Chess: putting the pieces in place

Aden Jaeger, Staff Writer

Chess club is one of many extra-curricular activities available at Faith Lutheran Middle School. Any students who have an interest in chess or want to develop their skills should consider joining chess club. The club welcomes both students who have played chess for years and students who simply want to learn the basics of chess.

Chess club takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at approximately 2:45-4:15 for high schoolers and 3:15-4:15 for middle schoolers.

Chess club focuses on playing against others, practicing chess skills, and developing students’ knowledge of chess.

So what is chess in the first place and how do you play it in the first place?

The game of chess originated in India during the sixth century A.D. At this time the game was known as “Chaturanga.” However it is though that the Persians developed the game into a similar version of what we know today.

A chess board today is an 8×8 square consisting of sixty-four squares. There are six different pieces on a chess powered and thirty-two pieces in total. A player starts a game with eight pawns, one king, one queen, two bishops, two knights, and two rooks.

The pawn can move one space forward and two spaces forward on its first move; pawns also capture pieces diagonally forward but not backward.The king can move one space in any direction. The queen can move any number of spaces in any any direction. Bishops can move diagonally any number of spaces, but only on each of their starting square colors The knights move in an L-shape either 2 spaces forward/backward and one space to the right/left or 1 space forward/backward and 2 spaces to the right/left; knights can also jump over other pieces. The rooks can move vertically and horizontally any number of spaces, but not diagonally.

The only exceptions to these movement pattern are knows as “castling” and “en passant.” Castling only occurs on one side of the board. It is only possible when both the king and the rook on at least one side have not yet moved. No other pieces can be between the king and the rook in order for a player to castle. To castle, a player moves the king two spaces to the left or right, and moves the rook directly to the left or right of the king. Whether each piece is moved to the left or right depends on the side in which the player is castling on. Other stipulations to this movement are that the king may not move through check when castling, castle out of check, or castle into check.

En passant occurs when a pawn captures another pawn that is directly to the left or right of it. This can only take place if the captured pawn has just moved two spaces. The pawn moves diagonally to capture as it normally would, as if the captured pawn was one space behind.

The main goal during a chess game is to checkmate your opponents king. Checkmate occurs when the king is in check but cannot take the piece checking him, block the check, or escape to another square. Check occurs when the king is being attacked by a piece, but still has at least one legal move.

In conclusion, chess is a somewhat complex yet enjoyable two-player game full of strategy and tactics. If any students feel that they may enjoy chess or already have previous experience with the game, they should consider coming to chess club after school to improve their skills.