The Instruments of Chess: Pieces, Board and Set

by Elizabeth Traineroni

Mostly unchanged for the past five hundred years, the game of chess continues to be immensely popular. Today, it's approximated that over six hundred million individuals internationally are knowledgeable of the game.

How to become involved yourself?

It's not as difficult as you may think, but it requires you to take a little bit of a primer. To start out, let's start with the standard instruments of the game. There are truly only 2 essentials: 1) the chess board and secondly, the chess set.

Let's Begin

Compiled of 64 squares (placed 8 rows by 8), switching between white and black, a chess board supplies the analogical field of battle on which participants maneuver. From here, chess players are able to design their assaults, protect their sovereign, and defend their territory.

At the beginning of every game, chess pieces are lined at the upper and lower rows. From these opening positions, strategies and tactics evolve. Executed between two adversaries, chess is basically a fight between two armies. The chess pieces equate to that of a historical arming, furnished with a king, a queen, two bishops, 2 knights, 2 rooks, and eight pawns.

The final objective of chess is to seize the king of the opposing side, which if victorious, will in effect end the fight (and game). To do so is to checkmate one's opposition. Note that a match may also end in a stalemate, if it's obvious that no true checkmate is feasible.

As said, a chess board consists of sixty-four squares, which has been the way for greater than a thousand years now, dating back to the game's roots with the Indian game Chaturanga. The rows are referred to as rank and the columns file. Ranks are calculated 1-8, while files are notated as a-f. Therefore, every square has its own corresponding key on the grid.

A Few Rules of Thumb

When notating, recall that it's file 1st, which signifies the file name is always first. For Instance, the lower right square marks as a8 or a-file, 8th rank. While notation is not required for the starting chess player, maintaining track of files and ranks is a effective way of imaging the playing area, measuring space, and accordingly, projecting one's strategy.

Equally for the chess sets, each one consists of 32 color-coded pieces: 16 are earmarked for the white player and the other 16 for the black. At the beginning, a color/side is chosen: white or black, which also defines who goes first. The participant designated the white chess pieces invariably has the honor.

Also, speaking of color, when putting together a chess board, keep in mind: white=right. This mnemonic rhyme will assist you move around the board correctly, as proper setup of chess sets is essential, especially if someone is scoring the game. In the bottom right-hand box, there should always be a white square. For all players. If it is a black square, wrench the chess board once before placing the chess pieces down.

Performing the 1st Movement

Congratulations! Now that you have got your chess board positioned correctly and your chess set properly setup, it's time to play and to create that strategic beginning move.

About the Author

Elizabeth Traineroni is a chess expert, researcher and writer who takes time out to write articles in her spare time, where she'll help you pick out the perfect chess set. Elizabeth will help you select something special from a huge selection of unique chess sets, chess boards and collectible themed chess pieces.