A Game of Strategy: The Chess Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
2 min
A Game of Strategy: The Chess Quiz
Image: YakobchukOlena/iStock/Thinkstock

About This Quiz

Chess takes minutes to learn and a lifetime to master — no wonder it's got so many fans! Take our quiz to see how much you know about the game, its history and its greatest moments.
What year did the game of chess originate?
600 B.C.E.
600 C.E.
Chess likely originated in northern India around 600 C.E. The earliest version of the game was known as "chaturanga" and revolved around Indian armies.
1200 C.E.

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What was the king called in the original Indian version of chess?
sultan
king
rajah
In early chess, the king was the rajah and the queen was the mantri. The game did not develop into its current form until the 15th century.

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When was the International Chess Foundation established?
15th century
The International Chess Foundation, or FIDE, dates back all the way to the 15th century, when the game took on its modern rules.
17th century
19th century

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What color should the square on the corner of the board at the player's right-hand side be?
It doesn't matter.
green
white
To set up a chessboard correctly, always start with a white square on the lower right-hand corner.

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How many squares are on a chessboard?
64
There are 64 squares on a chessboard, with 32 white or light squares and 32 dark ones.
132
256

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What are the rows on a chessboard called?
file
rank
The horizontal rows that run side-to-side on a chessboard are called ranks, and there are eight ranks on a board.
bars

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What is the correct name for the columns on a chessboard?
rows
files
The vertical columns on a chessboard are called files, and like ranks, there are a total of eight per board.
lines

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True or false: When naming a square on the board, the file always comes first.
true
Squares are identified by a letter/number combination, with the lettered files coming first followed by the numbered rank.
false

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What piece goes on the corner spaces in the row closest to each player?
bishop
knight
rook
The rook, or castle, occupies the end spots on the row closest to each player. Each player has two rooks, for a total of four per game.

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What is the maximum number of spaces that a rook can travel in one move?
one
two
eight
A rook can travel straight along any rank or file for as many spaces as the player wishes. With eight spaces in each rank or file, a rook can travel a maximum of eight spaces in single turn.

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What piece sits next to the rook when setting up the chessboard?
knight
A knight occupies the space next to each rook, for a total of four knights per game.
bishop
queen

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True or false: The knight is the only piece in chess that can jump over other pieces.
true
The knight moves three spaces at a time in an L-shape and is the only piece in the game that can jump over other pieces.
false

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Who goes first in chess?
oldest player
youngest player
player using white pieces
In chess, the player with the white pieces always has the honor of kicking off the game.

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Which direction do bishops move?
along a single rank or file
in an L-shape
diagonally
Like the rook, the bishop can move up to eight spaces in a single turn. Unlike the rook, however, the bishop moves diagonally rather than along a single rank or file.

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What color square should the white queen rest on at the start of the game?
green
white
Not sure how to arrange your king and queen? Always keep your queen on her color, so that the white queen rests on a white square, and the dark queen rests on the green or dark square.
It depends.

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What direction can the queen move in chess?
diagonally only
in a single rank or file only
anywhere she wants
A queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard and can move as many spaces as the player wishes in any direction.

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What piece must be captured to end the game?
queen
king
A game of chess ends when the king is trapped by the opponent's pieces.
all the pieces

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How many spaces can the king move in a single turn?
one
The king can move in any direction, like the queen, but can only move one square at a time.
two
eight

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How many pawns does each player have in a game?
one
eight
Each player starts with eight pawns, for a total of 16 per game.
16

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What do you say when you threaten your opponent's king?
check
When you threaten your opponent's king with one or more of your own pieces, you should say "check" to make him aware of the situation.
en garde
beware

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What is the maximum number of spaces that a pawn can move in one turn?
one
two
Generally pawns can move only one space at a time, though players can choose to move a pawn two spaces if it's the first time that the pawn has been used in the game.
eight

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What piece does NOT move during castling?
king
rook
queen
In castling, the king slides over towards the corner of the board, while the rook moves towards the center of the rank.

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True or false: You are NOT allowed to castle out of check.
true
According to the rules of chess, a player may not castle if his king is under attack.
false

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What pieces are involved in en passant?
pawns
An en passant strategy allows a player to capture his opponent's pawn under certain circumstances if the pawn is trying to evade capture.
knights
rooks

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What do chess players call it when they win the game?
final check
complete check
checkmate
When you trap your opponent's king with no possible escape route, you have achieved checkmate and won the game.

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What happens if you have no available moves, but your king is not currently under attack?
a draw
If you have nowhere to move your king, but he is not under attack from your opponent, the game ends in a draw, or stalemate.
You lose.
You win.

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How old was chess legend Bobby Fischer during the "Game of the Century"?
8 years old
13 years old
More than half a century later, people are still talking about the "Game of the Century," when a 13-year-old Bobby Fischer beat chess pro Donald Byrne.
18 years old

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True or false: The longest game of correspondence chess — chess by mail — lasted for 53 years.
true
The Guinness World Record for longest game of correspondence chess is 53 years. The game ended in 1999 after one of the two South African players passed away.
false

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What is the fewest number of moves needed to win a game of chess?
one
two
In fool's mate, it's possible to trick your opponent and win the game in just two moves if certain pieces are moved in the correct order.
three

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What is the official tournament board called?
Staunton
Named for English player Howard Staunton, the Staunton style board has been the choice for tournament players since 1849.
Stanford
Stump

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You Got:
/30
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