Board: the ‘battlefield’ of chess, the playing surface of the game. It consists of an eight square by eight square surface where the squares alternate between being light and dark.
Bishop: considered a minor piece for it and the king are not powerful to checkmate the enemy king. It moves diagonally in any direction and always remains on the same color squares. It captures enemy pieces by stopping on the square the enemy occupies. It can move from one to seven squares at a time. A bishop is valued at three points. Each army starts with two bishops.
Castling: is the only move of two pieces in the game. It involves a king and a rook and can only occur if the king and rook haven’t been moved yet, if the king is not under attacked (checked) and if the king does not move through a square that the enemy is attacking when castling.
Check: a move that attacks the enemy king.
Checkmate: a move that ends the game. It exists when a king is being attacked and it cannot capture the attacking piece, cannot block the attacking piece, and cannot move onto a safe, non-attacked, square.
Deflection: a tactic that forces an enemy piece away from where it is serving a purpose (either defending or attacking) in order to capture an enemy piece or even to win the game.
Diagonal: a series of squares that have connecting corners that can consist of two to eight squares in length.
Discover: a tactic in which a piece moves (usually to attack) in so moving permits an attack on an enemy piece by a member of the moving piece’s army.
En Passant: a special move involving only pawns. A pawn has the option of taking an enemy pawn that takes its first move and goes two squares forward, through a square that is being attacked. It can only exercise this option immediately after the enemy pawn passes through the square being attacked.
File: the vertical rows on a chess board which are lettered (lower case) from ‘a’ through ‘h’ with the ‘a’ file to the player of white’s left and the ‘h’ file to the player of black’s left.
Fork: a tactic in which one piece attacks two or more enemy pieces.
Material: the pieces, soldiers, in an army. The game begins with each army having equal material.
Notation: the language of chess; internationally used method of recording every move in a game.
Opposition: a tactic in which both kings are directly opposing each other with an odd number of squares between them, when they are on squares of the same color.
Pawn: the weakest piece on the board, the foot soldier, and the only piece that can be promoted into a more powerful piece. On its first move it can go either one or two squares directly forward and on all other moves can only advance forward one square. It can capture enemy pieces that are diagonally in front of it. A pawn is valued as one point. Each army starts with eight pawns.
Pieces: objects used to represent members of an army that have specific powers and names.
Pin: a tactic in which one piece prevents an enemy piece from moving
Promotion: when a pawn has marched across the board and made it to the furthest rank from its starting point. The pawn can be promoted into any other piece except for a king and the new piece remains on the square of its promotion.
Queen: considered a major piece for it and the king can checkmate the enemy king. It has the ability to move like a rook or a bishop: one to seven squares vertically, horizontally or diagonally. It is the most powerful piece in an army and is valued at nine points. Each army starts with only one queen.
Rank: the horizontal rows on a chess board which are numbered one through eight with the first rank being the bottom row as the player of white looks at the board and the eighth rank being the bottom row as black looks at the board.
Rating: a numeric indication of a player’s mastery of the game.
Rook: considered a major piece for it and the king can checkmate the enemy king. It moves in straight lines either forward or back, left or right from two to seven squares at a time. A rook is valued at five points. Each army starts with two rooks.
Sacrifice: a tactic in which the intentional loss of a piece leads to a gain, usually in material.
Stalemate: exists when a player’s king is not in check, it is the only piece he can move, and the king has no legal moves.
Strategy: an overall plan to achieve a goal.
Tactics: the means methods or plans used to achieve and advantage or a strategy.
Touch move: a rule of the game that states if a player intentionally touches a piece on the board during the player’s turn, that piece must be moved if it has one or more legal moves to make.
Within the square: a tactic that involves a king’s ability to move in a way that prevents an enemy pawn from promotion.