Chess Help  

[Help Contents]

[Game Help Contents]


Chess is a classic game of strategy, originating in India in the sixth century. Metaphorically the game represents two armies arrayed on the field of battle, fighting to force the other to surrender. Chess is certainly one of the most popular games in the world today.



Trap your opponent's King.


  • Layout
    The game is played on a 8 x 8 board with squares of alternating color. Each player has sixteen pieces of varying type.

  • Movement
    Each piece in chess moves in its own unique way. With the exception of the Pawn, pieces capture and move in the same way. Pieces cannot jump over other pieces, except for the Knight.
    • Pawn
      On its first move a pawn may move one, or two squares vertically toward the other side. On subsequent moves it may only move one square.

      A pawn may only capture another piece if it is on either of the two adjecent diagonal squares.

    • Rook
      The Rook may move or perform a capture in any number of squares horizonally or vertically.

    • Knight
      The Kinght is the only piece that may jump over another piece as it moves to its final destination. It moves in an 'L' shape, 1 vertical square followed by 2 horizontal, or 2 vertical followed by 1 horizontal.

    • Bishop
      The Bishop may move or perform a capture in any number of diagonal squares.

    • Queen
      The Queen may move or perform a capture in any number of squares in any direction.

    • King
      The King may move or perform a capture one squares in any direction.

  • Special Moves
    In addition to the normal moves, there are certain specal moves that are allowed under certain conditions.

    • En Passant
      En Passant (fr "in passing") capture occurs when a pawn makes its initial move of two squares and jumps past the square where an existing pawn of the other player could have captured the pawn being moved. The other player's pawn may then move into the square where a capture could have occured, and capture the pawn that has just been moved.

      From this position, if white moves forward two spaces:

      black captures it en passant:

    • Castling
      Castling allows the King to move two squares toward either of your rooks, and the Rook to move to the other side of the King.

      King's castle (e.g., on the King's side):

      Queen's castle (e.g., on the Queen's side):

      There are certain restrictions as to when a player may castle:
      1. Neither the King or the Rook in question may have moved, up to this point in the game.
      2. All of the squares between the King and the Rook in question must be empty.
      3. The King must not be in check.
      4. The King cannot move though check. If moving though any of the empty squares between the King and Rook would put the King in check, then castling is not permitted.

  • Promotion
    If a pawn makes it to the other side of the board then it may be promoted to any other type of piece (using the "Promote" drop-down list on the right-side before clicking Send; the default is to promote to a Queen).
  • Endgame

    • Check and Checkmate
      If one or more of the other player pieces may capture the King, then you are in check, and must move out of check immediately by moving the King or placing another piece in the way. If there are no moves that will take you out of check, the you are in checkmate. The game is over, and the other player wins.

    • Insufficient Pieces
      If both players do not have sufficient pieces to put the other player in checkmate, then the game is a draw.

    • 50-Move Rule
      If both players make 50 consecutive moves without moving a pawn or capturing a piece, then the game is a draw.

    • Board Repeats 3 Times
      If the exact layout of the board is occurs three times during play, then the game is a draw.