How to Set up a Chess Board? Easy Steps!

This article will provide helpful information on where to put pieces on a chessboard before beginning the game.
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Last updatedLast updated: September 29, 2023
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Chess is an ancient, competitive, and recreational board game played between two persons. It is an abstract strategy game played on a 64-square chessboard arranged in an eight-by-eight grid.  Before you start a game, you need to know how to set up a chessboard.

The gameplay is between two players, one controlling the black pieces while the other controls the white pieces. Each player controls sixteen pieces: eight pawns, two bishops, two knights, two rooks, one queen, and one king. The goal in every game is to checkmate your opponent’s king, such that the king is under siege, having no way to run.

Today, chess is one of the most popular board games played by millions across the globe at home, online, in clubs, in tournaments, and by correspondences. There are also travel chess sets for people who travel about yet enjoy playing chess. So, you can travel with it everywhere.

The process of setting up a chessboard is straightforward, and the rules are easy to follow. In this article, you will learn how to set up a chessboard in a simple way.

Types of chessboards

There are two types of chess boards, those with coordinates and those without coordinates. According to Amazon reviews, having the best chess sets gives you the best gaming experience.

Boards With Coordinates

How to Set up a Chess Board? Easy Steps!A chessboard with coordinates is the best type of chess board suitable for beginners. It makes it easier for amateur players to know the position of their pieces. Black pieces go on the eighth and seventh ranks, while white pieces go on the second and first ranks.

Boards Without Coordinates

How to Set up a Chess Board? Easy Steps!A chessboard without coordinates is a bit complex. The black square is usually located at the bottom left corner. When you’re playing on a chessboard without coordinates, you don’t need to turn the board around if you want to switch colors for your second game because the black square is at the bottom left.

Positions of pieces

Now, you know how to set up the board, the next step is positioning the chess pieces. And it’s straightforward. On the eighth rank (black) and first rank (white), you place the rooks in the corners, followed by the knights and bishops. Next, place the king and queen between the two bishops. Now, place the pawns in front of the other pieces (seventh rank for the black and second rank for the white).

King and Queen

How to Set up a Chess Board? Easy Steps!These are the tallest pieces on the board game, with a rounded crown topped with a cross and spiked crown. The king is placed at the last open square of the first rank and can move in any direction (though only one space at a time).

The queen is placed on the corresponding matching square and can move diagonally, vertically, and horizontally in any number of spaces, making her the most powerful.


How to Set up a Chess Board? Easy Steps!Rooks are placed in each corner of the chessboard. They move vertically (along files) and horizontally (along ranks). You start playing with your rooks placed on both corners of the board.


How to Set up a Chess Board? Easy Steps!Knights look like horses and are placed next to the rooks. You place the knights at the right- and left-hand side of the rooks. They move in an “L” shape and are the only pieces that can trip over other pieces to make their moves.


How to Set up a Chess Board? Easy Steps!The bishops are placed beside the knights and move along only diagonal lines. The right bishop starts on the white square while the left bishop starts on the black square.


How to Set up a Chess Board? Easy Steps!The pawns take their positions on the second rank. After your major pieces are placed on the first rank, you then line up the pawns on the second rank to serve as a protective wall.

They move forward and make special moves, one step at a time, as the case may be.

Final thoughts

Chess is an exciting, challenging, and educating game. When you understand how to set up a chessboard, you’re ready to play the game. Most people love to play chess, but very few know how to set up the chessboard.

We believe the information shared in this post will help you understand the setup process better.  Practice, they say, makes perfect. Therefore, practice the steps repeatedly, and you’ll become an expert in setting up a chessboard.

There are different chess sets available online that you might sometimes get confused not knowing which one to choose. However, most amazon reviews reveal that the Dragon Chess set is best, thanks to its sturdy design and durable construction.

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