Alberto Chueca, FIDE Trainer & International Master 
chess pieces
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Chess pieces names

There are many pieces in the game of chess, and each of them has a special function and determined movement. It’s imperative to know the chess pieces names and their movements to play chess obviously.

The chess pieces were not what we see today, the knight was an elephant before! And their movement wasn’t the one we know today. However, chess is a game that can give a lot of fun, and some are passionate about looking up the history of this incredible game.

You will learn the chess pieces names and movement, and something about them so you can start playing the game of kings!

King

chess pieces names king

The king is the most important piece in chess, also called “monarch” as the chess pieces names, this is the one who can decide a game. When you trap the enemy king while in check, you win the game.

The piece is so important, that when the king is under the threat of another piece is called “check”. The player who has the king under a threat is forced to stop the threat against his king.

The king can move one square in any direction in a turn, but he cannot put himself under a threat, you can’t sacrifice the king! This piece plays a fundamental role in the endgame, where there aren’t any more pieces, the king gets himself into the fray.

Moreover, in the middle game, when the major pieces are attacking, he must stay safe inside its castle structure. You don’t want your king running around in the center in the middle game!

Queen

chess pieces names queen

The queen is the most powerful of the major pieces and is the protagonist of most of the attacks in chess. The queen’s action over the board is so strong, that when the queens are traded is a transition to the endgame. This technically means the game automatically turns quieter without queens. It was a different name in the chess pieces names of Shatranj.

Queens are not for defense; they are always looking for some activity that they will find at some point. The queen can move all the square she wants in any direction; she is an authentic gangster!

Although the queen is incredibly aggressive, she must never be taken out in the opening. This could allow your opponent to win tempos by attacking the queen and bothering her.

The blessing of the queen is also her curse; she is so important that a player can’t allow himself to lose it. Every time the queen is threatened the player must act as if it was a check against the queen. Unless he is willing to make a crazy sacrifice!

Bishop

chess pieces names bishop
chess pieces names bishop

The bishop is an interesting piece, is not religious though, this is the perfect combination of attack and defense on a piece. It’s a weird name for the chess pieces names. The bishop can move in diagonal lines, back and forth, all the squares he likes, and is perfect for attacking.

However, the bishop can only act in a determined square color. A bishop that is in white squares will never be in black squares and vice versa.

Having the pair of bishops is considered a huge advantage over the board because it allows you to control both square colors with bishops. The bishops serve so well in attacks and can give you several formations that can result in disaster for the enemy king.

For example, the bishop and queen battery. It also allows making different sacrifices like the “greek gift” the “Lasker’s sacrifice” (which involves sacrificing both bishops to destroy the king’s castle!)

Knight

chess pieces names knight

The knight is one of the most important pieces in chess, and it’s perfect for defending, however, it can be really effective in attacks. The knight’s movement is the most peculiar, it moves to make an “L” shape.

Meaning, the knight moves two squares vertically or horizontally, and then one square to the side like this:

The knight can give you several reasons to struggle in your game, usually, putting a knight in central square results highly advantageous. The knight is considered to be the best friend of the queen when attacking, usually, the knight plays a fundamental role in attacks.

The knight is also excellent to control passed pawns blocking them, blocking open files, and exploiting outposts. Players usually maneuver the knight to take it to that “special square” where it results annoying for everyone. It’s the most peculiar of chess pieces names.

Rook

chess pieces names rook

The rook is the most powerful of major pieces behind the queen, it’s difficult to activate, but a rook can destroy you. The rook moves all the squares he wants in the vertical and horizontal direction. One of the best chess pieces names.

There is the false belief that the rook can only move through the edges of the board, NO! You can move the rooks through central squares too.

The rook is perfect to put pressure on the center, or any open files, the rook endgames are the most common too, and the most complicated. There are many rook maneuvers you can do to attack the king too, and they can be really powerful, like the “rook lift”.

As Fischer used to say, to play against the Sicilian is “open files, rook sac, rook sac checkmate!”

When the rook sacrifices prepare for death, the rook is an extremely powerful piece you have to control.

Pawn

chess pieces names pawn

Many people may argue this, but behind the king, of course, the pawn is the most important piece of chess. Or, as Philidor used to say: “Pawns are the souls of chess” and he is so right! Pawn is weird compared with others chess pieces names.

The pawn moves one square forward in his file, can move two in one turn if the pawn is in its starting position. However, the way it captures is different, the pawn captures pieces diagonally in one square.

The pawns have great value, this piece has many special rules, there is the “en passant” capture. Also, if they reach the eighth rank they can promote in any piece they want, except a king of course, which is awesome!

Without the pawns, chess would be the same, they are undoubtedly the most important piece behind the king!

You may also like:

Who Are The Chess Youngest Grandmasters?

Amazing Chess Movies & Series To Watch!

The Inspiring History Of Chess

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🔸2 Masterclasses and 1 Online Tournament every month. According to your level of knowledge on the topics you need to move forward on.
🔸Access to recorded chess lessons, so you don’t miss anything!
🔸Access to the training area where you will have assignments weekly to keep you active!
🔸You will join the private academy, with new videos uploaded every month.

🔸Tutorials, free chess ebooks…
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