Chess Lesson (video): Once you’ve studied the way various pieces move, you can get familiar with the exceptions. Here we’re going to learn about the three special rules every player should know.
Special Rule of Chess – Castling
It is the only method in chess to move two different pieces at once. The rule applies when a king changes its position along with a rook. In order to make it, you need to move your knight and your bishop out. So that they don’t occupy the first rank anymore. If the conditions are met, you can get to the main part.
For White: Kg1 and Rf1
For black: Kg8 and Rf8
The king will advance two spaces in the rook’s direction. And the latter one crosses the king. It all happens as a single move. There are some unusual actions here. For example, normally, the king’s moving capacity is limited to one square. But castling makes an exception for it. The rook also doesn’t jump over other pieces in normal circumstances.
It was a short castling. The designation of short castling in the game is: 0-0
For White: Kc1 and Rd1
For Black: Kc8 and Rd8
But you can also do it on the queenside. It’s called long castling, because the distance for the rook is longer. The designation of long castling in the game is: 0-0-0. It has to cross two spaces on the kingside, not just one. The king’s route remains the same for both variations.
The benefits of castling are immense. As you know, the center is the key part of the board. And there’s a bridge you need to control, as shown in the video. You also need to develop your pieces, including the rooks. But in the beginning, they’re in the corners.
So this move allows you to kill two birds with one stone. You move the rooks closer to the central area. Meanwhile, the king advances toward the side, becoming more safe and protected.
Also, there’s a few nuances about castling:
- First of all, you can’t do it out of check. If your king experiences a threat, you should block it or avoid in some way. Then only can you castle. This applies to all the spaces involved. If any square that the pieces are going to cross is in check, it’s illegal.
- Another thing to remember is castling should be the first move for your king. In fact, it’s necessary for all the pieces that take part in it. So if you’ve already moved the rook, it’s not allowed either.
So castling has a lot of little rules, but it’s very useful. You want to do it early. Most grandmasters castle almost in every game unless there’s a special reason why not.
Pawn promotion – This is the second special kind of rule in chess
This is the second special kind of rule in chess. Pawns can only go forward and diagonally (when capturing), but they never go backwards.
So what if a pawn manages to make it to the end? Should it stay there for the rest of the game as useless? Of course, it shouldn’t. The pawn on the last square can turn into something more powerful. Most people change the pawn into a queen, and it’s called the promotion.
Actually, the piece can change to any other one, but not the king or another pawn. But hence the queen is the most powerful one, it’s chosen more often. Sometimes a person is loosing, but after promoting their pawn, they start to win. It’s very exciting.
That’s why sometimes you see two queens of the same color in a chess set. In theory, you can get up to nine queens. For that you need to have all eight of your pawns reach the end. But in fact, it’s never that necessary. In reality, you usually win after getting the second queen.
Chess Lesson: The third special move – En Passant
Let’s look at the third special rule of chess. Even those who’ve played for a while may not recognize it. So it’s the least known one.
Imagine if a pawn advances two spaces making its first move. There’s still a chance for another pawn to capture it. Even if they’re now standing on the same rank. To execute the move, you land your pawn as if capturing the rival’s piece. It moves diagonally. But the opponent’s pawn that was next to yours is defeated.
Example of En Passant in the Steinitz-Fleissig Party:
- e4 e6
- e5 d5
- exd6 e.p.
The move has to be done immediately. So the rival’s pawn executes its first move. And your next move should be en passant, otherwise you lose your chance.