First it is interesting to know that Chess is one of the most ancient games in human history with over 2000 years of behind it with its roots pointing to India. Basically there is one traditional way to play Chess with only minor game variations.
So Chess is a board game, played by two players on the opposite sides of the board. Chess board has 64 squaresof alternating colors on 8*8 grid. At the start of the game each player has 16 pieces: 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 knights and 8 pawns. In order to win you have to check-mate the opponent's king, e.g. make it unable to move.
At the start of the game you the board is located the way that every player has the white color square in the right bottom corner of the board. All the figures are placed on the board according the rules in two rows. All of thepawns are located on the second row, while higher rank figures are placed on the first one. The rooks go to the corners, knights placed next to them, then bishops, and the queen in the middle (always goes to the matching color square) together with the king.
White pieces start the game, and then move blacks, so during the game each player moves in single turns. In Chess Rivals intelligent computer will randomly assign who will play whites and blacks. Every of the 6 kinds of pieces moves in it's own way, all of the pieces cannot jump over the other figures, except of the knight. Pieces also cannot move to the squares already taken with their own pieces. But they can jump to the squares with the opponent's figure to capture it. During the game, the main strategy for locating your pieces is either to move them so you can capture the opponents' piece or to build the defense line or to have strategic control of the key squares. When you capture the other piece your move is done, and now its turn of your opponent.
The king is the most significant but the weakest figure in the game. It can move only one square each time, though in all directions.
This is the most capable figure. It can move as far as needed in any direction – forward, backward, sideways or diagonally.
The rook is really powerful piece, it can move straight, both forward and backwards, and also sideways, as far as possible. The rooks are usually played together, so they can secure each other being particularly dangerous for the opponent.
The bishop moves only diagonally though as far as needed. Each bishop moves only on one color squares, so two bishops work well together.
Knights have very special pattern moves in the shape of L letter. They basically go two squares forward and then turn one square 90 degree from it. This is the only figure which can jump over the others.
Pawns can move only one step ahead at the time, except of their first move, when they can make a two-step move. Though pawns can move only forward, they can capture only figures located on square diagonally in front of them. Pawns are not allowed to move or capture backwards. Pawn an easily get stacked, when there is another figure in front of it, so pawn cannot move or capture it.
The great thing about pawns is that they can be promoted to any figure if they reach the opposite side of the chess board. Promotion works only for pawns and no any other figures. Usually pawn gets promoted to the queen.
There is one more rule for pawns called "In passing": if on the first move the pawn jumps two squares forward and lands next to the opponent pawn, the opponent's pawn can capture it on its next move by passing by diagonally on the square just below it. If opponent doesn't do it straight after your pawn move, the chance will be lost.
This is truly important and useful rule in the chess game. By using castling you can combine two big things at the same time: put your king in the safe position and get your rook into the game out of the corner. In order to proceed with castling you should move your king two squares to one of the sides, and then the rook jumps over the king and stays next to him. However to castle the rook and the king both pieces shouldn't have been moved before, e.g. it have to be their first move during the whole game. Also there cannot be any other pieces in between the two figures, and the king cannot be threatened with check at the moment of castling. Regardless which side of the board you are castling the king can move only two steps.
So the chess game ends when the king is in the position when he cannot move anymore, being threatened by the opponent piece. So if the king cannot escape form the check, it's called check-mate and the game is over. Sometimes chess game can ends not with the winning, but with a draw. It can happen for several reasons, such as:
- The game turns into the dead end, when there are no legal moves even though the king is not in the check-mate
- On the mutual agreement between both players
- It is not possible to come to the check-mate because of too few pieces left
- There were 50 coherent moves in the game, but no pawns were moved