Learn about rules in chess game

Chess Rules

Rules of chess game

Many rules that govern the chess game are discussed here.

Moves in chess game

Each piece has a distinct move pattern. Read the detailed explanation of How chess pieces move

Beginning of the game

The game begins with the white players move. The white player has twenty moves to select the first move from. The twenty moves are given below

  1. Pawn from a2 to a3 - a3
  2. Pawn from a2 to a4 - a4
  3. Pawn from b2 to b3 - b3
  4. Pawn from b2 to b4 - b4
  5. Pawn from c2 to c3 - c3
  6. Pawn from b2 to b4 - c4
  7. Pawn from d2 to d3 - d3
  8. Pawn from d2 to d4 - d4
  9. Pawn from e2 to e3 - e3
  10. Pawn from e2 to e4 - e4
  11. Pawn from f2 to f3 - f3
  12. Pawn from f2 to f4 - f4
  13. Pawn from g2 to g3 - g3
  14. Pawn from g2 to g4 - g4
  15. Pawn from h2 to h3 - h3
  16. Pawn from h2 to h4 - h4
  17. Knight from b1 to a3 - Na3
  18. Knight from b1 to c3 - Nc3
  19. Knight from g1 to f3 - Nf3
  20. Knight from g1 to h3 - Nh3


Check is a condition where the king is under threat from one of the opponents pieces. Except king, all other pieces can be used to give check. The check can be made by keeping a piece in such a way that the opponents king is in the destination square of the pieces next move. You can’t move any of your pieces if that exposes your king to check. To remove the check on king, you have three options. You can move your king, capture the opponents piece or block the check with another piece. You cant castle when your king is in check.


The game will end and you will win when the opponent can’t move out of check. This is called check mate.


Stalemate is a condition in which the active player has no check and has no legal moves. Hence the game can not continue. Stalemate ends a match in draw



Draw is a condition in which neither player wins. Different types of draw of chess matches occur. The game ends in a draw due to either stalemate, fifty move rule or three fold repetition

Three fold repetition

If same position of the board is arrived three times, the game ends in a draw. This is to stop repeating moves.

Fifty moves

The game ends in a draw, if no capture is done or no pawn is moved in the last fifty moves.

Insufficient material

If neither player has enough pieces to check mate the opponent, the game ends in a draw. Example of insufficient material are

  1. King versus king
  2. King versus King and bishop
  3. King versus King and knight

Timer based win

The player will win if the opponent have spent all the time allotted to them irrespective of their board status such as superior or inferior compared to the player.

Touch move

If a player touches a piece, the player must move the piece unless the move is an illegal move


The player can take down or remove the opponents piece at a square, if one of their piece can land at the square intended. This is called capture. Capture can not be done, if the piece that captures will expose their King to check. A special capture is also available which is en passant capture

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