How Does The Rook Move in Chess?

Chess Pieces Movement
How Rooks Move

This article might possibly contain affiliate links. If you decide to click on any of these links and make a purchase, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.

The rook moves vertically and horizontally on the chess board.

You can view it as moving in a plus (+) manner.

How Rooks Move

From the image above, we can see that the White rook on d4 square can move to any other square on the fourth rank or on the d-file.

Rook Placement On The Chessboard

The White rooks start on a1 and h1 squares, while the Black rooks start on the a8 and h8 squares.

Screenshot 2023 11 21 at 18.33.26
Placement of rooks on the chessboard

Know that the rook may capture an enemy piece by moving to the square on which the enemy piece occupies, taking away the enemy piece and firmly planting itself there.

The rook also combines with the king to perform a technique called Castling. Castling is a special move where a player moves his king two squares on the board toward a rook on the same rank and moves the rook to the king’s other side.

Read more here:

Now, understand that the rook cannot jump over pieces; only the knights possess such ability.

Value Of Rooks In Chess 

The rook is worth 5 points. 

In general, rooks are stronger than bishops or knights. Bishops and knights also known as minor pieces have 3 points each.

Two rooks are also generally considered worth more than a queen by 1 point (a queen is 9 points).

Winning a rook for a bishop or knight is winning the exchange, but in some instances, your opponent might deliberately exchange his rook for your minor pieces. This is a thematic move known as the exchange sacrifice.

Learn about that here: What Is the Exchange Sacrifice in Chess?

Development Of A Rook

In the opening, the rooks are very inactive as they are blocked in by other pieces and cannot immediately enter the game.

Therefore, the best course of action is to connect the rooks on the first rank by castling and then move all other pieces except the king and rooks from the first rank.

In that position, the rooks can support each other and easily move to occupy and control the best files. 

Screenshot 2023 11 21 at 18.43.33
Here’s what we mean

Rooks in The Endgame

Rooks become very powerful pieces towards the endgame. This is because they have a wider range of mobility.

They are also very effective in delivering checkmates. 

Here are some ways in which the chess rook moves to deliver checkmate:

Blind Swine Mate

The Blind Swine Mate pattern’s name is attributed to Polish master Dawid Janowski who referred to doubled rooks on a player’s 7th rank as “swine.”

Screenshot 2023 11 21 at 18.46.53
White To Play: Blind Swine Mate

In the image above, White can force checkmate with the following moves: 1. Rxg7+ Kh8 2. Rxh7+ Kg8 3. Rbg7#

Screenshot 2023 11 21 at 18.48.04
Blind Swine Mate Completed

Back-Rank Mate 

The back-rank mate occurs when a rook or queen delivers checkmate to a king blocked in by its pieces (usually pawns) on the first or eighth rank.

Screenshot 2023 11 21 at 18.51.14
Back-Rank Mate

King And Rook Checkmate 

This kind of checkmate is achieved by combining the king and rook. 

Screenshot 2023 11 21 at 18.54.00
King and Rook Checkmate

Ladder Mate

A ladder mate is done when two rooks work together to cut off an enemy king from the game and ultimately checkmate him.

Screenshot 2023 11 12 at 22.40.33
Ladder Mate

You can read more in our guides:

Was this helpful?   Share it with a friend :)
Chessforsharks Editorial Team

hello@chessforsharks.com

Our team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers and chess experts with combined 28 years of experience.

Follow ChessForSharks on social media
  • 7 reasons you lose at chess

    This is just placeholder text. It's just here to fill up space until we have real copy.

    Download
  • join the conversation

    Leave the first comment


    Work With Us

    We help chess brands create engaging and converting content
    We help innovative Chess brands and influencers create content that sparks engagement and drives revenue
    Content WritingContent PromotionContent StrategyContent Optimization

    Subscribe to our Newsletter

    Google reCaptcha: Invalid site key.

    Call to action

    You may also like...

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

    Unlock your chess potential:

    Discover the '7 Reasons You Lose Your Chess Games' in this ebook and elevate your game!

    Google reCaptcha: Invalid site key.

    No spam, ever.

    Once we have your content finalized, we’ll replace this placeholder text with your real content.

    Or Call(123) 456-7890

    Unlock your chess potential:

    Discover the '7 Reasons You Lose Your Chess Games' in this ebook and elevate your game!

    Google reCaptcha: Invalid site key.

    No spam, ever.

    Once we have your content finalized, we’ll replace this placeholder text with your real content.

    Or Call(123) 456-7890