Learn the main rules of chess and start playing it without being an expert

Do you want to be an expert chess player? Before you start playing, you need to know the rules of chess. It’s obvious, you can’t pretend to start a game without knowing what actions you can perform in your turn, don’t you think? The thing is that the rules of chess can be separated into two main types: basic and advanced rules. you can skip the basic chess rules if you already know them, and go straight to the advanced rules, which refer to those chess rules for competitions (yes, there is a difference). It is also worth mentioning that there are also the rapid and blitz rules, among others, which we will also look at today.

On the other hand, you should not confuse the rules of chess with the basic aspects of the game that respond to what chess is. In that sense, today we will be inside the board, looking at the sequence of play, the conditions, among other things!

When you finish reading this post, you will be able to play chess without complications, you will be more nourished with this information and you will be able to develop your strategies. let’s get started!

Basic chess rules

Regarding the rules on how to move the chess pieces, we have dedicated another entry for that, so it will be an aspect that we will not address in this article.

So, let’s move on! The basic rules of chess, also called laws of chess, are separated into different articles within the terms established by FIDE (International Chess Federation).

It should be clarified that these basic rules of chess do not cover all possible situations that may arise during a game (hence the importance of arbitration), but they are sufficient to establish the basic sequence of the game.

So, what are the most important chess rules? the basic rules of chess are 3:

1. The player with the white pieces moves first

Deciding whether to play with the black or white chess pieces is not a matter of taste, but there is a strategic component to every decision. First of all, you should keep in mind that playing with the white pieces always moves first.

Your first move is crucial and, as advice, must respond to a strategy; for this, you must know many modern chess openings, which will allow you to take the lead.

2. Each player moves 1 of his pieces on his turn

In this aspect, the rules of chess are clear, you cannot move more than one piece in your turn. The only exception to this rule is when you castle, which must be done by moving one of your rooks and your king. It should also be made clear that no piece can move to an occupied space, unless it is to capture.

rey caído en el tablero de ajedrezSource: Pexels

3. The winner is the player who manages to checkmate the opponent

The object of the game is very simple: to capture the enemy king and checkmate it. During the game, you will see several situations in which the king will be threatened, however, it can escape capture; this is called check. About this situation, there are 2 points to clarify:

3.1. No player can expose his own king to a checkmate

No player can move a piece that puts his own king in checkmate. If you detect that your opponent exposes his king to checkmate, in your next turn you must prevent it. It does not matter that this situation benefits you (since you would practically win when your turn comes), since the rules of chess are clear and that action (exposing your own king) is a forbidden move.

However, if you want to play chess online, you do not have to worry about this, since the game will not allow you to move the piece you want. This is because, as it is a forbidden move and the online platform has the rules of chess, it blocks the move automatically.

can you imagine a game model that allows you to have a traitor piece that ignores this rule?

3.2. The player who declares checkmate must explain the situation

When announcing checkmate, in addition to allowing your opponent to evaluate the situation, you must explain why it is checkmate (especially if you are a beginner or playing against a novice), to ensure that your opponent cannot perform any king-saving actions according to the rules of chess.

Remember that, when you checkmate, you are not capturing the enemy king (you do not move any of your pieces into the opponent’s king space), but you block the opponent’s king’s move; that is, you corner it, so it is the opponent player who must surrender the king (by lying the piece down).

Therefore, as soon as you declare checkmate, if your opponent has not noticed this situation, he will probably want to understand the reasons for your checkmate. In addition, this will serve to demonstrate that you know the basic rules of chess. With this, we have covered what would be the rules of chess for beginners, let’s move on to what follows.


Advanced chess rules

With the above, you already have enough to play your games with friends and family; however, if you want to compete, the competitive format includes several chess rules that cover different situations.

1. The use of the clock

have you seen all those movies where they play chess and punch a clock? In some formats, this is used to measure the time of each player, that is, how long it takes to make a move.

Being a strategic game, many players take their time to think, analyze the opponent’s strategy and consider different move options according to the rules of chess. Therefore, the clock becomes indispensable in the case of competitions. can you imagine waiting 30 minutes for your opponent to make a decision?

Then, the point is that the clock is not only there to admire the great chess champions, who seem to play tennis with the pieces, because they respond almost instantly to every action of the opponent. The clock exists because, in some tournaments, the rules of chess establish that each player has 2 minutes to make his move.

In competition,the rules of chess dictate that the clock is the start of the appearance time, which must be zero. In addition, the clock marks the fall of the flag; that is, the end of a turn. You cannot make any move outside your time and if a piece relocation is necessary, it is done on the player’s time.

juego del ajedrez con reloj para medir el tiempo de las jugadasSource: Pexels

2. Irregularities

I could have sworn I heard you thought: piece relocation? Yes, indeed, the rules of chess consider this possibility. But beware, it is not when you regretted your move after making it, because a “touched piece, is a played piece”. The rules of chess allow a relocation of pieces when an irregularity is detected and established.

For example: imagine that your opponent moves a piece and in doing so leaves his king given away for a checkmate, but you don’t notice it! And you perform another action on your turn. Then, your opponent analyzes the chess pieces on the board and notices that he made a forbidden move.

Maybe your opponent prefers to keep quiet, thinking that he would have given you the victory, but no, chess rules don’t work like that. In that case, whoever detected the situation must report it. Remember that exposing your own king is a forbidden move, so it should never have happened in the first place.

In this case, the pieces should be relocated to their initial position, before the forbidden move occurs. Like this situation, the rules of chess consider two situations as common irregularities that warrant relocation:

Playing with wrong pieces before 10 moves are made. For example, this happens if in the tournament you were dealt the black pieces, but you sat down to play with the white pieces.
If some pieces have been moved (by accident) from their respective squares when making other moves.

For any other situation, the rules of chess state that arbitration must intervene. For this, these situations require you to be able to understand complex problems to solve. In that sense, if you require those skills, we recommend our course complex problem solving.

3. Annotation of moves

I must have something in my ear because I could have sworn I heard you ask: and how will they remember how the pieces were and relocate them?

In competitive chess, the rules of chess include a tracking called “notation of the moves”, which each player must keep.

Maybe, if you play with friends at home, you consider unnecessary to have a notebook or format for each player to make his notes, but in competitions it is very important and it is the main tool to make a clarification, denounce a forbidden move or ask for a draw.

The rules of chess establish that each player must have an extra 30 seconds in his time limit to make his annotations or, on the contrary, assign other people to make these annotations of his moves.

Complex, isn’t it? Well, I confess that I have never found myself in the need to do this follow-up, on the one hand, because playing online the same platform makes the annotations and, on the other hand, because when I play with friends we usually make a quick game. However, it is important that you take this into account to progress and compete. The movement annotations are made in algebraic notation as we will explain below:

Algebraic notation

For this rule of advanced chess to be clear, you must know what algebraic notation is, since it is the only format recognized by FIDE.

This notation has its own specifications within the rules of chess, but I will give a small summary:

Each piece is indicated with its abbreviation and in capital letters. Example: knight = C; rook = T; queen = D.
Pawns are not indicated with the first letter, only by notation. Example: g4 is understood as pawn to space g4.
The position is established at the intersection of the row and column occupied by the piece. The columns are indicated by a lowercase letter (from a to h), and the rows by a number (from 1 to 8).
The move is noted by placing the initial of the piece (minus the pawn) in capital letters together with the final position. For example: Ae5 (Bishop to e5 space); it is not necessary to write down the position of origin.

To help you with your annotations of the moves in digital format, we share with you this kit with templates for digital notes to download for free.

4. Game tables

This is very important: nobody wins in a drawn game. The rules of chess state that a drawn game is a mutual defeat and both players must agree to declare a draw.

I clarify this because as a child I lived several cornering situations with my opponent seeking to “win” by a draw, because he chased my king with the same move and made the excuse that my king had no escape.

The rules of chess define that the game is a draw when a player’s piece occupies the same position for the third time (not necessarily by repetition of moves).

It is in no player’s interest to seek a draw. If you corner the king, blocking your opponent’s move options, but you do have several move options, change your strategy and do not seek a draw.

In fact, there are tournaments where it is established in the rules of chess that draws are forbidden and, if the situation arises, it is considered an irregularity.

persona analizando el tablero de ajedrez para su siguiente jugadaSource: Pexels

5. Score

In a crowded tournament, it is important to keep track of your points. These are established as follows:

The player who wins his game, receives 1 point.
The player who loses his game receives 0 points.
The player who starts his game receives half a point (0.5).

Interestingly, the rules of chess state that other fractions of a point, such as 3/4 or 1/4, cannot be given.

6. Conduct

The first aspect that the chess rules consider about the conduct is the following: “The players shall not act in a way that dishonors the game of chess”. among other things, within the rules of chess that refer to the conduct of the participants, it is established that it is forbidden to distract or disturb your opponent, which includes the impossibility of making claims, draw offers that do not proceed or loud noises in the playing area. So, if your strategy does not work, do not turn the table over for any reason.

7. Arbitration

In competition, the rules of chess give the arbiter many powers and responsibilities, the first of which is to see that the rules of chess are followed.

Therefore, an arbiter must be someone committed to the fulfillment of rules, who knows how to identify irregularities at the moment.

There is a lot to study to be a good arbiter, such as being disciplined and sleeping well so as not to miss any quick move.

Rules for rapid chess and blitz chess

You already know the basic rules of chess and have taken a look at the advanced rules, so that’s more than enough to start your games. However, there are special game formats, for when you are short on time or like to live on the edge.

1. Quick Chess

Rapid chess makes few variations on the rules of chess in general. Mainly, it limits the playing time, so that the total number of moves should not exceed a fixed time of less than 10 minutes, but not more than 60 minutes (for each player).

2. Lightning chess

Like the previous one, blitz chess does not modify the rules of chess, it only limits the time, since the total number of moves of each player must be done in less than 10 minutes. Extreme, isn’t it?

apertura según las reglas del ajedrezSource: Pexels

Special chess rules that will improve your moves

how nice! You’ve made it to this section in addition to the basic chess rules we’ve already seen. You are aware that learning more special moves and rules in chess will help you improve your strategies in this exciting board game.

So let’s start right away this lesson, where you will be able to put into practice the special moves and some chess rules that are not so well known, because now what you need is to gain confidence and master the rules of the game itself. let’s continue!

Pawn promotion or coronation

The first of the special chess rules is the pawn promotion. what is this rule about? Very simple. If a pawn reaches the opposite edge of the player’s board, it is promoted as another piece on the board, be it rook, knight, bishop or queen.

The new piece replaces the pawn on its current square and follows the movement rules of the corresponding piece. So, according to the special rules of chess, you can choose to become any piece on the board except a king.

Also, you should keep in mind that knowing the rules of chess gives you the opportunity to have more than 1 queen. that’s right! The rules of chess say in terms of promotion that every time a pawn reaches the other side of the board it can also become a queen, even if the other queen you had already got is still in the game.

This means that a player can have several queens as a result of the promotion of his pawns, or several bishops able to move along the diagonals of the same color depending on the square to which the pawn has been promoted.

After you have learned these chess rules, you could start posting your moves on TikTok. how about enrolling in the TikTok course for content creators? Professor Sebastian Silva will help you plan and structure your ideas successfully.

Pro tip: There is no limit to the number of pawns that can be promoted.

Castling the pieces

Before starting with this special chess rule, let’s see what the RAE says about the definition of “Enroque”. In the game of chess, a defensive move in which the king and rook of the same side simultaneously change their position.

So, what does castling consist of? This is a special rule of chess that allows you to make 2 moves simultaneously. It is possible to castle with any of the two rooks as long as they have not moved from their initial corner.

The special chess rules state that you can move the king to the rook on two squares instead of one, and then place your opponent’s rook on the square next to the king. To make this move, keep in mind the following:

It must be the king’s first move.
It must be the first move of the rook.
The king must be out of check.
You cannot castle the king on a square that is threatened by an opponent’s piece.
The rook may jump over another piece.
There must be no other chess piece between them before castling.
The king and the rook must be on the same rank.

Since you already know the basic rules of chess, you may be wondering: how many types of castling are there? There are two types of castling in chess, one that can be done next to the king (called short castling) or you can also castle next to the queen (called long castling).

Pro tip: Remember that you cannot use the king in a castling move if it is in check. Instead, you can move a rook for castling even if it is threatened by an opponent’s piece. In other words, it can be captured on the opponent’s next turn, or on any of the squares it crosses during the execution of the move.

Capture on the move or “eat on the move”.

As you have noticed, chess is primarily a game of strategy. And while it may appear that someone will come out a winner by the way they use the rules of chess to their advantage, it is long-term planning efforts that can give you the best chance of success.

So now we are going to explain to you what is “en passant eating” or en passant capturing in chess, one of the most popular special rules among expert or beginner chess players all over the world.

If one of your opponent’s pawns advances two squares, your opponent can declare “eat en passant” in the next turn and move his pawn diagonally to the square that the pawn crossed, capturing the pawn as if it had moved only one square.

Of course, for it to be a legal move, you must declare the crossing and carry it out on the opponent’s next turn, otherwise the player who has the opportunity to capture the pawn loses that opportunity. But you don’t want to waste it, so you better keep this important chess rule in mind. is it clear?

For example, let’s say you move a pawn from the second rank to the fourth rank and your opponent’s pawn is on the fourth rank. The opponent’s pawn can capture yours with a diagonal move to the square it was protecting. This chess rule often defines many a tense endgame. Therefore, it is key that you don’t just stick to the basic rules of chess.

Despite knowing the rules of chess, keep in mind that chess is a game that requires a lot of thinking and is not made for everyone. You have to practice a lot, as well as watch someone else play it. The good thing is that you can always practice the rules of chess in the comfort of your smartphone, a tablet or on a computer.

Juego de mesa ajedrezImage: Pixabay

50 Moves Rule

This is one of the most advanced of the chess rules, as it rarely comes into effect at the board. However, you may come across this move watching a game of some supermaster. Let’s remember the great 1997 contest between the Russian “Garry Kasparov vs. Deep Blue”, in which a computer developed by IBM scientists made the Russian resign after 19 moves.

Well, what is the 50-move rule all about? The chess rule states that it is possible to claim a draw if there has not been a capture and if no pawn has been moved in the previous 50 moves.

And if we said that this chess rule rarely enters a game it is because it rather serves to prevent it from going on forever, that is, when one or none of the players knows how to end the game.

Triple repetition of position

Like the previous rule, the triple repetition rule also enters into the lesser known rules of chess. what does it consist of? Very simple, it states that if a player repeats the same position three times without any progress in the game, he can claim a draw, i.e. declare a draw. Of course, you just have to be very concentrated and alert to be able to execute this kind of rules in chess.

In addition, the triple repetition rule is a resource that you can put into practice to save a game when you think you are very much at a disadvantage. In fact, many chess players have won games that seemed lost thanks to the triple repetition of position. Therefore, it is one of the chess rules that you should keep in mind when playing your games.

we have reached the end of the note and we have seen the most important of the chess rules! While it has taken us quite a while, it looks like you are now ready to play without them wanting to make up rules for you.

Now, I recommend you take a moment to study them and consult the complete FIDE chess rules if you want to specialize.

Remember that chess can help you in many ways, such as to think before you act and to stop rushing your decisions. And if you want to keep getting positive results in your life, don’t forget to take a look at the Lifestyle courses we have for you. That’s all for now. see you next time!

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