HomeLearn to Play ChessImprove Your GameChess HistoryChess for FunChess Blog

How the Chess Knight Moves
The Knight is that only piece that can jump over other pieces.

The Knight is the piece with the trickiest move in chess. It moves one square in any direction then diagonally one square away from its starting square. This is the same as saying that it moves two squares straight then one square to the side.

A knight in the center of the chess board has eight possible moves, as shown by the green circles in the diagram. If a target square is occupied by the opponent's piece, the Knight can capture it; if occupied by a piece of the Knight's color, the Knight is blocked and can't move to that square.

Note that the Knight changes the color of its square each time it moves.

The Knight can hop over any piece on its path. The diagram shows the Knight with eight possible moves even though it is surrounded by pieces.

The situation in the previous diagram is not likely to happen in a real game, but the situation in this diagram happens at the beginning of every chess game. All four Knights have two possible moves in the initial position -- they just hop over the Pawns in front of them.

The other pieces slide from one square to another in straight lines. This means that the Rooks, Bishops, Queens, and Kings are all blocked by their own Pawns in the initial position. At least one Pawn must move before they can move. Only the Knight jumps from square to square.

Previous Page -- Next Page

Back to Introduction to the Rules