In this position two Queens, a Rook, a Bishop and the two Kings are on the board. The Black Queen a4 which can move like a Rook or like a Bishop has the following moves at its disposal: to b4, c4, d4, capture on e4, a1, a2, a3, a5, a6, a7, a5, b5. c6, d7, b3, capture of c2. The White Queen, however, has a very limited range, because it is "pinned" by the Rook e8. If the pin would be released it could go to h7 and there, supported by the Bishop c2, Checkmate the King; as it is, the Queen must either capture the Rook e5 or suffer capture by that piece.
Here are four Knights on the board, and a Rook and a Bishop and the two Kings. Two of the Knights are immobile, Knight e2 on account of the Bishop h5 and the Knight g7 because of the Rook g3: they must protect their Kings. The Knight f5 can move to one of the following squares : e7, d6, d4, e3, g3 (whereby it captures the Rook) h4, h6. The shortest jump on the Chessboard is, namely, to take two squares (in the air) in a line or row and one square perpendicularly thereto. That movement allows to Knight f5 eight possibilities, but in the above position one of these, on the square g7, is taken away by the obstruction of a Knight partisan to Knight f5. The Knight f6 has eight possible moves: it threatens the hostile King, "gives Check," or "Checks," and the King will have to fly, for instance, to f7, in order to save himself.
Here you see 16 Pawns, therefore all that were in the box, and two Rooks, one Bishop, one Knight, the two Kings besides. At the beginning of the game the White Pawns are placed on the second row and the Black Pawns on the seventh row; thence they move or capture ahead towards the enemy, the White Pawns from below upwards, the Black Pawns in the opposite direction. For instance, Pawn d4 may capture e5 and conversely, because the Pawns, though moving ahead in their file, capture obliquely, always advancing towards the enemy.
The above position shows three immobile Pawns, "blocked" Pawns: g3, g4, and f7. Pawn g3 is blocked by g4, because the Pawn does not capture straight ahead but obliquely. The position shows nine Pawns standing on the squares where they stood at the start of the game: a2, b2 e2, f2, h2, a7, b7, c7, f7; they have not moved yet; the other seven Pawns have advanced during the progress of the game. The Pawn d4 has two possible moves: to advance to d5 or to capture e5. The Pawn c3 has only one possible move: to advance to c4.
Now the rule was introduced about four centuries ago that Pawns in their initial position and which are not blocked may advance one or two steps according to the plan of the player. This rule made the game more lively, and therefore the Chess world accepted it in time. For instance, Pawn a2 may advance to a3 or to a4 in one move.
With this rule a difficulty arose. Its object was to accelerate the pace of the Chess events and to add to their variety, but it betrayed sometimes the obvious rights of the opponent. To illustrate this point, observe the two Pawns f2 and g4. The Pawn g4 stands on guard over f3. If f2 advances to f3, g4 can capture it; thus it had been for many centuries; after the introduction of the new rule Pawn f2 could evade Pawn g4 by advancing at once to f4 and could then molest Black unpunished. Naturally, the Pawn g4 on guard felt itself deceived, when the hostile Pawn crept through the advance posts. There were scenes of hot dispute. It could not be the meaning of the innovation to make the advancing Pawn immune. And finally justice was victorious: the Pawn standing on guard was acceded the right of capture, just as if the Pawn trying to slip through had advanced one step only; but the Pawn on guard cannot defer this movement but must execute it without loss of time as an immediate reply to the attempted advance. If, for instance, in the above position White moves f2-f4 Black may answer g4 captures f3, thus executing his original intention of capturing the Pawn on f3. This species of capture is named "capture in passing" or, with the French expression capture "en passant". If the Pawn, after f2-f4, is not immediately captured by g4 "in passing," it stays unmolested on f4 and has thereafter to contend only with the hostile Pawns of the f and e files.
The Pawns only advancing ahead arrive, in advancing row by row finally to the eighth row where according to the rule they would come to a barrier and would be immobile. Should this signify their death? Should they now become useless after having done their duty and fought their way through the ranks of the enemy? That would not be in keeping with justice. Since in a struggle it is honorable to draw upon oneself the fire of the enemy and to do him harm, the Pawn advancing to the last row is rewarded by becoming an "officer" in its army; it is changed for a Queen, Rook, Bishop or Knight, according to the will of the player; it is promoted to a higher rank since officers have much more mobility and value than Pawns.
If it is White's turn to move here, he may advance Pawn e7 to e8, change it for a Queen and call Mate. If it is Black's turn to move, he can advance f2 to f1, demand a Knight and Checkmate White.
The Initial Position
From time immemorial the men are placed at the beginning of the game in the order shown above, and White makes the first move. In the corners stand the Rooks, on the first row the White officers in the order R, N, B, Q, K, B, N, R; the corner to the right of White is white; in the second row stand the White Pawns, in the seventh row the Black Pawns and in the eighth row the Black officers, everyone opposite to a White officer of its own kind, the Queen opposite the Queen, the King opposite the King, and so forth. The White Queen is placed on a white square, the Black Queen on a black square, the Queen therefore on a square of its own color - a remnant of feudal gallantry.
The End of the Game; Checkmate (Mate), Stalemate, Draw
With a Checkmate the game is decided, but not every game ends with a Mate.
If he whose turn it is to move can make no legal move and yet his King is not checked he is not checkmated though the game necessarily is at an end. Such a conclusion of the game is called a Stalemate, a useless, a false, an unproductive Mate, briefly "Stalemate." He who is Stalemated does not lose the game nor win it either, because loss of the game is suffered only by him who is, "Checkmated" and an essential condition therefore is that the King should be in Check, whereas in a Stalemating position the King is not in Check.
Again when neither of the opponents believes he has the power to end the game by administering Checkmate, the game is undecided, "drawn", by mutual agreement. This agreement may be voluntary or compulsory. Compulsory when the two opponents repeat their moves, going backwards and forwards without changing their position, compulsory also when for fifty moves in succession no essential changes, no advance towards the final goal can be demonstrated, by either player. This demonstration, such is the accepted law, is achieved when during these fifty moves no capture nor the advance of a Pawn has been performed, for these are, by common consent, the outward, the visible signs of an essential change.
Here White is to move, Black menaces Checkmate in two ways, either by Qh3 captures h2 or plays to g2. White cannot defend the threat, he therefore tries to attack the opponent by giving Check with Qb6 to a6. Black is forced to reply Ka8 to b8. Now Qa6 to b6 again checking. The pinned Pawn cannot capture, hence Kb8, -c8 or -a8. Again Qb6-a6, Ka8 (c8)-b8. And the Checks have no end, the game is drawn by Perpetual Check.
The Function of Strategy
Herewith the rules and laws of the game are laid down; according to the very same rules play the beginner and the veteran, the duffer and the master. Whoever does not follow these rules does not play Chess; whoever follows them belongs to the community of Chess players that counts many millions.
What distinguishes the Chess players, all of whom follow the same rules, is called strategy: the plan, meaning, intent, force, briefly the reason of their moves.
This reason is no different from all reason, but a part of it, grown on its body, possessed of its force and conditioned by its pains. On the same tree where a little branch hangs, called the logic of Aristotle, there hangs another branch named Strategy in Chess.
We have now covered the chess rules. The next step is chess strategy.
It is tough to know what chess books, software and e-books to study when you just start out. There is a big gap between knowing how to move the pieces and studying strategy and tactics. These chess e-books and chess software are presented here to help bridge that gap and get you quickly on the road to chess success!