Search Basic Chess Rules FAQ

Welcome to the Basic Chess Rules FAQ. If you are unsure of any of the basic chess rules or maybe some of the more technical stuff you've come to the right place. Many of the most frequently asked questions are here complete with answers. Be sure to first read carefully through Chess Rules.

If you don't find your query listed don't despair. All you need to do is ask your question below and I will answer promptly. Maybe you'll find it has been asked already if you look through the submissions left by others.

We'll get you up to speed on all the rules and ready to dig into strategy. You'll learn how to move the pieces all the way up to the King.

Basic Chess Rules Qs and As

Q. What happens if I accidentally leave my King in check after my move? Do I lose the game?

A. No you don't lose the game. The move is taken back and you make another move with the piece you originally moved if this is possible. If not move another piece. Even if the mistake is discovered several moves later the game should be restored to the position directly before the illegal move is taken. Illegal moves should shed more light.

Q. Is it possible for one King to put the opposing King in check?

A. No as this move would leave the attacking King in check also which is illegal. The closest the two Kings can get to each other is with one square between them. See the discussion on opposition for a deeper understanding of this.

Learn the basics of chess
Learn the basics of chess
Q. How many Queens can I have on the board at a time?

A. It is perfectly legal to have more than one Queen at a time. In theory it is possible to have as many as nine Queens at once although this would mean successfully promoting all eight pawns while retaining the original queen, a tall order to say the least!

Q. How many moves are given to mate a lone King?

A. Following the capture of the lone King's final comrade he must make 50 moves to earn a draw as outlined in the Right to Draw.

Q. On the opening move can you move two pawns one square instead of moving one pawn two squares?

A. No this is not an option. There are no circumstances in chess where two pieces are moved as part of the same move apart from castling with King and Rook.

Clear Your Confusion on Basic Chess Rules

Did a game you played with a friend end in dispute? Deep down you know you're right. Right? Or maybe there's a rule you're just not clear on? Ask me here and I'll give you the answer. Everything from basic chess rules to the trickier stuff. Other people will be able to post solutions to your problems too. Ask any question on Chess Rules.

Questions Asked by other Lapocites

The problem you need help with may already have been dealt with here. Read questions others have asked plus the answers I gave them. There may be multiple answers as everyone can help. Btw if you can help someone else out with their question don't be shy. Share your chess knowledge.

Bishop brought back on Wrong Colour square 
Can a retrieved bishop rejoin the game so a player has two white space bishops? This bishop was all I had taken so I got it back after the pawn reached …

Not updating the scoresheet penalty 
I participated in a classic tournament with FIDE rules. My opponent was behind on the clock so he wasn't writing the moves down. I asked the arbiter if …

Three Moves Rule 
Q. I've heard about a way to draw in chess if you're losing. It's called the 3 moves rule. I'm having a hard time understanding the 3 moves rule in a …

Chess King  
Q. Can Pawn take on king (ie) can king be made check by pawn? A. Hi Taksa, no piece can actually take the King but the pawn can certainly …

French Chess Move 
Q. I am trying to improve my defensive play in chess. People recommend many different strategies. I have often heard of a move called the French Defense. …

Chess Castle 
Q. I'm a little confused on castling. My brother says as long as the Rook and King are in their original starting places, they can castle. Is it possible …

Soldier Pawn 
Q. How do you decide what piece soldier promotes to? Do soldiers promote to different pieces depending on what file they promote? What will happen when …

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Moving On

Chess Glossary Links
Chess Glossary Links
Don't delay another minute if you have any doubts on chess rules. Ask the question. You can have a comprehensive revision of the rules or a quick how to.

Once you get going with moving the pieces, you'll be racking up the checkmates in no time. If you're an intermediate player maybe you have a more technical query.

Is it some of the many unfamiliar words you hear bandied about in general chess parlance? If you need some terminology explained take a look at the chess glossary.