Chess is a complex game of strategy.
Part of the complexity comes from memorizing the various moves that each piece can take.
Knowing how each piece moves can help you defend your king and take someone else’s.
Since chess comes down to the king, it’s worth knowing how the piece moves to ensure you can use the piece effectively.
Where Can The King Move In Chess?
The king can only move one square in any direction around him.
As such, the king can move one square forward, one square diagonally left forward, one square diagonally right forward, one square to the right, one square to the left, one square backward, one square diagonally left back, and one square diagonally right back.
Because he has limited range, not every chess player will use him offensively.
Most tend to move him around to keep him safe.
Can A King Move When He’s Checked?
Yes, a King can move even when he’s checked.
A check occurs when a player is close to capturing the king.
The defending player can still move their king to avoid capture by the offensive player.
A king cannot move when a checkmate occurs.
At this point, as long as the checkmate is valid, the game is over.
However, if the king is only checked, the player can still move it.
What Are The Three Special Moves In Chess?
When first learning how to play chess, most players learn the basics.
They learn and memorize the different movements that each piece makes.
Then they start to learn some of the most common moves in chess.
Once they understand the basics, they’re able to learn three important moves that can help them win the game.
Here are three important moves to keep in mind when playing chess.
One of the most common moves used in chess is castling.
It involves the king and the rook.
Castling is only allowed under certain conditions.
When those conditions get met, the king and rook can move at the same time.
One of the conditions that players need to meet to perform castling is to not move their king or rook piece.
You can only castle if you haven’t moved the king piece or one of the rook pieces yet.
If you have moved either of the pieces, you cannot perform castling.
Even if you move a piece back to its original square, it still counts as moving the piece.
The second condition is that all the spaces between the king and rook have to be empty.
A player will thus need to move all the pieces between the king and rook to perform castling.
If there’s a piece between them, you can’t castle.
The final condition is that the king can’t be in check, pass through check, or land in check when you want to perform castling.
If the king is already in check you can’t castle.
If any of the squares, it passes through to castle are in check, you cannot castle.
You also can’t move the king into a square that would put him in check.
Once you meet all those conditions, you can do two things.
The first is that you can move the king two squares in the direction of the rook.
Then at the same time, the rook moves past the king to the square on the king’s other side.
This can be a powerful move to protect your king.
2. Pawn Promotion
When it comes to chess, pawns are the weakest pieces on the board.
As their name might suggest, they’re primarily used as sacrifice pieces.
That said, pawns can become of great worth if the player can get them promoted.
To promote a pawn, the player has to get the piece all the way to the other side of the board.
If the pawn manages to reach the other side without getting taken off the board, they’re promoted.
There are two things that a player can do at this point.
The first is a proper promotion.
When a player chooses to promote a pawn to a queen piece, this is a promotion.
However, a player doesn’t always need to choose to promote the piece to a queen.
The player can choose whatever piece they want to promote the pawn to except for a king.
That said, players can only have two queens on the board at the same time.
Since both players can have two queens, there can sometimes be four queens on the board.
If the player doesn’t want to promote the pawn to a queen, they can promote it to any other piece.
It might be a knight, bishop, or rook.
Most players choose to promote the pawn to a queen because the queen is the most effective piece on the board.
However, there may come a situation when having a knight on the board might prove more advantageous.
When a player promotes a pawn to a queen, that’s called promotion.
When a player promotes a pawn to a piece other than a queen, it’s called an underpromotion.
Learning how to get your pawns to the other side to promote them can put a player in a position of strength.
They no longer have weak pawns on the board.
Rather, they have two queens or other pieces that can do a lot more than a mere pawn.
Because of its importance, players need to learn how to promote a pawn and understand which pieces they should promote the pawn to.
3. En Passant
A final move that new players should learn is en passant.
En passant is the French word for in passing.
This move didn’t always exist in chess.
In its earliest iterations, pawns could only move one square.
The problem with that is that it slowed down the start of the game.
To speed the game up, a new rule got introduced.
Players were now able to move their pawns ahead by two squares.
The problem with that is that it allowed pawns to move past enemies.
To give players a chance to stop pawns from advancing, players could perform an en passant move.
This allows pawns that are next to advancing pawns to remove them from the board.
There are a few conditions that the players need to meet to perform an en passant move.
The first condition is that the attacking pawn must be at the fifth rank.
This means it must be on the fifth row.
The pawn that is attacked also has to have moved two spaces in the last turn for the other player to use an en passant to capture it.
For example, a player can’t move their pawn forward one square, then have the other player perform en passant on them.
The pawn has to have been moved forward two spaces at once in the last turn.
When moving those two squares, the invading pawn must have landed next to the attacking pawn.
If they’re not next to the pawn, the player cannot perform en passant.
A final condition is that the player must perform the en passant move immediately.
They can’t choose to wait to enact the move later.
The player has to perform the en passant on the first turn that they can.
If the players meet all these conditions, one of the players can use the en passant move.
The attacking pawn moves diagonally to the square above the captured pawn, and the pawn is captured.
This is the only move in chess where the attacking piece does not move to the same square as the captured piece.
What Is The Most Powerful Piece In Chess?
The most powerful piece in chess is the queen.
She isn’t the most important piece, however.
That’s the king piece.
Since the game ends when the king piece gets captured, there’s a lot of importance around protecting that piece.
The queen, however, is the most powerful piece because you can move it a great number of squares.
The queen can also move in different directions.
You can move her forward, backward, and diagonally.
The only thing that can stop a queen’s movement is another piece.
Therefore, the queen can remove lots of pieces off of the board by herself.
By carefully using the queen, a player can remove the king and win the game.
If a player can promote a pawn to a queen, they can have two powerful pieces on the board.
What Is The Golden Rule Of Chess?
The golden rule of chess is to always use as many pieces as you can to defend the king.
In particular, you need to cover each square around the king.
If there’s an open square, you leave your king vulnerable.
When an enemy piece takes one of the defending pieces away, you need to move another piece to fill that square as soon as you can.
As long as you can keep your king protected and surrounded by your other pieces, you stand a good chance of winning the game.
You’re able to concentrate on the offensive to take your opponent’s king instead.
The king is the most important piece on the chess board.
Despite being important, the king can only move one square in each direction.
Knowing the different moves and how to use the most powerful piece on the board, the queen, can help you win chess.NEXT: Why Is Anytime Fitness So Expensive? (10 Reasons)