CHESS

    Hello, Mrs. M. and fellow classmates.  Today I would like to talk to you about my favourite Christmas present.  I received it from my Uncle R. and Aunt L.  I enjoy it very much and play it with my dad.  I discovered on the Internet that it is a subject at school in almost thirty countries around the world.  I also discovered that the more children play this game, the better their marks become at school.  It is the game of chess.  Let me tell you a little bit about it.

    The object of the game is to capture your opponentís king while defending yours.

    There are two colours of pieces in chess, which are black and white.  White always goes first.  Chess is played on a standard checkerboard.

    Now you need to know the names of the pieces, where each piece goes on the board and how many each player has.  This is a pawn.  Each player has eight.  The pawns go side by side on the second row of the board.  This is a rook or you can call it a castle.  Each player has two.  The rook goes in each corner of the board.  This is a knight.  Each player has two.  The knight goes next to the rook on each side of the board.  This is a bishop.  Each player has two.  The bishop goes next to the knight on each side of the board.  This is a queen.  Each player has one.  The queen goes next to the left bishop.  This is a king.  Each player has one.  The king goes next to the right bishop. 

    Now you need to know how the pieces can move.  The pawn can move one or two squares forward on its first move.  After that it can move only one square forward at a time.  When capturing, the pawn must move one square diagonally.  The pawn is the only piece that canít retreat or move backwards.  The rook can move frontward, backwards and sideways any amount of squares as long as itís a clear path.  The knight is a very special piece in chess.  It is the only piece that can jump over other pieces.  The knight can move frontward, backward and sideways in the shape of an "L".  The "L" can be one square then two or two squares then one.  The bishop can move diagonally any amount of squares as long as itís a clear path.  The queen can move in any direction any amount of squares as long as itís a clear path.  The king can move in any direction one square at a time as long as itís a clear path.

    By moving your pieces according to these rules you try to put your opponents king in check or checkmate.  Check happens when you make a move that threatens your opponentís king.  You say ďcheckĒ as a warning to your opponent that their king is in danger.  If your king is in check you have three choices. 

    1.  Move your king out of check.

    2.  Move a piece in the way.

    3.  Capture the piece that is putting your king in check.

    If there is no way to avoid the check, this is checkmate and the game is over.

    Now you know the basic rules of chess.  Why not find a partner and learn how to play?

    Thank-you

    Boyd C. - Grade 3.