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Chris Fox's Chess Section


Chess is a board game for two players, in which six types of piece move on a square board.

The basic rules, covering the initial position, the moves of the pieces and the various endings, apply to both friendly and official games. For official games, there are also rules covering such matters as the act of moving the pieces, the use of the clock, the recording of the moves and the conduct of the players. It is in the interests of players to learn the rules; a player who unwittingly breaks a rule may only be given a warning, but a player who persistently refuses to comply with the rules forfeits the game.

Organisations organise such events as inter-club matches for teams and weekend congresses for individuals. Clubs may also organise internal competitions. Leagues and cup competitions may use the all-play-all and knockout formats respectively; but the Swiss system, which combines these two formats, is commonly used in congresses. Players who regularly play in official games receive a grade or rating, which is a measure of playing strength.

Unless the rules of a tournament say otherwise, a player scores 1 point for a win, ½ point for a draw and 0 points for a defeat.

There are alternatives to a one-to-one game over a chessboard. One is a simultaneous display, where one player plays several opponents at the same time, each on a different board. Another is a chess computer, on which pieces move on a sensory board; the computer indicates its moves using lights, and the player moves its pieces for it. A third is postal chess.


[Basic Rules] [Algebraic Notation] [The Chess Clock] [Inter-Club Matches] [Berger International Tables] [Swiss System] [Bibliography]


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