Chess pieces names – Chess Rules

By ayed_amira , on 02/18/2020 , updated on 09/29/2020 , 1 comment - 11 minutes to read
Chess pieces names

Chess pieces names – Chess rules : Chess is a game played less with pieces and more with the mind


Chess pieces names and their moves for beginners :

The most important thing to understand while learning to play chess games is the pieces that make up the game. Only after you understand how each piece moves and how important they are, can you successfully plan a game.

A chess game consists of 32 pieces, 16 white and 16 black. Each side has the following pieces: 1 king, 1 queen, 2 knights, 2 bishops, 2 rooks and 8 pawns.


Each piece has a specific movement. Apart from the knight, no piece ever goes over another piece. A piece can be captured by the opponent: a piece is captured when it lands on the same square as an opponent’s piece. In this case the captured piece is removed from the game.

With the scale below, we can determine the power of each piece of the chessboard :

Piece NameValue
Pawn 1

Of course these values must be strongly moderated according to the position on the chessboard. Nevertheless we can notice the following rules:

  • The bishop and the knight are of equivalent value and can be exchanged.
  • The rook is stronger than a knight or a bishop. The player who exchanges a rook for a bishop or a knight loses the quality.
  • 3 pawns can compensate for the loss of a piece.
  • 2 rooks against a queen can sometimes be equivalent

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Chess pieces names

Chess Pawns

Chess pieces names pawns

The first move (called Chess opening) of a game is very often a pawn move. This move frees long-range pieces such as queens and bishops. The pawns will allow to control squares. The control of the center is often one of the objectives of the opening.

The pawn always moves forward. From its initial square it may advance one or two squares, then it may advance only one square. However, the pawn moves diagonally. Once it has reached the last row, the pawn must be promoted (the promotion). The pawn may also make a capture by passing (the passing capture).

Pawn promotion 
When a pawn has crossed the entire chessboard it transforms into one of the following pieces: queen, rook, bishop or knight. The promotion is a mandatory and immediate move. For a promotion to a rook, bishop or knight it is called an underpromotion. This one is very rare but can sometimes avoid a stalemate situation. It is thus possible to have several queens on the chessboard.

The passing capture
The passing capture concerns two pawns in the case described below. It is an optional move but may only be played as an immediate response to the advance of the opponent’s pawn. (On the turn following the prise en passant no longer applies).

Description of The passing capture for whites.
If a white pawn has reached the 5th row and a black pawn on the adjacent columns advances two squares, it may then be captured by the white pawn. Everything happens as if the black pawn had advanced only one square

Chess Rooks 

Chess pieces names rooks

Rooks are often the last pieces to come into play. Being placed at the corners of the chessboard, it is even sometimes tricky to activate them. Castling is therefore a very important move to bring a rook into play. Rooks are often at the end of the game. Rook + pawns vs. rook + pawns finals are very frequent.


He may move any number of steps horizontally or vertically until he reaches the end of the board or kills an opponent’s piece.

Chess Knights 

Chess pieces names knights

The knight changes color with each move.
It’s the only piecethat can fit over another room. It is a short-range piece, ideal for threatening and executing forks (simultaneous attack of several pieces).

The knight can move two and a half steps in any direction (like the letter L). This means that he can each time move two spaces in any direction and one step to the side.

Chess Bishops 

Chess pieces names bishops

The bishop is a long-range piece and will always remain on the same colour. Each player has a bishop on the white square and a bishop on the black square. This point is very important in the endgame because it means that, for example, a white bishop will never be able to capture a pawn on a black square! In the same way he can be hindered or even blocked by the pawns of his own camp.


A bishop may move any number of steps diagonally in any direction until it reaches the end of the board or until it kills an opponent’s piece.

Chess Queen

Chess pieces names queens

It’s the most mobile and powerful piece in the game. Losing it almost means losing the game. You should not take your queen out too early, because it may be attacked by the opponent’s pieces and finally have to return often to its starting square! Result: the opponent will have been able to develop his pieces while you will have had to play useless checkers moves and delay your own development. However, in an opening, the advance of development can be decisive. Indeed, the camp which has mobilized its forces well will be able to launch a victorious attack against the king.

The queen may move any number of squares in any direction until she reaches the end of the board or kills a piece of the opponent’s army. This makes the queen one of the deadliest pieces in the set.

Chess King 

Chess pieces names kings

It is the main piece of the game, its capture means the loss of the game!
The king will have to be protected and stay in the shelter at the beginning and middle of the game. On the other hand, it will become a very active piece at the end of the game, its position becoming capital and decisive in a pawn final.


One square in all directions. The king also has a specific move called castling.


Castling allows the simultaneous play of the king and a rook. There are small and large castling.

  • The small castling: it is played with the rook closest to the king.
  • The large castling: it is played with the rook furthest from the king.

In both cases the king is moved two squares towards the rook and then the rook is placed on the other side of the king.

  • Condition for castling:
    • The king and the rook must not have moved.
    • The king must not be in check or pass through a square in check.
    • No pieces must be present between the king and the rook concerned.
  • Interest of castling:
    • Put the king in a safe place on one side of the chessboard.
    • Bringing the rook into play
  • Checking and its consequences (see rules of the game)

Chess rules

At the beginning of a chess game, white always starts. During a game turn, the player may make either a move, a capture or a special move.

These different moves are proposed to the players to achieve their goal of taking the opponent’s king. When this goal is reached, the player who has achieved it immediately wins the game which ends automatically.


Whenever you can take your opponent’s king on your next move, you must warn him by announcing “check“. He must then try to parry your failure on his turn.

Check and mate

If he fails to do so, his king is checkmated. So you win the game.


A chess game may also end in a draw. If on a player’s turn, the player cannot move any of his pieces and his king is not in check. The game is then said to end in a “stalemate“.

The best known chess players

Bobby Fischer (Grandmaster) : He won the U.S. championship at the age of 14 in 1957-1958 and became the 11th world champion in 1972 when he won the “match of the century” in Reykjavik against Soviet player Boris Spassky. Fischer made a decisive contribution, through his demands at tournaments, to the improvement of the condition of professional chess players, both from the financial point of view and in the material organization of the tournaments.

World Chess Champion: 1972 – 1975

Garry Kasparov (Grandmaster) : he’s considered one of the best players in history. The first player to surpass 2,800 Elo points in January 1990, he reached the highest Elo ranking ever, with 2,851 points, in July 1999. This record was only broken 14 years later, in 2013, by Magnus Carlsen.

World Champion: 1985 – 1993 (Undisputed); 1993 – 2000 (Classical)

To access the current rating on the Chess federation’s website

Currently the number 1 ranked player in blizt notation is Carlsen Magnus with a score of 2887 in the Chess championship.

11 Best Chess Quotes

1. I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.

Marcel Duchamp

2. The beauty of chess is it can be whatever you want it to be. It transcends language, age, race, religion, politics, gender, and socioeconomic background. Whatever your circumstances, anyone can enjoy a good fight to the death over the chess board.

Simon Williams

3. Chess holds its master in its own bonds, shackling the mind and brain so that the inner freedom of the very strongest must suffer.

Albert Einstein

4. Chess is the gymnasium of the mind.

Blaise Pascal

5. The game of chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it. Life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with.

Benjamin Franklin

6. As proved by evidence, chess is more lasting in its being and presence than all books and achievements; the only game that belongs to all people and all ages; of which none knows the divinity that bestowed it on the world, to slay boredom, to sharpen the senses, to exhilarate the spirit.

Stefan Zweig

7. After a bad opening, there is hope for the middle game. After a bad middle game, there is hope for the endgame. But once you are in the endgame, the moment of truth has arrived.

Edmar Mednis

8. It is my style to take my opponent and myself on to unknown grounds. A game of chess is not an examination of knowledge; it is a battle of nerves.

David Bronstein

9. All I expect are wins and to get pleasure from the game. And if someone thinks something about me, if someone’s dissatisfied with something… that’s not my headache. I hope someday I’ll become World Champion – and I’ll make all these people happy. But even if for some reason that doesn’t happen it won’t stop me getting pleasure from chess. I’m sure of that.

Magnus Carlsen

10. There is no one that can share your responsibility. It is your responsibility you must carry it on and you must be responsible for your actions. At the end of the day we all are being challenged, sooner or later, by our destiny. And it’s up to us to make all the difference in this life. If not you, who else?

Garry Gasparov

11. In life, as in chess, one’s own pawns block one’s way.  A man’s very wealthy, ease, leisure, children, books, which should help him to win, more often checkmate him.

Charles Buxton

Chess pieces names in other languages

Chess is a game known throughout the world. Therefore each chess piece has a different name depending on the country. Here is a list that tells us the different names of the chess pieces in different languages:


Chess set Amazon

If you wish to buy a chess set, I advise you one of these 3 chess sets (As an Amazon Partner, I make a profit on qualifying purchases):

Chess Armory 15″ Wooden Chess Set :

Classic Game Collection Metal Chess Set :

Wegiel Handmade European Ambassador Chess Set :


I hope this article could help you to learn the different pieces and rules of chess!

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