A new game is opened by clicking on “New Game”. The player can then decide against whom he/she will play (All, Friends, Invited), as well as the skill level of the opponent. The board consists of 64 black and white squares laid out in an 8 by 8 grid. A move is made by clicking on the desired figure, then dragging and dropping it to the desired position. Each piece may only move in certain ways (see “How the pieces may move”).
The clock to the right of the board times how long each player requires for the move.
Chess is a game for two players. Both players start with 16 pieces each, either white or black: a King, a Queen, two Bishops, two Knights, two Rooks and eight Pawns. The player with the white figures makes the first move.
The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent’s king by playing tactically. This means that the King is under attack and cannot escape.
In the game, the players take it in turns to move their pieces. A move consists of the moving of one piece from one square on the board to another. A player can “take” (remove from the game) an opponent’s piece by moving one of his/her pieces in accordance with the rules to the square occupied by the opponent’s piece. The “taken” piece is automatically removed from the board and is not available for the rest of the game.
Should a player’s King be under threat, but can somehow escape, this is called “check”. If the King is in check, the player must remedy the situation in one of three ways:
- Take the threatening piece
- Block the line of sight between the threatening piece and the King by moving another piece into the way
- Move the King to a safe square
Blitz Chess is a variant of regular Chess, in which each player has only 3 minutes to make his/her moves. If this time is exceeded the player loses the game, unless the opponent does not have enough pieces to mate. In this case the game ends in a draw.
If the opponent has positioned his/her pieces in such a way that none of the abovementioned strategies are possible, the King is in checkmate and the game is over.
The game can also end if one player gives up, or if a draw occurs. A draw can occur when the King of the player, whose turn it is, is not in check, but the player cannot legally make any other move with any of his/her pieces. This player’s King is therefore stalemated. In this situation, the game ends immediately. The game can also end in a draw if both players are in agreement. Furthermore, a game may end as a draw is the following occurs:
- Only the two Kings are remaining
- Only the two Kings and either Bishops or Knights are remaining
- Only the two Kings and a Bishop each are remaining, whereby the Bishops are on the same coloured square.
How the pieces may move:
The King is the most important piece in Chess. The King can move only one square at a time, but may move in any direction. The King cannot be taken. As soon as the King is in danger, it must be protected or moved to a safe square. If this is not possible, the King is in checkmate and the game is lost.The King can also make special moves:
Under the following circumstances, the King and a Rook can castle:
- The King and the Rook involved in the castling have not been moved yet in this game
- The King is not in check
- The King does not move through a square when castling, in which it would be in check.
The King may not move to a square, in which he could be directly attacked by an opposing piece. In other words, the King may not be put in check as a result of the castling. Every square between the King and the Rook must be free before the castling. This move involves the King moving two squares towards the Rook. The Rook then passes the King and stops on the next square (the other side of the King). For example: King E1 - C1 and Rook A1 - D1 = castling Queen’s side. King E1 – G1 and Rook H1 – F1 = castling King’s side.
The Queen is the strongest piece in the game, in that she can move any number of vacant squares in a straight line in any direction. However, the Queen cannot jump over other pieces.
The Rook can move any number of vacant squares horizontally and vertically, but not diagonally. The Rook cannot jump over other pieces.
The Bishop may only move any number of vacant squares diagonally. The Bishop cannot jump over other pieces.
The Knight moves in two steps; one step horizontally or vertically, then diagonally in the same direction as the first step. The Knight is the only piece that can jump over other pieces. Therefore the square between steps may be occupied by another piece.
The Pawn may only move forward, square by square. When moving from their original position on the board, Pawns may move two squares forward instead of just one, providing the squares are not occupied by any other piece. Pawns take other pieces diagonally.Pawns can also make special moves:
If a player moves a Pawn two squares (from its original position), and it lands next to an opposing Pawn, the opposing Pawn may take it, as if it were a completely normal move. The opposing Pawn does not, however, move horizontally, but diagonally as usual. The taken Pawn is simple removed form the board. This special move must be carried out in the turn directly after the initial Pawn moves, otherwise the opportunity passes.
If a Pawn reaches the far edge of the board, it must be exchanged immediately for a Queen, Rook, Knight or Bishop. The promotion remains for the remainder of the game.
No points are awarded in Chess. Only a win or a loss counts.