Number of Chess Pieces

There are 32 pieces on a chess board at the start of a game. Since there are 8x8=64 squares on a chess board, this means that exactly half of the board has a piece or pawn. The White pieces take 2 rows, the black pieces take 2 rows, and there are 4 empty rows between the armies.

Each player has 16 pieces. There are 8 pawns and 8 bigger pieces in each army.

The bigger pieces are: 2 Rooks, 2 Knights, 2 Bishops, 1 Queen, and 1 King. The total value of each army can be calculated using the Piece Values, to get a count of material.

So the total value in material of each army is 8 pawns + 9 pawns (Queen) + 2x5=10 (Rooks) + 2x3=6 (Knights) + 2x3=6 (Bishops). This gives us a total of 8+9+10+6+6=39 pawns.

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