For tournament players, setting up a chess board feels like second nature - though you'd be surprised to find out that even experienced players occasionally make errors that need to be corrected. For new players, mistakes are common, and starting a new game of chess with the wrong position can slow the learning process if you're trying to become a stronger player. Here are a few quick tips that can help you make sure you're setting up your chess board properly!
White on Right
When each player looks at their side of the board, there should be a white (or light-colored) square in the right hand corner of the board. While this alone doesn't make a huge difference in the way the game is played, it's a standardized rule that makes sure the other rules we'll discuss below always result in the same starting position. Remember the rule - "white on right!"
Kings and Queens
Assuming you followed the above rule, this part is easy. Make sure the queen is on the square of its own color: this means that the White queen should be on a light square, while the Black queen should be on a dark square. This should result in the two queens directly opposing each other across the board. Many games between beginners start with one player's king and queen reversed, which can completely alter the strategy of the game!
Bishops and Knights
Finally, another mistake that's common for beginners is to reverse the positions of the bishops and knights. Remember, bishops should be placed next to the king and queen, with the knights placed between the bishops and the rooks. Reversing these pieces again changes the tactics and strategies of the opening completely, so having them in their proper places is critical to learning from your chess games.