Dear Wikiwatchers,

Have you seen all the new chess sets in the library?

Have you seen students deep in thought, playing with the pieces?


Would you like to learn to play?

I'm going to tell you a little bit about the pieces,

how to set up the chess board and how the pieces move.

Chess is a VERY OLD game! It was invented over 2000 years ago!

The chess pieces we use in the library represent people from the Middle Ages.

These people made up the armies in wars fought to protect their King.

Let's begin....


Can you match the people in this picture with the

chess pieces on the right?

Which person is missing in the picture?

This picture shows you a little bit of what life was like, several

hundred years ago, in the Middle Ages.

If you looked out of your castle window you might see serfs,

or pawns, at work in the fields; perhaps a knight approaching in

his glittering armour, or a bishop leaving a nearby church;

the King and Queen might even grace the scene.

The 6 different chess pieces are all these different people.

Can you work out which is the tall King, the Queen with her crown,

the Bishop (with his pointy hat), the Knight (look for his horse),

the Castle and the Pawn (the poor farm workers)?


The chess board is really a battlefield!

Kings were always fighting, trying to capture each other's lands

The King with the strongest army was the most powerful of all.

On the Chess board battlefield the White King's army gets ready

to fight at one end, the Black King's army gets ready at the other...


The White Queen stands on a white square

The Black Queen stands on a black square.

Can you see where all the pieces go?

Capture the Enemy King! Checkmate!

The tricky bit... you need to learn the moves....

Each piece in the army moves in a special way and captures enemy pieces by landing on them.

They take them prisoner and move them off the board.

Win by capturing the enemy King! When you are ready to capture the King you shout...

Checkmate! and push the King over!


Here are the moves you need to learn....


The Castle

A Castle is sometimes called a Rook.

The Castle moves as far as it likes in a straight line.

It can move forwards, backwards, right or left.

If it lands on a piece it captures it.

Castles don't jump over other pieces!


The Knight

The Knight moves in a tricky L-shape.

He moves 2 squares first then turns and moves one square.

If he lands on a piece he captures it.

Because he rides a horse, a Knight can jump over other pieces.


The Bishop

A Bishop is a very important person in a church.

In the Middle Ages the Church was very powerful, so that's

why the Bishop stands next to the King and Queen.

Moves as far as he likes in a diagonal line.

He can move forwards or backwards.

If he lands on a piece he stops and captures it.

No jumping! (He'd trip over his robes anyway)


The King

The King is the most important piece.

He is also very weak. He can only move one square at a time.

He can move in any direction.

Even the King can't jump over other pieces! He's far too grand!


The Queen

The Queen is very powerful!

She can move as far as she likes forwards, backwards,

left and right (like the Castle) and diagonally (like the Bishop).

If she lands on a piece, she captures it.

No jumping for a Queen! Her crown would fall off!


The Pawn

The Pawn can only move forwards, one square at a time.

(If it wants, it can move 2 squares forwards on its first move)

It can only capture diagonally.. follow the red arrow in the picture.

No jumping! (He's too small anyway).

There are 8 pawns in an army.

Pawns can do one really special thing...

When pawns get right across the board to the other side

they can turn into a Queen!

Chess Puzzles