How The Chess Pieces Move: Made Simple

Updated: Mar 7, 2021


Teaching children (and adults -_-) often gave me problems when I first started. There are quite a few different pieces and each has its own rules. But, you know what? After years of teaching, it's actually more simple than one believes. All it takes is some clever, concise wording.


How the Knight moves


Let's get the tricky guy out the way first…

The Knight moves in an L shape. A what!?? Yup!

The Knight moves in an L-Shape: 3 squares at a time; DO NOT count the square that you start on.

Either 2 squares to the left or right then up or down 1 square

Or Two Squares up or down, then Left or right one square.

DO NOT count the square that you start on.

The Knight is the only piece that can hop over other pieces. Where he can land, he also attacks or defends. I promise it gets simpler from here.



How the Pawn Moves


This little piece moves Forward 1 square at a time (Forward is towards your opponent). On this piece’s 1st move, he has the option of moving 1 or 2 squares Forward though. However, he captures Diagonally, 1 square Forward. Lastly, the pawn has an ability called promotion, promotion occurs when you get to the last rank on your opponent's side of the board. You can then promote to any other piece except for the King. This is the only piece that does not attack how he moves.




How The Bishop Moves


Speaking of Diagonally, the one with the funny hat, the Bishop, only moves Diagonally on its own color square as far as he wants. You have two Bishops, each on a dark or light color square. This means if you have two bishops on the same color square, you are not set up correctly.



How the Rook Moves


The Rook is simple, he looks like a castle and it moves Up, Down, Left, or Right as far as he wants. Remember that each piece moves in one direction per turn.



How the Queen Moves


The Queen just adds one more direction to the Rook’s movement: Diagonal. The Queen is the most powerful piece on the board. She moves Up, Down, Left, Right, or Diagonal as far as she wants.



How the King Moves


The King moves like the Queen , but is slow. He moves Up, Down, Left, or Right only 1 square at a time.



There you have it, the pieces made simple! Share this with your kids, family, and friends who want to learn!


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