Everything you need to know about Chess pieces

Everything you need to know about Chess pieces


Chess is, perhaps, one of the most classic games played by two players at a time. A board game, it is known for its ability to sharpen minds of players who use unique strategies to win the game based on moves made by their opponents. The chess pieces that go on the board are one of a kind and are placed on a checkered board consisting of light and dark colored squares in an alternate manner. These squares, which are 64 in number, are arranged systematically in 8 rows and columns.


History of the game:

In order to learn more about the chess pieces used, it is important to trace the existence of the game in its earliest forms. Although there is a lot of controversy and debate on its actual origin, if the scholars are to be believed, Chess came into existence in about the sixth century in India and it was loosely inspired by a game called Chaturanga. The term, ‘Chaturanga’ is essentially of Sanskrit origin, which when translated into English means the divisions of the Indian Army in 4 different parts, namely, elephants, chariots, cavalry and infantry.


It is from this that the chess pieces came into existence and were given different levels of power, with the highest power being vested in the King. Traditionally carved out of stone or wood, chess pieces today are created on a commercial scale using a vast variety of materials.


How many pieces are in a chess set?

Essentially, each player gets to play the game with 16 pieces allotted to him. The Staunton wood pieces are known to be the classic pieces that are usually used when playing chess. Basically, every time a competition is organized, the Staunton wood set is what is always used on such occasions. These chess pieces are in two different colors; one is a lighter color, usually white and the other, its darker counterpart, usually black.


The entire chess piece set is further divided into major pieces and minor pieces. There are names of chess pieces that add to the uniqueness of the game. The major pieces include the Queen and the Rook whereas the Bishop and Knight form the minor pieces. There are also Pawns used throughout the game and they are categorized in neither the major nor the minor. The King is of the highest order and when a player forces his opponent to use his King for checkmate, the game is won. This usually happens when the opponent has no other moves left to make.


Every game of chess has 1 King and 1 Queen, 2 each of Rooks, Bishops and Knights and 8 Pawns. Each piece is also allotted certain number of points wherein the King holds infinite number of points and the Queen is worth 9 points. The Rook is awarded 5 points whereas the Bishop and Knight are given 3 points each and every pawn is worth 1 point.


Chess is an interesting and skillful game and the best way to learn to play it is by first familiarizing yourself with its vivid chess pieces.

Learn more about the different chess pieces and the basics of chess.

Do you want to become a stronger chess player?

Why not improve your instincts and skill with lessons from Chess World Champion Garry Kasparov?

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