Setting up the Chessboard
The game is played on a squared board divided into 64 squares, alternating from light to dark. The board is always set up so that each player has the light square on her right-hand side.
The Queen always stands on the square of her own colour, the light coloured Queen must stand on the light coloured square.
The pawn seems, to the beginner, to be rather insignificant, pawns can be very important as you will come to appreciate.
At the beginning of the game each side has 8 pawns. Except on its first move, a pawn may only move one square forward at a time. Pawns can never move backwards. When a pawn makes its very first move it has a choice; it can either move one square or two. However, it moves one square in all following moves.
If the square immediately in front of the pawn contains another piece then the pawn is unable to move forward. It is blocked. None of the pawns in this diagram can move.
Although a pawn moves straight forward it captures by talking one square diagonally forward. In the diagram White can capture either the Rook or the Knight. She does this by removing the captured piece from the board and replacing it with the pawn.
This diagram shows the position after the pawn has captured the Rook.
When a pawn reaches the other end of the board it can be changed for any other piece of its own colour, except the King. This is called promotion. Therefore, a pawn can be promoted to a Queen, a Rook, a Bishop or a Knight. Normally a pawn is promoted to a Queen but sometimes there may be a good reason to promote a pawn to another piece instead. If there is not a spare Queen, a Rook turned upside down (or any other suitable object) is place on the board to represent a Queen . A pawn is promoted by removing the pawn from the board and placing the chosen piece on the promotion square.
How the Rook Moves and Captures
The Rook moves horizontally and vertically any number of squares, forwards or backwards. In the diagram the Rook can move to any of the highlighted squares.
In this diagram the Rook now has less choice of squares to which it can move because the other White pieces block its path. It can now only move to the highlighted squares.
If an enemy piece is standing on a square to which the Rook can move, it can be captured. In the next diagram, White is able to capture the Bishop with her Rook. She does this by removing the Bishop from the board and placing the Rook on that square instead.
The Rook captures the Bishop and claims the square for itself!