square which it is to occupy, is attacked by one or more of the opponent's pieces, or
  • if there is any piece between the king and the rook with which castling is to be effected.

Check

The king is said to be 'in check' if it is attacked by one or more of the opponent's pieces, even if such pieces are constrained from moving to the square occupied by the king (because they would then leave or place their own king in check).

No piece can be moved that will either expose the king of the same colour to check or leave that king in check.

The completion of the game

The game is won by the player:

  • who has checkmated their opponent’s king.
  • whose opponent declares they resign.

The game is drawn when:

  • the player to move has no legal move and their king is not in check. The game is said to end in ‘stalemate’.
  • a position has arisen in which neither player can checkmate the opponent’s king with any series of legal moves. The game is said to end in a ‘dead position’.
  • there is agreement between the two players during the game, provided both players have made at least one move.

Variant: Chess960

Before a Chess960 game a starting position is randomly set up, subject to certain rules. After this, the game is played in the same way as regular chess. In particular, pieces and pawns have their normal moves, and each player's objective is to checkmate the opponent's king.

Starting position

The starting position for Chess960 must meet certain rules. White pawns are placed on the second rank as in regular chess. All remaining white pieces are placed randomly on the first rank, but with the following restrictions:

  • the king is placed somewhere between the two rooks, and
  • the bishops are placed on opposite-coloured squares, and
  • the black pieces are placed opposite the white pieces.

There are 960 unique possible starting positions.

Chess960 castling rules

Chess960 allows each player to castle once per game, a move by potentially both the king and rook in a single move. However, a few interpretations of regular chess rules are needed for castling, because the regular rules presume initial locations of the rook and king that are often not applicable in Chess960.

In Chess960, depending on the pre-castling position of the castling king and rook, the castling manoeuvre is performed by one of these four methods:

  1. double-move castling: by making a move with the king and a move with the rook, or
  2. transposition castling: by transposing the position of the king and the rook, or
  3. king-move-only castling: by making only a move with the king, or
  4. rook-move-only castling: by making only a move with the rook.

Clarification

c-side castling

After c-side castling (notated as 0-0-0 and known as queenside castling in orthodox chess), the king is on the c-square (c1 for white and c8 for black) and the rook is on the d-square (d1 for white and d8 for black).

g-side castling

After g-side castling (notated as 0-0 and known as kingside castling in orthodox chess), the king is on the g-square (g1 for white and g8 for black) and the rook is on the f-square (f1 for white and f8 for black).

In some starting positions:

  • the king or rook (but not both) does not move during castling.
  • castling can take place as early as the first move.

All the squares between the king's initial and final squares (including the final square) and all the squares between the rook's initial and final squares (including the final square) must be vacant except for the king and castling rook.

In some starting positions, some squares can stay filled during castling that would have to be vacant in regular chess. For example, after c-side castling (0-0-0), it is possible to have a, b, and/or e still filled, and after g-side castling (0-0), it is possible to have e and/or h filled.

Glossary of terms in the Laws of Chess

adjourn
Instead of playing the game in one session it is temporarily halted and then continued at a later time.
algebraic notation
Recording the moves using a-h and 1-8 on the 8x8 board.
analyse
Where one or more players make moves on a board to try to determine what is the best continuation.
arbiter
The person(s) responsible for ensuring that the rules of a competition are followed.
attack
A piece is said to attack an opponent’s piece if the player’s piece can make a capture on that square.
black
There are 16 dark-coloured pieces and 32 squares called black. Or
When capitalised, this also refers to the player of the black pieces.
blitz
A game where each player’s thinking time is 10 minutes or less.
board
Short for chessboard.
Bronstein mode
See delay mode.
capture
Where a piece is moved from its square to a square occupied by an opponent’s piece, the latter is removed from the board.
castling
A move of the king towards a rook. See castling above.
In notation 0-0 kingside castling, 0-0-0 queenside castling.
check
Where a king is attacked by one or more of the opponent’s pieces. In notation +.
checkmate
Where the king is attacked and cannot parry the threat. In notation ++ or #.
chessboard
The 8x8 grid. See The initial position of the pieces on the chessboard above.
chess clock
A clock with two time displays connected to each other.
chess set
The 32 pieces on the chessboard.
Chess960
A variant of chess where the back-row pieces are set up in one of the 960 distinguishable possible positions.
clock
One of the two time displays.
cumulative (Fischer) mode
Where a player receives an extra amount of time (often 30 seconds) prior to each move.
dead position
Where neither player can mate the opponent’s king with any series of legal moves.
default time
The specified time a player may be late without being forfeited.
delay (Bronstein) mode
Both players receive an allotted ‘main thinking time’. Each player also receives a ‘fixed extra time’ with every move. The countdown of the main thinking time only commences after the fixed extra time has expired. Provided the player presses their clock before the expiration of the fixed extra time, the main thinking time does not change, irrespective of the proportion of the fixed extra time used.
diagonal
A straight line of squares of the same colour, running from one edge of the board to an adjacent edge.
draw
Where the game is concluded with neither side winning.
draw offer
Where a player may offer a draw to the opponent. This is indicated on the scoresheet with the symbol (=).
en passant
see en passant above.
exchange
Where a pawn is promoted. Or
Where a player captures a piece of the same value as their own and this piece is recaptured. Or
Where one player has lost a rook and the other has lost a bishop or knight.
explanation
A player is entitled to have a Law explained.
fair play
Whether justice has been done has sometimes to be considered when an arbiter finds that the Laws are inadequate.
file
A vertical column of eight squares on the chessboard.
Fischer mode
See cumulative mode.
flag
The device that displays when a time period has expired.
flag-fall
Where the allotted time of a player has expired.
forfeit
To lose the right to make a claim or move. Or 2. To lose a game because of an infringement of the Laws.
illegal
A position or move that is impossible because of the Laws of Chess.
increment
An amount of time (from 2 to 60 seconds) added from the start before each move for the player. This can be in either delay or cumulative mode.
kingside
The vertical half of the board on which the king stands at the start of the game.
made
A move is said to have been ‘made’ when the piece has been moved to its new square, the hand has quit the piece, and the captured piece, if any, has been removed from the board.
mate
Abbreviation of checkmate.
minor piece
Bishop or knight.
move
40 moves in 90 minutes, refers to 40 moves by each player. Or
having the move refers to the player’s right to play next. Or
White’s best move refers to the single move by White.
move-counter
A device on a chessclock which may be used to record the number of times the clock has been pressed by each player.
normal means
Playing in a positive manner to try to win; or, having a position such that there is a realistic chance of winning the game other than just flag-fall.
over-the-board
The Laws cover only this type of chess, not internet, nor correspondence, and so on.
piece
One of the 32 figurines on the board. Or
A queen, rook, bishop or knight.
press the clock
The act of pushing the button or lever on a chess clock which stops the player’s clock and starts that of their opponent.
promotion
Where a pawn reaches the eighth rank and is replaced by a new queen, rook, bishop or knight of the same colour.
queen
As in queen a pawn, meaning to promote a pawn to a queen.
queenside
The vertical half of the board on which the queen stands at the start of the game.
quickplay finish
The last part of a game where a player must complete an unlimited number of moves in a finite time.
rank
A horizontal row of eight squares on the chessboard.
rapid chess
A game where each player’s thinking time is more than 10 minutes, but less than 60.
repetition
A player may claim a draw if the same position occurs three times.
A game is drawn if the same position occurs five times.
resigns
Where a player gives up, rather than play on until mated.
result
Usually the result is 1-0, 0-1 or ½-½. In exceptional circumstances both players may lose (Article 11.8), or one score ½ and the other 0. For unplayed games the scores are indicated by +/- (White wins by forfeit), -/+ (Black wins by forfeit), -/- (Both players lose by forfeit).
sealed move
Where a game is adjourned the player seals their next move in an envelope.
scoresheet
A paper sheet with spaces for writing the moves. This can also be electronic.
screen
An electronic display of the position on the board.
spectators
People other than arbiters or players viewing the games. This includes players after their games have been concluded.
standard chess
A game where each player’s thinking time is at least 60 minutes.
stalemate
Where the player has no legal move and their king is not in check.
square of promotion
The square a pawn lands on when it reached the eighth rank.
time control
The regulation about the time the player is allotted. For example, 40 moves in 90 minutes, all the moves in 30 minutes, plus 30 seconds cumulatively from move 1. Or
A player is said ‘to have reached the time control’, if, for example they have completed the 40 moves in less than 90 minutes.
time period
A part of the game where the players must complete a number of moves or all the moves in a certain time.
vertical
The 8th rank is often thought as the highest area on a chessboard. Thus each file is referred to as ‘vertical’.
white
There are 16 light-coloured pieces and 32 squares called white. Or
When capitalised, this also refers to the player of the white pieces.
50-move rule
A player may claim a draw if the last 50 moves have been completed by each player without the movement of any pawn and without any capture.
75-move rule
The game is drawn if the last 75 moves have been completed by each player without the movement of any pawn and without any capture.