A Beginner’s Guide to Chess Board Setup: Pieces, Rules, and Strategies

chess board setup


Chess is a timeless and mentally challenging game that has attracted people all around the world. Players of all ages and ability levels can play this game.

However, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of Chess Board setup its positioning of pieces, and the rules guiding their movement before you can delve into the complexity of chess strategy.

We will offer a thorough primer for novices in this post to assist them in beginning their chess adventure.

What is a Chess Board?

Two players compete against one another in a game of wits and strategy on a chessboard. There are 64 squares in the 8×8 grid, which are alternately colored in black and white.

Each player has a white square on the right side of the board because of how it is arranged. Chess is known for its classic understated yet elegant appearance which hasn’t altered throughout the years.

chess board setup

How is a ChessBoard Arranged?

Understanding how a chessboard is set up is the first step in mastering the game. Here’s how the pieces are arranged at the start of a game:

  1. Rooks (Castle): The rooks are placed in the corners of the board. They look like small towers and can move horizontally or vertically.
  2. Knights: Next to the rooks, you’ll find the knights. They resemble horses and have a unique L-shaped move: two squares in one direction and then one square perpendicular to that.
  3. Bishops: The bishops which look like tall hats, are positioned next to the knights. Bishops diagonally across the board.
  4. Queen: The queen is placed in the remaining square of her color whether that’s a white or black square. She is the most powerful piece, able to move in any direction – horizontally vertically, or diagonally.
  5. King: Finally, the king is positioned beside the queen. The king can move one square in any direction and this is the most critical piece as the primary objective of the game is to protect the king.
  6. Pawns: In front of the other pieces, there is a row of eight pawns. Pawns can only move forward one square at a time but capture diagonally. On their first move, they have the option to move forward two squares.
How to Set Up a Chessboard

How to Set Up a ChessBoard

  • Step 1: Place the chess board so that a light square is in the bottom right corner.
  • Step 2: Place the pawns on the second rank for each player.
  • Step 3: Place the rooks on the corners of the board for each player.
  • Step 4: Place the knights next to the rooks for each player.
  • Step 5: Place the bishops next to the knights for each player.
  • Step 6: Place the queen on the same color square as the player’s rooks for each player.
  • Step 7: Place the king on the remaining square next to the queen for each player.

What are the Different Pieces in Chess?

Now that we’ve covered how the chess board is set up let’s take a closer look at each type of chess piece and their respective values and roles in the game:

  1. Rooks (Castle): Rooks are valued at 5 points each. They are powerful pieces, especially in open positions, and can control entire rows or columns of the board.
  2. Knights: Knights are valued at 3 points each. Their unique movement pattern allows them to jump over other pieces making them excellent for maneuvering in tight positions.
  3. Bishops: Bishops are also valued at 3 points each. They excel in open positions and can cover long diagonal paths on the board.
  4. Queen: The queen is the most powerful piece, valued at 9 points. She combines the abilities of rooks and bishops making her an invaluable asset for both offense and defense.
  5. King: While the king is essential it doesn’t have a point value since losing the king results in losing the game. Protecting the king and ensuring his safety is paramount.
  6. Pawns: Pawns are valued at 1 point each. Although individually weak. Pawns play a crucial role in controlling the center of the board and can become powerful pieces when they reach the opponent’s back rank and are promoted to other pieces.
What are the Different Pieces in Chess?

Common Mistakes in Chess Board Setup

  • Placing the light square in the top right corner.
  • Placing the pawns on the first rank.
  • Placing the rooks on the second rank.
  • Placing the knights next to the bishops.
  • Placing the bishops next to the rooks.
  • Placing the queen on the opposite color square as the player’s rooks.
  • Placing the king on the corner square.


Chess games are fascinating and difficult because of the way the chessboard is set up. Beginners can take their initial steps toward becoming accomplished chess players by comprehending the placement of the pieces and each one’s special capabilities.

You’ll learn that there are countless strategic options as you dive deeper into the realm of chess and that learning the subtleties of this age-old game is a fascinating experience that may last a lifetime.


Does the king go on the left or right?

The king is placed on the chessboard right at the start. Specifically, the king occupies the square immediately adjacent to the queen ensuring that both monarchs stand side by side.

Where do the king and queen go in chess?

In chess, the queen takes the position on the remaining square of her color. The white queen is placed on the white square and the black queen on the black square.

What side is the queen on?

The queen is positioned in her own color. For example, if you’re playing white your queen will be on a white square. If you’re playing as black your queen will occupy a black square.

Is the king on white or black?

The king is typically placed on a square of the opposite color to the queen. If the queen is on a black square the king will be on a white square and vice versa.

Who goes first in chess?

In chess white always makes the first move, while black responds with their move. This rule is consistent across all games and is an essential aspect of chess strategy.

Does the queen go on her color in chess?

Yes, the queen is placed on the square that matches her color. This initial positioning ensures that the board maintains symmetry and that neither king nor queen threatens the other.