Chess Time with Joe!
Brief Introduction: My name’s Joseph Jay Quintero and I started playing chess while in my sophomore year in high-school, I was the team captain and prepared the team for a chess tournament in Williamsburg, New York. My approximate chess rating at the time was about 1450/2800. I’d like the readers to take note that chess can be an invigorating game much like physical sports. However, I’ll leave that to you to decide once you are done with this short program.
Introduction to Basic Pieces in Chess
First, off the back, thank you for taking the time to enter this very basic program for learning chess. Through your hard work and dedication, you can push yourself too far limits. In the game of chess, there are two sides on the board which has an army of players. The two sides are classically known as white and black. Each side of the board is given:
-1 king,1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 knights, 8 pawns
Objective of the Game of Chess
The primary objective here is for one player to effectively apply their pieces in such a way they “check/checkmate” the opposing sides King. However in the process, you may need to sacrifice many pieces which contributes to your opponents overall score. We will get to this later on in the program. But for know, just know that the King is valued at a priceless rate, which means he is the most important piece on the board and should be fully protected from any attacks by the opponent at ALL TIMES!
Chess Board Setup for White and Black
First off, let’s setup the construction of the pawns on the board.
1. Placement of pawns ( the smallest piece that looks like a baby pacifier or a sharp) belong in the second row, all eight of them gets their own square.
2. Placement of rooks (looks similar to a castle tower) belongs at the last square on the back row of each side.
-If you don’t know where this box is located, look for the pawns on your board that are placed at the very end of each side of the row. Now take both rooks and place the rooks directly behind each one.
3. Placement of the Knights (actually the horses, but imagine that knights ride on them so use your imagination). These are placed right next to the rooks on each side of the back row. So you will have a rook followed by a knight.
4. Placement of the bishops(they are taller pieces that have a sort of helmet shaped mask on their face). These are placed directly next to the knights.
5. Next important piece comes the Queens (they have the pearled crown) on the heads and should be placed next to the king. Since you have only one queen per game at the start you place directly on the left side of the board on the white side if you are white
-If not, then you are presumed to be playing the black side so your queen will go on the black tile instead of white.
6. Lastly, of course, is the most important piece of the game which is the king(they have the cross on their head), I’m confident that you can place the king in the remaining spot.
NOTE: Repeat these steps for both white and black armies. Also below is a diagram of
what the following chess board setup should appear like:
Introduction to Movement of Chess Pieces
-King: The king can move in any direction, but only in one square radius.
-Queen: The queen can move in any direction with an unlimited square radius similar to the bishop.
-Rook: The rook can move in a forward, backward, sideward motion in an unlimited square radius like the Queen. It is not able to move in a diagonal motion.
-Knight: The Knights can not move in one square motion, but rather in a simplistic L-shaped movement of 3 squares, 2 of which must be squares in the forward, sideways, or backward direction and 1 square either going to the left or right after then.
-Bishop: Can only move in diagonal squares, but they can move in an unlimited range meaning that they can move any amount of squares they want to, but they can never move up forward or sideways.
-Pawn: Can only move two squares up on the beginning move, never diagonal or sideways after that it can move only one square. It can capture by going to the first diagonal square if the opponent’s chess piece is on it. That’s only if their piece is present in that first diagonal square.
– Now here is a diagram of how the bishops and knights should move:
Introduction to the Rows/Files System
The purpose of annotating properly is for you to record your games for future reference and possibly game analysis:
1. To put it simply, in chess we follow a ranking system and we use that system to locate each square. Each square is designated with a certain annotation. So for example, the rows are going in a horizontal motion and filed from (A-H), and the files or ranked from (1-8).
-If you are confused, then here is another picture to look at that will help you understand it a little more clearly:
Proper Chess Notation for Every Piece
Note: that when you annotate you write down the square in which your piece moves to, not your starting position.
1. When you move pawns you designate them by their column and rank, so the pawn on E2, If I were to move him up on square, I would write down e3(lowercase). If not, then you are moving him up two squares, which is represented by e4. This applies to all pawns.
2. When you move your Bishop, you designate it as to where it goes on the square. We represent it as Ba3. In wording, this sounds like the bishop to the tile a3.
3. When you move your knight, you would designate it with an N. Not a K. A lot of players get this mixed up and annotate incorrectly. So white’s knight located on g1, you remember that the Knights are the only pieces in the game that can jump over any other piece to avoid blocks or capturing. So if we move that knight on g1, it only moves in an L shape, to either Nf3 or Nh1.
4. When you annotate your King, you write it out as K(stands for king) and its desired square. So if we were to annotate the Kings move for either black or white, you would say Kf2 or Kd2.
5. When you annotate your Queens, you write it out as Q(stands for queen) and its desired square. So if we were to annotate the queen’s move for either black or white, you would say Qc2 or Qe2 or any other square that is not blocking it.
6. When you annotate your Rooks, this can be tricky since you have two of them on black or white and need to designate specifically which one. So rooks are represented by “R” and when you want to move the rook on the Queen’s side, you would write Rab1 and so on. If it’s the rook on the King’s side, you would designate it as so Rhg1 and so on.
7. When you want to capture a piece with another, whether it be your pawn or rook or bishop, you would write down whatever piece it is on that file and put an X next to that file and then you would write down the square you just captured on, so this will obviously be a different file. To visualize this, suppose we moved white’s pawn to e4, which is two space upward. Remember that white always starts off first on the first move in every game. Secondly, if we move black, they open their first move with pawn to f5, white can capture that pawn because he is located on a diagonal. To indicate this in actual notation is by writing: Exf4. In wording we see this as white pawn on the e file will capture black’s pawn located on the f4 square, so on a so forth for the rest of the game.
8. Other notations: The main objective of the game is to “mate” your opponent’s king, meaning that when you check the king, so say like when a queen or any piece for that matter puts the opponent’s king in trouble because they risk the chance of capture, that is called a check. We represent chess with the symbol “+”, and if you are checkmating the opponent’s king, meaning that you are checking the king and they have nowhere to flee to or any other piece to intervene the attack we represent this checkmate with the symbol “++ or #”.
Now shown below are two diagrams of an ongoing match I played in previous tournaments:
-Here is a diagram showing whites side capturing the black queen with either the king or bishop. Then followed along will be the annotation once white captures:
Closing Statement to The Readers
I would like to thank each and everyone of you for taking the time out of your day to read this short introductory program regarding the basics to chess. If you would like further references of how you can make your chess game more solid overall, I advise that you visit “Chess.Com” as they have a huge amounts of knowledge regarding chess openings, middlegames, and closing strategies. Above all, remember that chess is all about strategy and that the mental aspect of the game is just as equivalent as the physical aspect. For the mere beginner, chess is all about different variations and in your approach to checking the king and in the process, capturing other pieces to decrease your opponent’s chances of defending or attacking. If you decide that you are not good in the physical sports, remember that chess can also be a man’s/woman’s game. It took a lot of the world’s top chess players months, years, and even decades to become closer to attaining Grandmaster status and that requires non-stop effort everyday in practicing your chess game. Also, I want you to take note that chess like any other sports game or board games is ONLY a game and you should not beat yourself up about if you find that you are not good at it. I look to playing chess as a way to release my stress that is built up throughout the day because it forces me to pay attention to what I am actually doing and makes me go at my own pace. Now, on an ending note, I wish each and everyone of you the best of skill, not luck in your future endeavors. I say that because luck is something that is quite unexpected on the chessboard and is not really dependent. You should not be expecting your chess opponent to be making a worse move, but should be anticipating their moves so that you can make the best decision based off of it. That is why I encourage you to build up your skill set and learn as much about chess as possible and be dominant out there. Be confident in yourself and never look back. Do enjoy the journey that is yet to arrive!