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The Rules of Chess

Learn everything you need to know to start playing the game of chess. How to set up a chessboard, how the pieces move, check, checkmate, castling and more - if you need to know how to play chess, start here.

Types of Draws in Chess
There are many different ways for a game of chess to end in a draw.

The Rules of Chess: A Quick Guide on How to Play Chess
A quick guide to the rules of chess, with links to more detailed information on chess rules.

How to Play Chess
A complete guide on how to play chess, including the basic rules of chess.

How to Set Up a Chess Board
How to correctly place the board and pieces at the start of a chess game.

Illustrated Guide to the Chess Pieces
The first step towards playing chess is learning how each piece moves. Each of the six pieces moves differently, and this guide will help you understand how to use each one.

Check, Checkmate and Stalemate
While many beginners may confuse them because they look similar at first glance, check, checkmate and stalemate are very different situations. It is important to be able to identify each and understand what they mean.

Special Rules: Castling, Promotion and En Passant
A quick guide to the chess rules that cause new players the most trouble: castling, promotion and en passant.

Basic Rules of Tournament Chess
Tournament chess is governed by a myriad of rules and regulations which go far beyond the basic rules of chess. Some of the most important rules are detailed here.

Time Controls
Learn how time controls work in tournament play, from multiple time controls to time delay and increment.

Insufficient Losing Chances
Learn how the insufficient losing chances rule could impact the end of one of your chess games.

What is the Swiss System?
What does it mean when a tournament is advertised as using the Swiss system?

The Development of Modern Chess Rules
Chess rules haven't always been identical to their modern form.

Sonneborn-Berger Tiebreaks
This tiebreak system is often used to resolve ties in round-robin tournaments.

Why is Stalemate a Draw?
Should stalemate count as a draw or a win?

Draw Etiquette
If you're going to offer your opponent a draw, make sure to do so within the bounds of chess etiquette.

Does the Draw Offer Need to Go?
Has the time come to eliminate draw offers in chess?

When to Resign
Learn how to determine when it is the right time to resign a chess game.

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