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[ Chess Game Rules ]

Keyword Query: Chess Game Rules
You want to learn how to play Chess properly, abiding by the Rules of the game.

What you've got here are four options, depending on how much detail you want to get into. We'll cover what's in each resource and then provide easy access to them, via our Recommended Links, which can be found towards the bottom of this page.

We start with the least 'brain-taxing' selection of Rules, which you'll find from our Beginners Chess Guide and work our way towards the 'daddy' (FIDE's Actual Handbook) ...

1. Beginners Chess Guide - Basic Chess Rules

Overview: Interpreted from FIDE's Laws of Chess; cut-down to the bare minimum needed to get you playing quickly.

When you're a beginner, you just want to get playing as quickly as possible. You know you need to learn the Rules and so you seek out the official Laws of the game ...

You come across FIDE, click to view their Actual Handbook and find there are, what appear to be tons and tons of little rules and regulations. Some might give up and this point and that'd be a pity.

To combat this potential 'brain overload', our Basic Chess Rules article, in our Beginners Chess Guide area, draws out the bare-bones of what you need to know.

These chess game rules are split up into eight bite-sized segments:

  1. Movement ... also includes Capturing material;
  2. Castling ... a special move involving Rooks & Kings;
  3. En Passant ... a special Capturing maneuver involving Pawns;
  4. Pawn Promotion ... a special event involving Pawns;
  5. Check & Checkmate ... important rules for the King;
  6. Draws ... also known as Stalemate;
  7. Resigning ... should you have messed up your game;
  8. Competition Rules ... just picked two points you should know.

2. Chess Glossary Article - Official Chess Rules

Overview: Interpreted from FIDE's Laws of Chess; includes far more detailed set of chess game rules, than our Beginners Chess Guide article.

Should you want a lot more detailed Rules, yet still don't want to graft your way through ALL of FIDE's Laws of Chess, then you'll want to head over to our Official Chess Rules article, which can usually be accessed via our Chess Glossary.

With this selection of chess game Rules, we've laid out all 13 Sections, from FIDE's Laws of Chess, rewording the key points, for extra clarity.

For a list of the 13 sections of FIDE's Laws of Chess, read on ...

3. World Chess Federation (FIDE) - Laws of Chess

Overview: The 'official' Laws, compiled and maintained by FIDE.

This collection of chess game Rules includes all the official Rules for playing the game.

The full list of 13 Articles, covered in FIDE's Laws of Chess, are as follows:


  • Article 1: The nature and objectives of the game of chess
  • Article 2: The initial position of the pieces on the chessboard
  • Article 3: The moves of the pieces
  • Article 4: The act of moving the pieces
  • Article 5: The completion of the game


  • Article 6: The chess clock
  • Article 7: Irregularities
  • Article 8: The recording of the moves
  • Article 9: The drawn game
  • Article 10: Quickplay Finish
  • Article 11: Points
  • Article 12: The conduct of the players
  • Article 13: The role of the Arbiter
  • Article 14: FIDE

It's important to note that the Competition Rules, listed above, are general Rules. They do not include guidelines/regulations for specific Competitions, such as Chess Olympiads, Junior Individual Championships, the Cycle for the Individual World Championship, etc.

If you do need to know the Regulations for Specific Competitions, you'll need to refer to the index page of FIDE's 'Actual Handbook' ...

4. World Chess Federation (FIDE) - Actual Handbook

Overview: EVERYTHING - every Law and Regulation for playing Chess, both leisurely and professionally.

This is IT. If you wanted to check up on every single Law ever created by the World Chess Federation, then FIDE's Actual Handbook is your Chess Bible of choice - and no one had to get nailed to anything, for the privilege. Talk about miracles, eh?

FIDE's Actual Handbook is more than just a collection of chess game Rules ...

FIDE's Laws of Chess, as mentioned above, is but one tiny aspect of regulatory control that have had to be applied to what has become a huge global business, as well as a professional sport (Chess is recognized by the International Olympic Committee).

Wherever there's big money at stake, there's lots of legally-orientated Rules and Regulations to be found.

The sections of FIDE's Actual Handbook, are as follows:

  • A. Administrative Subjects ...
    This covers stuff like Financial Regulations; Elections (of FIDE officials, such as Committee Members); Honours and Awards; and FIDE's Code of Ethics, among other subjects.

  • B. Permanent Commissions ...
    This is to do with the Regulation of FIDE Ratings, as well as the awarding and regulation of Titles (e.g. 'Grandmaster', 'International Master', 'Women's Grandmaster', etc.).

  • C. General Rules and Recommendations for Tournaments ...
    Anything you need to know about Tournament situations, you come here. It includes Organization of Top-level Tournaments (think 'Garry Kasparov' level); Standards of Chess Equipment; and FIDE Tournament Rules, among others.

  • D. Regulations for Specific Competitions ...
    This includes the Cycle for the Individual World Championship; Chess Olympiad; Junior Individual Championships; Asian Women's Championship; World Blitz Championships; and other specific competitions.

  • E. Miscellaneous ...
    You'll find the standard chess game Rules in this section, which FIDE refer to as their Laws of Chess. From here, you'll also be able to explore the regulations regarding Handicapped Players (physical disabilities, such as those registered blind); and Regulations for Play with Computers.

  • F. Administration ...
    Boycotts, Resolutions, and the Date Limit for Age in Junior Tournaments, are all explained in this section.

So, there you have it - whether you want to stick with learning the basic chess game Rules, or you need more specific Rules and Regulations, from FIDE, you can access all from the following Recommended Links ...

Recommended Links:

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