Monday, September 21, 2009

The Pawn Game, Part 3 - Bishops

Now that you have played and understood how the pawns and knights move, you are ready to add another piece. The next piece you should add to the board is the Bishop. The bishops are placed next to the knights on the third square from the edge of the board on both sides. One bishop should be on a dark square and one a light square. This is most important because the color of the square the bishop stands on is the color the bishop must stay on. The movement of the bishop is not possible at this point because the pawns are lined up in front of them, thus restricting their movement.

Now you start the game the same way as before. counting to the fifth pawn from the left side of the board and moving it two squares forward. Black does not count pawns but moves his pawns two spaces right in front of the white pawn. Again,' this is what we call the pawns meeting'. The pawns cannot move forward as they restrict each other. However the pawn has opened the door for the bishop to move! The bishop on the light suare for white is now free to move as many spaces as you choose. But choose wisely. The bishop moves diagonally and must stay on its color. This means it can never cross a dark square and can only be moves along light squares. From its starting position, it can move five squares forward on the light squares. This will put it in a position for the pawn that is touching it to take. Or if you have really been paying attention, the black knight can also take the white bishop with its move 0-1-2-3- landing on top of the white bishop. This wouldn't be good for white because the bishop, like the knight, is worth 3 points and to just give away your pieces is not going to give you many wins.

Black can move his dark squared bishop in this position, and since five squares would result in black losing its bishop, I suggest you move it 3 squares, attacking the pawn it at which is it now aimed. Remember, the bishop moves diagonally, so you must look at where it can move to when it has changed position. The bishop cannot jump over pieces like a knight. If it runs into another piece of its own color, it must stop. If the piece it runs into is of the opposite color, it can take that piece by removing the piece from the square it is in and replacing the piece with the bishop.

A pawn can take a bishop just like it can take a knight. If the pawn is touching any piece, it can take it. The rule of this game is the same as before -- you must get one of your pawns to the other side of the board to win, not a bishop or a knight, but a pawn.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Pawn Game, Part 2

Now that you have played the game with the pawns only, you should be able to answer the riddle from my last blog. And the answer is: You should not take a pawn that's touching another pawn when you can move past it and win the game! Now we need to add another piece to the board.

The Knight is the piece shaped like the head of a horse on most chess sets. The movement of the knight has been described many different ways (all of which are confusing to the beginner in my opinion). The knight stands on the second square from the egde of the board behind the pawns of the same color. Since you have two knights, they both stand on the second square from the left and right side of the board behind the pawns. The knight's movement is simple. Picture an upper case L. This is how the knight moves every time. The starting position is 0, the knight moves foward 1 square, then foward a second time. To complete the L shape, you move to the left or the right. (Tip: Beginning players, you should count to yourselves as you move the knight 0-1-2-3.) So now the knight has moved three squares. Remember, 0 does not count as a movement, it is just the position where the knight is positioned prior to beginning a move. Just remember 1-2-3 and that the total movement of the knight resembles a upper case L shape when you add the 0. Try it!!! Grab your knight and move it counting 0-1-2-3 two spaces foward and one to the right or left. Notice also you had to jump over your pawn to move your knight. The knight is the only piece that can jump over other pieces. Now, the goal of the pawn game is the same -- to win, you still have to get the pawn to the other side of the board. If the knight reaches the other side of the board you do not win. Only a pawn can win the game. Oh, and just one more thing: the pawns (as you now know) can only move foward. The knights can move in any direction as long as they are making a L shape and a piece of the same color is not in the #3 square. If you're doing this properly, the move is correct.

You cannot take your own pieces. The knight takes, not by jumping over the enemy pieces, but by landing right on top and removing them from the board! So if you move your knight and you count 0-1-2-3 and where the knight stops there is a pawn or knight of the opposite color, you can take it. Another Hint: Knights are worth 3 points and pawns are worth 1 point, so don't give up your knight for a pawn. That's bad math. Chess On!