King Rules

There are a lot of special rules about the King in chess. It is the most important piece. Issues involving the King include “check”, “checkmate”, and “stalemate”. The entire game is aimed at checkmating the enemy’s King, while also protecting your own King.

The King can also move! It has a very special move with the Rook that is called “castling”. And the King can also move a single square in any of up to 8 different directions (i.e. up/down, left/right, and 4 diagonals). Kings can move backwards and forwards.

The King’s first move is special. The King must castle as its first move. If it makes any other move, then it has lost the right to castle forever. Note that there are lots of other restrictions in the castling move rules.

There are very special rules about “check” on the King. For example, you cannot leave your King in check. In some tournaments there are special rules about “capturing the King”.

Related Chess Rules Topics

Read more about these related chess rules, chess puzzles, and other chess tactics and strategies: