A chess set is a brain-tightening, palm-sweating, foe-crushing battleground - don't shove it in a drawer between matches! Luckily, this classic board game is also beautiful, and many chess sets are designed to bring character and life to a room even when it's not in play.
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Want to know about a fascinating game of skill that takes minutes to learn and a lifetime to master? Do we have a game for you.
Learn how to play chess.
One of the world's most popular games of strategy around the world, chess can seem complicated and even boring at times. But anyone who's played will quickly tell you the game is both challenging, exhilarating and - addictive!
For the beginning chess player, we've put together a few basic rules below to prepare you to enter the fun and exciting world of chess.
How to Play Chess
To begin, the game is played by two players. It is played on a board of 64 alternating light and dark squares. Each player has 16 light or dark chess pieces which each move differently across the chess board.
Lined up on opposite ends of the board in two rows, the chess pieces face each other, ready for battle. Eight pawns stand in the front row and the other eight pieces line up behind them. In the back, the pieces stand in a specific order. Starting from the left there is a rook, knight, bishop, queen, king, bishop, knight, rook.
The game alternates between the two players, and each player is allowed to move one piece each turn. The object of the game is to pose a threat to your opponent's King. "Check" as it is referred to occurs when one of your pieces is in place to capture your opponent's King. If the King cannot escape your capture, then you have won the game with a "check-mate." Because check-mate can happen at any moment during the game, each time you play the game is different and unpredictable. Before beginning chess, it's important to understand how each piece is allowed to move across the chess board.
Although these are the weakest pieces, they provide vital protection for the King. Each pawn is only allowed to move one square forward during a given turn. To capture another piece however, it is allowed to move one square diagonally. One of the greatest advantages of the pawn is its ability to be traded for a previously captured piece. This happens if the pawn makes it to the opponent's end of the board.
The two rooks can move vertically or horizontally any number of spaces in one direction, as long as no other pieces block their path.
Knights move in an "L" shape. It does this by either moving two squares horizontally and one square vertically, or two squares vertically and one square horizontally. Unlike the rook, if there are pieces in the way it does not stop the knight from moving. Only final space of the "L" shape must be free for a knight to move there.
The two bishop can move any number of spaces diagonally, as long as there are no other pieces to block their path.
Surprisingly, the most important piece on the board is not the most powerful. The king requires constant protection. This piece is only allowed to move one square at a time in any direction. As soon as the king is trapped, the game is over.
Definitely the most powerful piece on the board, the queen can move any number of spaces in any direction she wants.