CHESS RULES

History   Basics   Object   Pieces   Game Play   End Game
 Getting Started White goes first. Each player in turn chooses one of his or her pieces and moves it according to the movement rules pertaining to that type of piece. Capturing Pieces No piece may ever move onto a square occupied by another piece of the same color. A piece may, however, move onto a square occupied by an opponent's piece. When this happens, the opponent's piece is "captured" and is permanently removed from play. A piece making a capture must end its move immediately. Kings, knights, bishops, rooks, and queens capture by moving in their usual ways, ending their move on a square occupied by an opponent's piece.In the diagram, the queen may land on and capture either the rook or knight, the bishop may capture the rook, the rook may capture the queen, and the knight may capture the bishop.  Back to Top Pawns, however, do not capture as they move; instead, they capture by moving one square diagonally forward.In the diagram, the pawns may capture opposing pieces on any of the squares marked with purple dots.  Back to Top A pawn may also capture an enemy pawn "in passing," or "en passant" (the French term is commonly used). This is only possible under the following conditions: 1. The enemy pawn has just made a two-square advance from its starting square. (If it happened on a previous move, it's too late to make an en passant capture). 2. A pawn could have captured the enemy pawn if it had only advanced one square instead of two. When these conditions are met, the pawn may capture as if the enemy pawn had only advanced one square, as shown in the following diagrams. This is the only situation in chess in which moving onto an empty square results in a capture.  Back to Top Castling Scenario A Scenario B Once in the game, each player may make a special move called "Castling," in which both the king and one rook are moved. To castle, a player moves the king two squares toward either rook, then jumps that same rook over the king and stops on the square adjacent to the king. (At Yahoo!, a player only needs to make the two-square king move, and the rook will move automatically.) For castling to be legal, the squares between the king and rook must all be empty, neither the king nor rook may have moved previously, the king may not be in check (under attack), and after the move neither the king nor the rook may be on a square that is under attack by an opposing piece.  Back to Top Promotion When a pawn advances to the last "rank," or horizontal row of squares, it is promoted into its owner's choice of a knight, bishop, rook, or queen (it may not become a king). The usual choice is a queen, the most powerful piece, and it is perfectly legal for a player to promote to a queen even though he or she already has one elsewhere on the board. Occasionally, it is better to promote to a knight (to fork two pieces or avoid stalemate) or a bishop or rook (to avoid stalemate). At Yahoo!, when a pawn reaches the eighth rank, a window will pop up asking the pawn's owner to choose which piece to promote to.  Back to Top