Chess Board Names, Set up, and Moves

Chess Board and use of Chess Board

Chess Board
Chess Board

The chessboard is a gameboard used to play chess. It consists of 64 squares, 8 rows by 8 columns, on which the chess pieces are placed. It is square in shape and uses two colors of squares, one light, and one dark, in a chequered pattern. In algebraic notation, using White’s perspective, files are labeled A through H from left to right, and ranks are labeled 1 through 8 from bottom to top; each square is identified by the file and rank which it occupies. [1]

The first chess pieces were named Shah (king), Fil (bishop), Rukh (rook), Wazir (counselor), Asp (knight), and Piyade (pawn). [2]

Chess Board Names

In a chess board game, the pieces on the board have specific names. There are 16 pieces for each player, and they are divided into two categories: major pieces and minor pieces. Here are the names of the chess pieces:

Chess Board Names
Chess Board Names

Major Pieces (Each player has one of each):

  1. King: The most critical piece in chess. Protecting the king is the primary objective of the game.
  2. Queen: The most powerful piece, capable of moving in any direction for any number of squares.

Minor Pieces (Each player has two of each): 3. Rook: Moves horizontally or vertically, any number of squares. 4. Knight: Moves in an L-shape: two squares in one direction (horizontally or vertically) and then one square perpendicular to the first move. Knights can jump over other pieces. 5. Bishop: Moves diagonally, any number of squares. 6. Pawn: Moves forward one square but captures diagonally. On its first move, it has the option to move two squares forward.

These pieces work together strategically to control the board and checkmate the opponent’s king. Each piece has its unique movement rules and values. For more details on their moves and values, you can refer to the provided sources. Understanding the names and functions of these pieces is fundamental to playing chess.

chess board names of squares

The chess board is an 8×8 grid of alternating colored squares, with half of the 64 squares being light squares and the other half being dark squares. When setting up a chessboard, you should always have a light square on the lower right (like the H1 square in the image below). [1]

  • There are also 2×2 squares (A1-A2-B1-B2, for example), 3×3 squares (A1-C3), 4×4, 5×5, 6×6 and 7×7 squares. [2]
  • To identify the name of any given square, first locate the file it is on and then its rank. [1]

chess board names of squares in detail

In chess, the squares on the chessboard are typically identified using a combination of letters and numbers. Here’s how the squares are named:

  1. Each square is given a unique coordinate.
  2. The vertical columns are labeled with letters from ‘a’ to ‘h,’ starting from the left side of the board from the white perspective.
  3. The horizontal rows are labeled with numbers from ‘1’ to ‘8,’ starting from the bottom for white’s perspective.

So, the square in the bottom-left corner is ‘a1,’ and the square in the top-right corner is ‘h8.’

This alphanumeric notation system is used for recording and communicating moves in chess games. It helps players easily specify which square they are referring to on the board.

For more detailed information about chess notation and square names, you can refer to various online resources, including tutorials, videos, and chess terminology references.

All chess square names list

The chessboard consists of 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 grid. Each square is uniquely identified by a combination of a letter and a number. The letters represent the files, which are columns, while the numbers represent the ranks, which are rows.

Chess is played on an 88 board with alternating light and dark squares, known as a chessboard. Each square on the chessboard is identified by a unique name, which is essential for players to communicate moves accurately and efficiently. 

These chess square names are used to describe the position of a piece and are an integral part of understanding the game of chess. Mastering the names of the squares on a chessboard is an essential skill for any chess player, as it allows them to analyze positions, communicate with other players, and ultimately win games. [1]

Here’s the list of all chess square names:

  1. File Names (Letters):
    • A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H
  2. Rank Names (Numbers):
    • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

To identify a specific square, you combine the file and rank names. For example, the square in the bottom-left corner is a1, while the square in the top-right corner is h8. These square names are essential for describing chess moves and positions on the board. You can learn more about chess square names and their significance in chess notation from various educational sources and chess-related websites.

Chess Board Rules

Chess is a classic two-player strategy board game that has been played for centuries. It involves moving pieces on an 8×8 grid, known as the chessboard, with the ultimate goal of checkmating your opponent’s king. Here are the basic rules of chess:

Chess Board Rules
Chess Board Rules


Each player starts with 16 pieces, including one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. The pieces are placed on the board in a specific configuration.


The primary objective is to checkmate your opponent’s king, which means putting their king in a position where it cannot move without being captured.

Piece Movement

  • The king moves one square in any direction.
  • The queen can move horizontally, vertically, or diagonally any number of squares.
  • Rooks move horizontally or vertically any number of squares.
  • Knights move in an L-shape: two squares in one direction and then one square at a 90-degree angle.
  • Bishops move diagonally any number of squares.
  • Pawns move forward one square but capture diagonally. On their first move, pawns have the option to move forward two squares.

Special Moves

  • Castling: The king and one of the rooks can move simultaneously under certain conditions.
  • En passant: A pawn capturing an opponent’s pawn that has moved two squares forward on the previous turn.
  • Pawn promotion: When a pawn reaches the opponent’s back rank, it can be promoted to any other piece (except a king).

Check and Checkmate

When a king is under threat from an opponent’s piece, it’s in check. The player must move the king out of check. If a player’s king has no legal moves to escape check, it’s checkmate, and the game ends with that player losing.


If a player has no legal moves left, and their king is not in check, it’s a stalemate, resulting in a draw.


Other draw scenarios include insufficient material to checkmate, the fifty-move rule (no capture or pawn move in 50 moves), and the threefold repetition rule (same position occurs three times).

These are the fundamental rules of chess. To fully understand the game and its nuances, it’s essential to practice and study various strategies and tactics. You can find more detailed information and tutorials on how to play chess in the provided sources.


Chess board names setup, moves, and chess board rules are important to ensure that each game of chess has the same starting position and subsequent notation. White needs to have their lower left square be the one named “a1”, while Black will have their lower left square be “h8”. This way, there won’t be any confusion in case you decide to write down your chess moves. Additionally, it is important to make sure that each player has a dark square in their lower left corner. [1]


What are the names of chess squares?

Chess is played on an 88 board with alternating light and dark squares, known as a chessboard. Each square on the chessboard is identified by a unique name, which is essential for players to communicate moves accurately and efficiently. These square names are used to describe the position of a piece and are an integral part of understanding the game of chess.

What are the 16 pieces in chess called?

In chess, there are 16 pieces that make up a standard set. These pieces are divided into two armies, each with its own set of 16 pieces, and they are as follows:
For White:
Rook (2)
Knight (2)
Bishop (2)
Pawn (8)
For Black:
Rook (2)
Knight (2)
Bishop (2)
Pawn (8)

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