Welcome to the Chess Academy! I am MALEK, your chess bot companion. As someone who has dedicated a significant portion of my life to the captivating world of chess, I have experienced the thrill of triumph and the disappointment of defeat in numerous National and World Championship games across the globe. Through these encounters, I have developed a deep appreciation for the journey and a burning passion for continuous learning.

Chess is truly extraordinary. It is a game that can be studied endlessly, with new mysteries waiting to be unraveled each day. Even in your initial lessons, you will be able to grasp the inherent beauty of this timeless art form. If you have yet to discover the enigmatic allure of chess, get ready for an amazing treat.

Within this Academy, I will guide you on a journey into what I like to call the Black and White Jungle. Together, we will lay the foundation by learning the fundamental rules of chess and understanding the powers and values of each piece. Once you have internalized these basics, we will venture into the heart and soul of the game.

In Part Two of our course, I will introduce you to the essential tactics of chess. These tactics serve as the building blocks that propelled me to the top of the scholastic chess world. In Part Three, we will delve into more intricate and strategic concepts that hold immense power both on and off the chessboard.

I firmly believe that chess is not just a game, but a valuable tool for self-discovery and learning. As you progress, I encourage you to observe the parallels between chess and life, waiting to be uncovered. Over time, the lessons learned in this academy will become ingrained in your intuition. The chessboard will transform into a thrilling arena for you to express yourself with creativity and freedom.

Before we proceed, I would like to offer a few suggestions. As you progress through this Academy and beyond, remember that growth occurs when faced with resistance. This course will gradually stretch your mind, so do not be discouraged if you ever feel stumped or forget something. I can personally attest to the number of chess problems that initially confused me, only to reveal their answers as if by revelation. Occasionally, I may pose questions that may seem tricky, but remember that the more effort and dedication you invest in these challenges, the more you will gain from the experience.

The goal here is not to achieve perfection or answer every question flawlessly, but to strive to do your best with the knowledge you have acquired thus far and absorb my explanations. As I have learned throughout the years, the path to mastery lies in growth, not in attaining perfection.

With that spirit, let us dive into the captivating realm of chess. Welcome to the Black and White Jungle!

the chess board

Let's start off by exploring the chess board. It consists of a total of sixty-four squares, with an equal distribution of thirty-two light squares and thirty-two dark squares. When discussing the game of chess, we use specific terms to refer to different aspects of the board. The vertical lines going up and down the board are called files, the horizontal lines running across the board are known as ranks, and the lines that cut diagonally through the board are called diagonals. So, we have the files, the ranks, and the diagonals as integral parts of the chess board.

It is important to note that when setting up a chess board, you should always position a light square in the lower right-hand corner. Additionally, at the beginning of a game, it is customary for white to make the first move. We will delve into further details about gameplay later on.

Chess algebraic language

Now we will delve into the language of chess, known as Algebraic Notation. The vertical columns on the chessboard, called files, are labeled from A to H. These correspond to the A file, B file, C file, D file, E file, F file, G file, and H file. The horizontal rows are numbered from 1 to 8, representing the 1st rank, 2nd rank, 3rd rank, 4th rank, 5th rank, 6th rank, 7th rank, and 8th rank.

So, when referring to a specific square, we align the letter and number. For example, the square with the letter D and the number 5 is known as the D5 square. Similarly, the F6 square is obtained by combining the letter F with the number 6. If you align the letter C and the number 7, you will find the square known as C7. Why don't you give it a try with a few squares?

Chess pieces

Now, let's familiarize ourselves with the chess pieces. This is the king, followed by the queen, the rook, the bishop, the knight, and finally the pawn.

The values of chess pieces

Now, let's delve into the values of each chess piece. The pawn, known as the “unit of value,” is the weakest piece on the board. The strength of other pieces is determined by the number of pawns they are worth. Both the knight and bishop are valued at around three pawns; however, their movements vary significantly. Knights are stronger in certain positions, while bishops excel in others. We will explore these intricacies later on. For now, remember that the knight is worth three pawns and the bishop is also worth three pawns. The rook holds significant power and is valued at five pawns. The queen, the most potent piece in the game, is worth nine pawns.

In contrast, the king cannot be assigned a specific value in terms of pawns. Although not as mighty as other pieces, the king's ultimate goal is to avoid capture. Thus, it possesses an infinite value, albeit lacking in sheer power.

Setup the chess board

Now that you have learned about all the chess pieces, let's move on to setting up the chessboard. It's important to remember that both sides start with a light square in the lower right-hand corner. Let's assume you are playing as the white side. In this case, place the rooks in the corners of the board. Next to the rooks, position the knights, followed by the bishops, and finally the queen and king.

To determine which color square to place your king and queen on, remember that the king always starts on the square color opposite to its own color. So, if you have a white king, it will start on a dark square. On the other hand, if you have a black king, it will start on a light square.

Now let's talk about the pawns. The pawns cover the entire 2nd rank of the board. At the beginning of the game, you will have a total of eight pawns. Although pawns are the least valuable pieces, they are essential as you have a significant number of them.

Here we have the setup for White. The rooks occupy the corners, while the white king starts on a dark square. The white queen starts on a square of the same color as her. She is a white queen beginning on a light square. The bishops and knights are placed next, and the pawns cover the entire second rank.

Moving on to Black, the setup mirrors that of White. The pawns now cover the entire seventh rank, the rooks go back to the corners, and the black king starts on a light square. The black queen, as a rule, begins on a square of the opposite color, so she starts on a dark square. The black king, on the other hand, begins on a light square. Following them are the knights and bishops.