If you have a chess set and want to start a game, the first thing you need to do is get the board set up correctly.
- Lay out the light square in the bottom-right corner
- Set up the pawns on the second rank
- Put your rooks in the corners
- Place your knights next to the rooks
- Bishops go next to knights
- Queen goes on her color
- Place your king in the last square available
- Don’t forget, white moves first!
Step 1: Lay out the board with the light square in the bottom-right corner.
It’s important to orient the board in the right direction so that each side will be set up correctly. An easy way to remember this is “white on the right.”
Step 2: Set up the pawns on the second ranks (or rows).
Putting all of your pawns on first helps to clear the pile of pieces next to the board so that the rest of your pieces will go on more quickly.
Step 3: Put your rooks in the corners.
It’s easy to remember to set your rooks in the corners, just like the towers in a real castle.
Step 4: Place your knights next to your rooks.
Imagine that you are putting some smelly horses on the board and you want them far away from the king and queen.
Step 5: Bishops go next to knights.
The bishops stand in between the stinky knights and the royal king and queen. Set them next to the knights.
Step 6: Your queen goes on her own color.
It DOES matter which square your queen goes on. An easy way to remember is that the queen wants to match her outfit. White queen on the light square; black queen on the dark square.
Step 7: Place your king on the last square.
At this point there will be only one vacant square, so your king should naturally take his place.
Step 8: Don’t forget, White moves first.
In chess, the player with the white pieces always moves first. You can decide who plays White and who plays Black through any method of chance. One way is to hide a white pawn in one hand behind your back and have your opponent choose.