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Chess

Bishop

The bishop may move any number of squares in a diagonal direction until it is prevented from continuing by another piece.  In the diagram below, the bishop can move to or capture any opponent piece in any squares marked by the red X.

Each player has two bishops, one originally positioned on a white square, the other on a black square. Because bishops can only move diagonally, the bishops always remain on squares of the same color.

A bishops is worth about 3 pawns, and is as powerful as a knight.  The bishop is better suited in open situations where is has a wider range of movement, especially during end games.  The knight, on the other hand, has the advantage in cluttered positions because of its ability to jump over other pieces.

 

Rook

The rook is sometimes called "castle".  The rook can move any number of squares vertically or horizontally until it is prevented from continuing by another piece.  It cannot move diagonally.  In the example shown in the diagram below, the rook can move or capture in any square marked by a red X.   The rook is a powerful piece because it can cover a significant area of the board.  Unlike bishops whose mobility are confined to squares of a single color, it can move to squares of any colors.  Rooks are worth about 5 pawns.  The rooks and the queen are considered the "major pieces", because they are the more powerful pieces.

The rook may also move in conjunction with the king in a move called castling, to be discussed later.

 

Queen

The queen is the most powerful piece in the game.  The queen can move any number of squares along a straight line vertically, horizontally, or diagonally until it is prevented from continuing by another piece.  In the diagram below, the queen can move to or capture pieces in any square marked by the red X.  This great maneuverability and mobility makes the queen a very important piece.  The queen is worth about 9 pawns.


 

King

The king is the most important piece in the game.  The game is lost when the king is "checkmated" or captured.  The king can only move to any adjacent square in any direction, vertically, horizontally or diagonally.  In the diagram below, the king can only move to these squares marked by a red X.  There is only one restriction on his movement - he may not move into a position where he may be captured by an opposing piece.  Two kings may never stand next to each other or capture each other.

There is a special king move called castling. It is a move involving the king and the rook.  Castling is a defensive move that brings the king to a safer position, at the same time brings the rook out to a more active position.  Castling can be done on the king side or on the queen side.  In this move, the king moves two squares toward a rook either on the king side or the queen side.  The rook then moves to the square through which the king passed.  Either rook can castle with the king as long as it has not previously move.  Castling is only allowed in the following situations:

  1. If there are no pieces between the king and the rook.

  2. Both the king and the rook have not moved from its original position.

  3. The king is not in check.

  4. The king won't be in check on the square that it is going to move through or the square that it is going to land.

The figure below shows the final position of both king side castling (on the right side) and queen side castling (on the left side).  The red X marks the original position of the king before castling.  The blue X marks the original position of the rook before castling.

 
 
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