Stay in touch!

Never miss out on the latest articles and get sneak peeks of our favorite classes.

Chess Placement: Where Do The Chess Pieces Go?


If you’re a beginner wanting to learn more about chess, you came to the right place. This article will cover chess placement, the pieces, and how you can move them. 


Each piece has unique abilities that differ greatly from one another. Understanding chess placement and what they do can help you win faster. 


Without further ado, let’s dive into each piece and chess placement. After reading this article, you’ll have a better insight into chess pieces and how to play the game. 


You might also like: Chess: A Guide for Beginners

quotation marks

Set up the board with the light square in the bottom right corner.

Where do the King and Queen go during chess placement?

The King and Queen go in the middle of the board because they’re the strongest pieces. The white Queen stands on the white square while the white King is next to her on the black tile. Vice versa for the other side; they should face the other King and Queen in a standoff. 

What is the most powerful chess piece?

The Queen is the most powerful chess piece. She can move anywhere. That said, the King outranks her, and if your opponent calls checkmate, you lose the game, so keep an eye out for any attacks against both of these crucial pieces. 

How do chess pieces move?

Each piece has an individual move. Chess has various combinations that make the game entertaining and complex. Chess is different every time you play, depending on the movement of the Pawns, Bishops, Rooks, etc. The choices you make while battling your foe vary depending on the position of the pieces.


To start a game, you can move a pawn or a Knight since none of the other pieces can hop. After that, you dictate the strategy and how the pieces move. 


You might also like: Boost Your Chess with These Simple Tips

Chess Placement Basics

There are six pieces in chess: the King, the Queen, the Rook, the Bishop, the Knight, and the Pawn.

The King

This piece has a cross (or another distinguishable feature) to recognize it. The King isn’t too powerful, but it’s crucial to chess. You lose the game if you lose the King. Your goal is to protect this piece; the King can help others as the game progresses.


The King begins on the E1 square for the white side, and the E8 square for the black. The Kings should be facing opposite each other. The King moves one space in any direction; the only downside is this piece can’t jump over other pawns. The game is over if your opponent attacks your King and you can’t move anywhere else.

The Queen

The Queen is the strongest (and arguably the most fun) piece. The Queen is super important to win the game. The Queen uses moves akin to the Rook and Bishop. This piece can move various squares in all directions.


The Queens start in the D1 and D8 squares, respectively, and the square’s color is the same as the piece. In other words, the black Queen should be on the black tile, and the same goes for the white. 


Be careful with your Queen; losing this piece could mean a quick defeat. Have her help the Pawns, Bishops, and Knights, then consider where you could use her best to protect the King as the game continues.


You might also like: 11 Best Places to Learn Chess Online

chess placement

The Rook

The Rook is the castle, a strong and capable piece. The Rooks are in the four corners of the board. The Rook can move anywhere, up, down, and across. Similar to the King, the Rook doesn’t jump. You can’t use this piece at the beginning of the match since the Pawns and Knight block the Rook.

The Bishop

The Bishop is a minor piece in the grand spectrum of chess. That said, these pieces can move quickly and diagonally across the board. The two Bishops are next to the King and Queen. One Bishop is in a dark square, and the other is in the light. They stay in the same assigned color throughout the game. 


You must move the Pawns first to access the Bishops. Once you do, Bishops are a great way to counter the other player.

You might also like: The Undisputed Rules of Chess: How To Play Chess

The Knight

The Knight is the most recognizable piece, resembling a horse on the board. The Knight is a bit complicated for beginners due to the complex movement. You have two Knights on the board, between the Rook and Bishops. (Squares B1 and G1 for white; B8 and G8 for black). 


The Knight is the only piece that can hop over others. Think of an L shape; you can move 2 squares left, right, up, or down, and 1 extra square to the right or left of the path you initially chose. Even if other pieces surround the Knight, this piece can maneuver around them as long as another of your pieces doesn’t occupy the final destination.

The Pawn

Lastly, the Pawn is a basic and relatively weak piece. Each side starts with eight Pawns. However, pawns are still very important for the game. Every game centers around the position of the pawns. 


Pawns support the other pieces, limiting where opponents can go. You can move the first Pawn two squares at the beginning. Then, Pawns can only go forward one at a time. Pawns can only attack diagonally. If two Pawns from opposing sides are facing each other, they can’t move until one of the pieces is removed from the table. 

You might also like: 16 Best Chess Openings for White

chess placement

The Board

Set up the board with the light square in the bottom right corner. Remembering this simple trick will make the rest of the assembly easy. 

Final Thoughts on Chess Placement 

Here’s a quick way to remember how to set up the chessboard with the pieces in their appropriate spots:

  • Place the Pawns on the second row.
  • Arrange the Rooks in the corners.
  • Position the Knights next to the Rooks.
  • The Bishops go next to the Knights.
  • Put the Queen on the same color square.
  • Then, snuggle the King into the last square.

White moves first, and you’re ready to play. Hopefully, this article helped you learn more about chess placement. Chess is a complicated game that requires a lot of practice. So, if you’re still unsure, check out some of our other articles to feel more confident before you play. 

Related Content

Share this article
Back to top