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Chess Board Set Up With Names – All You Need To Know!

Chess Board Set Up With Names

Easy And Complete Guide To Chess Board Setting

The first step to learning and playing the game of chess is learning the set-up of the chess board, and we’re here to help make it easy!

Chess Board Set Up

Let’s first learn about the names of parts, positions, and pieces that go into our chess board set up.

Chess Board

  • A standard chessboard consists of 64 squares.
  • A chess board with 64 squares has 8 horizontal rows and 8 vertical columns.
  • There are 32 dark squares and 32 light squares on a standard chessboard, creating a checkered pattern. They’re not necessarily black and white coloured. They can be virtually any colour as long as they are dark and light.
  • The vertical division of the chessboard is referred to as Kingside and Queenside. Kingside is always found on the right and Queenside on the left.
  • The horizontal rows in a chessboard are called “ranks”. Numbers represent ranks.
  • On the other hand, the vertical columns are represented by alphabet letters and are called “files.”


A good trick to remember the terms for rows and columns is to take note of the letter R.

R is for rows, and rows are called Ranks. 

That leaves the other term (file) to be the one for columns. 

Chess Pieces

Chess pieces, also known as chessmen, consist of six different kinds of pieces.

Types Of Chess Pieces

  1. The Pawn
  2. The Bishop
  3. The Knight
  4. The Rook
  5. The Queen
  6. The King

The pieces are categorized into major pieces and minor pieces.

The major pieces are the Rook and Queen. The minor pieces are the bishops and knights.

The Pawn is not categorized into minor or major.

The King and Queen are also sometimes referred to as the Royal pieces. 

Number of Each Piece Type Per Player

The standard chess set comes with 32 total pieces.

Each chess player has 16 pieces per chess game:

  • Eight Pawns 
  • Two Bishops 
  • Two Knights 
  • Two Rooks 
  • One Queen 
  • One King 

Chess Board Position

Before placing the chess pieces, we should make sure that the chess board is positioned correctly – Yes, a chessboard can be oriented incorrectly.

When positioned incorrectly, it can ruin the coordinates on the chessboard. 

While setting up the boars, the light-coloured files (column or vertical columns) should always be on the right side.

That means the lower-left corner of the board is A1, and the upper-right corner is H8.


Look at the lower-left corner square to check if your chess board is correctly positioned. It should always be a dark square no matter which side of the board you’re on. 

Chess Pieces Position

For the player controlling white pieces, the A file is on the left, while for the player controlling the black pieces, the A file is on the right side of the board. 

Ranks are counted from the white pieces’ perspective, so the A1 is the from the white side white A8 is on the black side. 

White chess pieces are on the A1 and A2 files and lined from A1 to H2 ranks.

Black chess pieces are positioned on A7 and H8 files and lined from A7 to H8 ranks.

The lower-left corner of the white pieces is A1, and it’s H8 for the black pieces.

The eight pawns are positioned on the second row from the board’s edge.

Chess Board Coordinates Per Types Of Pieces

Here are the starting positions of each piece on a chess board. 

  • Rooks

White Piece: A1 and H1

Black Piece: A8 and H8

  • Knights

White Piece: B1 and G1

Black Piece: B8 and G8

  • Bishops

White Piece: C1 and F1

Black Piece: C8 and F8

  • Queen

White Queen: D1 

Black Queen: D8

  • King

White King: E1

Black Piece: E8

  • Pawns

White Pawns: A2 to H2

Black Pawns: A7 to H7

Chess Pieces Moves

The King

 The KIng can only move a single square that’s adjacent and vacant per turn in any direction on the chess board.  

The Queen

The Queen can move diagonally, horizontally, or vertically for any number of unoccupied squares.

The Rook

The Rook can move any number of vacant squares vertically or horizontally.

The Knight

A Knight moves in an “L” or “7″ form. It moves one square horizontally or vertically, then two squares in a horizontal or vertical direction.

The Bishop

The Bishop is capable of diagonal movement for any number of vacant squares.

The Pawn

The Pawn can move vertically forward one vacant square, with the option of moving two squares forward if they have not yet moved and the squares are empty.  

Related Questions

Does each square on a chessboard have a name?

Yes, you can name every square on the board with the file and rank system.

Are there other types of chessboards aside from the standard 8×8 chessboard?

Yes. There are chess game variations that use 8×10 and 10×10 boards.

Are chessboard squares just black and white?

No, a chessboard doesn’t have to have black and white squares. It can be any colour as long as there are light and dark coloured checkered pattern squares.

Final Words

Learning the basics and how everything works for a strategy game like chess is essential in mastering it, and we hope we have helped you with that. Now you can continue to learn chess rules and become the master brilliant player you’re meant to be!

See you in another article!

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