How To Set Up A Chessboard (Piece By Piece)

How To Set Up A Chessboard

No matter whether you want a reminder or an in-depth explanation, our easy-to-follow steps will get you playing our favorite game in no time.

There are plenty of differently-themed chess sets available, but they all share the same board setup.

Let’s show you how to set up a chessboard correctly.

Correct Chessboard Setup (Piece By Piece)

Step One: Orientation

The first step is to orientate the chessboard. Players will need to put the board the right way around. If you don’t place it correctly, the pieces won’t fit on their assigned squares.

Always place the board with a white square on the bottom right corner. An old way of remembering this is with the sentence: White on the right.

Step Two: Pawns

chess pawns

Next, we have to the pawns on the board. Each player starts with eight pawns. Pawns are easily recognized because they’re the smallest pieces on each team.

You will need to place the pawns on the second row found on each side of the board. If your board is marked with coordinates, you can place the white pawns in row 2. Black pawns are placed on row 7.

Step Three: Rooks

For the next step, we place the rooks. A rook looks somewhat like a castle tower. This shape also makes it easy to remember where to place these chess pieces. Just like a real castle, the towers are always found on the corners.

Place the two white rooks, behind the row of white pawns, on the bottom left and right corners. The black rooks will go on the opposite side, also on the corners of the chessboard.

Step Four: Knights

chess knights

Our favorite chess pieces are next. They are the knights, and like the warriors of old, are typically styled in the shape of a horse. Each player has two knights.

You need to place the knights in the first row behind the pawns, right next to the rooks. One knight should be placed near the left rook, and the other goes next to the right-side rook.

An easy way to remember this is that knights are always found near castles. See how easy chess is?

Step Five: Bishops

Bishops are instrumental pieces, and each player begins with two bishops on their side. Simply place the bishops next to the knights, one on each side.

If you’re a feeling bit lost, the bishop tends to have a pretty pointy head with a slot cut into it. The bishops are always found between the royalty and the ordinary, stinky knights and their horses.

Step Six: Queens

Now we move on to placing one of the most potent pieces found in chess. The queen is a remarkable piece, and as such, she also gets a special place on the board.

The white queen should be placed on the white square, next to the lefthand bishop. The black queen is placed on a black square, next to her bishop. It’s also on the left side of the board from the white side’s perspective.

The queen is easy to see, as she wears a spectacular round crown that reminds everybody that she is royalty. Each player only has one queen.

Step Seven: The King on His Throne

chess moves king

You should by now have only one open spot left on your chessboard. An open spot will be to the queen’s right, which is reserved for the king. The king goes between the queen and right-side bishop.

The king is also relatively simple to identify. Typically, the king wears a cross-shaped crown, and each player only has one king to play with.

Step Eight: The First Move

Chess is an ancient game with strict rules of engagement. White always gets to move first. If players cannot agree on what color they would like to play, it’s best to sort it out with a blind draw.

You can do this at home by taking the two kings, one in each hand, and then shuffling them behind your back. Allow the other player to choose either left or right. The revealed piece is the color that they get to play with.

Our Final Pointers

Want to look like a master who’s been playing chess for years? You only need to remember these couple of pointers to make sure that your chessboard has been set up perfectly

  • The white side has a white square on the bottom right.
  • The white queen is placed on a white square, between the king and the left-most bishop.
  • The black queen is placed on a black square. She goes between the king and the bishop, across from the white queen.
  • Each side has all of its pawns placed on the second row.
  • Your rooks always go in the last square, found in the corners.

chess set up

You’re Now Ready to Play a Game of Chess

Well done, you managed to set up a chessboard with every piece in the correct position. While some chess boards are numbered, making it easier to set up a chessboard, you’ll be fine as long as you follow the steps listed here.

Now you know how to set up a chessboard. It’s time for you to make a move and have fun as you play a friendly chess game with that special someone.

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