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How to Play Chess

To begin playing chess, you can move either a pawn or a knight. Knights move in an L-shape: Out two squares and over one. They are the only piece that can jump over other pieces in the chess board. Pawns can only move forward one square at a time. However, on its first move, it can move two squares. Pawns can attack, but only diagonally and in a forward direction.

Bishops move diagonally and can move as many spaces on the chess board as are available. Queens are able to move in any direction and can move as many spaces as are available. Kings can move in any direction, but only one square at a time. Rooks can move forward, backward or sideways, as long as there is space available.

If any opponent piece threatens to take your king, you are placed in “check.” When in check, you must make your king safe with your next move. You may either move your king, or block or capture the threatening piece. Chess is won by placing your opponent’s king in “checkmate.” This simply means that it is impossible for your opponent to move their king to safety (or remove or block the threat) in a single move, and that you have won the chess match.

5 Tips to Improve Your Online Chess

Playing chess games online can be a new and exciting challenge. But while the experience can be fun and engaging, it can also be incredibly frustrating when you’re just not hitting your stride. Our experts have put together these five helpful tips to help new and veteran chess players improve their game today.

  1. Memorize the Rules
  2. A fundamental part of playing online chess is knowing how each piece moves on the board. Only by being very familiar with the rules can you start developing your own strategy or try out tactics you learn online. The good news is that there aren’t that many pieces, so you can quickly grasp the difference between each piece and start making moves on the board.

  3. Learn to Analyze
  4. Whether you play chess against a computer or a person, a key part of the game is learning to follow each move and analyze what your opponent is doing. So, as you’re playing in your first matches, try to make it a habit to analyze each move by looking at what your opponent has done and trying to guess what they might try to do next. That way, you’ll have a head start and be able to take advantage of the situation.

  5. Allow Yourself to Sacrifice Pieces
  6. Losing a piece when playing online chess can be frustrating. But while it’s not pleasant, losing pieces is actually a crucial part of winning. By being open to strategically sacrificing pieces, you can lure your opponent into making mistakes and opening up opportunities to take more important pieces from them. So as strange it seems, losing pieces is actually a vital part of winning!

  7. Learn Opening Strategies
  8. The opening is a key part of online chess, as it sets up your positions for the entire game and creates opportunities for taking the opponent’s pieces later on. For instance, you could get your bishop and knight out early, as that will allow you to perform a castling move, which is actually two moves at once. With it, you will not only move your king to safety but will also bring your rook to the center, where it can be more useful.

  9. Practice Against a Computer
  10. Finally, you should take advantage of the chess simulator online and play chess against a computer. When you play chess vs. a computer, you can try out different strategies, set up a level of competition you’re comfortable with, and have an opponent ready on-demand and for as long as you want. While playing against a human player is also important, you will find that getting a few wins against a computer can give you more confidence and get you more accustomed to the online chess game's algorithms.

About Chess

Chess is the No. 1 classic board game of all time! It is a strategy board game played by millions of people around the world. Come and immerse yourself in chess online for free! Enjoy this free chess game and try your best to beat the savvy computer. Get your chess pieces on the board and play free chess today!

Fun Chess Facts

  • Chess originated in northern India About 1500 years ago and, by the 10th century had made its way east, spreading from Asia to the Middle East and eventually Europe.
  • Though Chess was originally favored by people from the upper classes, starting in the 1900’s its popular exploded to players across the socio-economic spectrum as more and more began to play in Chess tournaments and recognized championships. Enter Netflix’s recent hit series “The Queen’s Gambit”, which follows the life of a young orphan chess prodigy, and Chess has never been more popular.
  • The longest Chess game in history lasted for 269 moves and ended in a draw. Theoretically, the longest possible game would consist of around 5,900 moves based on all possible combinations without leading to a draw.
  • The first official World Chess Championship, which is played to determine the world champion in Chess was first hosted in 1886. The World Championship is open to all Chess players, and there are also separate Championships for seniors, female players, players under 20 years old, and even computers.
  • The first Chess playing computer program was developed in 1952 by computer scientist and mathematician Alan Turning. Though rather crude, the world of Chess programs has come a long way—in 1997, IBM's Deep Blue chess computer beat the top-rated chess player Garry Kasparov, the youngest world Chess Champion to date. Today's best computer chess programs can easily beat Chess Grandmasters. Fun fact two: Russia has the most Chess Grandmasters of any country, topping off at 250.
  • Armenia, is the first country in the world to make Chess a mandatory subject for students between the ages of six and eight. According to the education minister, making Chess required will help to foster a sense of responsibility and organization among the school children.
  • Believe it or not, German chess master Marc Lang set a world record for the number of simultaneously played chess games while blindfolded, with 46 games in 21 hours.

Play this free online chess game to stay sharp, exercise your brain and become a Chess Master! Good luck!

Enjoying playing Chess online? Then have a look at our other free online board games for another fun, thought-provoking challenge!