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How to Play Chess: A Beginner's Guide

Martian s. 30 Mar, 2023 4 min

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How to Play Chess: A Beginner 



Chess is a two-player strategy game that has been enjoyed for centuries. It requires players to think ahead and plan their moves carefully, making it an excellent game for improving critical thinking skills. In this beginner's guide, we'll go over the basic rules of chess and how to play the game.


Basic Rules of Chess

Chess is played on a board with 64 squares, arranged in an 8x8 grid. Each player has 16 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. The objective of the game is to put the opponent's king in checkmate, which means the king is threatened with capture and cannot escape capture on the next move.


Chessboard Setup

The chessboard is set up so that each player has a light-colored square in the bottom right corner. The pieces are arranged in a specific order, with the rooks in the corners, the knights next to them, then the bishops, the queen on her own color, and the king on the remaining square.


Chess Piece Movement

Each chess piece moves in a specific way. The king can move one square in any direction, while the queen can move any number of squares diagonally, horizontally, or vertically. Rooks can move any number of squares horizontally or vertically, while bishops can move any number of squares diagonally.


Knights have a unique L-shaped move, where they move two squares in any direction and then one square perpendicular to that. Pawns move forward one square at a time, except on their first move when they can move forward two squares. Pawns capture diagonally, but move straight ahead.


Capturing and Check

When a piece moves onto a square occupied by an opponent's piece, the opponent's piece is captured and removed from the board. If a king is threatened with capture, it is in check, and the player must make a move to remove the threat. If a player's king is in checkmate, the game is over, and that player loses.


Winning the Game

The game can be won by putting the opponent's king in checkmate, by resigning, or by the game ending in a draw. A draw can occur when neither player can put the other's king in checkmate or when there are not enough pieces on the board to force a win.


Tips for Beginners

When starting out, it's a good idea to focus on controlling the center of the board and developing your pieces. Try not to move the same piece multiple times in the opening, as this can waste time and give your opponent an advantage. It's also important to keep your king safe and protected.


Advanced Strategies for Chess Players

Now that you have a good understanding of the basic rules of chess, it's time to start exploring some advanced strategies. One of the key concepts in chess is controlling the center of the board, as this gives you more options for your pieces and limits your opponent's options. Try to control the center with pawns and knights early on in the game.


Another important strategy is pawn structure. Your pawns can be used to control key squares on the board and restrict your opponent's pieces. Be mindful of pawn weaknesses, such as doubled pawns or isolated pawns, as these can be exploited by your opponent.


In the midgame, it's important to develop a plan for your pieces. Look for weaknesses in your opponent's position and try to exploit them. Don't move your pieces aimlessly, as this can give your opponent an opportunity to gain an advantage.


When it comes to attacking your opponent's king, you'll need to coordinate your pieces effectively. Look for opportunities to create a double attack, where two pieces threaten different squares at the same time. This can force your opponent to make a difficult choice and create an opening for you to exploit.


Finally, remember that chess is a game of patience. Don't rush into moves without thinking them through carefully, as this can lead to mistakes and missed opportunities. Take your time and try to anticipate your opponent's moves, so you can plan your own strategy accordingly.


By incorporating these advanced strategies into your gameplay, you can take your chess skills to the next level and enjoy the game even more.



Chess is an excellent game for improving critical thinking and strategy skills. With this beginner's guide, you should have a good understanding of the basic rules of chess and how to play the game. Remember to practice regularly and have fun Mastering the game of chess takes time and practice, but with dedication and effort, anyone can become a skilled player. By understanding the basic rules of the game, learning key strategies, and practicing regularly, you can improve your skills and enjoy the many benefits that chess has to offer. So, whether you're looking for a new hobby or a way to sharpen your mind, give chess a try and see where your skills take you!


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