A player is allowed to adjust the position of any piece on its square if:
a) it is his turn to move
b) announces his intention by saying "I adjust" or J'adoube

Algebraic notation

The most commonly used notation Worldwide for which the moves are described by algebraic coordinates as follows:
a) files are identified alphabetically by letters a-h
b) ranks are identified by numbers 1-8.
Combining these 2 together will give the proper designation for each square.
It can be written in 2 ways (both correct):
- short (used by the majority of chess players). It gives just the destination square; example 1.e4
- long (used by beginners while learning). It gives both the original and the destination square; example 1.e2-e4


Commentary on a game using a mixture of written comments, chess symbols or notation.

Source: "Wikipedia, The free Encyclopedia"


An aggresive move or plan seeking a clear material or positional gain in order to win the game.

Back rank

A player's first rank, the one where the pieces stand in the initial position.

Back rank mate

A checkmate delivered by a Rook or Queen along a back rank because the mated King:
a) cannot be defended
b) is unable to move up the board since it is blocked by friendly pieces (usually pawns) on the second rank and the attacker cannot be eliminated.

Backward pawn

A pawn that is behind the pawns of the same color on the adjacent files and that cannot be advanced without loss of material, usually the backward pawn itself.

Bad Bishop

A Bishop stuck behind hence obstructed by its own pawns.


A formation that consists of two or more pieces on the same rank, file, or diagonal. Normal formations:
a) "Rook + Queen" along the same file or rank. Here you can add the other Rook to the existing formation.
b) "Bishop + Queen" along the same diagonal.


A usually miter-shaped chess piece that can move diagonally across any number of unoccupied squares of the same colour. It cannot move onto squares of different colour. Its value is equal with three points.
Abbreviation = B

Blindfold chess

Chess played without sight of the chessboard.


'Blitz' is a German word for 'lightning' and within chess it's used to indicate lightning chess.
Often both players each get 5 minutes on the clock to perform all moves of a game.


An element of strategy meaning the placement of a piece in front of an opposing pawn to stop its advancement.


A move with catastrophic consequences since in causes decisive material losses and the end of the game. It is normally indicated by "??" placed right after the move.

Book move

A move well documented in standard chess literature. It mostly relates to the opening moves.
The game is said to be "out of the books" when a new/ undocumented line emerges, or (mostly) where the written analysis stops.


A spectacular and beautiful game of chess, generally featuring unexpected moves mostly part of sacrificial attacks and combinations.


A move that consists of playing a piece to a square occupied by an enemy piece (other than the king) and removing that said piece from the board.
ADVICE: when evaluating the material balance, never count the "wood in the box" (captured pieces). Always count instead the pieces that stay on the board!


Also simply called castling; it is a special move involving the King and one Rook of choice. It is the only move allowing the King to move 2 squares at a time. There are certain limitations when it is not permitted:
- the King or the Rook in question have previously moved (even if they return to their original squares)
- the King is in check, or will pass through check
- there is a piece of either color between the King and Rook


A move which threatens something so obvious that only an idiot would fall for it, and he often does.


To attack the opponent's King. This attack could be stopped by moving the King away, by interfering a piece in-between or by eliminating the attacking piece.


To attack the opponent's King in such a manner that no escape or defense is possible, thus ending the game.

Source: "Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition"


A game for 2 players each of whom moves 16 pieces according to fixed rules across a checkerboard and tries to checkmate the opponent's King. The origins of the game can be traced to 600AD.

Source: "Merriam Webster's Dictionary"


A type of checkerboard used in the game of chess. It consists of 64 squares (8 files and 8 ranks) arranged in two alternating colors (light and dark). The colors are called "black" and "white" (or "light" and "dark"), although the actual colors can be of various combinations depending on the material used for it.
Some of the most common materials used are: cardboard and vinyl as a cheaper option, or different species of wood for high end competitions.

Closed file

A file with two or more pawns of either colour on it.