Ever since the earliest times, and especially with
regards to the most ancient of preliterate societies,
chess-like pieces - isolated from whatever boards
they could have been played on - were only simple
figurines cut from stone, or made from clay and fired,
and for their small size could have been used to help
in accounting in trade and commerce. (wikipedia)
Each player controls sixteen pieces:
Each piece moves in a different way. Generally, a
piece cannot pass through squares occupied by other
pieces, but it can move to a square occupied by an
opposing piece, which is then "captured" (removed
from the board).
The rook moves orthogonally to the players (forward,
backward, left or right) any number of squares.
The bishop moves diagonally any number of squares.
The queen moves orthogonally or diagonally, any number
The king moves orthogonally or diagonally only one
square at a time.
The knight moves in an "L"-shape (two spaces in one
direction and one space orthogonally to it). It is
the only piece that can jump over other pieces.
The pawn moves one space straight forward (away from
the player). On its first move it can optionally move
two spaces forward. If there is an enemy piece diagonally
(either left or right) one space in front of the pawn,
the pawn may move diagonally to capture that piece.
A pawn cannot capture or jump over a piece directly
in front of it.