How to Set Up a Chessboard | Step-by-Step Guide
Chess rules

How to Set Up a Chessboard | Step-by-Step Guide

How to Set Up a Chessboard | Step-by-Step Guide

When you are new in chess, you may find overwhelming to set up everything on the board to start to play. You find yourself with a bunch of pieces in your hands, and one funny board, but you don’t know what to do with them. But this is your lucky day! 🎰 You will learn how you can easily set up your chessboard, and start playing a lot of games.

This is a step by step guide, which teaches you how to set up the chessboard and all the pieces. Rooks, knights, bishops, queens, kings, and pawns demand a precise setup on the board for playing a chess game.

The chessboard and the pieces

Understand the Chessboard and the Chess Pieces

Before going in depth with the chess setup, we need to understand the chessboard and the chess pieces. The board is one checkered board, with 64 squares in two colors. 🎯 By the way, this board, among other things, is something which chess shares with checkers.

About the pieces, we have 32, and we can easily see that those pieces are divided into two groups. These two groups are the teams or sides, and they are called Black and White, even though the pieces could come in any color. As an example, it is very common to use brown and yellow pieces, where brown is the color for Black’s side, and yellow is the color for White’s side.

Play chess online

🎮 If you are mainly going to play chess online, among all its advantages is that you won’t need to manually set up by yourself the pieces and the board. However, in any case, you will need to understand the board setup for a new chess game.

  • The chessboard is an 8×8 square grid, with alternating black and white squares.
  • The board is set up so that each player has a light-colored square on their right-hand corner.
  • The pieces are arranged on the board in a specific order, with each piece having its own unique placement.

Steps to Set Up Your Chessboard

The chess setup for a new game is easy, once you understand the fundamental things. The following steps will be your best guide.

Step 1: Place the Board and Orient the Board

An additional preliminary step could be finding the best place for the chessboard. 🎚️ Hopefully, you will place the chessboard on a flat surface, such as a table or a board game mat, which makes the board centered and leveled. You won’t like to lose the game because the position of the pieces is completely messed.

Place the board

For the first step, you place the board with each side of the board facing the players. Then, orient the board so that each player has a light-colored square in the right-hand corner. This means that the bottom-right corner of the board should be a white square.

Graphical representation of a chess board, with the bottom right corner highlighted
Graphical representation of a chess board, with the bottom right corner highlighted

Step 2: Place the Pawns

The pawn on the chessboard

To start a chess game, you have 8 pawns for you, and 8 pawns for your opponent. Set up the pawns on the second ranks (or rows) of the chess board. From edge to edge, the pawns fill the entire rank where they start. You cannot place the pawns on any other rank which doesn’t match the second rank for you.

Pawns Setup on the Chessboard
Pawns Setup on the Chessboard

Step 3: Place the Rooks

The rook on the chessboard

The third step is to place the rooks, also known as castles, on the four corners of the chess board. The rooks are known as heavy pieces, and they are placed at the left and right corners of the board. The rooks are placed on squares as if the players wanted to grab them with one hand, left and right, at the same time.

Rook Setup on the Chessboard
Rook Setup on the Chessboard

Step 4: Place the Knights

The knight on the chessboard

The fourth step is to place the knights, also known as horses, immediately next to the rooks. There are two knights for each player. With no space in between, place each knight on the square next to each rook, looking towards the inner side of the chess board.

Knight Setup on the Chessboard
Knight Setup on the Chessboard

Step 5: Place the Bishops

The bishop on the chessboard

The fifth step is to place the bishops, also known as elephants in ancient times. 🤹‍♂️ The bishop can be considered the easiest piece to play in chess, and there are four bishops in a chess game. Set the bishops on the remaining squares, next to the knights.

Bishop Setup on the Chessboard
Bishop Setup on the Chessboard

Step 6: Place the Queen

The queen on the chessboard

We are close to finish with the chessboard setup. Just two squares left, and they are reserved for the royal couple. However, it is a common misconception to interchange places for the king and queen. 👑 To make sure that this does not happen to you, look at King and Queen: Correct Placement on the Chessboard.

The sixth step is to place the queen on the remaining square of its own color. The white queen is placed on the white square, and the black queen is placed on the black square.

Queen Setup on the Chessboard
Queen Setup on the Chessboard

Step 7: Place the King

The king on the chessboard

The seventh and final step is to place the king on the remaining square of the opposite color, next to the queen. The white king is placed on the black square, and the black king is placed on the white square. ✔️ Specially about the king, once you start playing, you would need to understand how the king is put in check.

King Setup on the Chessboard
King Setup on the Chessboard

Once you have completed these steps, the chessboard is set up and ready for you to play!

  • The pieces should be arranged in the following order (from left to right) for the white player: Rook, knight, bishop, queen, king, bishop, knight, rook.
  • The pieces should be arranged in the following order (from left to right) for the black player: Rook, knight, bishop, king, queen, bishop, knight, rook.

It is important to note that the pieces should be placed in the correct order, and each piece should be placed on its own square. The pieces should be lined up straight and facing towards the center of the board.

Also remember that White should play the first move!

Conclusion

Setting up a chess board may seem complicated at first, but it is a simple process that can be easily learned. By following these seven steps, you can set up your chessboard correctly, and enjoy a good chess game.

🛸 Those who invented chess may never have imagined how far chess would be traveling through time and space… And here we are! We are responsible for ensuring this never ends. It’s your turn! Share these articles with someone else.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

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