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Setting Up the Chess Board: The Proper Layout

Written By Light

Last updated May 24, 2023

Setting Up the Chess Board: The Proper Layout

by | Board Games, Chess, Games | 0 comments

Before the strategic battles of chess can begin, you need to set up the battlefield. While setting up a chessboard might seem straightforward, getting the orientation and the arrangement of the pieces right is crucial. This guide will help you place each piece correctly and understand the basics of starting a game.

What is the Correct Orientation of a Chessboard?

A chessboard consists of 64 squares in an 8×8 grid. The squares alternate between two colors, commonly referred to as “light” and “dark.”

The board should be oriented so that each player has a light square in the right-hand corner of their side of the board. This is sometimes remembered with the phrase “white on the right.” If this condition is met, then the board is correctly oriented.

Where to Place the Pawns on a Chessboard?

Once your board is correctly oriented, it’s time to set up your pieces. Pawns form the front line in a game of chess. Place all 8 pawns on the second row (or rank) of each player’s side.

Where to Place the Castles on a Chessboard?

In chess, the ‘castle’ refers to the rook. Place the rooks in the corners of the board, on the first rank of each player’s side.

Where to Place the Knights on a Chessboard?

The knights take their position next to the rooks. These are the pieces that look like horses and they are placed on the squares immediately inside of the rooks.

Where to Place the Bishops on a Chessboard?

Bishops find their home on the board next to the knights. On each player’s side, one bishop will start on a light square, and the other will start on a dark square.

Where to Place the Queen and the King on a Chessboard?

The two remaining squares in the first rank are for the king and queen. The queen is placed on the remaining square of her color (white queen on a light square, black queen on a dark square), and the king occupies the final vacant square.

Which Player in a Game of Chess Plays First?

In chess, the player with the white pieces always goes first. After the white player moves, play alternates between the players for the rest of the game.

Summary and Tips for Beginners

Congratulations! You’ve now learned how to properly set up a chess board. Here are a few additional tips:

  • Always remember “Queen on her color.” It’s an easy way to remember where to place the king and queen.
  • The knights are placed next to the rooks and the bishops are next to the knights. This ‘rank’ order can help you remember the positioning of your pieces.
  • And finally, don’t forget the rule “white on the right” to correctly orient your chess board.

With these instructions and tips, you’re now ready to start your game. Happy playing!

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