How to Set Up a Chess Board

If you're just learning how to play chess, you're in for a treat. Chess is a great way to enhance mental acuity, learn strategic techniques and develop problem-solving skills — it can even have a positive effect on mathematics test scores. But before you can begin to play, you need to know how to set up a chess board correctly. In this article, we'll show you the position of the chessboard and the pieces, the way the pieces move and the reason MegaChess is the place to find a giant chess set that will elevate your game in a big way.

Preparing to Set Up a Chess Board for Play

Luckily, learning how to set up a chess board isn't complicated, but it is important to get it right. Your chess board is a field of dark and light squares. The first thing you need to do is position the chess board in front of yourself so that a dark square appears in the lower left corner. Once you've done this, you're ready to start placing your pieces in their proper places.

How to Set Up Chess Board Pieces

Chess board pieces have a particular hierarchy that needs to be followed. Here is how to set up chess board pieces so they're positioned properly:

  • Pawns: There are eight pawns for each player. Your pawns are placed in the second row from the bottom, one in each space.
  • Rooks: There are two rooks per player – they look like castles. Your two rooks go in the bottom left and right corners of the chess board.
  • Knights: You and your opponent each have two knights – they look like horse heads. Each knight is positioned next to each rook.
  • Bishops: These chess pieces have a rounded top with a line cut into it. Each player has two bishops. Each one is placed next to a knight.
  • Queen: You each have one queen. This distinctive piece is shaped like a crown. The white queen is positioned in the light square next to the bishop. The black queen sits in the dark square next to the bishop.
  • King:The king sits next to the queen in the remaining space in the first row.

How Do the Chess Pieces Move?

Each chess piece has its own pattern of movement. How and where you move your chess pieces is a matter of strategy learned and honed as you become more proficient at the game. Here's how each chess piece moves:

  • Pawn: You can move a pawn forward one square, but on its first move, you have the option of moving it forward two spaces instead of one. The only way for a pawn to capture another piece is if that piece is one square ahead diagonally.
  • Rook: Your rook can move forward, backward and sideways.
  • Knight: A knight advances on the board in a three-square "L" pattern by moving two squares in one direction and the third square in a different direction.
  • Bishop: You can move your bishop as far as you want diagonally in one turn.
  • Queen: Arguably the most powerful piece on the chessboard, the queen can move as far as she wants in any one direction.
  • King: The king can move one square at a time in any direction.

One thing to keep in mind – unlike checkers, where you are rewarded for jumping other pieces, the knight is the only piece that can jump over other chess pieces to advance.

How to Set Up a Chess Board

What Is a Giant Chess Set?

A giant chess set has the same components as its tabletop cousin, and you set up the chess board the same way. The only difference is the board and pieces are much larger. It's pretty easy to assemble a giant chess board with the right instructions, and you can set it up in a public outdoor space or your backyard – or even indoors. A giant chess set is a terrific way to engage guests at casual gatherings and teach children how to play the game. If you want to learn more, take the MegaChess Giant Chess Set Quiz to find the chess set that's right for you.

Now That You Know How to Set up a Chess Board, Upsize Your Game With MegaChess

You've learned how to set up a chess board correctly. You've discovered how to set up chess board pieces. Now that it's time to play. Why not do it on a grand scale? MegaChess can get you the giant chess set you need to entertain your family, friends and other visitors for hours on end! Check out our Giant Chess Set Buying Guide to figure out what you need. MegaChess has other outdoor games, too. See it all and find your setup today at MegaChess!

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