Learning the game of Chess typically begins with identifying each piece and their movement patterns. The regal court have their roles to play with the common goal of crossing enemy lines and capturing their King. The dynamic results of strategy define the next line of offense or defense by the opposing player. Unlike simpler board styles, chess can change directions at any given moment. Without a preset path, it is important to understand the details of the game that are factored in from the start to a check mate finish. Chess terminology and definitions can include a simple saying up to complex sequences. Having ideas or an ace up your proverbial sleeve can be the exact turning point needed. Before you can cleverly declare domination or a sorrowful defeat, you will want to learn the technical terms and language of chess.

Win, Lose or Draw

Ok, so technically it would be Check, Checkmate or Stalemate. It is easy to remember the differences in these terms. When your next move can capture the opponents King, it is up to the other player to relocate or block the path in their next turn. The rules state you cannot leave your King vulnerable in a checked status. He must be moved to safety every time there is a stated Check. Checkmate indicates the King is about to be captured and there are no existing moves to prevent it. It also denotes the game is at a close and the winner is announced. Stalemates occur when there are no moves that can be made, no checks are in sight and both players have to withdraw.

Castling the King and Rook

There are often debates midgame on who, when and where Castling is allowed. It is a lifesaving move that has a few rules to follow. Moving the King two spaces towards the Rook and then place the same Rook to the space on the other side of the Kings new position is called a Castle. This quick switch is especially helpful when needing to create a safety net for your King. You cannot perform a Castle IF:

  • Your King is in Check or Checkmate.
  • You have previously moved your King or intended Rook.
  • There is an enemy piece on the same square needed for the Castle. Captures during Castling is prohibited.
  • Any pieces are standing in between point A or B. A clear path is necessary for the move to be legal.
Castling the King and Rook
Castling the King and Rook


The Pawn is a small yet mighty piece in your chess lineup. The ability to dodge and move forward across the board is its specialty. Once the Pawn reaches the far line of squares on the opposing side, it can earn a promotion. Being promoted allows the player to pick a higher ranking piece to take its place. Most prefer to opt for a Queen; however some choose a Knight, bishop or Rook instead. For obvious reasons, the King is not included in the roster. You may note some players only allowing to revive a captured piece. If both players concede to this rule, it is determined in advance. For the rest of us… the majority rules.