Starting a Chess Game
The White player moves first. It is always White playing first. In theory, it wouldn’t matter if Black played first, but the rule is the White pieces move first. So the decision of who moves first is really the decision of who gets to play White.
Who plays White vs Black? Usually it doesn’t actually matter in beginner chess. Just negotiate. Or you can do that trick with the pawns hidden in the hands. In social chess, you can just alternative between Black and White with every new game. In tournaments, it will be specified in the “pairings” who is playing who, and the first named player has the White pieces.
One Move Each: White plays first. Each player then takes it in turns to make one move. Always one move only, unless you are playing “two move chess” (a weird chess variant).
Most moves involve only a single piece. You pick up a piece, and move it to an empty square. You have to do it using the correct “piece moves”, which are different for all 6 pieces:
- Pawn moves: tricky!
- Knight moves: jumps in L-shape
- Bishop moves: diagonal moves
- Rook moves: horizontal or vertical moves
- Queen moves: diagonal, horizontal or vertical
- King moves: one square in any direction
Capturing: You can take the enemy pieces using your pieces. For the 5 bigger pieces, if you can move to a square of an enemy piece, then you take it by moving to the enemy piece’s square, throw the enemy piece off the board, and put your piece where the enemy piece was. Pawn captures are a little trickier, because pawns capture differently from how they move normally.