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Skills Game Guide to Chess

Chess is a two player board game that’s popular all over the world. The rules take a bit of getting used to, but they aren’t  too complicated, and the game is often taught to children at a young age. Although relatively easy to learn how to play, the strategy involved in chess makes it a very skilled game that’s difficult to master.

The history of chess goes back over hundreds of years, with its origins being traced back as early as the 6th century. It has evolved over time into the game as we know it today, and most of the current rules were standardized in the 15th century. Today, it’s enjoyed by millions of people. Some of these people play competitively, while many play simply for fun. Some players play with money at stake too.

On this page, we have provided some more information on the history of chess. We have also explained the rules and looked at how chess can be played for gambling purposes.

Brief History of Chess

Chess is believed to have originated in India, with a game called chaturariga that used pieces based on the four divisions of the military. It’s widely accepted that it was this game that evolved into chess as we know it today, although there are also some alternative theories.

Wherever and however it started originally, chess began spreading through Europe from around the time of the 11th century. There were a few different versions of the game, but, as mentioned, most of the rules became standardized during the 15th century.

In the years that have followed, the game has grown massively in popularity. There are chess clubs all over the world, organized tournaments, and there have been hundreds of books written about chess. There have been several computer programs written that allow you to play against an “artificial” opponent, and these days you can even play online against other human opponents from all over the world.

The Game Board

Chess is played on a board containing a total of 64 squares laid out in a grid 8 squares by eight. These squares alternate in color across the board; half of them are black and half of them are white. At the start of a game, the two players sit across the board from each other. They each start with 16 pieces, and their pieces are arranged on the two rows of squares closest to them. One player uses white pieces and the other one use black pieces; the player with the white pieces always starts.

Chess Pieces & Their Moves

There are six different types of chess pieces, as follows.

  • King
  • Queen
  • Rook
  • Bishop
  • Knight
  • Pawn

A player starts with one king and one queen, two of each of the rook, bishop and knight, and eight pawns. During their turn they move one of their pieces, to either an empty space on the board or to one occupied by an opponent’s piece. If they move to a space occupied by an opponent’s piece, then that piece is captured and removed from the board.

Each piece can move in different ways. The king can move one space, and one space only, in any direction (horizontally, vertically or diagonally). It cannot be moved into a position where it may be captured. The queen can also move in any direction, but it can also move multiple spaces. It cannot jump pieces though.

The rook can move multiple spaces either horizontally or vertically, and the bishop can move multiple spaces diagonally. These cannot jump pieces either. The knight can jump pieces, and moves in an “L shape” pattern. That is to say it can move two squares horizontally and one square vertically, or two squares vertically and one square horizontally.

Moves involving pawns are a little more complicated. They can move one space forward, providing the destination space isn’t occupied, or they can move one space diagonally if they are capturing an opponent’s piece. They cannot move backward. If a pawn hasn’t yet been moved at all during a game, it may be moved two spaces forward, providing the destination space isn’t occupied.

The pawn is also the online piece that can be “promoted”. If it’s moved to the furthest row, then it can be exchanged for any other piece. A queen is usually chosen. In theory, a player may promote all eight of their pawns so it’s technically possible for one player to have nine queens on the board. Such a scenario is extremely unlikely though.

Check and Checkmate

If a player moves a piece to a square where, on their next move, they would be able to capture their opponent’s king, they have put their opponent in check. Their opponent must remove their king from check on their turn. This can be done by moving their king, blocking the check with another piece, or capturing the piece that has placed their king in check. No player may ever make a move that either leaves or places their king in check.

When a player’s king is in check and there’s no legal move they can make to escape check, this is checkmate and their opponent wins. A game can also end if a player resigns, or if the two players both agree to a draw. Additionally a game can end in stalemate, which is a draw, if a player’s king isn’t in check, but that player has no legal moves they can make.

Chess as a Gambling Game

Chess isn’t traditionally considered to be a gambling game, but it can be played for real money stakes if two opponents agree. It would usually involve  each player putting up a set dollar amount with the winner of the game taking all the money.

It’s possible to play chess for money online, against other human players. There are a few gambling sites where you can do this. It’s probably not a good idea to play chess for real money unless you are reasonably skilled, but you don’t have to be an expert either. There are players of various standards so you should be able to find someone that’s a fair match.

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