## How are chess boards numbered?

### Chess Boards Numbered

Many chessboards have letters and chess boards numbered along the edge. These are the coordinates for naming the squares. This is called “algebraic notation.

Most chessboards for learning or playing have letters and numbers along each side. The horizontal ranks from 1 to 8 and the vertical files from A to H make up a coordinate system that can be used to write down or save a chess game. The square in the bottom left is called A1, and the square in the top right is called H8. Each square has its own coordinate name.

Almost all roll-up chessboards made of vinyl will have these algebraic coordinates. On wood chessboards, it is not as common, but a popular model is shown.

Beginners use the coordinate system on the chessboard to help them keep track of their moves, so a “algebraic” chessboard is a good choice for those just starting out.

Experts know the “names” of all 64 squares’ coordinates and don’t rely on what they look like.

These coordinates help players keep track of their games move-by-move on a “scoresheet.” Some rules of competitive chess depend on how well a game is written down.

Here are some reasons why you might want to write down a chess game.

• Save a record so you can watch the moves again and review a game with a coach later. You can also keep a scorebook to keep track of your games.
• Know when a certain number of moves has been made, like the 40th move. This is often used for a time control where the first 40 moves take 2 hours and the rest of the game takes 1 hour.
• If something goes wrong during a game, the position can be reset.

How to Set Up a Chess Board

If you are using a chess board with numbers and letters, it is easy to make sure the board is set up correctly because it feels natural to face the board with Square A1 in the bottom left corner.

If you’re playing white, this works for you, but if you’re on the “other” side of the board, you should make sure the H8 corner is on your bottom left.

A chess board with letters and numbers is easy to set up if you can remember these positions. If you don’t have a chess board with notation, you can always use the old rule that there should be a black square in the bottom left corner. You can’t go wrong that way.

Even though it’s not a hard-and-fast rule, white pieces usually go on the first and second ranks. This makes sense and is usually the case.

Ranks = Number

Files = Letter

The ranks are numbered and run from 1 to 8 up and down the board.

The back rank for white pieces is 1, and for black pieces, it’s 8.

At the start of the game, the eight pawns on each side are lined up on ranks 2 and 7.

Understanding Chess Notation

The chess board has 64 squares that are different colours. So that each of the 64 squares on the board can be found, the chess board is split into eight horizontal ranks (from 1 to 8) and eight vertical files (from a to h). There are also diagonals on the board (from h1 to a8 for example). In the first diagram below, the e4 square is a light-colored square that connects the 4th rank and the e-file. In the second picture, the a7 square is the dark square where the 7th rank and a-file meet. There is a pawn on this square.

This way of naming squares is called algebraic notation, and it is used to keep track of the score. In this notation, every piece except the pawn is written with a letter. The King, the Queen, the Rook, the Bishop, and the Knight. For instance, “Nf3” means that the Knight moves to the f3-square. You can look at the next game to see what the board looks like and how the numbers work.

Look at how the opposing armies were set up when they first met. This is a good place to learn two important rules. The board should be set up so that the white or lighter-colored square is always in the lower right corner. Also, always put the queen on the square that matches her colour: a light queen on a square with lighter colours, and a dark queen on a square with darker colours. White on the right, queen on her colour.

Each game of chess starts with two armies that are the same but have different colours. The army that is lighter in colour is called “white,” and the army that is darker in colour is called “black.” Each different part of these armies has a job to do. In the next lessons, you will learn more about the movements. There is a chart below that shows how much each piece is worth.