Chess Board Setup Ultimate Guide – How To Setup A Chess Board

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However, in this section we will discuss complete newbie tips like Chess Board Setup guide and chess rules like what do you call chess pieces, how each chess piece moves, how do you win a chess game, and all such chess rules. Okay, let’s get started with chess setup!

Chess Board Setup – The basics

Before we move on to learn Chess Setup, let’s know a bit basics of Chess right. Chess board has 64 squares (8×8 layout), 32 black and 32 white. In the similar manner, chess set comprises of 32 pieces. 16 white chess pieces and 16 black. Each side has 8 Pawns, 2 Knights (horses), 2 Bishops (camels), 2 Rooks (elephants), 1 Queen and 1 King.

To begin with chess board setup, place the board in such a way that both players have white square to their right hand bottom corner. You can check the chess board layout in the image. I suggest you use a chess board as per international standards. You can see in the image, chess board is number from 1 to 8 in horizontal manner called ROWS & and vertical COLUMNS designated by letters A to H. So when you use a standard board, White would start from row 1 while Black player would start from row 8 to his side.

Chess Board Basics
Arrange Chess Board With White Square To Right Hand Corners

Disclaimer: I would recommend you to start learning the right way with a standard chess board which has Numbers and Letters like displayed in image above. However, if you don’t have one, it’s easy to get confused as people misunderstand it to be okay to start arranging the square chess board any way. But to get it right, make sure you arrange it like shown above. Right hand corner for both players should be white square.

Setting Up Pawns

Each side has 8 pawns. A total of 16 pawns in a game of chess. Every piece on chess board is allocated some points depending on how it moves and other things. Each pawn has 1 point. While setting up a chess board, pawns are arranged on the second row from respective side. So for black it will be 7th rank (i.e row no. 7) and for white it will be 2nd rank (i.e row no. 2). Check out the image to understand how to arrange pawns in the beginning.

Pawns move straight and that too just one step. But when pawn is in it’s initial position, i.e when you are moving pawn for the first time only then can you move the pawn directly by two steps. Pawns attack on the immediate diagonal square ahead of them.

Aligning The Pawns

Chess Setup – Understanding The Rooks

Each rook has 5 points and can move only in vertical and horizontal direction only if the square is not occupied. Moving on with chess board setup, in the beginning 4 rooks take the four corners of boards. King is no doubt the most important piece. But in all other pieces, after Queen, Rook is the most important piece. Due to its huge range of mobility, it has higher priority and value.

You can see the picture on how to arrange rooks. If you have paid attention to those numbers and alphabets. Then you might understand if I mention the notations. Take a look at how rooks are placed on these squares: H1, A1, H8, A8.

Chess Setup - Rooks
Understanding Rooks

Arranging The Knights

Knights or horses are the exceptions in all the chess pieces. They can jump over any piece whether white or black. They move two and half squares like two steps in horizontal or vertical direction then a turn to grab its position. Knights have 3 points each (sometimes believed as 2.5). It is believed if you can place your knights properly, then you are good at tactics.

While doing a chess set up, arranging knights is easy, just place each of your knight next to the rook in first row. You can check out the chess diagram to see how Knights are placed before starting a game.

The squares however for Knights would be B8, G8, B1, G1.

Chess Set up - Knights
Arranging Knights

Positioning The Bishops

Bishops can only move diagonally. Bishops can move back and front but only diagonally. Each side has 2 bishops, one is called black bishop and other is called white bishop. The black bishop is the one which starts on black square from the beginning and white bishop is which starts on white square from the beginning. The white bishop can move only on white squares diagonally and black bishop can move only on black squares.

To understand where bishops are placed in the starting you can check the image. Note how, bishops are placed next to knight. In chess notations, 4 bishops are placed on these squares: c1, f1, c8 & f8.

Positioning Bishops

Queens Are The Most Confusing

Positioning queens in chess set up is most confusing isn’t it? Whether White queen is placed on white square or black square, this is the biggest confusion a lot of people have in chess board setup. Not to worry, I’ll give you a solution to this. I’ll also tell you a better way to get out of this confusion with this chess setup trick. Queen has 9 points and can perform like rook and bishop thus it believed to be combination of both.

As far as how and where to place the queen is concerned, here’s the solution to it. After all other pieces are placed, only two squares are left now remember that, White queen has to placed on white square and Black queen on black.And if you have understood notations by now, here’s the fix position of two queens. White Queen on d1 & Black Queen on d8.

Placing The Queens
Set The Queens Right!

Completing The Chess Setup

Here’s the last and most important thing to finish of this Chess Board Setup. The last and most important piece left is the King. However, King can only move one place to its adjacent squares. Also by now there is only one position left at the star. So to complete this chess board setup, place the king on the left square. To just mention it in notations: White King on e1 and Black King on e8.

One common myth about King among-st beginners is that it cannot move until it is under check. Nope, just to mention King is free to move anytime even without check.

Placing The Kings
There Comes The King!

I hope the chess board setup guide was detailed and sufficient. Have a look at complete chess setup image.

Chess Board Setup - Complete
Complete Setup!