At the start of a game each player has an army of 16 men consisting of 8 pieces and 8 pawns, the darker colored pieces are black, while the lighter colored pieces are white. The pieces include:a king, queen, 2 bishops, 2 knights and 2 rooks. Pawns are not considered pieces. The goal of the game is to capture your opponent’s king, so the king is in a class of its own. The other pieces are divided into two groups, the bishops and knights are minor pieces, and the rooks and queen are major pieces.
Describing the chessmen.
Pawns, are the shortest chessmen and have a round ball on top, there are 8 white and 8 black.
Rooks, have a top that feels like a drinking cup, the outside edge of the cup has 4 slots cut in to it, there are 4 Rooks, 2 white and 2 black.
Knights, these are the only pieces that aren’t round, the sides are flat and slope outward from top to bottom, there are 4 knights, 2 white and 2 black.
Bishops, these pieces slightly resemble the pawns, but are taller. They have small ball shaped tops, with a second larger ball just below, this second ball has a semicircular slot in it near the top of the ball. The bishop is taller than the knight and rook. There are 4 bishops, 2 white and 2 black.
Queens, like the bishop the queen has a small ball on top, below this ball is a crown with scalloped edges, 6 little cut outs around the crown. The queen is taller than the bishop, there are 2 queens, 1 white and 1 black.
Kings, kings have a plane round croun with a decoration on top that has flat sides front to back, they are taller than the queen. There 2 kings, 1 white and 1 black.
Algebraic chess notation
In chess the pieces are represented by letters: king, K queen, Q bishop, B knight, N and rook R. The only exceptions occur in international play: queen frequently appears as D (darma) rook as T (Turm). It is also useful to remember that not all countries capitalize the letters representing pieces. This is true in Germany, where a bishop is known as laufer, witch means runner.
File and ranks.
Files are vertical columns that run between players and are represented by the small letters a – h, from left to right for white, and right to left for black. Ranks are rows numbered 1 – 8 near to far for white, and far to near for black.