All you need to know about Check, Checkmate and Stalemate

Knowing some very important chess terms is almost inevitable for all the chess players. If you are new to the game of chess, there are certain terms that must be learned before you step on to the chess battlefield. Let us learn about these terms:

  1. Check: The term “Check” simply means or it gives the warning that the King is in danger and that the King requires immediate attention. In this situation, the player must find a way out to save its King from the approaching threat. To save the King, the player is left with three options. These are:

Related: How to Make the Best Chess Opening Moves?

  1. Capture the attacking piece.
  2. Blocking the line of fire, placing a new piece between the attacking piece and the King.
  3. Moving the King from the line of fire.

Check in a game of chess

  1. Checkmate or mate: If it is not possible to save the King from the above-mentioned options, then it is called “checkmate” or “mate“. As King is the most valuable piece in the game of chess and if you are not able to get it out of danger, then it is checkmate and the game is over. Unfortunately, you have lost the game. Giving checkmate is the main goal of the chess player, the one who gives the checkmate is the winner.

How to checkmate in a game of chess

  1. Stalemate: The game reaches such a situation when the player’s King is not checked, it’s his turn to move and his not left with any legal move. The chess rules state that this situation would bring the game to draw (i.e having no winner), no matter what advantage one side could have over the other and is called “Stalemate“.

How to stalemate in a game of chess

  1. Even some advanced players wonder why it does not count as a win. The reason is that the losing side cannot avoid exposing their King to check, but they are not yet in check!

So be careful next time you play chess! Happy playing Chess!

Related: Birth of the Chess Queen: The most dominant piece on the board

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How to Set Up a Chessboard – Step by Step – chessbazaar’s Guide

Chess is the one of the oldest games known to the mankind. Chess players are very passionate about their game and are always curious to know every single trick or rule that can improve their game. Chess rules are few but they can get really complex. Along with using strategies to play chess, it is also equally important to have the correct positions of the chess pieces at the beginning of the game.

How to setup a wooden chess board and chess pieces

A chessboard is a kind of checkerboard and consists of 64 squares (eight rows and eight columns) and 32 pieces. These squares are arranged in two alternating colors (light and dark). Environment friendly wooden chess boards that we offer to our customers at chessbazaar use genuine woods. Material varies widely in making chess boards. Plastic and cardboard chessboards are basically used for low-level games. For high level or for professional games only wooden chess boards are used.

The first and foremost rule in start of game of chess is placement of the chess board. Now it’s time to set your beautiful wooden chessboard with meticulously hand carved wooden chess pieces right. Let’s get started.

Get started with these simple steps:

  • Set the board and make sure that the bottom right square is a white square. If your board has algebraic notations on it make sure that ‘1’ is nearest to white and ‘8’ is nearest to Black. The ‘a’ letter should be on White’s left.

Set the chess board and make sure that the bottom right square is a white square.

  • Place a rook/castle on each of the two corners.

Place a rook/castle on each of the two corners

  • Place a knight on the inside of the rooks/castles.

Place a knight on the inside of the rooks/castles.

  • Now set your bishops to the inside of the knights.

Now set your bishops to the inside of the knights.

  • Then place your queens on the matching color square. Queen is a second most important piece in chess after the king. But always remember that the queen always sits in the color of its square. So the light colored square will have white queen and the black Queen has to be placed in a dark square of the board (A lady always wants to wear matching shoes with her dress). Queen Side of the board’ is the left side of the board, where both queens are placed.

Queen is a second most important piece in chess after the king

  • Now place your King on the last square left. King side of the board’ is the right side of the board, where both kings are placed.

• Now place your King on the last square left. King side of the board’ is the right side of the board, where both kings are placed

  • Place all the pawns on the front squares, so that they can declare the war.

Place all the pawns on the front squares, so that they can declare the war.

All chess pieces have different points to indicate how valuable they are and if you want to play for chess tournaments, it is also important to learn the points that each chess piece is worth of and the points of some possible combinations. Let’s have a look –

learn the points that each chess piece is worth of

The person with the white side pieces always begins the game. The Game is all about saving the King, so the King carries infinite value. The interesting rule of the game is that the King can never be captured and if he is in danger then he must move to a safe place or another chess piece must make him safe. If he cannot reach in the safe zone then the game is over.





How to find the right size chessboard for your wooden chess pieces

The pleasure and excitement of a chess game increases many fold when you lay the pieces on a beautiful wooden chessboard and that too of perfect size. Like the chess pieces, chessboard  is equally important as the game moves around on the chess board. It is of utmost importance that the size of chess pieces and the size of chessboard should be appropriate and perfectly matching. To make your game much more interesting and professional, chessbazaar brings you a very simple way to calculate chessboard size and piece size –

For calculating the chess board size, you just need to know the base size of your chess piece i.e the diameter of the chess pieces. So, the simple formula is:

Chess board size: 4/3 of king’s base.

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To find out a perfect chessboard size for your chess pieces, multiply the base of the piece with 4/3 and you will get the size of the chess square. For example: For  a set with king’s diameter  2’’ will be perfectly suitable with chessboard of size: 2’’ x 4/3 = 2.66″.

And vice-versa to find out the size of the perfect chess pieces, if you already possess a chess board. For this you need to know the size of the square.

Chess piece size: 3/4 of chess board’s square size.


Multiply the size of the chess square with 3/4 and you will get the size of the piece. For example: For a chess board with size 2.66’’, a perfectly suitable King’s size would be: 2.66’’ x 3/4 = 2’’.


So, enjoy your favourite game this winter season on a beautiful wooden chess board with the most beautifully handcarved chess pieces perfectly matching to each other. Take a look of our amazing collection of handmade wooden chess pieces and chess boards.

How Chess can improve your Analytical skills?

There are numerous of ways by which you can enhance your analytical skill and brainy cleverness by playing chess- the game of the kings!

You can learn to play chess at any group. It is beneficial for everybody especially for teenagers as it improves the memory of the player. Chess is regarded as a great exercise for the brain. Creativity also increases as you learn how to make moves by brewing up your own ideas. It lets you build up interest in future planning as it clear that by playing chess you got to be prepared surely in advance. Inner ideas develop repeatedly as your brain is active. Problem-solving expertise is also enhanced as the game of chess is like a big puzzle, where you need step by step sorting. The biggest benefit of playing a game of chess is it improves concentration level. Mental clarity also develops. Focusing your mind on your aim is most important and vital while lack of concentration like looking away or thinking about something else even for a single moment can result in the loss of a match similarly in real life not aiming for your target may lead to failures. Playing chess has loads of advantages. After every game you seem to learn a lesson or you can say you construct a new vision/outlook to see things. Chess is played between two players and each player is independent to compose the pattern of the game. In other words you are forced to make crucial decisions on your own. It is a very challenging game and one gains a lot of confidence by playing it. All you need is focusing power which builds up with practice. As you all know “practice makes a man perfect”.

Chess is very useful for children. With physical exercise, mental exercise is also needed. So chess is a game to challenge one s brain. It involves lots of calculation work which enhances the quick response ability. The child gains presence of mind. He becomes responsible and disciplined.

Rules of the Chess Game

The game of chess is like a swordfight, you must think first before you act. is great place where you can buy beautiful handmade chess sets and you can learn the rules of chess game too.

Goal of Chess Game

Chess is a two-player game. These two player sits opposite side of the chess board , one player having 16 black or dark pieces while other chess player having white or light pieces. Make sure that the board is placed in such a way that the first white square is always on the right hand side of the both players. The main goal of chess game is checkmate the other king or to capture the opponents king. At that point, the game is over.

General Chess Rules

• White is always first to move and players take turns alternately moving one piece at a time. If a player’s turn is to move, he is not in check but has no legal moves, this situation is called “Stalemate” and it ends the game in a draw.
• Each type of piece has its own method of movement. A piece may be moved to another position or may capture an opponent’s piece, replacing on its square (en passant being the only exception). With the exception of the knight, a piece may not move over or through any of the other pieces.
• When a king is threatened with capture (but can protect himself or escape), it is called check. If a king is in check, then the player must make a move that eliminates the threat of capture and cannot leave the king in check.
• Checkmate happens when a king is placed in check and there is no legal move to escape. Checkmate ends the game and the side whose king was checkmated looses. Chess for kids would be a great option to help the kid enhance his thinking capability with the chess strategies involved.

Chess Board and Chess Pieces Set Up

The chessboard made up of 64 square (8 x 8 grid), these 64 squares further divided into 32 dark squares and 32 light squares. The colors of the sixty-four squares alternate between light and dark, and are referred to as “light squares” and “dark squares”. The chessboard is placed between the players in such a way that the near corner square to the right of the player is white. Lets start with the chess pieces. The 16 chess pieces are made up of 1 King, 1 queen, 2 bishops, 2 knights, 2 rooks, and 8 pawns. 2nd row is filled by Pawns. In 1st row rook go in the corner, then knights, followed by bishops and finally the queen. Note that the queen is always on her own color while the king is always on the opposite color.

Beginning of Chess Game

The player with white pieces always moves first. Therefore, players generally decide who will get to be white by chance or luck such as flipping a coin or having one player guess the color of the hidden pawn in the other player’s hand. White then makes a move, followed by black, then white again, then black and so on until the end of the game.

Movement of Pieces

The 6 different kinds of pieces move differently. Pieces cannot move through other pieces (though the knight can jump over other pieces), and can never move onto a square with one of their own pieces. However, they can be moved to take the place of an opponent’s piece which is then captured. Pieces are generally moved into positions where they can capture other pieces (by landing on their square and then replacing them), defend their own pieces in case of capture, or control important squares in the game. The following diagrams will explain the movement of the pieces that must keep in mind when playing chess.

• The King

The King play an important role in chess game, whole game is playing to save king. The King is tallest pieces on the chessboard and King has cross finials at top. By the rules of chess, his moves are pretty limited, he can only move one square at a time but he can move forward, backward, left, right and diagonally. Click on the ‘>’ button in the diagram below to see how the king can move around the board.

• The Queen

The Queen is the most powerful chess pieces on the chessboard. The Queen has a beautiful crown on its top. According to the rules of playing chess, she can move vertically, horizontally and diagonally just as many squares she wants (without jumping other chess pieces).

• Bishop

Most bishops also have a cut near the top resembling that of a mouth. The bishop may move as far as it wants, but only diagonally. Each bishop starts on one color (light or dark) and must always stay on that color. Bishops work well together because they cover up each other’s weaknesses.

• Knight

Knight is a unique chess piece. Knights move in a very different way from the other pieces – going two squares in one direction (forward, backward, left, or right) and then one more move at a 90 degree angle, just like the shape of an “L”. Knights are also the only pieces that can move over other pieces.

• Rook

The rook is also called the castle by some and it actually looks like a castle or at least a castle tower . The rook may move as far as it wants, but only forward, backward, and to the sides. The rooks are particularly powerful pieces when they are protecting each other and working together.

• Pawn

Pawn is smallest pieces on the chessboard. Pawns can only move forward one square at a time, except for their very first move where they can move forward two squares. Pawns can only capture one square diagonally in front of them. They can never move or capture backwards. If there is another piece directly in front of a pawn he cannot move past or capture that piece.

Special Moves

• Castling

This move allows you to do two important things all in one move: get your king to safety (hopefully), and get your rook out of the corner and into the game. On a player’s turn he may move his king two squares over to one side and then move the rook from that side’s corner to right next to the king on the opposite side. (See the example below.) However, in order to castle, the following conditions must be met:

• It must be that king’s very first move.
• It must be that rook’s very first move.
• There cannot be any pieces between the king and rook to move.
• The king may not be in check or pass through check.

Notice that when you castle one direction the king is closer to the side of the board. That is called castling kingside. Castling to the other side, through where the queen sat, is called castling queenside. Regardless of which side, the king always moves only two squares when castling.

• En Passant

There is a unique chess rule which involves a special move in chess that many casual players are not aware of, the rule is called “en passant”. If a pawn moves out two squares on its first move, and by doing so lands to the side of an opponent’s pawn (effectively jumping past the other pawn’s ability to capture it), that other pawn has the option of capturing the first pawn as it passes by. This special move must be done immediately after the first pawn has moved past, otherwise the option to capture it is no longer available.

• Promotion

Pawns have another special ability and that is that if a pawn reaches the other side of the board it can become any other chess piece (called promotion). A pawn may be promoted to any piece either a queen, a rook, a bishop, or a knight, of the same colour as the pawn. A pawn is usually promoted to a queen.

End of the Game

• Winning

The game is won by the player
• who has checkmated his opponent’s king.
• whose opponent declares he resigns.

• Draw

The game is drawn when the king of the player who has the move is not in check, and this player cannot make any legal move. The player’s king is then said to be “stalemated”. This immediately ends the game.
The game is drawn upon agreement between the two players.
The game is drawn when one of the following endings arises:
• king against king;
• king against king with only bishop or knight;
• king and bishop against king and bishop, with both bishops on diagonals of the same colour.

• Losing

The game is lost by a player who has not completed the prescribed number of moves in the allotted time, unless his opponent has only the king remaining, in which case the game is drawn.

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French craftsmen reigned supreme in the field of art from centuries. French chesspieces are one of its examples. They are completely individual, well-balanced, perfectly carved and each piece is perfectly related and matched in dimensions and character with other pieces. They are outstanding for their simplicity and beauty.

Unlike other craftsmen, French turners and carvers settled in Paris or Dieppe but they scattered throughout the country in the form of small workshops. These small workshops made chess sets on commercial scales.

French chesspieces were made up African ivory, kiln-dried bone and many types of wood. The chesspieces were differ in size but all are basically similar. The bishops are equiped with felt or leather, silk-fringed hate while the knights are portrayed as horses. The pawn stems and and bases are red or pale pink.  All the major pieces are finished in polychrome with silver trim.

During long and arduous journeys french aristocrats often played chess to while away the time. Cushion chessboards were used with spiked chesspieces. The cushion was embroidered with squares to form a chessboard and chesspieces terminated in tapering spikes.

In the early 19th century, Nepolean was featured as Chess king while Josephine as Queen. The knights were French dragoons and Massena was featured as Bishop. Napolean’s old guard was used as Pawn.

Craftsmen throughout the ages have fashioned chesspieces from every imaginable substance and the search for new materials continues to this day with the emphasis on stainless steel and plastics.



Staunton is a particular pattern of Chess Pieces in the game of Chess. Staunton pattern pieces are mostly used in Chess tournaments and competitions. It is named after famous chess master Howard Staunton. Howard Staunton was an English chess master and was one of the strongest chess player in the years between 1843 & 1851. It was due to his efforts that England becomes the one of the major chess centre on the 1950 era. He contributed a lot to chess. He was not only a chess player, but also a chess promoter, writer and organizer as well.

In 1859 Nathaniel Cook designed the Staunton pattern chess and Jaques of London approved their manufacturing rights. After that it becomes the standard design of chess. They have been used all over the world since. All Staunton Pieces mainly has wide molded base. Knight basically has head and neck like a horse. King has a stylish crown with cross pattee, Queen is slightly smaller than king with a small round ball mount on her head, Rooks feature stylized crenellated battlements and bishops a Western-style mitre. Pawns are the smallest pieces in the game with round head.

History of Materials used for making Chess Pieces

In the early fifteenth century, boxwood was used as most common substance for making chess pieces. Boxwood is fine close-grained yellow wood obtained from shrub common to Europe and Asia. But in the early eighteenth century, ebony wood was used extensively for making chess sets.

This hard black wood came from trees which grow in areas like Mauritius, Ceylon, America and India.  The hard and black inner part is used which can be turned or carved to any shape and design. Boxwood and ebony were used together as different sides in the same set.

But in the eastern side of the world, soft wood like sandalwood were used which can be turned or carved into complex shapes. It is light brown in color and never been polished. Bamboo was also been made into used but it was hard for craftsmen to carved it into different shapes.

But in Europe, ivory was preferred for making of European chessmen. African ivory taken from the African elephant was used. At that time all the European chess pieces were made of African ivory while Eastern sets are of Indian.

Quartz is a mineral used for making Hard Chess Sets. It is found in many parts of the world. Jade and jadeite are minerals found in China, New Zealand and America and were used for making delightful hard Chess Pieces.  It is hard and durable and not easily scratched.