Getting Started in Chess - Setting up the Chess board

Chess is a board game of skill; in fact, it is widely known that one cannot cheat at a game of chess. Since it is a game of deep strategy, with moves contemplated well in advance, and an opponent’s move judged and weighed careful, suffice it to say a good chess game doesn’t finish soon. Keeping this fact in mind, before setting up a chess board, it is important to find a comfortable location, where there is little disturbance, and the facility to remain for a few hours at the very least.

When setting up, the correct way for the players to sit is opposite each other, each facing a side of the chess board layout. Each person should see a white square on the rightmost corner of the chess board edge they are facing. If the board has some sort of legend, numerical or alphabetical, the order is ascending from White to Black; that is, if the legend is 1-8, then 1 goes closest to White, whereas 8 stays next to Black.

Chess sets vary greatly, right from classic ones to animal patterned ones, and can vary in style from antique ones worth a fortune to plastic ones available at the dollar store. But in spite of that, the king piece is always the tallest with the crown. The queen is slightly smaller, topped by a crown with many points. The bishop is the next in size, and carries a miter. The most interesting piece, the knight, is in the shape of a horse and the rook is in the shape of a tower. They are both roughly of the same size. The smallest, and most numerous of the pieces are the pawns which rarely have a defined shape.

Placement of the chess set never varies; they always take the same starting positions. The pawns take up the entire second row of each player’s side. All the other pieces are placed on the row behind the pawns. In a chess set, either side has two of rooks, knights and bishops, and one each of a king and a queen. Place the rooks in the corners of the chess board, the knights on the squares next to them, and the bishops on the next ones inward. That leaves two squares in the middle of the row for the king and the queen.

The queen is always placed on her color, which means that for Black, the queen will occupy the black square in the middle, and similarly, for White the queen will occupy the white square on the chess board. The kings are then placed in the only remaining squares on the end rows of the chess board. As a final check, each piece from one side should be facing its counterpart in the opposite color.

Play always commences with White making the first move. The play alternates between the two sides, one move at a time. The players are not allowed to make more than one move at a time, and additionally, they are not allowed to skip a turn.