Play Chess Tutorial

Looking for a guide or a just a tutorial on learning how to play the game of chess? Well, look no further. What I am about to show you here is how to play the game. I am not an expert, I just like the play of this “not-so-physical” game. It may, however, use a lot of brain power just so you can reach that professional status where I’m trying to achieve to be.

In the previous post, I have done a review of a chess table set that you can take a look at. The game consists of 3 games in one table: chess, checkers, and backgammon. In a future post I’ll cover an instruction on how to play the game of checkers and backgammon.

A brief history

Before I get into the tutorial, let me first explain a brief history of how the game of chess came to be. 

According to Wikipedia, Chess is believed to have originated in India, some time before the 7th century, being derived from the Indian game of chaturanga. The pieces took on their current powers in Spain in the late 15th century; the rules were finally standardized in the 19th century. The first generally recognized World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, who in 1886, claimed his title .

Since 1948, the World Championship has been controlled by the World Chess Federation or WCF, the game’s international governing body. WCF also organizes the Women’s World Championship, the World Junior Championship, the World Senior Championship, the Blitz and Rapid World Championships and the Chess Olympiad, a popular competition among teams from different nations. There also exists a World Computer Chess Championship and a Correspondence Chess World Championship. Online chess has opened professional and amateur competition to a varied and wide group of players. There are also many kinds chess variants, with different rules, different pieces, and different boards.

The chess pieces and their movements

The King (1)

This piece moves one square in any direction. The king also has a special move which is called castling and involves also moving a rook. There is only one king chess piece for both players during play and the start of the game.


The Queen (1)

This is the most powerful of all the chess pieces. It combines the power of the rook and bishop and can move in any number of squares either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, but it cannot leap over other other pieces during the game. Like the king, there is only one queen piece during play for both players.


The Rook (2)

This chess piece can move in any number of squares along any rank or file by moving either horizontally or vertically, but may not leap over other pieces. Along with the king, the rook is involved during the king’s castling move. There are two rooks for each player during the start of the game.


The Bishop (2)

This piece can move in any number of squares diagonally, but may not leap over other pieces. If you notice carefully during gameplay, the bishop is the only piece that can stay in only one designated color on the chess board. Like the rook there are two bishop pieces for each player during the start of the game.


The Knight (2)

This piece moves to any of the closest squares that forms an “L”-shape: two squares vertically and one square horizontally, or two squares horizontally and one square vertically. The knight is the only piece that has the ability to leap over other pieces. Like the rook and bishop pieces, there are two knight chess pieces for each player during the start of the game.


The Pawn (8)

The pawn piece may only move forward to the unoccupied square immediately in front of it on the same file, or on its first move it may advance two squares along the same file provided both squares are unoccupied; or the pawn may capture an opponent’s piece on a square diagonally in front of it on an adjacent file, by moving to that square. The pawn has two special moves: the en passant capture and pawn promotion. A pawn promotion is when a pawn reaches the end of the board where it can’t go forward anymore and has the ability to be substituted for either a knight, bishop, rook, or queen (a promotion to king is not allowed). Most of the time, players usually promote the pawn to a queen, and it is possible to have a maximum total of nine queens during the game for one player, or eighteen queens for both players. I have yet to see this happen, however.

At the start of the game, there are eight total pawn pieces for each player during play.

The Chess board setup

Chess is played on a square board of eight rows (called ranks and denoted with numbers 1 to 8) and eight columns (called files and denoted with letters a to h). The colors of the 64 squares alternate and are referred to as “light” and “dark” squares. The chessboard is placed with a light square at the right-hand end of the rank nearest to each player.

By convention, the game pieces are divided into white and black sets, and the players are referred to as “White” and “Black” respectively. Each player begins the game with 16 pieces of the specified color, which consist of one king, one queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights, and eight pawns. The pieces are set out as shown in the photo above with each queen on a square of its own color, the white queen on a light square and the black queen on a dark.

The object of the game

The objective is to ‘checkmate’ the opponent’s king by placing it under an inescapable threat of capture. To this end, a player’s pieces are used to attack and capture the opponent’s pieces, while supporting their own. In addition to checkmate, the game can be won by voluntary resignation by the opponent, which typically occurs when too much material is lost (like, if you only have a king piece where all your other pieces have been taken by your opponent), or if checkmate appears unavoidable. A game may also result in a draw in several ways.


To get a more clearer understanding of how the game of chess is played, I have included a video below to demonstrate this. In watching this video, you’ll see how each of the moves are performed including the en passant, pawn promotion, and castling.

In conclusion

I hope you were able to get an understanding of how to play the game of chess. If so, please share on social media, and if you have any questions or comments please add them to the comments section below. I’ll be sure to respond back as soon as I can by replying in less than 24 hours. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. // Reply

    Can anyone pick up on one pattern of commenting that I’ve used throughout the thread that helps discussion flow and continue?
    I had been meaning to discuss this on my own blog but it fits in so well with the roll everyone’s on here. Listening to NPR last week, I heard author Mark Bittman discussing comments he gets back from his newspaper column on cooking.
    He said he had found an interesting difference between comments from men and from women, that men want to challenge him (“you’re an idiot”) or add to/tweak what he’s doing, while women’s comments are more of the admiring/”I like what you’re doing” sort.

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    I agree – the comment section is highly, highly undervalued these days, with everyone out to write great posts. Some of the best points come up in conversation, not in the posts themselves
    Too, how people word their comments can shut the discussion down tighter than a ship battening its hatches. It’s generally a place where people make statements, and statements don’t encourage more conversation. 
    It’s another good place to ask questions and be interested to keep the conversation going. I do believe the blogger is responsible for stimulating ongoing conversation. That’s what people want, after all – a little more interaction and personal attention, no?

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    I have a feeling this post will get more than 50 comments!  The fact you ended it with a question will surely help. Blogging isn’t just about writing posts, it’s a conversation.
    Sounds like a lot more work than ending with “and that is that.”
    I think it depends on how it’s done. Sometimes when a post ends with a question, I feel like I have to answer that question in order to comment, or I’m off-topic. If I have no answer to the question, I simply move on. That said,

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    Good points and I agree. Thank you for taking the time to give me a quick critique. It’s funny how just a little tweak here or there can make all the difference in how successful you are at getting comments and/or readers.
    Now, having come to this conversation late in the game, I’m wondering, since you have over 30,000 subscribers, at what subscription number did you notice a good commenting percentage?
    Did the percentage keep increasing, or did it level off, compared to the subscription level?

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      Hi! Thanks for stopping by. If I may ask, when was that last chess victory? Perhaps, this tutorial can help you learn a new tactic to regain that skill back. I look forward to hearing from you again. Cheers!

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    Hello Armand, Thanks so much for your post on how to play chess.I don’t know very much about chess, but I was always intrigued by it, and was interested in learning how to play. After seeing your article I believe I might give it s a shot. I thought the concept of the castling move was really neat using the Rook with the King.I watched the video as well and it was a great way for you to describe how chess is played.I like your site and will be back for future posts. Thanks again.

    1. // Reply

      You’re welcome, Johnny. I hope that you gained an informative view into playing the game of chess by reading this post. Yes, that “castling” move is a strategy to avoid getting checkmate very early in the game. I, as well as professional players would highly recommend using this move when playing the game of chess.

      I would like to thank your for commenting on this chess tutorial, and I do look forward to hearing to what you say in my future posts.



  42. // Reply

    Cheers Armand and great post! Chess is something I’ve wanted to get back into for a long time. It’s something I did with my friends when I was younger but wasn’t all that interested in it at the time, but now I want to get started again because of the positive effects it has on your brain, etc. and the more brain power I can get the better!

    I downloaded this chess app for my iPhone to get started but besides that and obviously your information here are there any other resources you recommend to help improve my game before I start playing others?

    Thanks very much, Stephen

    1. // Reply

      Hi Stephen! Thanks so much for the comment. I consider chess to be a fun, yet very challenging game. I do hope that I have interest you in playing the game again.

      To answer your question on what other resources that I can recommend to help improve your game before playing against others is to attend a chess school. This is so you can get a feel of how the game is played. You can find a chess school by doing a google search and the schools would have players of all levels such as novices and professionals alike. I hope this helps. Please contact me if you have any more questions. I hope to hear from you soon.


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