When the king is being attacked directly by an opponent's piece we say that the king is in check. In the diagram the black king is being checked by the white bishop.
If the king is in check it must be made safe immediately.
There are three ways to get out of check:
The king may move to a square which is not being attacked by an enemy piece.
In the diagram below, the king has moved away.
A piece may be moved in between the king and the enemy piece to block the check.
In this diagram the black bishop blocks the check.
The piece that is attacking the king can be captured.
In the diagram below, the bishop can be captured by the black rook.
If the king is in check and cannot get out of check then we say the king is checkmated and the game is lost.
In this diagram the white queen checks the black king. Black is not able to do any of the following:
move to a square which is not being attacked by an enemy piece.
move a piece between the king and the enemy piece to block the check.
capture the attacking piece.
so Black is checkmated. As checkmate is the aim of the game, White wins the game!
You now know how all of the chess pieces move!
The player with the white pieces always goes first. To decide who should play with the white pieces, one of the players hides a black pawn in one hand and a white pawn in the other and holds out his fists. His opponent chooses a hand and if the white pawn is in that hand the opponent plays with the white pieces. If it is a black pawn the opponent plays with the black pieces. The players take it in turns to move. After the first game the players switch colours.
[ Castling ]