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by Jocly


The fol­low­ing text is ex­trac­ted from Wiki­pe­dia, un­der Cre­at­ive Com­mons At­tri­bu­tion-ShareAlike 3.0 Li­cense. For more de­tails and ref­er­ences, please ac­cess the ori­gin­al art­icle.

Chess is a two play­er game on a chess­board, with six­teen pieces (of six types) for each play­er. Each type of chesspiece moves in a unique way. The goal of the game is to check­mate the op­pon­ent’s king with in­ev­it­able cap­ture. In ad­di­tion to win­ning, there are sev­er­al ways that a game can end in a draw.


The play­er con­trolling the white army is named “White” and the the play­er con­trolling the black pieces is named “Black”. White be­gins first and the play­ers al­tern­ate moves after that. A move has to be made every turn, skip­ping isn’t al­lowed. Not even when hav­ing to move means los­ing. A game con­tin­ues un­til a king is check­mated, a play­er resigns, or a draw is de­clared. De­tails are ex­plained be­low. In ad­di­tion, if the game is be­ing played un­der a time con­strain, play­ers who ex­ceed their time lim­it lose the game.


Each chess piece has its own meth­od of move­ment. Moves are made to va­cant squares ex­cept when cap­tur­ing an op­pon­ent’s piece.

With the ex­cep­tion of any move­ment of the knight and the oc­ca­sion­al cast­ling man­euver, pieces can­not jump over each oth­er. When a piece is cap­tured, the at­tack­ing piece re­places the en­emy piece on its square (en passant be­ing the only ex­cep­tion). The cap­tured piece is then re­moved from the game and may not be re­turned to play for the re­mainder of the game. The king can be put in check, but can­not be cap­tured (see be­low).


The king can move ex­actly one square either ho­ri­zont­ally, ver­tic­ally, or di­ag­on­ally. Only once per play­er, per game, is a king al­lowed to make a spe­cial move known as cast­ling (see be­low).


The rook moves any num­ber of va­cant squares ver­tic­ally or ho­ri­zont­ally. It also is moved while cast­ling.


The bish­op moves any num­ber of va­cant squares in any di­ag­on­al dir­ec­tion.


The queen can move any num­ber of va­cant squares either di­ag­on­ally, ho­ri­zont­ally or ver­tic­ally.


The knight moves to the nearest square not on the same rank, file, or di­ag­on­al. In oth­er words, the knight moves two squares ho­ri­zont­ally then one square ver­tic­ally, or one square ho­ri­zont­ally then two squares ver­tic­ally. Its move is not blocked by oth­er pieces, it ba­sic­ally jumps to the new loc­a­tion.


Pawns have the most com­plex rules of move­ment:

  • If the square in­front of a pawn is un­oc­ccu­pied, the pawn can move for­ward one square. If it has not yet moved, each pawn has the op­tion of mov­ing two squares for­ward, giv­en both squares in front of the pawn are un­oc­cu­pied. A pawn can­not move back­wards.
  • Pawns are the only pieces that cap­ture dif­fer­ently from how they move. They can cap­ture an en­emy piece on either of the two spaces ad­ja­cent to the space in front of them (i.e., the two squares di­ag­on­ally in front of them) but can­not move to these spaces if they are va­cant.

The pawn is also in­volved in the two spe­cial moves en passant and pro­mo­tion.


Cast­ling con­sists of mov­ing the king two squares to­wards a rook, then pla­cing the rook on the oth­er side of the king, ad­ja­cent to it. Cast­ling is only al­lowed if all of the fol­low­ing con­di­tions are met:

  • The king and rook in­volved in cast­ling have not pre­vi­ously moved
  • There are no pieces between the king and the rook
  • The king cur­rently isn’t in check, and isn’t go­ing to be passing through or end­ing up in a square that is un­der at­tack by an en­emy piece (though the rook is per­mit­ted to be un­der at­tack and can pass over an at­tacked square)

En passant

If play­er A’s pawn moves for­ward two squares and play­er B has a pawn on its fifth rank on an ad­ja­cent file, B’s pawn can cap­ture A’s pawn as if A’s pawn had only moved one square. This cap­ture can only be made on the im­me­di­ately sub­sequent move. For ex­ample: if the white pawn moves from a2 to a4, the black pawn on b4 can cap­ture it en passant, end­ing up on a3.

Pawn pro­mo­tion

If a pawn ad­vances to its eighth rank, it is then pro­moted to a queen, rook, bish­op, or knight of the same col­or. The choice here is at the dis­cre­tion of the con­trolling play­er. The choice is not lim­ited to pre­vi­ously cap­tured pieces. Hence it is the­or­et­ic­ally pos­sible for a play­er to have up to nine queens or up to ten rooks, bish­ops, or knights if all of their pawns are pro­moted.


A king is in check when it is un­der at­tack by one or more en­emy pieces. A piece un­able to move be­cause it would place its own king in check may still de­liv­er check to the op­pos­ing play­er.

A play­er may not make any move which places or leaves his king in check. The pos­sible ways to get out of check are:

  • Mov­ing the king to a square where it is not threatened.
  • Cap­ture the threat­en­ing piece (pos­sibly with the king).
  • Block the check by pla­cing a piece between the king and the op­pon­ent’s threat­en­ing piece.

End of the game


If a play­er’s king is placed in check and there is no leg­al move that the play­er can make to es­cape check, then the king is said to be check­mated. This ends the game ends and the play­er loses. Un­like oth­er pieces, the king is nev­er ac­tu­ally cap­tured or re­moved from the board be­cause the check­mate ends the game.


The game ends in a draw if any of these con­di­tions oc­cur:

  • The game is auto­mat­ic­ally ends in a draw if the mov­ing play­er is not in check and has no leg­al move. This situ­ation is called a stale­mate.
  • The game is im­me­di­ately drawn when there is no pos­sib­il­ity of check­mate for either side with any series of leg­al moves. This draw is of­ten due to in­suf­fi­cient pieces dur­ing the en­dgame: king against king, king against king and bish­op, king against king and knight or king and bish­op against king and bish­op, with both bish­ops on di­ag­on­als of the same col­or.
  • Both play­ers agree to a draw after one of the play­ers makes such an of­fer.

The play­er mov­ing may claim a draw by de­clar­ing that one of the fol­low­ing con­di­tions is met or by de­clar­ing an in­ten­tion to make a move which will bring about one of these con­di­tions:

  • Fifty-move rule: There has been no cap­ture or pawn move in the last fifty moves by each play­er.
  • Threefold re­pe­ti­tion: The same board con­stel­la­tion has oc­curred three times in a row.

If the claim is proven to be true, the game ends in a draw.


Jocly implementation

De­vel­op­ment: Michel Gu­ti­er­rez (@_mig_)

De­vel­op­ment & Graph­ic design: Jérôme Cho­ain (@jc­frog)

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