Chess is a battle of wits. Unlike many other indoor games, there is no place for chance or luck in this game. The only occasion when chance may be considered to have taken a hand, is at the opening stage of the game, when the opening player is named by drawing lots.
Hence it is necessary for a learner, aspiring to become a master player, to develop the following:
- A fierce desire to master chess
- A good memory
Chess can be played only by two people at a time, although, interested spectators can also derive thrill from the moves made.
It is a square board made of wood or cardboard. The board is divided into sixty-four squares, alternating in black and white colors. It contains eight vertical rows (files) and eight horizontal rows (ranks), of eight squares each. The squares are also referred to, as either white or black squares. All the squares can be used in play.
The chessmen, which you can buy along with the chess board, comprise thirty-two items - two sets of sixteen items each, identical to each other in all respects except in color. One set is usually white or light in color, while the other set is black or dark in color.
Each player has eight pieces and eight pawns; the pieces are a king, a queen, two rooks, two bishops, and two knights; these may be called the officers of our little army, the eight pawns are the soldiers.
Having placed the board with a white square on your right-hand corner, place a rook on that square; on the corner square on your left hand, place the other rook. Next to each of the rooks place a knight and next to each knight, a bishop: you will then have two squares left for the king and queen.
If you play with the white pieces you must place the queen on a white square, the remaining black square is for the king: the black pieces are placed in a similar way on the opposite side, the black queen being on a black square and the black king on a white one. Each player places the 8 pawns in front of the pieces, on the square immediately before them.
The square on which the king is originally placed, is always called the king's square; the bishop standing close to the king is called the king's bishop, next to this stands the king's knight and in the adjoining corner the king's rook; the squares they stand on are called the king's bishop's square, the king's knight's square, and the king's rook's square.
You will observe that the squares are called after the piece that is originally placed on them. On the other side of the king stands the queen and the squares she occupies is called queen's square; next to her is a bishop which, because it is on the queen's side, is called the queen's bishop to distinguish it from the bishop which stands close to the king.
Next to the queen's bishop is the queen's knight, and in the corner the queen's rook; the squares on which these pieces stand, are called the queen's bishop's square, the queen's knight's square, and the queen's rook's square.