Know about chess pieces, their moves, and values

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Chess is a game of wits that requires extensive strategizing and tactics to win. There are several popular strategies that you can study but knowing about the chess pieces goes a long way into building a good strategy during gameplay. There are 6 distinct kinds of pieces in chess and each has its own way of moving around the game board.

All chess pieces have a purpose. The chess pieces’ moves predominantly affect all your strategies. That is why today, we will discuss all chess pieces names and moves in detail for a better idea about how to implement them in your chess strategy.

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Of course, beginner chess piece moves will be very simple but as you refine your chess skills with time, you will notice how the pieces in chess help you transpose to more complicated gameplay like the chess king game or risky gambits.

So, let’s take a look at the chess name of pieces and how the chess pieces moves.

What are the chess pieces in a chess game?

As we have mentioned, there are 6 distinct types of chess pieces on the game board on either side. There are 16 chess pieces for white and 16 for black. Here are how the pieces in chess are distributed through either side’s army:

• Pawns

The pawns are the most basic chess pieces. They have very limited but unique movements and have special powers. The pawns can not only capture diagonal moving chess pieces but they can also capture adjacent pieces with special chess pawn moves.

A pawn can execute the en passant which is essential to capture an opponent’s pawn in passing from an adjacent square. It can also capture diagonal chess pieces and even threaten an opponent’s king.

The best special power of the pawn pieces in chess is promoting itself to a higher-ranking piece. Once it reaches the other side of the chessboard, the pawn pieces in chess can spontaneously develop into any of the important chess pieces such as bishops, rooks, knights, or even the queen.

You can identify them as the 8 shortest similar-looking pieces on the game board.

• Rooks

The rooks are the second-best chess pieces, not to the pawns but to the queens. The rooks sit on the far corners of the game board and they are the primary source of defense for your king, especially if you castle on either side.

The rook pieces in chess have the ability to capture any chess pieces that stand directly in their horizontal and vertical line of sight.

You can identify them as the 2 pieces in chess that resemble a castle top or a boat.

• Knights

The knights in chess are underestimated but have great potential to help you win a chess game. It is not recommended as beginner chess pieces moves but opening the game with a knight gives you a significant advantage over the gameplay.

The knights in chess move peculiarly, which we will discuss in a minute. The more important thing to note is that among all chess pieces, knights are the only ones who can launch askew threats upon your opponent’s pieces.

Thus, they are one of the most important pieces in chess games. You can identify them as the 2 chess pieces that feature a horse.

• Bishops

Bishops are another of the most important chess pieces that help develop your strategic structure. They are the diagonally moving chess pieces that have specific colored squares assigned to them.

The bishops in chess are further subcategorized as the bishop for the dark squares and the bishop for the light squares. This means the designated bishops can only move, threaten, and capture pieces on the squares with the same square color as the bishop itself.

You can recognize them as the 2 taller pawn-like pieces with an indentation on the head.

• Queen

The queen is one of the two most powerful chess pieces on your game board. They have the capacity to raise havoc no matter which way they turn.

There is only one chess queen on either side and you can identify her as the one with the crown. The chess queen can easily turn a losing game into a winning game but they also make for good sacrificial pieces in interesting and aggressive gambits.

• King

The chess king is the most powerful chess piece. It may not seem so but the king actually has the capacity to wipe out an opponent’s strategy.

You should keep the chess king game for the latter part of gameplay. In the initial stages, when there are too many pieces on the game board, it is best to keep the king secured in the castle. Once the material count on your opponent’s side is considerably lower is when you can initiate the chess king game for maximum damage.

How do you start a chess game?

The chess game starts with the basic setup of the chessboard. You count the left-bottom corner on the side of the player with the white pieces as A1 and set up the game board.

The rooks start on either end of the 1st row for white and the 8th row for black. The knights occupy the next squares, followed by the bishops. It ends with the chess queen on the left and chess king on the right for white and chess king on the left and chess queen on the right for black. The pawns cover the entire second row for the white and the seventh row for black.

Now, the chess games usually start with the pawn pieces in chess. Some chess openings involve the most powerful chess piece like knights in the opening moves or following up with developing bishops and queens in the second move.

The chess games basically start when the player with the white pieces plays the first chess piece movement on their side of the game board. Black follows with an alternative strategy and thus the gameplay ensues.

How the chess pieces moves?

All chess pieces have different movement patterns. Here’s how the chess pieces on a chessboard move:

• Pawns

The pawns have different styles of chess piece movements based on the stage of their development.

When taking the first step, the pawn pieces in chess can cover one or two squares. From the second pawn move though, that particular pawn can only move one step forward.

If an opponent’s piece is diagonally in front of the pawn on either side, it can take a single diagonal step to capture the piece. It can also move one step sideways during e passant.

When a pawn reaches the other end of the chessboard, it can spontaneously promote to a higher-ranking piece and adapt its movements.

• Rooks

The rook pieces in chess can only move horizontally and vertically. They can move numerous steps at a time but the direction of the movement must be in a straight line.

• Knight

The knight chess pieces have a peculiar manner of moving. They move in an L-shape, i.e., taking two steps in any direction of north, south, east, west, then turning to the right or left with one additional step.

• Bishop

The bishop pieces in chess are the diagonal moving chess pieces. They move along a select-colored diagonal line. That means the bishops for the light squares can only occupy the light-squares in a diagonal manner on any of the four adjacent corners.

• Queen

The Queen is one of the most powerful chess pieces for the sole reason that it can move in any direction. The chess queen possesses the power of all chess pieces except the knight. She can move vertically, horizontally, and diagonally.

• King

The chess king is the most powerful chess piece and he moves only one step at a time. The chess king can move two paces in a peculiar fashion during the Castling but after that, he takes only one step each time.

The king can also move in any direction horizontally, vertically, and diagonally.

The chess piece movements immensely affect the gameplay. It determines what strategies you can implement at any given point and gain an advantage over your opponent.

Understanding the points value of chess

The point system for the pieces in chess differs based on what channels you use to play the game. If you are on an online channel, their point system will be based on timed and non-timed games. On the other hand, playing offline tournaments and challenges, including Blitz games at FIDE events, there are durable point values allocated to each chess piece.

However, most chess games allocate the following points value to all chess pieces:

  1. The pawns are allocated 1 point
  2. A knight is worth 3 points
  3. A bishop is worth 3 points
  4. A rook is worth 5 points
  5. A queen is worth 9 points
  6. The king is worth the game.

Blitz and Rapid games are often contingent on these point values designated to all the pieces in chess. Beginner chess piece moves usually don’t result in spontaneous advantageous chess piece movements but they do offer a points benefit if the game ends abruptly.

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Question Answer
What's the significance of the chess clock? A chess clock is used to track each player's time in a game. Players must make their moves within a set time limit. If a player's time runs out, they lose the game, regardless of the position on the board.
Can a pawn be promoted? Yes, when a pawn reaches the opposite end of the board, it can be promoted to any other chess piece (except another pawn). This promotion typically results in choosing a queen, as it is the most powerful piece.
What is a stalemate in chess? A stalemate is a situation where one player's king is not in check, but they have no legal moves to make. In a stalemate, the game ends in a draw, and neither player wins.
What's the "en passant" rule in chess? "En passant" is a special pawn capture rule. If a pawn advances two squares from its starting position and lands beside an opponent's pawn, the opponent can capture it as if it had only moved one square forward.
Are there different styles of chess, aside from standard chess? Yes, there are various chess variants, such as Blitz (fast-paced chess with limited time per move), Bullet (even faster than Blitz), Chess960 (randomized starting positions), and more. These variants offer unique challenges and gameplay experiences for chess enthusiasts.