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Chess Rules, OK ...


Rules of the game ..... updated 1 January 2023


ALEX McFARLANE and LARA BARNES - Two of the country's most respected chess arbiters whose duties have taken them all around the World.


Arbiting can be another way to gain enjoyment from being involved with chess.


Further details can be gained via the link to the "Chess Arbiters' Association" on this page.

16 April 2021


It appears that long-serving and well-respected International arbiter from north of the border Alex McFarlane is no longer keen on having his own Scottish Independence (as well as finally realising that his best move was to have Lara promoted to a Queen) as after 17 years of togetherness while observing many other pairs of people coming together - if only across a chess board -  he and fellow International arbiter Lara Barnes (both pictured above) have achieved their own checkmate.


3Cs wish to send Lara and Alex the best wishes of everyone at our club while further information on their "end game" can be seen via the following link ...


Chess Arbiters' Association website ...


The 2021 FIDE Arbiters' Manual ...

Fair Play ...

The boom of online chess due to the Covid health crisis has seen many players being able to take part in events from the comfort on their own house ... yet that also means there is nobody there to ensure they are playing in the right spirit and not receiving any outside assistance, either from another person or via an electronic device.


Some people have been suspended or banned from competitions because of such actions and so the English Chess Federation have issued Fair Play and Anti-Cheating guidelines with regard to such instances. Click this link for details ..



To further enchance the correct spirit in which we hope all at 3Cs play the game, the following three links are reproduced courtesy of Huddersfield Rugby League club, who published the articles to teach their junior supporters that to win by cheating is certainly not the best way to achieve success, either at sport or in life.


The three links can be downloaded and then be studied by scrolling down the pages.




The following link also provides information regarding how to try and prevent cheating during online chess matches ... 

Take Note ...

Although most chess moves throughout a game are similar (ie A Knight always a 1-2 or 2-1; A Rook always in a straight line, etc), occasionally there are some instances which don't conform with how the pieces involved are usually otherwise moved.



Ask many people what move a pawn can make and they will say one square forward. Yet chess players will know that is not 100% correct - to capture any of their opponent's material a pawn has to do so diagonally while for it's very first move a pawn can advance either one or two squares forward.




A pawn is also responsible for another uncommon occurance during a game of chess - that of "En Passant".


To try and simplify the explanation of this process; if, for example, on it's first move of the game, a white pawn is advanced by two squares forward so that it is placed next to a black pawn, that black pawn then has the opportunity (ie not compulsory) to take the white pawn in the same way as if it had been advanced just one square. ie: The black pawn takes it's opponent "in passing" (en passant) the square on which the white pawn had been placed.  The black pawn will then be on the square immediately diagonal to where it was when white made their previous move.


"En Passant" can only be played on the very next move after the opponent's pawn has advanced the two squares. If not, the opportunity is missed. 




Again, ask many people what move a King can make and they will usually say one square in any direction - however, once again that is not totally correct.


On just one occasion during a game a King can move two squares (although not compulsory) but only on it's first move of the game. The King can be moved two squares either side of its starting position and in a move in tandem with either Rook (providing it also has not previously moved during the game) which itself is then placed next to the King but on the other side of it.  This is known as Castling.

Below are the standard symbols used when notating a game of chess ...

These are the symbols for each piece on the chess board ...


     K   =   KING

     Q   =   QUEEN

     B   =   BISHOP

     N   =   KNIGHT

     R   =   ROOK

     P   =   PAWN


Notation for indicating a move has taken place is written as ...


1st ....  THE PIECE MOVED   (As a capital letter)

2nd ...  THE FILE LETTER IT HAS MOVED TO  (As a small letter)



ie: A Rook moving to b7 is noted as Rb7

R = Rook    b = File letter    7 = Rank number


If the Rook is capturing a piece on b7 it is noted as Rxb7

R = Rook     x = Capture     b = File letter    7 = Rank number


However, if it was possible for both Rooks to move to b7 then it will be required to show which Rook moved by also notating the square it came FROM.


ie: If one Rook was on b3 and the other Rook on g7, with the one on b3 having made the move, it would be notated as Rb3-b7.

The chess board shown on the left is how the pieces are set up before the start of a game  (White on rows 1 and 2)


The chess board on the right indicates the reference to each square for when notating or discussing a particular move.


The letters shown are the "Files" (ie: Vertical)


The numbers shown are the "Ranks" (ie: Horizontal)


Each square on the board has its own rank and file number   (ie: The square on the fourth column along from the left and the third row down from the top is "d6")


(NB - When indicating a square, the letter always goes before the number).


Also note when starting a game that the bottom right-hand square (h1) is always white  (ie WHITE IS RIGHT !)

Notation for Pawn moves


Whenever a pawn moves it is only required to notate the square which it has gone to and NOT show a "p" before it.


ie: If a pawn moves to "b7" the notation would just show "b7"

Chess board

Pawn Promotion


If a pawn reaches the far end of the board it is replaced by any higher-valued piece of its own colour except a King.


If, for example, a pawn reached f8 and was replaced with a Queen, the notation would be ... f8 = Q

Click on this link for a comprehensive guide to chess notation

These symbols record the result of a game


    #      =  CHECKMATE

  1 - 0   =  BLACK RESIGNS  (ie White Wins)

  0 - 1   =  WHITE RESIGNS  (ie Black Wins)

   1/2    =  DRAW

These are the symbols for whenever certain moves are made during a game ...







These are the symbols which can be written during a game but just for a player's own personal use when analysing it later ...


  !!     =   BRILLIANT MOVE

  !      =   GOOD MOVE

  ?     =   BAD MOVE



Moving in mysterious ways ....

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