Rules About Chess [To the point]

Let’s learn the most important rules about chess. You will learn the rules about chess game which are needed to play the chess game correctly.

How to setup a chess board?

If you are a beginner in chess then you should know how to set up a chess board because this is the first step in chess rules. Here is a complete guide on how to set up a chess board with examples :

First Move Rule in Chess

If you want to learn the The Rules of Chess Game then you should know that in chess white always starts first.

That means if two players starts chess, then the white player will always play the first move and black will move second.

According to this rule of chess game, some people says that it’s a racism that white starts first but that’s not the case here.

Here is one another post for answering the racism, in which current world champion Magnus Carlsen played first move with black pieces. (Check Also: Magnus Carlsen is Breaking the basic rule in chess ).

In short white will play first move in chess without considering if you are a grand master or a beginner. You may be wondering what if two players insist for white pieces. There is solution that in chess tournament you will get a game with both colors equally. If you are playing with friend then you may flip a coin.

Rules for Chess Pieces

Before learning the rules of chess game, you must know rules of chess pieces. You should know how to move the king, queen, bishop, knight, rook and pawns.

Therefore I will explain all the rules that you must follow when you move your chess pieces or pawns.

King Rules in Chess

The king is the only piece in a chess which you need to protect it until you win. And you must know that the alone king can not checkmate another king. And the king will only move one step in any direction and can capture any piece or pawn but when both king faces each other then there must be a gape of one square for both kings.

How can a bishop move in chess

There are two Bishops in each side. The Bishop can only move diagonally in his color square, for example if bishop is on white color then the bishop will only move in white color and black squared bishop will only move in black square.

Chess Rules for the Knight (Horse)

This is the only piece in chess which jumps on a board. All remaining pieces need open squares to move but knight can jump directly. Knight moves in L shape.

Chess Rules for Rook

The rook moves up and down and left and right. It looks funny to explain. In short you can remember the sign of + for rook.

Chess Rules for Queen

The queen is the most powerful  piece in chess because it can moves diagonally or up and down like a rook but please remember that the queen can not jump like a knight.

Chess Rules for Pawn

Pawn can only move into empty squares on the board. Pawn can move forward one square or two square from starting position. But after that the pawn will only move one step forward. Please note that the Pawn can not move backward. And pawns can capture any piece which are in front of them diagonally.

En Passant Rule in Chess

In chess as you know that the pawn only moves forward one step at a time but in the starting position of the pawn you have a choice to move two steps at once. This choice also gives us the opportunity to take our opponent’s pawn when they move two step at the beginning of the pawn’s initial potion.

Checkmate Rules in Chess

The checkmate occurs when you give a check to your opponent’s king and he is unable to prevent check and hide his king from the check. In order to make it more clear, let’s watch example of checkmate in chess.

Anastasia's mate - the checkmate rules in chess


There are 32 checkmates in chess that you must know. (For 32 checkmates: ).

What is a Stalemate? And Stalemate Rules in Chess

If you are new to chess or beginner you may wonder what is a stalemate? a stalemate is situation which helps a player who is losing the game.

Stalemate in a chess means that a person whose move is not in a check and he is unable to move his pieces or pawn or simply he has no legal moves. If this happens then it’s a draw. Let’s make it clear via an image below.

What is stalemate? stalemate rules in chess
What is a stalemate in chess?


As you can see in an image that white made a queen’s move and although black dose not have a queen but the game is draw. Because black is not in check and he is unable to move his king. Let’s see the position of stalemate, which occurred in grand master’s game.


stalemate game examples- chess rules for stalemate
Photo credit:

This game was played Larry Evans vs Samuel Reshevsky. Although black has a material advantage but it’s white’s turns and white don’t have any legal move with his pieces and pawns.

In short when it’s your turn and you don’t have a move and your king is not in a check, that is the called stalemate in chess.

Castling in chess (Rules for castling)

As you know that in chess you have to protect your king and therefore there are some rules for castling in which you move your king to either king side or queen side.

Here are some conditions that must be followed.

  1. The king can not make castling if it’s moved previously.
  2. There should not any piece between the king and the rook, like knight or bishop.
  3. The rook should not be moved before castling.
  4. The king must not be in a check.
  5. The king must not blocked by enemy pieces like if someone puts the rook in between the king and the rook.
  6. The king should move two steps either king side or queen side.

Draw rules in chess

One of the important rule in the the rules of chess game is draw rules. There are some conditions in chess where you can draw by force like threefold repetition.

Here are 5 conditions in which you can say it’s a draw.

1. You can make a agreement of draw

Its just as simple as you need, but it’s bad to make an agreement before the game. You must play your move and then offer a draw before pressing the clock.

Organizer of the chess tournament may set the rule for minimum moves, for example the organizer may say that you have to play at least 6 or 8 moves before offering the draw. It depends on the tournament.

Anyhow it’s simple you will make the move and offer a draw before pressing the clock.

2. Stalemate rule in chess

If you have no legal moves and you are not in a check then it’s a stalemate. I have explained stalemate in above paragraph with examples.

3. Threefold Repetition rule in chess

If you and your opponent makes same moves 3 times in a row then the game will be drawn. A player whose move is on 3rd time in this situation has a right and can claim the draw.

This situation usually happens in perpetual checks. Let’s make it clear by picture of the position where white makes perpetual checks.

Threefold repetition rules in chess
Example of threefold repetition rule

4. 50 Moves Rule in chess

Often many beginners and club chess players forgot this rule in their chess games. The 50 move rules means that if you and your opponent is unable to capture any piece on the board or unable to move their pawns (fixed pawn structures) under 50 moves, then it’s a draw.

5. Insufficient material in chess

If you or your opponent don’t have mating material then it’s a draw. For example if you have a lone king and your opponent has a king and knight or king and bishop then your opponent will not be able to checkmate you. And it’s a draw.

6. Dead Position

There are some position in which any player can not make a progress then it’s a draw. There are some fixed pawn structures in which you can not make any progress. Let’s make it a clear by an image below.

dead position rule draw rules
Image credit:


As you can see in an image above that neither player will be able to make any further progress and it’s a draw.


You have read all the basics and general rules of chess game which you needed for playing. If you did understand any of them then i suggest you to read it again because these are most important rules in chess.

Related Links:

Magnus Carlsen is Breaking the basic rule in chess

How to set up a chess board [With Examples]

The quick guide for Queen Side Castle

The Thornton Castling Trap [5 Exemplary Games]

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