How Should A Chess Board Be Set Up

How Should A Chess Board Be Set Up

Do you think about playing chess, or have you just started playing the game? If the answer is a YES, you should know how to set up the chess board.
Do you know how to do it?

No need to get confused about where to place the rooks or the knights. We're here at the rescue. This blog will guide you through everything, from the proper orientation of the chess board to the correct placement of each piece.

Laying up the chess board

To set up the chess pieces correctly for both players, it is essential to lay the chess board in the proper orientation.

What's that?

The light-coloured square should be on the right-hand side of each player. An easy way to remember this is - 'light is always on the right.'

Placement of the Chess Board

If your wooden chess board or the plastic one has numbers on it, you can remember it; this way, the numbers will always be in front of both players.

The Different Pieces in the Game Chess

For newbies who love to watch their idols make strategic moves on the wooden chess board and wish to play some serious chess, it is essential to understand the different pieces involved in the game that are usually distinguished by their appearance. 

There are 32 chess pieces divided between the two players (16 each). Among these 32 chess pieces, or chessmen as referred to by many, there are six different types, which are as follows -

1 King

Relative Value on the board: It is the most valued piece on the board. The game ends if it is checkmated. You can move the King one square at a time in any direction - horizontally, vertically, and diagonally.

1 Queen

Relative Value on the board: It combines the movement of rooks and bishops, allowing it to move horizontally, vertically, and even diagonally, making it the most powerful chess piece on the board.

2 Rooks

Relative Value on the board: It is another powerful piece that can move horizontally and vertically through unoccupied squares.

2 Knights

Relative Value on the board: The knights in chess boast a unique ability to move. You can move a knight in L-shape (2 squares in the same direction and then 1 perpendicular)

2 Bishops

Relative Value on the board: A bishop moves diagonally on the board.(The bishop moves diagonally, one on black square and other one on white square covering unlimited squares in any direction)

8 Pawns

Relative Value on the board: A pawn has limited movement ability on the chess board. It can move one square at a time and capture diagonally. (moves 2 squares in its first move.)

Do you have a better understanding of the chess pieces now? Let's set up the chess board. Whether you have a wooden chess board or one made from any other material, the set-up stays the same.

Placing Chess Pieces on The Board


Rook Placement on Chess Board

Set the rooks up in the board's corners. Since Rooks may control whole files (vertical columns) and support one another along ranks (horizontal rows), these corners provide them with a secure starting position. First, they want to make an impact along the board's perimeter.


King Placement on Chess Board

Place the Knights in line with the Rooks. Knights can move freely towards the centre or assist with other pieces if positioned close to the corners. They help dominate important squares early in the game because of their unusual L-shaped mobility, which enables unexpected jumps over other pieces.


Bishop Placement on Chess Board

Align the Bishops in a stance next to the Knights. Bishops can control diagonals from the sides by positioning them here. They can influence movement towards the centre or aid in the direction of other pieces along diagonals, which helps to dominate the board as a whole.


Queen Placement on Chess Board

Place the Queen on the last square in the centre that corresponds to her colour. The Queen has excellent power since it occupies this middle square, allowing her to travel along ranks, files, and diagonals in any direction. She possesses flexibility and strength throughout the opening period because of its central location.


King Placement on Chess Board

Place the King on the final central square of its available colour. The King is initially somewhat protected by this centre placement, which also permits the possibility of castling—a calculated move that both moves the King to a more secure location and activates the Rook at the same time.


Pawn Placement on Chess Board

As the first line of defence, arrange the Pawns before the larger pieces. Pawns are essential to dominate the centre and make room for other pieces. Their starting position establishes the pawn structure, which may significantly impact the dynamics of the game as it goes on.

Is there any other way to remember to set up the chess pieces on the board?
There is. Chess Boards with Notations

Chess Boards with Notations

You must have seen wooden or tournament chess boards with numbers and alphabets, called notations.

These notations help identify the different squares on the board and thus make it easier for you to remember the placement of other chess pieces.

Important Things to Know About Chess Board Notations

Letters from a to h represent the different columns on the chess board.
Numbers from 1 to 8 represent the different rows on the chessboard.

Below is how you can use notations to set up the chess pieces.


White Rooks: Ra1, Rh1
Black Rooks: Ra8, Rh8


White Knights: Nb1, Ng1
Black Knights: Nb8, Ng8


White Bishops: Bc1, Bf1
Black Bishops: Bc8, Bf8


White Queen: Qd1
Black Queen: Qd8


White King: Ke1
Black King: Ke8


White Pawns: a2, b2, c2, d2, e2, f2, g2, h2
Black Pawns: a7, b7, c7, d7, e7, f7, g7, h7

Related Reading: Comprehensive Guide on How to Read & Write Chess Games Easily with a Chess Score Sheet

Do I need to buy a chess board with notations?

These notations assist you in recalling the setting, particularly if you're studying chess games or position analysis. Comprehending chess notation to record games and communicate movements is also necessary. Being comfortable with notes becomes second nature as you advance in your chess journey and greatly facilitates studying and playing the game.

So, tournament chess boards or wooden chess boards with notations are an excellent option for those who wish to conquer significant achievements in the game. For those who want to play chess just because they love strategizing and implementing new moves, there are various types of chess boards available to buy - vinyl chess boards, marble chess boards, magnetic chess boards, and much more.

When you have learned how to set up the chess pieces on the board and are ready to play the game, why not explore some of the best deals available on chess boards and chess pieces?

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Don't forget to explore our guide help picking the right wooden chess board, if you are buying board for the first time.

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