Chess theory usually divides the game of chess into three phases with different sets of strategies: the opening, typically the first 10 to 20 moves, when players move
their pieces to useful positions for the coming battle; the middlegame; and last the endgame, when most of the pieces are gone, kings typically take a more active part in the struggle, and pawn promotion is often decisive.
[note 1] • Draw on time: In games with a time control, the game is drawn if a player is out of time and no sequence of legal moves would allow the opponent to checkmate the
Because the opening theory has ended, players have to form plans based on the features of the position, and at the same time take into account the tactical possibilities of
For a large numbers of players, the Swiss system may be used, in which each player is paired against an opponent who has the same (or as similar as possible) score in each
• Dead position: If neither player is able to checkmate the other by any legal sequence of moves, the game is drawn.
Chess is a board game for two players, called White and Black, each controlling an army of chess pieces in their color, with the objective to checkmate the opponent’s king.
Time is controlled using a chess clock that has two displays, one for each player’s remaining time.
Not every reduction of material is good for this purpose; for example, if one side keeps a light-squared bishop and the opponent has a dark-squared one, the transformation
into a bishops and pawns ending is usually advantageous for the weaker side only, because an endgame with bishops on opposite colors is likely to be a draw, even with an advantage of a pawn, or sometimes even with a two-pawn advantage.
Movement White moves first, after which players alternate turns, moving one piece per turn, except for castling, when two pieces are moved.
• Fifty-move rule: If during the previous 50 moves no pawn has been moved and no capture has been made, either player can claim a draw.
There are also several ways a game can end in a draw.
Most players and theoreticians consider that White, by virtue of the first move, begins the game with a small advantage.
Traditionally, players have been allowed to agree to a draw at any point in the game, occasionally even without playing a move; in recent years efforts have been made to discourage
short draws, for example by forbidding draw offers before move thirty.
In casual games, it is common to announce “check” when putting the opponent’s king in check, but this is not required by the rules of chess and is usually not done in tournaments.
There is no restriction on the piece promoted to, so it is possible to have more pieces of the same type than at the start of the game (e.g., two or more queens).
A move that places the opponent’s king in check usually has the notation “+” added.
During the evaluation, players must take into account numerous factors such as the value of the pieces on the board, control of the center and centralization, the pawn structure,
king safety, and the control of key squares or groups of squares (for example, diagonals, open files, and dark or light squares).
End of the game Win A game can be won in the following ways: • Checkmate: The king is in check and the player has no legal move.
In competitive games, the piece colors are allocated to players by the organizers; in informal games, the colors are usually decided randomly, for example by a coin toss,
or by one player concealing a white pawn in one hand and a black pawn in the other, and having the opponent choose.
In some opening lines, the exact sequence considered best for both sides has been worked out to more than 30 moves.
The addition of the seventy-five-move rule in 2014 requires the arbiter to intervene and immediately declare the game drawn after 75 moves without a pawn move or capture,
without requiring a claim by either player.
Tournaments with a small number of players may use the round-robin format, in which every player plays one game against every other player.
For example, if only the kings are on the board, all other pieces having been captured, checkmate is impossible, and the game is drawn by this rule.
 Simple one-move or two-move tactical actions – threats, exchanges of material, and double attacks – can be combined into more complicated sequences of tactical maneuvers
that are often forced from the point of view of one or both players.
In either case, a player’s score is usually calculated as 1 point for each game won and one-half point for each game drawn.
These require a performance level approximately 200 Elo rating points below the similarly named open titles, and their continued existence has sometimes been controversial.
For this purpose, only algebraic notation is recognized in FIDE-sanctioned events; game scores recorded in a different notation system may not be used as evidence in the event
of a dispute.
There are dozens of different openings, varying widely in character from quiet positional play (for example, the Réti Opening) to very aggressive (the Latvian Gambit).
Minor material advantages can generally be transformed into victory only in an endgame, and therefore the stronger side must choose an appropriate way to achieve an ending.
On the other hand, if both players still have a knight, there is a highly unlikely yet theoretical possibility of checkmate, so this rule does not apply.
Chess strategy concentrates on setting and achieving long-term positioning advantages during the game – for example, where to place different pieces – while tactics concerns
 Tactics Main article: Chess tactics In chess, tactics in general concentrate on short-term actions – so short-term that they can be calculated in advance by a human player
or a computer.
 Draw There are several ways a game can end in a draw: • Stalemate: If the player to move has no legal move, but is not in check, the position is a stalemate, and the game
This can be done only on the turn immediately following the enemy pawn’s two-square advance; otherwise, the right to do so is forfeited.
At the end of the game, “1–0” means White won, “0–1” means Black won, and “½–½” indicates a draw.
In quiet positions with many possibilities on both sides, a deep calculation is more difficult and may not be practical, while in positions with a limited number of forced
variations, strong players can calculate long sequences of moves.
 • Win on time: In games with a time control, a player wins if the opponent runs out of time, even if the opponent has a superior position, as long as the player has
a theoretical possibility to checkmate the opponent were the game to continue.
It is never legal for a player to make a move that puts or leaves the player’s own king in check.
• control of the center: Control of the central squares allows pieces to be moved to any part of the board relatively easily, and can also have a cramping effect on the opponent.
If a player’s time runs out before the game is completed, the game is automatically lost (provided the opponent has enough pieces left to deliver checkmate).
Usually, the pawn is chosen to be promoted to a queen, but in some cases, another piece is chosen; this is called underpromotion.
The addition of the fivefold repetition rule in 2014 requires the arbiter to intervene immediately and declare the game a draw after five occurrences of the same position,
consecutive or otherwise, without requiring a claim by either player.
A common type of chess exercise, aimed at developing players’ skills, is a position where a decisive combination is available and the challenge is to find it.
The king is the most valuable piece—attacks on the king must be immediately countered, and if this is impossible, the game is immediately lost (see Check and checkmate below).
Intermediate between these are rapid chess games, lasting between one and two hours per game, a popular time control in amateur weekend tournaments.
 The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent; this occurs when the opponent’s king is in check, and there is no legal way to get it out of check.
If a pawn moves to its last rank, achieving promotion, the piece chosen is indicated after the move.
Opening theory is concerned with finding the best moves in the initial phase of the game.
Setup Initial position, first (bottom) row: rook, knight, bishop, queen, king, bishop, knight, and rook; second row: pawns Setup at the start of a chess game Chess pieces
are divided into two different colored sets.
Until about 1980, the majority of English language chess publications used descriptive notation, in which files are identified by the initial letter of the piece that occupies
the first rank at the beginning of the game.
There are several known endgames where it is possible to force a mate but it requires more than 50 moves before a pawn move or capture is made; examples include some endgames
with two knights against a pawn and some pawnless endgames such as queen against two bishops.
 • Draw by resignation: Under FIDE Laws, a game is drawn if a player resigns and no sequence of legal moves would allow the opponent to checkmate that player.
A move in response to a check is legal only if it results in a position where the king is no longer in check.
One of the goals of early computer scientists was to create a chess-playing machine.
 The point values used for this purpose are based on experience; usually, pawns are considered worth one point, knights and bishops about three points each, rooks about
five points (the value difference between a rook and a bishop or knight being known as the exchange), and queens about nine points.
A typical time control is 50 days for every 10 moves.
Promotion Main article: Promotion (chess) When a pawn advances to its eighth rank, as part of the move, it is promoted and must be exchanged for the player’s choice of queen,
rook, bishop, or knight of the same color.
Variations such as “football scoring” (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw) may be used by tournament organizers, but ratings are always calculated on the basis of standard
• A queen combines the power of a rook and bishop and can move any number of squares along a rank, file, or diagonal, but cannot leap over other pieces.
 The duration of a game ranges from long (or “classical”) games, which can take up to seven hours (even longer if adjournments are permitted), to bullet chess (under 3
minutes per player for the entire game).
 Strategy Main article: Chess strategy Chess strategy is concerned with the evaluation of chess positions and with setting up goals and long-term plans for future play.
Moving is compulsory; a player may not skip a turn, even when having to move is detrimental.
The term “match” refers not to an individual game, but to either a series of games between two players, or a team competition in which each player of one team plays one game
against a player of the other team.
Opening Main article: Chess opening A chess opening is the group of initial moves of a game (the “opening moves”).
• A rook can move any number of squares along a rank or file, but cannot leap over other pieces.
The recorded history of chess goes back at least to the emergence of a similar game, chaturanga, in seventh-century India.
In this situation, either player can claim a draw; this requires the players to keep a valid written record of the game so that the claim can be verified by the arbiter if
The dead position rule supersedes the previous rule which referred to “insufficient material”, extending it to include other positions where checkmate is impossible, such
as blocked pawn endings where the pawns cannot be attacked.
an interesting move that may not be best; or “?!”
 Time control A digital chess clock In competition, chess games are played with a time control.
Today, chess is one of the world’s most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide.
The game is played on a square board of eight rows (called ranks) and eight columns (called files).
Chess sets come in a wide variety of styles; for competition, the Staunton pattern is preferred.
These two aspects of the gameplay cannot be completely separated, because strategic goals are mostly achieved through tactics, while the tactical opportunities are based on
the previous strategy of play.
[‘The fifty-move rule is not applied at FICGS.
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Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/charleylhasa/8681825637/’]