Once during the game we can move two pieces at one time. We move the King two squares to the right or left, and place the Rook on the other side: So the pieces will land like this: or this:

Can you do that at any time? Not if 1 the King has moved.

2 the Rook with which you want to castle has moved.

3 the King is in "check" or goes through or into "check."

It's a good idea to "castle" early in the game, then?

Yes, most people do.

That's pretty neat. Now these things.

iiiliiii ±±±±±±±± Oh, the Pawns. Poor fellows. They're the only pieces that move forward only. How many boxes?

One. But the first time you move a Pawn, it can advance two squares if they are vacant. You can move one Pawn two squares, and then another Pawn two squares, if you want. But if you move a Pawn at all, it can go only one square the next time it moves.

Then if I go two squares, and he moves in front of me, can I take him off? No. The Pawns are blocked.

Pawns move straight ahead, but they capture diagonally. So the White Pawn can capture the Black Rook or the Black Bishop, but not the Black Pawn. Which can the Black Pawn capture?

The White Queen—or the White Bishop.

■ Wait a minute. You say any Pawn can move two squares the first time it moves?—


Well, if I get some piece in front of his Pawn before it has moved, can he jump over it?

No, no jumping.

Well, maybe you can do a little "jumping" after all. With this fellow: ^ %

The horse?

He's called the Knight—the horse-man. And hes a steeplechaser. Look: (see next diagram)

The White Knight can move to any one of the squares occupied by a Black piece (not a Black Pawn) and can "jump" over any Pawn in doing it. If you look closely, though, youll see that he really moves between them.

Then how does he move?

He moves in a line defined by two boxes in one direction and one in another:

Back and forth?

Yes. And you'll notice he goes from Black to White; from White to Black, etc.

Gosh, he scares me.

He scares all beginners. But after you get used to him, you find he's worth only about as much as a Bishop. You see, he doesn't move so fast as a Bishop, but he can change the color of his square.

Well, that's a lot to know. When do we start to play?

Hold on a moment. Let's get our information all together.

The Elements

This is meant to be a book for the chess beginner—a player who knows the moves of the game but little or nothing else. It is also meant to be a book which can be read without the use of a board. Therefore, in the interest of simplicity, we are using the following symbols:

These pieces have different values, which are placed in parentheses after the pictures above. We notice the Pawn is worth one and the Bishop three. That means the Bishop is worth about 3 Pawns. The Rook is worth how many Pawns more than a Bishop? Is a Queen worth two Rooks? Try several more relationships for yourself.

These values may change with the position, but they are the usual values, and should be memorized.

In order for us to talk about the moves we must be acquainted with the board. For the sake of convenience, we have lettered the files a-h and numbered the ranks 1-8: Each square is designated by a letter and a number.

(see next diagram) Thus, the White King (£) is on el; the Black Bishop (&) is on g7. Where is the Black Queen? The Black Knight? Where are the White Rooks? The White Knights? Name all the squares of the White Pawns; of the Black Pawns.


In our abbreviations also, — (a dash) means "moves to" and X means "takes/' "ch" stands for "check/'

Every move is designated by

1 The piece that moves.

2 The square it comes from.

3 The square it goes to.

What move must White make in the diagram above? Obviously, he must take the Queen with his King, so we write the move: Kel X Qe2. Make this move for Black: Ktf6—h5.

The King now we are ready to start. But first, you notice that we have not ascribed any value to the King. That is because if he is lost, the game is lost

Yet you always warn your opponent that his King is attacked, by saying "check!" Let's see how we, as White, may "check" the Black King in the following diagrams:

black black

a. white b. white

black blac£

black blac£

Solutions to Problems on Page 11

d. The Queen can check on all these squares: a6, c6, c8/ eS, g8, a2, e4, d5. This gives you some idea of the Queens cruising powers!

The King more examples of checking follow. These examples are somewhat more complex, as there are more pieces on the board.


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