Chess Lessons

 

Welcome to the World of Chess !  By WIM Beatriz Marinello

Chess Lessons: Part 1

Lesson 1 – Introducing the Chessboard

The goal of this lesson is to acquaint the student with the following concepts:

· Object of the game.
· The board is an entire world.
· Introducing the Chessboard.

Chess is a game of smarts, for two players. The player who uses the white pieces always makes the first move, after that the players take turns making moves. In chess we cannot skip a move or pass. If it is our turn to make a move, we must make a move.

The goal of the game is to trap the other players King, and of course, protect our own King. Once you learn the basic rules of the game, the next steps will be focusing on pattern recognition, tactics and strategies aiming to make your position better for the purpose of increasing your chances to trap the King. Once the King gets trapped the game is over, this is called CHECKMATE.

The Chessboard

This is the playing field. It is called the chessboard. The chessboard has the shape of a square, because it has four equal sides.

Diagram 1

The Chessboard (Diagram 0)

Diagram 2

(Diagram 1) – It has eight files (highlight VERTICAL LINES from a-h)

Diagram 3

(Diagram 2) – Also has eight ranks (highlight HORIZONAL LINES from 1-8).

Diagram 4

Diagram 3 – The slanted rows of squares are called Diagonals (highlight).

The chessboard is always placed with a white square on the lower right side corner.

Diagram 5

Diagram 5 – King Side

Diagram 6

Diagram 6 – Queen Side

Lesson 2: Naming the Squares

In the chessboard each square has a name. In the board you can see letters and numbers (highlight) so you can recognize files and ranks easily.

If you connect a letter and a number, then you can find the name of each square.

The goal of this lesson is to acquaint the student with the following concepts:

Introducing the name and shape of the chess pieces: Kings, Queens, Bishops, Knights, Rooks and Pawns.

Diagram 7

The King (Diagram 7) – These are the Kings, In India its called SHAH. The King is the most important piece in this game. If a player traps the other players King wins the game. Kings have to be protected, but they can also fight. At the beginning of the game the white and the black Kings face each other from opposite sides of the board.
White always starts on the first and second ranks, Black on 7th and 8th.

Diagram 8

The Queen ( Diagram 8 ) – Queens are very strong ladies; in fact they are the strongest pieces in the game. They are especially good in attack. When we setup the Queen, they go in their color. White Queen goes in the white square and the Black Queen goes in the Black square.

Diagram 9

The Bishops (Diagram 9) – Elephant in full regalia. When chess was invented in India, they thought of them as Elephants. In Spanish countries they still call it that: AL-FIL meaning the Elephant.

In medieval England they represented the power of the church; you can still see the Bishops hat on top of them.

Diagram 10

The Knight (Diagram 10) – Knight in armor. Knights are great, they jump over other pieces, and their movements are always tricky. In old times, there used to be a rider on top of the horse, it is simpler now. They go right next to the Bishops.

Diagram 11

The Rooks (Diagram 11) – Thinking of Rooks as castles is pretty good too! Rooks are very strong, only Queens are stronger. In chess we call Queens and Rooks heavy pieces, Bishops and Knights minor pieces.

Diagram 12

The Pawn  – (Diagram 12) – These are the Pawns; they represent the laborers and farmers. In old times they formed the armies of foot soldiers. As you can see they stand on a strong and straight line in front of the Pieces.
The Pieces represent the generals, paladins and nobility, the Pawns the common people.

You are doing very well !

Let me give you a recap of these lessons before you move on to the next lessons where you will learn how to move and capture in chess.

  • When you are ready, move on to Lessons 3-4 in our Chess Lessons II Section (Click Here).

Remember:

  • It takes two people to play this game.
  • The Players alternate making moves. White goes first.
  • The object of chess is to trap your opponents King.
  • You do not have to capture a King, just surround it, and make it give up.
  • Players must use all their intelligence in chess.
  • You have to be patient and careful…and when the time is right, daring and brave!

Did you know that people all over the world get smarter by playing chess?!

Read more about this scientific proof by reading the Chess Articles posted on this site.

Lesson 3 – “Piece Power”

The goal of the lesson is to acquaint the student with the following concepts:

  • How Rooks and Bishops move
  • The powers of Rooks and Bishops

Diagram 13

Diagram 13 – The Rook
The Rook is equal to 5 points. The Rook is the easiest piece to move. Rooks move along files, and ranks. As long as there is a clear path you can move a Rook up or down as many squares as you want. Rooks move in straight lines, only in one direction at a time. Rooks can capture other pieces. In chess, a capture is marked with an x. All chess pieces can capture opposite pieces.

Diagram 14

Diagram 14

Here, if is White to move, the White Rook has the choice of capturing the Black Rook on e8. Now, if is Black to move, the Black Rook on e8 has the choice of capturing the White Rook on e4. In Chess capturing is a choice; you are not obligated to capture a piece if you prefer not to do it.

When you capture a piece you place your piece on the same square where it was the other players piece, and take that piece out of the board.
Captures are good! If your opponent cannot take back is even better. Be always on the lookout for free pieces to capture.

Diagram 15

Diagram 15

Here, if you are playing with the White Rook, you can Capture the Black Rook on e8 is also good (Show e4xe8 on board) but you should expect black to recapture with the d8 rook (Show d8xe8 on board).

This is a fair trade, you get a Rook and the other player also gets a Rook.

There are some things Rooks cannot do:

  • A player cannot capture his or her own pieces. Rooks do not jump over pieces.

Diagram 16

Diagram 16 – The Bishop

The Bishop is equal to 3 points.

Bishops live and work on the chessboards Diagonals. When you start the game you have a Bishop for the light/White squares and a bishop for the dark/Black squares.

With both Bishops, a chess player can get to all the squares of the chessboard.

You can move your bishops up and down their diagonals as long as they have a clear path.

Bishops can move in only one direction at the time, but do not worry, if you make a mistake you can bring them back on your next move! Like the Rooks, Bishops can capture other pieces.

Diagram 17

Diagram 17

In this position, depending on who’s turn it is, the white bishop on c1 can capture the rook on f4, (Show Bc1xf4 on the board), or the black Rook on c5 can take the Bishop on c1, (Show Rc5xc1). Like Rooks, Bishops cannot capture pieces of their own color, or jump over pieces.

Rooks and Bishops are similar pieces, both move in straight lines, love open roads, and travel long distances fast.

Rooks are stronger than Bishops because they can go to every square on the chess board, both light, and dark squares.

LESSON 4

The object of the lesson is to acquaint the student with the following concepts:

The King is the most important piece in chess for two reasons:

1) The King is the only piece in chess that cannot be captured, and

2) If the King gets trapped the game is over.

The Queen is the most power piece in this game, it’s a long-range piece. This means that can travel long distances, the Queen can go from one side of the board to the other side in a single move.

Note: There are three long-range pieces in chess: The Queen, the Rook and the Bishop.

The Queen

Queen is what you get when you put a Rook and a Bishop in a blender and mix them together.

That’s right! The Queen is a super piece that moves like a Rook and a Bishop combine.

The Queen is equal to 9 points.

Diagram 18

Diagram 18

This black Queen can move like a Bishop to every square on the diagonals a1, h8,  and g1, a7 (Highlight diagonals), and also like a Rook to any square on the d file or the 4th rank (Highlight file and rank).

Queens move in straight lines, one direction at a time.

Queens cannot jump over pieces and, yes, they are great hunters: Queens love to capture pieces for free.

Diagram 19

Diagram 19

Let’s see now. In this position the queen has a lot of pieces to capture.

Some captures are freebies: we can take the Rook on a7 (Qd4xa7) or the Bishop on d2 (Qd4xd2) for free, because nothing can take our Queen when we do that. Taking or capturing on d7 or e3 is not so good.

You are right!

If we capture the bishop on d7 the white rook on a7 takes our Queen on the next move (1.-……Qd4xd7 2. – Ra7xd7).

Diagram 20

Diagram 20
And if we take the Rook on e3, then the Bishop on d2 will take our Queen. 1.-….Qd4xe3 2.- Bd2xe3).

Diagram 21

Diagram 21
It is very important to be extra careful with the Queens; you would not like to trade it for a lesser piece.

Because of their power Queens are the most valuable pieces on the board. It takes two Rooks to equal a Queen.

The King

Diagram 22
Diagram 22

A King is basically like a mini Queen: it can move in any direction but only one square at a time. (Highlight the squares around both Kings).

The King is equal to the whole game or infinity.

Kings are a bit slow but they are pretty strong pieces. Kings can not be traded or captured, but they can capture unprotected pieces. You cannot place Kings where they can be captured, that is not legal, this means that its not allowed.

A King can never be on a square next to another King.

Checking the King

Diagram 23

Diagram 23
Here the white Queen is attacking the black King. When an enemy piece is attacking the King, we call this a CHECK.

This is a powerful check, but guesses what? The black King can take the Queen! And… Is no longer in check.

Yes, but what happens the WK is on e6 instead of e3?

Diagram 24

Diagram 24

In this case it is not possible for the black King to capture the white Queen. The white King protects the white Queen. If the black King takes on e7 it would come under the attack of the white King on e6, and that is not allowed in chess. Remember that Kings are not allowed to be next to each of other, this is illegal.

Kings are tough. If you get near an enemy King, you better have help, or they will capture your pieces.

If a King is in Check, under attack, and it cannot get out get than the game is over this is called CHECKMATE.

Until next time…Let’s play CHESS !

WIM Beatriz Marinello

Ready?!  Click Here to move on to Chess Lessons – PART 2