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How to Set Up a Chess Board
What a properly set up chess board looks like.

The chess board is placed between the two players as shown in the diagram, White sitting on one side (the bottom of the diagram) and Black on the other side (the top of the diagram). Both players should see a white square in the right corner ('White on right'). If the board has numbers printed on it, they should be placed so that '1' is nearest to White and '8' is nearest to Black, as shown. If the board has the letters 'a' through 'h' printed on it, the 'a' should be on White's left. If it isn't, there's something wrong with the board!

On chess sets made of wood, the King is usually the tallest piece and has a cross on its crown. The Queen is the second tallest and has a crown with several points. The Bishop is next in size and has a miter. The Knight looks like a horse and the Rook looks like a tower. The Pawn is the smallest piece.

The eight Pawns are placed on each player's second row. The remaining pieces are placed on the first row.

The Rooks are placed in the corner, the Knights are placed next to the Rooks, and the Bishops are placed next to the Knights. This leaves two squares for the King and the Queen.

Of the two remaining squares for the White player, the Queen is placed on the white square; for the Black player, the Queen is placed on the black square ('Queen on her color'). The King is placed on the remaining square. The diagram shows all the pieces in their initial position. The piece in each column faces an opponent's piece of the same type.

Here's a diagram showing the pieces from Black's side of the board. Note that row number '8 is closest to Black and that column 'h' is on the left.

White always moves first. The players alternate moves : White moves, then Black, then White, and so on. Each player must move in turn; it is not allowed to pass or to skip a move.

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