What Are The Moves Of Chess Pieces?

If you will try to learn chess, one of the very first thing that you will need to learn is to know how the different chess pieces move. In a chess match, there are 32 chess pieces in all. 16 chess pieces for the white side and another 16 chess pieces for the black side. These 16 chess pieces compose of a king, a queen, a pair of rooks, a pair of knights, a pair of bishops, and 8 pieces of pawns. So, before we defend our side of the board, let us all try to learn the moves of every chess pieces.


A. King

Might be the piece with the least option of movement but this is the most important piece. Because without this piece you are considered defeated. The main objective of this game is to capture the king, giving your opponent the check-mate. Remember also that 2 kings can never be beside each other and can’t be used to check your opponent.


  1. The king can only move a single space but to any directions. Likewise, if this piece is going to capture a piece of your opponent except for their king.
  2. The king and rook can perform a single move called “castling”. In castling, the king will move double space to the direction of the chosen rook. While the rook will be on the opposite side of the king.


B. Rook

This is the 2 pieces at both ends behind the pawns. The appearance of this piece is like a tower or a castle. A special piece that can be used in castling with the king.


  1. It can move across, backward, and forward in any number of spaces if there is no other allied piece that is occupying a space on the way.
  2. When the piece occupying the space on the way is an opposing piece, the rook can freely capture it.


C. Bishop

This is the 2 pieces beside the queen and the king. It is like the diagonal version of the rook.


  1. It can only move diagonally back and forth in the board.
  2. It can only move into space with the same color as its first position and is not allowed to change.
  3. Capturing an opposing piece will also be diagonal with the same mechanics as the rook.


D. Queen

The piece in which can be considered as the sum of the rook and the bishop. Might not be the most important piece in the game but you can consider it as the most useful piece to give you an advantage.


  1. It can move straight forward, backward, and across the board using any number of spaces if there is no block on the way.
  2. It can also move diagonally back and forth if there is no block in the way.
  3. Whenever an opposing piece blocks the way, the queen can capture it.


E. Knight

These are the 2 pieces that can be found between the rooks and the bishops in both ends of your side of the board. The appearance of this piece is like the head of a horse. A handy and tricky piece because it can go through obstructing pieces.


  1. Depending on its position on the board, the knight can move up to 8 options at most.
  2. The knight can move forward, backward, or across 2 spaces and then another space perpendicular to the direction.
  3. The simple description for its movement was “L-shaped”. 3 blocks for the for the long side and 1 block for the short side.


F. Pawn

These are the 8 pieces in the front of your side and can be considered as the frontlines of each side. When a pawn succeeded reaching the other side of the board, it can turn to any piece you wished for except the king. That’s why in chess, having 2 queens at your side is possible.


  • Pawns are commonly the first pieces to move, the basic possible move for a pawn is by moving forward by a single space only.
  • You can move a pawn two spaces forward, you can only do this when the piece is not yet moved. This move is also called “En Passant”.
  • Pawns change the way they move from going straight forward to diagonally forward only when they are going to capture an opposing chess piece.


We are now able to learn all the moves possible for each chess piece, even on how they can capture an opposing chess piece. Beginner or not, every player should know every piece well. As every piece can be used to utilize a unique scheme of tactics for every player. There are a lot of benefits that you can get just by knowing the basics of using the different chess pieces. But do not limit yourself on the things you learned today, learning is a non-stop process. After mastering the first steps of the learning process, proceed on acquiring complex knowledge that will hone you as a great player.

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