Chess Pieces

Wed, 28 May 2008 19:36

Chess Pieces

Chess board pieces and their names and moves.

Learning the value and the strength of the six different types of chess pieces is important in playing chess. It can help you form a good game plan -- whether you are playing it against an opponent or against a computer -- towards winning. Knowing each chess piece's worth on the board will allow you to make the best decisions about which ones to keep or to sacrifice.

The Invaluable King

Obviously, the most valuable chess piece is the king because its capture signals the end of a chess match. However, the king is also the weakest. Unlike other pieces on the board, a king may only move one grid at a time in any direction. Aside from that, a king may not move itself in a position where it can be checked. Since the king's move is limited, powerful pieces often surround it for protection. The king, together with the rook, can also make a unique move called castling. However, this move does not apply when: a king is in check, both the rook and the king have already been moved, and there are chess pieces between them.

The Powerful Queen

The queen is one of the most powerful pieces on the board. Its moves are never limited by distance or direction. The queen may move in any distance and direction, as long as it does not run through any of the other chess pieces.

The Dynamic Bishops

Bishops come in a pair so they work best as a tandem. Each bishop moves diagonally and according to its designated square color. For instance, a bishop placed on a white square may move in any diagonal direction as long as it follows a white square path. With this limitation, it is often hard to move bishops around the board.

The Mighty Knights

Among all chess pieces, the knights are the only ones that can run through other pieces. Their moves are also diversified and flexible. Knights are well known for their distinct L move. Since they can freely move around the board, knights are best use for capturing the opponent's chess pieces and for checkmating the opponent's king.

The Guarding Rooks

Like the bishops and the knights, rooks also come in pairs. As such, they also work best as a team. If used strategically, rooks can provide you with great advantage over your opponent. Rooks can move in two direction: vertically and horizontally. For this reason, you should always make sure that they can move extensively and that nothing gets in their paths when you move them around the board.

The Courageous Pawns

The pawns are perhaps the most common pieces in a chess board. Each player gets eight pawns, which are placed on the front of the other chess pieces. Pawns have very limited moves, and as such, are also weak. A pawn can only go forward and may only move one at a time, but it can capture the opponent's pieces diagonally. However, pawns have a very special rule called "en passant." Likewise, pawns are the only chess pieces that may be traded for another chess piece of higher value. This move is called a promotion, and may only be done when a pawn gets to the farthest side of the opponent's board.