How Many Chess Pieces Are In A Set?

Boards And Pieces
Chess Pieces Arranged Comfortably In a Chess Box

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The number of chess pieces in a set is 32, and each player has 16 pieces

Chess pieces in a set include the King, Queen, Bishop, Knight, Rook, and Pawn.

There are eight pawns, two bishops, two rooks, two knights, and a King and Queen for each player

See how their names came to be.

NOTE: In most cases, you’ll notice an extra queen in a chess set. That’s because there are good chances that you may need it when promoting your pawn in chess.

Let’s examine each of these chess pieces closely:

1. The King

The king in chess
The King

The King is the most valuable piece on the board. The whole game of chess revolves around the capture of the King – also known as Checkmate.

Your opponent’s primary goal will be to capture your king. Therefore, the King must be protected at all times. 

Since the King is meant to be protected, there is a special move in chess that allows the King to hide behind the other pieces. This move is called CASTLING.

Castling is performed by moving the King two squares on the board toward a rook on the same rank and moving the rook to the King’s other side.

Read more about the King’s movements, the dos and donts, and the concept of castling:

2. The Queen

The queen in chess
The Queen

The Queen is the most powerful chess piece due to her wide range of mobility and devastating powers on the chessboard.

The Queen can move diagonally, vertically, or horizontally. 

Read more about the Queen here:

3. The Rook

The Rook in chess
The Rook

The rook was formerly called the castle.

It’s another piece on the chessboard which moves horizontally or vertically. The rook also partners with the king to perform the act of castling. 

Read more about the rook’s history, movement, and endgame prowess:

4. The Knight

The Knight in Chess
The Knight

The Knight is a chess piece that is shaped like a horse. The points worth of a knight is 3.

It moves in an “L-shape”—that is, it can move two squares in any direction vertically followed by one square horizontally, or two squares in any direction horizontally followed by one square vertically.

Read more about the Knight’s movement and checkmating ability:

5. The Bishop 

The Bishop in chess
The Bishop

The bishop is a piece that moves diagonally across the chessboard. It’s worth 3 points.

Also, each player has two bishops: the light squared bishop (that moves diagonally along the light squares) and the dark squared bishop (that moves diagonally along the dark squares).

When they are well placed, the two bishops are a very formidable weapon. 

Learn more about the bishops here:

6. The Pawn

The pawn in chess
The Pawn

The pawn is the most common and weakest piece on the chessboard. It’s worth just 1 point in chess.

The pawn can only move forward, but it has a few tricks up its sleeve. On its first move, it can move two squares forward, and after that, it can only move one square at a time.

If an enemy piece is diagonally in front of it, the pawn can capture it. Although the pawn is often considered to be of little value, it can be a game-changer.

If a pawn reaches the other side of the board, it can be promoted to any piece on the board, except for a king. This move is called Promotion.

There are also other special pawn moves like En passant. You can read more below.

Learn more about the pawns:

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