The chess pieces, scoring, en passant and castling

The chess pieces

In this section we look at the chess pieces and some special chess moves.

The chess pieces.

As you can see there are 16 dark colored pieces and 16 light colored pieces. Each colored set of chess pieces has a least one matching piece except the King and Queen.

Both coloured sets have exactly the same number and type of pieces. They are as follows in order of importance:

  • 1 King
  • 1 Queen
  • 2 Knights
  • 2 Bishops
  • 2 Rooks (Towers)
  • 8 Pawns (farmers)

Scoring in chess

The different pieces are evaluated as shown below:
The Pawn is worth 1 point.
The Knight and Bishop 3 points.
The Rooks (towers) 5 points.
The Queen is worth 9 points.

4 (but you can never capture him)

This really doesn't matter as the object of the game is to try to put your opponent in check mate, but it still shows which pieces have the most value and strength. Always look out for your Queen and your Rooks, the so-called heavy pieces.

The Queen is without question the best piece on the board.

Some debate whether Knights are worth a little more than Bishops, but that depends on how you play and how well you use the pieces to your advantage. The Knights are, after all, the only pieces that can jump over other chess pieces. The Knights are also slightly better at threatening 2 or more og your opponents pieces at the same time. then they can do a lot of good as they are the only pieces that can skip other plays.

The Pawn

The Pawn can only go straight one step at a time except for the first time when it can go two steps. It can only take other pieces diagonally forward, see picture. If a Pawn arrives right up to the last row, it is transformed into any piece, usually then into a Queen because that is the most powerful.
A special feature that the pawn can do is called "En passant" a french term meaning 'in passing'. It means that a pawn that takes two moves forward and rests beside an opponents pawn can still be taken as if it had only taken one move which would have put it in danger of being taken diagonally anyway.

En passant (fr. In passing).

The Rook

The Rook goes straight in all directions (not diagonally). A strong piece because it can control and block open lines where there are no pieces. The Rook is equal in value to one Knight/Bishop plus two Pawns.

The Bishop

The Bishop goes diagonally in all directions. Each player has two Bishops, one on a white square and one on black square, and because of their special movement pattern, they always stay on their own color. Most valuable on open boards as it has long reach on the board. The Bishop is equal in value to one Knight or three Pawns.

The Knight

The Knight moves in a very special way. It goes one step forward and one diagonal or optionally two steps forward and one sideways. Note that the squares it can go to always have the opposite color to the squares it is currently on. Especially useful in tight situations as it can reach over other pieces. The Knight is equal in value to one Bishop or three Pawns.

The Queen

The Queen is arguably the strongest piece on the Chessboard. She can move in any direction on the board and therefore covers a large area. The Queen is equal in value to two Rooks or one Rook, one Knight/Bishop and two Pawns.

Tip: Do not go out too early in the game with the Queen because with many plays still on the table she is a prime target for your opponent.

The King

The King is not so powerful, but the most important piece, because if caught, the game is lost! The King can go in all directions but only one step at a time and only to squares where it is not threatened by another piece. Therefore, kings cannot stand side by side, nor knock each other out.

Tip: Protect the King well at the beginning of the game, later in the game with less plays left, it can be used more offensively.


Castling takes place between the King and one of the Rooks. It is a special defense feature where you move the King two steps towards the right or left Rook, and at the same time move the respective Rook to the other side of the King. See picture below. It is the only time in a game you get to move two pieces in one move.

Castling has special rules:
  1. There must be no other chess pieces between the king and the Rook.
  2. Neither the King nor the Rook must have been moved before castled.
  3. The King must not be currently under attack on the square he moves from, the square he passes or the square he stops at.