Setting up the Chessboard

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Chess is a very old game. People believe that it originated in India in the fourth or fifth century but no one really knows who invented it. Chess is an intellectual competition between two players and is a very logical game where luck plays little part. The winner is the person who solves the puzzles on the chess board better than her opponent.

The game is played on a squared board divided into 64 squares, alternating from light to dark. The board is always set up so that each player has the light square on her right-hand side. (Remember: light on the right). The Queen always stands on the square of her own colour. Thus, the light coloured Queen must stand on the light coloured square. A good way of remembering this is the saying: The Queen is a fashionable lady. She likes her dress to match her shoes!

The Chessmen

The pieces and pawns are called chessmen. They have different points to indicate how valuable they are. A Queen is worth 9 points so she is far more valuable than a pawn which is only worth 1 point. The King can never be captured and if he is in danger then he must move to a safe place or another chessman must make him safe. If he can not reach safety then the game is lost. The person with the White pieces always begins the game.

The table below shows how the chessmen are represented in printed material, the symbol given to it and its value.

Chessman Name Symbol Value
The King K Invaluable
The Queen Q 9 points
The Rook. R 5 points
The Bishop B 3 points
The Knight N 3 points
The Pawn P 1 point


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