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Outline of chess

Starting position of a game of chess

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to chess:

Chess - two-player board game played on a chessboard (a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid). In a chess game, each player begins with sixteen pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent's king, whereby the king is under immediate attack (in "check") and there is no way to remove or defend it from attack.

Nature of chess

Chess can be described as all of the following:

Chess equipment

Essential equipment

A Staunton chess set

Specialized equipment

Digital game clock

Rules of chess

Rules of chess - rules governing the play of the game of chess.

Initial set up


How each piece moves

End of the game

Competition rules and other features

Minor variants


General situations

Pawn structure

Pawn structure - describes features of the positions of the pawns. Pawn structure may be used for tactical or strategic effect, or both.

Chess tactics

Chess tactics - a chess tactic is a move or sequence of moves which may result in tangible gain or limits the opponent's options. Tactics are usually contrasted with strategy, in which advantages take longer to be realized, and the opponent is less constrained in responding.

Fundamental tactics

Fundamental tactics include:

Offensive tactics

Checkmate patterns

Checkmate pattern - a particular checkmate. Some checkmate patterns occur sufficiently frequently, or are otherwise of such interest to scholars, that they have acquired specific names in chess commentary. Here are some of the most notorious:

Defensive tactics

Possible responses to an attack

Chess strategy

Chess strategy - aspect of chess playing concerned with evaluation of chess positions and setting of goals and long-term plans for future play. While evaluating a position strategically, a player must take into account such factors as the relative value of the pieces on the board, pawn structure, king safety, position of pieces, and control of key squares and groups of squares (e.g. diagonals, open files, individual squares).

Schools of chess

School of chess - group of players that share common ideas about the strategy of the game. There have been several schools in the history of modern chess. Today there is less dependence on schools - players draw on many sources and play according to their personal style.

Game phases

  1. Chess opening - first phase of the game, where pieces are developed before the main battle begins.
  2. Chess middlegame - second phase of the game, usually where the main battle is. Many games end in the middlegame.
  3. Chess endgame - third and final phase of the game, where there are only a few pieces left.

Chess openings

Chess opening - group of initial moves of a chess game. Recognized sequences of opening moves are referred to as openings as finished by White or defenses, as finished by Black, but opening is also used as the general term.

e4 Openings
King's Knight Openings

King's Knight Opening -

Sicilian Defense

Sicilian Defence -

Other e4 opening variations
d4 Openings
Queen's Gambit Openings
Indian Defense

Indian Defence -

Other d4 opening variations
Flank openings
Irregular Openings
Openings including a trap


Endgame - phase of the game after the middlegame when there are few pieces left on the board

Venues (who and where to play)

Chess clubs

Online chess

Correspondence chess

Competitive chess


Chess title

Computer chess

Computer chess -

History of chess

Famous games

History of chess, by period

Timeline of chess

Years in chess

Chess players

Science of chess

Psychology and chess

Chess programming

Chess theory

Chess theory

Chess in culture

Chess media

Chess video games

Chess books


Chess in popular media

Chess organizations

Some influential chess persons

Chess variants

Chess variant - games similar to chess but with different rules or pieces.

Variants with a different starting position

Variants with different forces

Variants with a different board

Variants with unusual rules

Variants with incomplete information and elements of chance

Multimove variants

Multiplayer variants

Variants with unusual pieces

Variants with bishop+knight and rook+knight compounds

Games inspired by chess

Historical variants

Xiangqi and variants

Shogi and variants

Other national variants

Chess combined with other sports and pastimes

Chess variants software

Fictional variants

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