Chess is a game that benefits people of all ages, especially kids, in any area of life, business, problem-solving, and social skills. Chess has the unique ability to combine focus, concentration, imagination, coordination, teamwork, and leadership all at the same time.

Actor Dustin Diamond

A dog wearing a T-shirt and playing chess. He knocks the pieces over.

Chess is one of the oldest board games in the world and is still one of the most played.

Maybe you want to learn how to play chess so you and your friends can have some fun, or maybe you want to be able to enter competitions. Explore how you can start playing chess with these important first steps.

How Soon Can I Start?

Although chess is a complex game with many rules and pieces, you can start playing chess right now!

Flaticon Icon You can play chess with:

  • — play with friends, computer players, or people worldwide!

  • Chessboard — purchase online or in-store.

  • GamePigeon — an app on your phone where you can play via text.

Getting in the Chess Mindset

Chess is a strategy game played by two players whose goal is to capture the other's king.

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To be a successful chess player, you must be:

  • Calm — an impulsive move could cost you the game!

  • Focused — always be thinking about your next steps.

  • Resilient — the game isn't over until it's over, don't give up!

  • Competitive — find ways to get in your opponent's head.

An intense game of chess. One player pulls back his hair in frustration after losing a piece.

The Pieces

A chess board showing all of the different pieces on the board. A player in a suit makes the first move. Photo by Carlos Esteves on Unsplash

Ready to start playing chess? There are 6 different types of pieces. Each player starts with 16 total. Pieces from least important to most important are:

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  • Pawn (8 each)Only moves forward and one square at a time. They attack diagonally.

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  • Knight (2 each)Move these in an L-shape, two squares straight and one perpendicular.

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  • Bishop (2 each)Only moves diagonally, but as many squares as you want.

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  • Rook (2 each)Moves horizontally and vertically, as many squares as you want.

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  • Queen (1 each)Can move diagonally, horizontally, and vertically, as many squares as you want.

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  • King (1 each)Canonly move one square but in any direction.

Strategies for Beginners

Did you start a game with your friend or maybe a stranger on the other side of the country? Well, now it's time to think about the best practices to help you start and win a game ofchess!

  1. Control the center of the board — pieces in the middle have more move options compared to pieces on the side.

  2. Make moves with all your pieces — move all of your pieces (besides pawns) at least once before moving a piece for the second time.

  3. Improve your worst-placed piece — Don't know what move to make next? Have all your pieces in a "happy" spot.

  4. Only move pawns when necessary — they're the only pieces that can't move backward. Don't just move them because you don't know what other move to do!

Jeff Goldblum playing chess and saying

Have a look at the TikTok below for inspiration from, the world's #1 chess community. The video below shows three chess tips for beginners:

Bonus tips from the video:

  • Avoid moving the same piece twice in opening moves.

  • The player who controls the center of the board has more move options.

  • Start developing your knights and bishops early.

  • Castle your king to safety (get him in the back corner of the board). Don't leave him in the middle!


All of your pieces have moved once and you control the center of the board. What move should you make next?

Take Action

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Does it sound like chess is your new game? Time to play!


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