Chess piece

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The six different chess pieces: king, queen, bishop, rook, knight and pawn
Chess pieces in Staunton design

In the game of chess , both players each use a set of 16 pieces , which are called chess pieces . The two sentences are similar and only differ in their respective color. The colors are referred to as white and black , even if this is usually not literally true. For example, the "white" figures are often made of light wood and the "black" ones are made of dark wood .

The 16 chess pieces of a party are the king , the queen , two rooks , two bishops , two knights and eight pawns . This composition is a symbol of the court and army of traditional kingdoms . Because of the pawn promotion , additional pieces may be necessary in the course of a game (but rarely). A few sets of figures therefore contain a second lady in each color.

Both in the colloquial sense and in the official usage of the FIDE rules, the word figure refers to all chess pieces. In the traditional language of German-speaking chess players, however , the designation figure does not include the pawns, as these are fundamentally different from the other pieces. However, the term is often further restricted to the minor figures ; thus “winning figures” means conquering a bishop or jumper.

Train wise

The individual pieces differ in the way they move. In the case of the five figures (in the traditional German sense), these are always rotational and mirror-symmetrical (“in all directions”) and there is no difference between pure movement and pulling. On the other hand, pawns can only move "forward" (in the direction of the opposing camp) and strike forward diagonally.

“Straight” means horizontal and vertical, “oblique” parallel to a diagonal .

Figure name number Movement pattern Exchange value in pawn units (approx.) Starting fields (white) Starting fields (black)
Chess tile kl.svg
1 a square straight or diagonal ; when castling two squares sideways towards the rook e1 e8
Chess tile ql.svg
1 straight or diagonal, as long as there is no piece between the start and end fields 9 d1 d8
Chess tile rl.svg
2 straight, as long as there is no piece between the start and end fields; in castling, jump onto the square crossed by the king 5 a1, h1 a8, h8
Chess tile bl.svg
2 diagonally, as long as there is no piece between the start and end fields 3 c1, f1 c8, f8
Chess tile nl.svg
2 two fields straight, then one field perpendicular to it; see also Rösselsprung . The jumper can jump over his own or opposing pieces. 3 b1, g1 b8, g8
Chess tile pl.svg
8th Move: one space straight forward, optionally two with the first move.
Hit: one square forward. Special case: en passant .
1 a2, b2, c2,…, g2, h2 a7, b7, c7,…, g7, h7
  a b c d e f G H  
8th Chess rdt45.svg Chess ndt45.svg Chess bdt45.svg Chess qdt45.svg Chess kdt45.svg Chess bdt45.svg Chess ndt45.svg Chess rdt45.svg 8th
7th Chess pdt45.svg Chess pdt45.svg Chess pdt45.svg Chess pdt45.svg Chess pdt45.svg Chess pdt45.svg Chess pdt45.svg Chess pdt45.svg 7th
6th Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg 6th
5 Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg 5
4th Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg 4th
3 Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg Chess --t45.svg 3
2 Chess plt45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess plt45.svg Chess plt45.svg 2
1 Chess rlt45.svg Chess nlt45.svg Chess blt45.svg Chess qlt45.svg Chess klt45.svg Chess blt45.svg Chess nlt45.svg Chess rlt45.svg 1
  a b c d e f G H  

initial position

Template: checkerboard / maintenance / new

When setting up the stones, the rule is that the lady comes to stand on a field of her color (“The lady loves her color”). Especially if there is no lettering, pay attention to the 90 ° orientation of the game board so that there is a white field in the front right corner.

Exchange value

In older chess literature and in game analyzes, all pieces except for pawns and kings are often referred to as officers . A distinction is made between:

  • Heavy pieces - queen and rooks - which can checkmate the opposing king alone with their king, if no other pieces remain on the board, and
  • Light pieces - jumpers and bishops - who cannot checkmate without the support of other pieces.

In order to be able to compare the balance of power on both sides, the value that the pieces have according to experience is given in so-called pawn units . The approximate values ​​are:

  • Knight : three pawns,
  • Bishop : three pawns,
  • Rook : five pawns,
  • Queen : nine pawns.

Since the king cannot be beaten, he has no exchange value.

However, the value of a piece always depends on its current position. For chess programs in particular , it is therefore necessary to specify and adapt these values.


The figure shape commonly used today, called Staunton figures , was designed by Nathaniel Cook in 1849 . It was promoted by the then leading player Howard Staunton and subsequently got his name. In 1924 it was taken over by the World Chess Federation ( FIDE ) when it was founded. The design impresses with its clarity, restrained symbolism and its practicality. The worldwide success of these figures in the 20th century is due to their massiveness and uncomplicated production. The figures proposed in Germany from 1934 in the federal form design, again more simply designed and easier to manufacture, have not caught on internationally.

Bauhaus chess game

Historically, the appearance of the chess pieces reflects their cultural and social background more than it translates the rules of the game into its form. One famous historical design is represented by the Lewis chess pieces , believed to have been made in Norway in the 12th century.

Josef Hartwig (1880–1956) created a more abstract and symbolic form of the rules of movement with his figure design for the so-called Bauhaus chess game from 1923. The design, modified in 1924, is based on the basic forms of cube and ball .

Figure designations

Since the figure designations depend on the national language, figure symbols (figurine notation) are preferred in international publications. The names of the figures represent a feudal state around a royal couple in many languages. In some languages ​​they are understood as figures of an army (without a couple).

king lady tower runner Jumper Farmer
Figurine Chess tile kl.svg Chess tile ql.svg Chess tile rl.svg Chess tile bl.svg Chess tile nl.svg Chess tile pl.svg
Unicode ♔ ♚ ♕ ♛ ♖ ♜ ♗ ♝ ♘ ♞ ♙ ♟
Arabic / العربية ملك (malek)
وزير (wazīr)
قلعة (qalaʿa)
فيل (fīl)
حصان (husān)
جندي (jundī)
Bosnian K - kralj D - dama T - great L - lovac S - skakač pješak
Bulgarian Ц Цар (Tsar) Д Дама (Dama) Т Топ (top) О Офицер (Ofizer) К Кон (Kon) П Пешка (Peschka)
Danish K conge D Dronning T Tårn L Løber S jumper Bonde
German K king D lady T tower Runner S jumper Farmer
English &
international notation
K King
Q Queen
R rook
phon. from "Ruch" (personal chariot )
B Bishop
N Knight
(originally) foot soldier
Esperanto R Reĝo D Damo T Turo K couriero Ĉ Ĉevalo Peono
Estonian K Kuningas L lip V Vanker O Oda R Ratsu Ettur
Finnish K Kuningas D Kuningatar or Daami T Torni L Lähetti R Ratsu or Hevonen Sotilas
French R Roi
D lady
T tour
C Cavalier
Greek Ρ Βασιλιάς (Basilias) Β Βασίλισσα (Basilissa) Π Πύργος (Pyrgos) Α Αξιωματικός (axiomatikos) Ι Ίππος (Hippos) Πιόνι (Pioni)
Croatian K Kralj D dama T top L Lovac S Skakač Pješak
Indonesian R raja M menteri B benteng G gaja K kuda pion
Icelandic K Kóngur D Drottning H Hrókur B biscup R Riddari Peð
Italian R Re D Donna or Regina T Torre A Alfiere standard
C Cavallo Pedone
foot soldier
Latvian K Kungs D Dama T Tornis L Laidnis Z Zirgs Bandinieks
Macedonian K Крал D Дама T Топ L Ловец S Коњ Пешак
Dutch K Koning D lady T gates L Loper P pair Pion
Norwegian K conge D Dronning T Tårn L Løper S jumper Bonde
Low German K king D daam T toorn L Löper P peerd Buer
Persian / فارسی شاه (shāh)
وزیر (wazir)
رخ (ruch)
فیل (fil)
اسب (asb)
سرباز (sarbāz)
Polish K Król H Hetman W Wieża G Goniec S Skoczek Pion
Portuguese R Rei D Dama or Rainha T Torre B Bispo C Cavalo Peão
Romanian R Rege D Damă or Regină T turn N Nebun C Cal Pion
Russian Кр Король (Kr Korol ')
Ф Ферзь (F Fers')
Л Ладья (L Ladja)
С Слон (S Slon)
К Конь (K Kon ')
Пешка (Peschka)
foot soldier
Swedish K Kung D Dam or Drottning T Torn L Löpare S Springare Bonde
Serbian Краљ (Kralj) Краљица (Kraljica) Топ (Top) Ловац (Lovac) Скакач (Skakač) Пешак (Pešak)
Spanish R Rey
D Dama
T Torre
A Alfil
C Caballo
Peón unskilled
Czech K Král D Dáma V Věž
S Střelec
(bow) archer
J Jezdec
Turkish S Şah
V Vezir
K Kale
F Fil
A at
Hungarian K Király
V Vezér
B Bástya
bastion, tower
F Futó
H Huszár
peasant, soldier, on foot

Web links

Wiktionary: Chess piece  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Chess Pieces  - Collection of images, videos and audio files