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- Chess and Checkers: The Way to Mastership - 3/41 -





The game of Chess is played by two armies who oppose each other on a square board or battlefield of sixty-four alternate white and black squares. Each army has sixteen men; one King, one Queen, two Rooks (or Castles), two Bishops, two Knights and eight Pawns. The Generals of the two armies are the two players themselves. The men of one side are of light color and are called White, those of the other side are of dark color and are called Black.

The object of the game is to capture the opposing King. When this is done the battle is ended, the side losing whose King is captured. To understand what is meant by the capture of the King it is first necessary to become acquainted with the laws according to which the different men move on the board.

To start with, the board must be placed so that the players have a white square at their right. Then the men take the positions shown in Diagram 1.

The Rooks occupy the corner squares; next to them stand the Knights; then the Bishops and in the center the King and the Queen.

+---------------------------------------+ 8 | #R | #Kt| #B | #Q | #K | #B | #K | #R | |---------------------------------------| 7 | #P | #P | #P | #P | #P | #P | #P | #P | |---------------------------------------| 6 | | | | | | | | | |---------------------------------------| 5 | | | | | | | | | |---------------------------------------| 4 | | | | | | | | | |---------------------------------------| 3 | | | | | | | | | |---------------------------------------| 2 | ^P | ^P | ^P | ^P | ^P | ^P | ^P | ^P | |---------------------------------------| 1 | ^R | ^Kt| ^B | ^Q | ^K | ^B | ^Kt| ^R | +---------------------------------------+ a b c d e f g h


The white Queen must be on the white square and the black Queen on the black square. These eight, men are commonly known as "pieces" in distinction from the Pawns. The latter occupy the line of squares immediately in front of the Pieces.

The lines of squares now occupied by the men and the other four vacant horizontal lines between them are called RANKS. The vertical lines of squares running perpendicularly to the ranks are called FILES. The oblique lines of squares, that is, lines which connect squares of the same color, are called DIAGONALS.

To describe the moves of the men on the board in a simple way it is necessary to indicate every square and every man by a short symbol. For this purpose different systems have been suggested at different times, but only two of them have been generally adopted. The older one, called the "descriptive notation," still predominates in the English, French and Spanish speaking countries, but as leading English and American writers have lately used the newer "algebraic notation" which is much more simple, the latter will be employed in this book. Later the former method will be explained for the sake of completeness.

In the algebraic notation the files are lettered from a to h, starting from the file on White's left. The ranks are numbered from 1 to 8, starting from the rank on which White's pieces stand at the beginning of the game. Each square is now easily indicated by naming the file and rank at which it forms the intersection. The Rook in Diagram 2, for instance, stands on e4, the Bishop on C4, the Pawns on h4 and g7, the Knight on f7, the Queen on d6 and the Kings on c1 and g3.

+---------------------------------------+ 8 | | | | | | | | | |---------------------------------------| 7 | | | | | | ^Kt| #P | | |---------------------------------------| 6 | | | | #Q | | | | | |---------------------------------------| 5 | | | | | | | | | |---------------------------------------| 4 | | | #B | | ^R | | | ^P | |---------------------------------------| 3 | | | | | | | #K | | |---------------------------------------| 2 | | | | | | | | | |---------------------------------------| 1 | | | ^K | | | | | | +---------------------------------------+ a b c d e f g h


As symbols for the men the first letters of their names are used. Thus K stands for King, Q for Queen, R for Rook, B for Bishop, Kt or N for Knight and P for Pawn.


Each of the six kinds of men moves in a different way. To remember the six varieties of moves naturally requires a little more effort than to remember just the one way of moving as in most other board games. But it takes only very little practice to become familiar with the various moves of the Chessmen and it is soon revealed to the learner that the variety of the moves enables a surprising depth and wealth of combinations which give keener and greater pleasure to this game than to any other.

The Rook

The Rook may move forward, backward or sideways in a straight line along a path not obstructed by a man of the same color. In other words, he may move to any square of the rank or file on which he stands unless another man of his own color is in the way. If there is a hostile man in the way he may capture him by occupying his square and removing him from the board.

In Diagram 2, for instance, the Rook could move to e5, e6, e7, e8, e3, e2, e1, f4, g4, d4 and c4. In making the latter move he would capture the black Bishop. The Rook may not go to h4 because a man of his own color stands there nor may he go to b4 or e4 because he is not allowed to jump over the Bishop. He could, of course, move to either of these squares on his next move after capturing the Bishop.

The Bishop

The Bishop moves along an oblique line, that is, he may move to any square of the diagonals on which he stands unless--as in the case of the Rook--his way is obstructed by a man of his own color. If there is a hostile man in the way he may capture him. In Diagram 2, therefore, the Bishop may move to a2, b3, d5, e6 or, by capturing the Knight, to f7. He may not move, however, to g8, until his next move after capturing the Knight. In the other diagonal all squares, that is, fi, e2, d3, b5 and a6, are accessible to him.

As the Bishop is confined to squares of the same color as the one on which he stood at the beginning of the game he has access only to thirty-two squares of the board, and from this it is evident that the Rook to whom all squares of the board are accessible is a stronger man.

The Queen

The Queen has the power of both Rook and Bishop having the choice of moving to any square of the rank, file or diagonal on which she stands as long as her path is clear. In Diagram 2 the squares to which the Queen may move are, therefore, e3, b4, c5, e7, f8, f1, b5, C7, b8, d1, d2, d3, d4, ds, d7, d8, a6, b6, c6, e6, f6, g6 and h6. Like the Rook and Bishop she has the power of capturing a hostile man by occupying his square.

The Queen is by far the most powerful of the pieces. Later it will be seen that ordinarily her strength is about equal to the strength of two Rooks.

The King

The King, like the Queen, moves and captures in any direction, but he is much less powerful because he may move only one square at a time. Nevertheless, he is the most important man, for, as said at the beginning, the object of each side is the capture of the opposing King.

To save the King from untimely death there is a rule that the King may not move into any square which is in the direct range of any man of his enemy. Thus, in Diagram 2 the black King may move to f2, g2, h2, f3 and h3, but he may not move to f4 or g4 nor may

Chess and Checkers: The Way to Mastership - 3/41

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