Have you ever wanted to learn how to play chess? Do you already love chess but would like to improve your gameplay?

Did you know that chess and football have a surprising amount of similarities? Let’s take a look:

Chess is a game played between two players, but each of those players controls a whole team with valuable talents and just one goal: capture the other king!

As a chess player, you can expect a wild variety of strategies from a good opponent! If a king were like a quarterback, he would get rushed throughout the game in nonstop action. Let’s explore your lineup of pieces, the flow of the game, and the excitement of check and mate!

The king is the most important piece in the game.

All the other pieces protect him so he doesn’t get sacked! Pieces can move just one square at a time, like the king and his pawns. They can move a long way down their rows, like the queen and rooks.

The rows that go side to side are called “ranks.” They have numbers. The rows that go from one player’s side to the other are called “files.” They have letters.

Some pieces move on a diagonal line like the bishops and queen, while knights can even jump over the other pieces in their own special way! The king even has an ultimate move called a castle, named for the way a rook looks like a castle tower!

A chess game has a beginning, middle, and end, just like a story does. Take your time to try different ways of playing. These are called strategies. Books can teach you strategies, too. The way you start moving your pieces at the beginning is called an “opening,” and you’re “developing” when you move the pieces from your side of the board to the middle of the board. The middlegame and endgame focus on putting the other king in check, where he will get captured if not moved or blocked.

As you get into the game, start trying to capture the other king. This means using all the different talents of your pieces and moving them as a team. Pieces cover each other to make sure that the other player will lose one of their own pieces if they take yours.

Sometimes it is smart to lose a piece on purpose, or “sacrifice” that piece, if it helps you get closer to capturing the other king. A “check” happens when you would be able to capture the other king in your next “tempo” (your next turn). The other player has to move the king or block the attack in order to keep him safe.

A “checkmate” means the other player’s king is caught for good and can’t get away at all.

You may make a move and not like how it turned out. You could even lose a game, but don’t be sad! No one can have a perfect record. That’s how players get better.

When you win a game, you can be a good sport to the other player and say, “Good game!” Improve your strategy, learn from mistakes, and you’ll be an MVP in no time!

Now you are ready to start playing for yourself!


Miss Amanda – Main Library