All the Chess Piece Names and Their Moves to Know

The origin of the game of chess is often debatable, and some say it began in China, while others believe it started in India. The most popular belief is that it originated in northern India. However, it is a debate with no definite answer, and all you can do is believe in stories and legends. Over the years, chess has undergone a series of evolutions, including changing chess figure names and different game moves.

Setting Up a Chessboard:

You have to play the chess game on a board comprising 64 squares colored alternately in black and white colors. In total, 32 chess pieces get divided into two halves of 16 pieces each. Staunton chess pieces or sets are amongst the best, and even chess game championships use them. Since playing chess can only happen between two opponents, the two sets of 16 chess pieces are each colored equally in black and white. For each player, you need to arrange the chess pieces in two rows on the opposite ends of the chessboard as follows:

The first or front row comprises eight pawns and the second or inner row has the other pieces arranged strategically.

Firstly, the two rooks take up the two corners of the inner row. Then, you place both knights next to the two rooks.

After the knights, the bishops take their place next to them in the inner row.

If you are the player who has taken the white pieces, place the king on a black square next to one of the bishops in the inner row, and the player with the black pieces places the king in a white square.

Lastly, you must put the queens next to the respective kings.

Chess Pieces Names and Their Moves:

Players need to know what are the 16 chess pieces called and how to move them around the chessboard.

1) Pawn:

The eight pawn pieces of a chess player move one step forward from the second move onwards. Only on the first move do you have the choice of moving it two steps forward. The pawns are like the foot soldiers in a battle, taking up the front row. The pawn can capture the opponent's chess piece by moving a step diagonally. This chess piece is the only one with the superpower of transforming into any other chess piece of your choice if it reaches the last row of the opponent's end of the chessboard.

2) Knight:

The two knights, who look like a horse, can move three squares in an L-shaped pattern and jump over other chess pieces. The three steps are either two steps first and 1 step next or 1 step first and two steps next following the formation of the letter L on completion of the move.

3) Bishop:

There are two bishops per player, one in black and the other in white chessboard squares. They can move diagonally on any number of squares of the same color they belong to.

4) Rook:

The rook is also two chess pieces per player, and they can move only vertically or horizontally along any number of empty squares on the chessboard.

5) Queen:

The queen can move horizontally, vertically, or diagonally along any number of empty squares on the chessboard and is one of the most powerful metal chess pieces in the game. However, every player gets only one queen.

6) King:

There is only one king per player, and he is the most precious piece of the game. However, it is also one of the weakest chess pieces and can move one empty square diagonally, horizontally, or vertically. You should also be aware not to move the king to a square that the opponent can attack, as the primary objective of the game of chess is to protect your king.


Knowing how many pieces are in chess and their names are not sufficient. You have to understand how to move them around the chessboard strategically. Different pieces have different rules that apply to them, and some chess pieces can perform special moves. Therefore, you should learn to use them well to take an advantageous position in the game. Various materials make up chess pieces, like wooden, plastic, glass, or even chess pieces, that you can choose as per your comfort.