Chess is a game loved by many, yet some don’t even know how to start on the right foot – that is setting up a chess board correctly. Here you’ll learn that. If you plan to teach children Chess it improves their logical thinking skill and helps them advance in subjects like Math or Music.
1. Origin of Chess and the Chess Board
Chess is estimated to be at least over 1.500 years old with Asian origin. Experts agree upon that Chess was played in India first. Many stories rank around why it was invented and what happened in the beginning. One of these stories is that of the exponential multiplication of a rice corn, or a corn of wheat when you start on a single square. If you’ve never heard of it, check the chessboard story with a corn of rice.
2. Getting to Know the Chess Pieces
Chess is a strategic game where all Chess pieces represent either one of two parties. Those parties are like ancient nations – with a king and queen, messengers, horses, castle and farmers. One king fights against the other king. So, the whole game is over when the existence of the king has come to an end. Another idea is that one king is still ‘alive’ but not able to take a strategic move although that king is not beaten. These are details to teach your children later.
Playing Chess is different from living in the real world. Maybe that’s the story behind the pieces having been given different names, or it’s just because of the continual transformation of any language –
- Farmers are pawns;
- Horses are knights;
- Messengers are bishops;
- Castle towers are rooks;
- Only the king & the queen keep their names.
What kind of pieces should you buy? Since there’re so many design options out there to setting up a Chess board, someone looking for a gift certainly checks on what kind of pieces to buy. The quick tip is to buy Chess pieces for beginners that are as simple, clear and redundant as possible. These are black/white pieces instead of brown/ebony colored Chess pieces. They look distinctive.
Part of this redundance is that the king has to be taller than the queen. Always. Why? It’s the most important Chess piece on the Chess board. Without a king, there’s no Chess because you cannot give check. However, without a queen it’s always possible to play. Finally, as of size please, take care that the king is taller than the queen, and the bishop taller than the knight, and those figures taller than the pawns.
As for the material, it’s a matter of preference. Some people prefer natural materials (painted wood), others don’t mind using plastic pieces. However, I don’t recommend real stone for kids’ hands.
3. Setting up a Chess Board
Direction. The most important thing to consider before you’re getting started is to turn the Chess board into the right direction. That means two players sit opposite each other. Setting up a Chess board correctly means to have the right corner white – this is from the view of each player. Consequently, setting up a Chess board correctly is when the left-handside corner is black. However, Chess players only validate the right corner as white.
Pieces. Setting up a chess board with Chess pieces correctly, is the next step when you have a Chess board with letters and numbers. That’s important for notification of moves. Find an example in the link just mentioned. The player with white is setting up the Chess board correctly when placing his pieces on rows 1 and 2. Start with white pawns in row number 2. All other pieces go behind the pawns in the first row. It’s best starting like this: Position the king on e1, the queen on d1, bishops to the left and right, knights next to the bishops, and rooks in the corners. The black pieces go onto lines 7 and 8, mirroring the white pieces.
Prove of correct set-up. The prove is about placing the queens even before positioning all other pieces. White queen goes on a white square, black queen on a black square. That prove has two dimensions. One, only when the direction of the Chess board is correct, the colors of squares are matching the colors of the queens in line “d”. And two is about choosing the correct piece as ‘queen’ even when the figures are not redundant but highly artistic. The one rule ever fitting is: the most important piece is the tallest one. And that’s always the king.
Quick test. Has the Chess board in the top picture been set up correctly? If you’ve got any doubts feel free to contact me. Alternatively, you may first follow the hints of those two questions:
- Are the black figures on the correct squares as for the direction of the Chess board?
- Is the black queen on her corresponding field?
4. The First Moves of Chess after the Correct Setting up of a Chess Board
General Thoughts. First of all, it’s good to learn each move by itself. With adult learners you teach them quickly. Very young learners need more time to practise. If you want to learn Chess by yourself go to authority resources only to not getting confused with contradicting information, at times.
First Moves With Pawns. After you’ll have set up the Chess board, just skip all the big Chess pieces and start playing with pawns only. On the moves of pawns please, consult Chess.com. In the right corner they’ve listed all languages in which they offer their input. Just one distinguishing note on pawns right here: While all other pieces may go back and forward all across the Chess board, it’s only the pawns that are one-directional in their moves. They only go forward.
Include the Kings. When you’ve practised all general moves of the pawns you may start introducing the kings alongside pawns. Then, practise the moves of pawns and kings at once. Here’s where a trainer explains the significance of “Chess”, which has to do with giving check. To make sure to teach the idea of giving check correctly rely on authority domains or friends familiar with the game.
Learn More Moves. Since this is only an introductory article please, consult the pages that have specialized on the game for more details on the other Chess pieces.
Chess online. Find resources to get practise by playing Chess online in this related article. Most of the links lead to international websites. Read this German overview on places and material on Chess in the ‘German speaking’ countries.
>> Tip. Collect general ideas on sticking with something you’d like to study to keep moving forward.