A game of chess is played by two opponents who alternately move their pieces on the chessboard. The ultimate objective is to capture the other player’s king.
Once your opponent has no legal moves, you have checkmated your opponent and have won the game. If neither player has any legal moves left, then the game is considered drawn.
During a game of chess, it is not legal for any two pieces to occupy the same square. Once one of your pieces lands on the same square of your opponent’s chess piece, you have captured your opponent’s piece and it is taken out of the game. A bishop can move diagonally, a rook can move one square so long as it is not diagonal and the queen can move in any direction. The knight is unique. It can move one step in a vertical or horizontal direction and then one step diagonally in an outward direction. It is a legal move if that first square the knight jumps over has a piece on it already. If a pawn is not about to take an opponent’s piece, it moves one square straight forward. If the pawn is taking, then it moves one square diagonally forward. Pawns that reach the last row of the board are promoted to a queen, knight, bishop or rook. It is not a requirement that a pawn be promoted to a piece that was previously captured but players do tend to choose the queen as the pawn’s promotion.
If a player’s king can be taken by the opponent, then that king is in check. If your king is in check, you can move the king to a square where it would not be in check or take the opponent’s piece that is giving the check. If the check is being done by a rook, queen or bishop, you can move a piece between the king and the checking piece. It is good manners to say “check” when you check your opponent. When someone is in check and cannot make any more legal moves, then that payer is considered mated and has lost the game. If you cannot make any more legal moves but you are also not in check, then you are considered to be stalemated. A stalemate means that no player can capture the other player’s king and the game is a draw.
If you plan on becoming a regular tournament player, it might be worth investing in a tournament chess set – these are tournament grade and are used by clubs, leagues and schools.