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Chess is one of the most popular games in the world! Find an opponent and try your hand at strategy in a fun and engaging game that anyone can play.
Materials A chess game board and pieces
The aim of the game
The aim of chess is to be the first player to use your coloured game pieces to capture the other player's king. Use your pieces to capture the king in Checkmate - meaning that any move the opposing king makes will lead it to be captured by a piece from the opposing team. Capture the king, and you win.
Setting up the board
Each player's team consists of 16 pieces:
2 rooks (the castles)
2 knights (the horses)
To begin the game, each player lines their team up on their side of the board as follows:
Flip a coin to see who takes the white pieces - the player using the white pieces gets to move first.
The player using the white pieces moves one piece first, then the player using the black pieces moves a piece, then the white pieces move, then black, and so on until one player manages to capture the opponent's king in checkmate.
How each piece moves around the board
Although the king is the most important piece on the board, it is also among the weakest, and can only move in a limited fashion.
The king can only move one square at a time, but can move in any direction (down, up, diagonally, left, right). However, the king cannot move itself into check - a position in which it can be captured.
Possible spaces into which the king can move
The strongest piece on the board, the queen can move most freely out of all the pieces.
The queen can move straight in any direction for as many spaces as possible. If the queen captures a piece during that movement, the queen's turn ends and the opposing piece is captured.
Possible directions of the queen's movement
The bishop can move as far as it wants in a diagonal direction, but the bishop's move ends if it captures an opposing piece or it runs into a piece and cannot move any further.
Possible directions of a bishop's move
Like the bishop, the rook can move as far as it wants, only forward, backwards, and sideways.
A rook can move forwards and back
The knight moves in L shapes, 3 spaces straight then 1 space to the side.
Direction of a knight's movement
A pawn moves 1 space at a time, and can only move froward.
To capture an opposing piece, a pawn captures by moving 1 space forward diagonally.
During the pawn's first move (from its position in the front row at the beginning of the game) each pawn has the option of being able to move ahead 2 spaces.
The pawn's movement options
If a pawn reaches the other side of the board safely, it can be promoted to become any other piece on the board and adopt that piece's style of movement. Usually, the pawn is promoted to become an additional queen, but the player can choose which type of piece their pawn becomes.