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The FIDE Laws of Chess cover over-the-board play.

The English text is the authentic version of the Laws of Chess, which was adopted at the 75th FIDE Congress at Calvia (Mallorca), October 2004, coming into force on 1 July 2005.

In these Laws the words `he`, `him` and `his` include `she` and `her`.
PREFACE

The Laws of Chess cannot cover all possible situations that may arise during a game, nor can they regulate all administrative questions. Where cases are not precisely regulated by an Article of the Laws, it should be possible to reach a correct decision by studying analogous situations, which are discussed in the Laws. The Laws assume that arbiters have the necessary competence, sound judgement and absolute objectivity. Too detailed a rule might deprive the arbiter of his freedom of judgement and thus prevent him from finding the solution to a problem dictated by fairness, logic and special factors.

FIDE appeals to all chess players and federations to accept this view. A member federation is free to introduce more detailed rules provided they: a. do not conflict in any way with the official FIDE Laws of Chess b. are limited to the territory of the federation in question; and c. are not valid for any FIDE match, championship or qualifying event, or for a FIDE title or rating tournament.

BASIC RULES OF PLAY

Article 1: The nature and objectives of the game of chess

1.1 The game of chess is played between two opponents who move their pieces alternately on a square board called a `chessboard`. The player with the white pieces commences the game. A player is said to `have the move`, when his opponent`s move has been ’made’.

1.2 The objective of each player is to place the opponent`s king `under attack` in such a way that the opponent has no legal move. The player who achieves this goal is said to have `checkmated` the opponent`s king and to have won the game. Leaving one’s own king under attack, exposing one’s own king to attack and also ’capturing’ the opponent’s king are not allowed. The opponent whose king has been checkmated has lost the game.

1.3 If the position is such that neither player can possibly checkmate, the game is drawn.

Article 2: The initial position of the pieces on the chessboard

2.1 The chessboard is composed of an 8x8 grid of 64 equal squares alternately light (the `white` squares) and dark (the `black` squares). The chessboard is placed between the players in such a way that the near corner square to the right of the player is white.

2.2 At the beginning of the game one player has 16 light-coloured pieces (the `white` pieces); the other has 16 dark-coloured pieces (the `black` pieces): These pieces are as follows:

A white king, usually indicated by the symbol
A white queen, usually indicated by the symbol
Two white rooks, usually indicated by the symbol
Two white bishops, usually indicated by the symbol
Two white knights, usually indicated by the symbol
Eight white pawns, usually indicated by the symbol
A black king, usually indicated by the symbol
A black queen, usually indicated by the symbol
Two black rooks, usually indicated by the symbol
Two black bishops, usually indicated by the symbol
Two black knights, usually indicated by the symbol
Eight black pawns, usually indicated by the symbol

2.3 The initial position of the pieces on the chessboard is as follows:



2.4 The eight vertical columns of squares are called `files`. The eight horizontal rows of squares are called ranks`. A straight line of squares of the same colour, touching corner to corner, is called a `diagonal`.

Article 3: The moves of the pieces

3.1 It is not permitted to move a piece to a square occupied by a piece of the same colour. If a piece moves to a square occupied by an opponent`s piece the latter is captured and removed from the chessboard as part of the same move. A piece is said to attack an opponent`s piece if the piece could make a capture on that square according to Articles 3.2 to 3.8. A piece is considered to attack a square, even if such a piece is constrained from moving to that square because it would then leave or place the king of its own colour under attack.

3.2 The bishop may move to any square along a diagonal on which it stands.



3.3 The rook may move to any square along the file or the rank on which it stands.



3.4 The queen may move to any square along the file, the rank or a diagonal on which it stands.



3.5 When making these moves the bishop, rook or queen may not move over any intervening pieces.

3.6 The knight may move to one of the squares nearest to that on which it stands but not on the same rank, file or diagonal.