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Special Moves

Special MovesBasically, all the pieces will move as described for most of the game.  If you have never played chess before, it might be a good idea to skip "castling" and "en passant" and play a game or two.  Then it will be easier to see how castling is helpful!  And en passant rarely occurs in a game.

Here are the couple special moves:

The King and the Castle

The King and the castle can do a move together called "Castling."

This is the only move in chess where you move 2 pieces on the same turn.  It is a way of getting the king and the rook to switch around and change positions, which is considered a good thing for both pieces.

If the rook is on the King's side of the board, it will be 3 squares away from the king.  If it is on the queen's side of the board, it will be 4 squares away.  You can castle on either side. 

If you castle on the king's side, you just move the rook 2 squares toward your king, and move your king 2 squares toward your rook.  This will put the king and the rook on opposite sides of each other.  It looks like this:

Kingside Castling

 
If you castle on the queens's side, you just move the rook 3 squares toward your king, and move your king 2 squares toward your rook (so the king always moves 2 squares toward the rook).  This will again put the king and the rook on opposite sides of each other.  It looks like this:

Queenside Castling

 
There are some rules in order to castle: 

FIRST, It must be the first time you are moving your king and your rook (so you caannot have moved either of these pieces before in the game.)

SECOND, There cannot be any piece between your king and your rook.  So you have to get your knight, bishop, queen, or any other piece that is between them out of the way.  The squares the two pieces are crossing over must be empty.

THIRD, The king cannot be in check while castling. This means if your opponent is able to attack your king, and he is trying to get out of the way, you can't do it by castling.  You can only castle while your king is already safe.

The Pawn

The pawn has 3 special moves:

Pawn's First Move

On the very first move for any of your pawn's, you have the option of moving 2 squares forward.  So the first time you move any pawn, you can choose to move it 1 or 2 squares forward.

Promoting A Pawn

If your pawn makes it completely across the board to the last row, you can exchange it for another piece.  This does not have to be a piece you lost, it can be anything. Generally, people exchange it for a queen.  So it is possible to have more than one queen at the same time!

En Passant

This is a strange one, but last of the special rules.

There is an option if your opponent's pawn moves out 2 squares on it's first move, and when it does the pawn lands right next to a square where you already have a pawn (so your pawn has trekked over half way across the board and is already up there).

If this happens, you have the option of just attacking as if your opponent only moved 1 square and taking the pawn.  You only have this option on the turn immediately following when your opponent came out 2 squares.

It looks like this:

En Passant

 

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