Listing the Chess Pieces

Listing the Chess Pieces (with value, movement…)

Knowing all of the pieces is essential if you’re looking to master the game of chess.

Goal of the Game

A chess game consists of moving the pieces on the chessboard until a player secures a win by executing a checkmate on the opponent’s king.

The Chess Pieces

At the start of the game, each player has 16 white or black pieces. Chess pieces are always referred to as “white” and “black” even if they’re colored differently.

There are 6 types of pieces in chess, each player has a king, a queen, two bishops, two knights, two rooks, and eight pawns.

Here is a list of the chess pieces and how they move:

KingMoves one square horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
QueenMoves as many squares as she wants horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
BishopMoves as many squares as it wants but only in a diagonal direction.
KnightMoves in an “L” shape: can move two squares horizontally or vertically and then one perpendicular square, can also move one square horizontally or vertically and then two perpendicular squares (still an “L” shape, only turned over).
RookMoves as many squares as it wants in a horizontal or vertical direction.
PawnMoves one square forward.Can move two squares forward if it hasn’t moved yet during the game.Moves one square diagonally to capture an opponent’s piece.

Pieces That Can Leap Over Others

Generally, the knight is the only chess piece that can leap over another piece; a knight can move in an “L” shape, ignoring any piece between it and its destination.

However, during a special move called “castling”, the rook can also leap over another piece (the king).

Let’s take a look at what castling is.


Castling is a special move performed by the king and one of the two rooks.

The king moves two squares towards one of the two rooks, and at the same time, the rook moves to the opposite side of the king by leaping over him.

You can see the possible movements of the white king and rook in picture 1, they’re about to execute the castling maneuver. Then you can see in picture 2 that the king is now on the g1 square and the rook is on the f1 square, having performed the castling maneuver.

Values of the Chess Pieces

Every chess piece has the following value:

  • Pawn: 1
  • Knight: 3
  • Bishop: 3
  • Rook: 5
  • Queen: 9

The king is the only piece that has no value as it cannot be captured.