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" The ABC of Chess © 

- The ABC of Chess __ 

Raduga Publishers 



Foreword for Parents 3 
A War of Wood . : 7 
A Revealing Story . ped 
The Battlefield 23 
Only Straightforward! , 29 
Who Has Been Placed in the Gorrie 1 95 
Leaping Horses : 41 
“Lightweight” Bishops . . 1 ests 47 
The Most Powerful Piece . a 4 ine 3) 
Watch Out, Your Majesty! ee i S7 
Touch—Move ... . 63 
Who’s Won? It’s a Stalemate! ; 69 
Not Numbers but Know-How . : » 75 
The King Goes on the March , 1 4 79 
All Children Should Learn . 83 
Appendix : 86 
Answer These Questions Without Your Parents’ 

Help ... 1 » 87 

Translated from the Russian by VIVIENNE BURDON 

B. Ppuwun, E. Abnn 

Ha axn2nuuckom xv3b1Ke 

© WUsgzatesbctbo «Du3ky.bTypa u cnopt», 1972 
English translation (©) Raduga Publishers 1986 

Printed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 

= —— ()55-86 
031-05 -86 

ISBN 5-05-006687-2 

Foreword for Parents 

Chess is one of the oldest games to 
have come down to us through the cen- 
turies. At the same time it is a very mod- 
ern game attracting an ever-growing 
number of enthusiasts through the 
world. The inexhaustible possibilities of 
chess, its depth of content, the combi- 
nation of strict logic and unlimited sco- 
pe for the display of initiative and ima- 
gination have made the game a part of 
our cultural heritage. ‘The yame of 
wise men’, “mental gymnastics” — 
these and other descriptions reflect the 
seriousness and respect with which manv 
people approach this remarkable game. 

In the Soviet Union there are many 
chess clubs in Pioneer Palaces, Palaces 
of Culture and schools, but they all cater 
for children in the older age group. 
There are, however, a lot of children 
between the ages of 5—7 who are in- 
terested in chess and want to learn to 
play. We have written this book to help 
younger children take their first steps 
on the chessboard. 

As a rule the first books a child comes 
to know are read aloud to him by 
his parents and this one need be no 
exception. The authors hope that all 
you parents will cooperate with them 
in their attempt to foster the interest 
of young children of preschool age in 
this fascinating game. If you yoursel- 
ves play chess, you can vary and diver- 
sify the examples given. If, on the other 
hand, you have never had occasion to 
sit down at a chessboard, this book 
will be a guide in the land of chess for 
you too, and, who knows, your child’s 
enthusiasm may affect you as well. 

Don’t hurry when you read “The 
ABC of Chess” to your child, don’t 
cover more than one chapter a week. 
In your instruction pay more attention 
to the principle of play. Follow the diag- 
rams in the sequence indicated by the 

If your child can already read and 
wants to be independent, allow him to 
tackle ““The ABC of Chess” but in sen- 

sible doses. The material is not easy and 
large “portions” will only tire him and 
make it more difficult for him to learn. 

The authors decided to omit some of 
the more difficult rules of the game such 
as capturing en passant and castling 

in the path of a hostile man. In the 
early stages these rules can be ignored. 
If necessary, parents can settle an ar- 
gument when they have studied these 
rules which are explained in the appen- 

A War of Wood 


Sasha had been given a chess set. 
The small smooth figures still smelling 
of varnish lay in a checkered wooden 
box. There were horses, turrets and 
strange little dolls which resembled mi- 
niature men. Sasha liked these funny 
little figures but had no idea what to do 
with them. And his father and mother 
couldn’t help because they didn’t know 
how to play chess themselves. 

Soon the large wooden box began to 
get in Sasha’s way and he pushed it 
under the sofa. There it stayed and he 
forgot about the box with the horses, 
the turrets and the dolls like miniature 
men lying inside it. 

One day Sasha’s best friend Boris 
came round. The boys started to play 
hockey, hitting a ball around the floor 
with coloured plastic sticks. Time and 
again the quick-moving ball rolled un- 
der the table or the cupboard and the 
boys took it in turn to push their sticks 
under the furniture, trying to coax the 
ball back into the middle of the “pitch”. 

Once the ball rolled under the sofa 
and Boris crawled after it. But instead 
of the ball he pulled out the wooden 
box covered in dust. 

“It’s a chess set!” Boris exclaimed in 
delight, forgetting about the ball that 
had disappeared under the sofa. ‘“Let’s 
have a game of chess!” 

“T can’t play...” Sasha stammered, 
blushing with embarrassment. 

“There’s nothing to it! We'll play 
being at war.” 

Boris opened the box and emptied 
the light and dark-coloured figures onto 
the table. 

“Tll have the yellow soldiers and 
you can have the black ones. Line up 

your troops,” Boris ordered, picking 
out the light-coloured figures. He stood 
them one beside the other at the end of 
the table and soon there was a long row 
of light-coloured men drawn up like an 
entire army. Boris helped Sasha to line 
up the black men at the other end of 
the table and then went to get a red 
plastic cube from the toy-box. 

“We'll take it in turns to shoot. Like 
this — see?” Boris placed the cube in 
front of his troops and sent it forward 
with a powerful flick of the finger. 
The plastic missile flew across the table 
and knocked down two black fighting 
men. Sasha wanted to stand his sol- 
diers up again, but Boris said they were 
dead and couldn’t get up. Then Sasha 
placed the cube on the table and care- 
fully crooking his middle finger, flick- 
ed it forward with all his might. But 
not a single enemy soldier fell—he had 
aimed the cube too high. 

The next shot was better and a white 
cavalryman fell to the floor. But Sa- 
sha’s army suffered greater losses be- 
cause Boris was a better marksman. 

“Don’t worry, you'll learn,” Boris 
encouraged his friend. But Sasha’s pro- 
gress gave him no pleasure—he felt 
sorry for the neat little fighting men 
gleaming in the sun and flying in all 
directions after every successful shot. 

The war of wood was in full swing 
when Sasha’s next-door neighbour 
Peter came in. Peter was two years ol- 
der than Sasha and Boris. He had al- 
ready turned seven and everyone knew 
that he was starting school in the 

“What are you doing?” Peter ask- 
ed, looking at the light and dark-co- 


scattered over the 



‘“Can’t you see, we’re playing chess...” 
Boris answered. 

“Yes, we’re playing chess, can’t you 
see?”’ Sasha confirmed, echoing Boris’s 

“You don’t play chess like that!” Pe- 
ter said indignantly. ““You’re knocking 
down the men any old how, it’s all the 
same to you whether it’s a Pawn or a 


Sasha looked at Boris anxiously. Bo- 
ris had thought up this game and it 
was for him to prove to Peter that they 
were playing properly. 

‘We'll play as we want,” Boris said 
sulkily. ‘‘We’re at war. This is my army 
and that’s Sasha’s; whoever kills more 
enemy soldiers wins.” 

“Some army!” Peter laughed. “They 
stand on the spot and wait until they’re 
knocked down! In a chess army there 
is an infantry, a cavalry and guns and 
commanding officers — and they all 
move in different ways.” 

“Where do they move to?” 
asked in surprise. 


“They just move — over the board 
and not over the table. And anyway 
they move according to rules — there’s 
a different rule for each piece.” 

Peter took the chess box = and 
opened it out on the table so that it be- 
came a large square board made up of 
small black and white squares. He 
picked out two of the light-coloured figu- 
res that looked like turrets and put them 
on the corner squares at one end of the 

“These are Castles, although Dad 
says they are really called Rooks, and 
they must stand tn the corners. And 
these are Knights, they go next to the 

Then Peter took two pieces that ta- 
pered to a point and said they were 
called Bishops. 

“They look more like Bishops’ mit- 
res,”’ Boris observed. 

“I thought so too at first,’’ Peter 

Sasha kept silent. He was really keen 
now to discover how chess 1s played 
and learn as quickly as possible. 

Peter put the Bishops next to the 
Knights leaving two empty squares in 
the middle of the row. Then he picked 
up the two. biggest of the light- 
coloured pieces from the chessmen lying 
in disarray on the floor. He called the 
one with a small black knob in the 
middle of his crown a King and this 
made sense—in fairy stories kings 
were always bigger and more impor- 
tant than anyone else. Peter said the 
other piece was called a Queen which 
was not so easy to understand. 

“Why should a Queen go to war?” 
Sasha asked. 

“Well, you see, she’s there to pro- 
tect the King who ts her husband, and 
she is very powerful. Anyway, in the 
chess army this piece is called a Queen.” 

“All right,” Sasha agreed rather re- 

‘So, here is the King and here 1s 
the Queen,” Peter continued. 

He put the King on the black square 
and the Queen on the white square. 

Now the whole of the first row of the 
board was occupied. Only the smallest 


of the light-coloured men which were 
all identical remained on one side. 

‘These are Pawns,” Peter explained, 
placing the small figures on the second 
row of the board in front of the larger 
pieces. “That's how the chess army 
should stand! Now you line up the Black 
troops in the same way.” 

Sasha and Boris set up the Black 
pieces as Peter had arranged the White 
ones—the Rooks in the corners, the 
Knights next to them and then the 
Bishops. It was only the most impor- 
tant pieces that they were not sure where 
to put—should the King go on the 
right and the Queen on the left or the 
other way round? Peter came to their 

“The White Queen,” he said, “must 
stand on a white square and the Black 
Queen on a black square.” 

“It’s not a White Queen, it’s a Yellow 
Queen,” Boris corrected him. He loved 
to argue and the light-coloured pieces 
really were yellow. 

‘No, it’s White,” said Peter shaking 
his head emphatically. “*That’s because 
the whole chess army is called Black 
and White—doesn’t matter what colour 
they’re painted!” 

When the boys had set up all the 
pieces and all the Pawns, Boris asked: 

‘What are we going to knock them 
down with?” 

‘All you want to do 1s knock down!” 
Peter said in annoyance. “ They’ll knock 
each other down, just as in a real bat- 

Sasha said he could hardly wait to 
begin a game, but Peter only laughed. 

“How can you play when you don’t 
know the rules?” 

At that moment Peter’s mother ar- 
rived to take him home for supper. 
Sasha and Boris sat looking at the chess- 
men all lined up, not knowing what 
to do with them. 

Man to man, man to man—the small 
warriors were drawn up in some strange 

and wonderful order, their varnish 
gleaming like ancient armour. The little 
figures which only a few minutes ago 
had been flying all over the room, now 
seemed prepared for serious business. 
They stood, not in random fashion, but 
in a precise and rather mysterious for- 
mation. Any moment the command 
would be given and the serried ranks 
would be broken. How would it 
happen? What would the small war- 
riors do on the checkered battle- 

That night Sasha tossed and turned 
in bed for a long time, and when at 
last he fell asleep, a real chess battle 
took place before him. But however 
hard he tried to make out who was 
fighting whom, he was none the wis- 

er. There was confusion on the _ bat- 
tlefield and Sasha couldn’t understand 
what was going on for he did not yet 
know how the chessmen were meant to 

Boris too thought about the beauti- 
ful chess armies standing motionless 
before the start of battle and he no 
longer had the desire to knock them 
down with a plastic missile. 

A Revealing Story 


a ae 

The next day Sasha and Boris went 
out to play. Together with the other 
boys they slid down slopes and threw 
snowballs. On the hard-packed slippery 
snow they could play real ice hockey 
which was very different from knocking 
a ball around a room full of furniture. 
And someone had brought a real puck 
made of rubber although not all the 
boys had hockey sticks. Nor did speed 
skates flash under their feet. All in all, 
they were far from looking like the 
grown-up players seen on_ television. 
Still, it was great fun playing hockey! 
Sasha and Boris were the smallest and 
they were made goalkeepers. At first 
Boris objected—he wanted to hit the 
puck around himself. But you can’t 
really argue with older boys and Boris 
had to take up his position between 
two bricks. Sasha stood at the other end 
of the pitch, a brick likewise on either 
side. They shifted from one foot to the 
other, constantly turning their heads so 
as not to lose sight of the puck flying 
across the pitch. Several times the puck 
soared so high over Sasha’s head that 
he was unable to reach it even though 
he leapt up in the air. Then he said 
that the puck had gone over the posts 
and it wasn’t a goal. And the boys didn’t 
argue—not even when the rubber mis- 
sile flew quite low over the posts; they 
knew their goalie was only small. But 
if he let the puck through below, it 
counted as a goal. [t was particularly 
irritating when the black puck slipped 
through his legs—the boys looked at 
Sasha reproachfully and tears of annoy- 
ance welled up in his eyes. 

But when Sasha managed to fend 
off the puck or hold it down on the ice, 

the older boys clapped him approvingly 
with their sticks just as real hockey 
players applaud their goalkeeper. 

After the game was over all the child- 
ren started making a snowman. Boris 
gave Sasha a gentle nudge and sug- 
gested tn a low voice: 

“Let's make snow chessmen...” 

Sasha and Boris went td one side 
and deliberated which of the chessmen 
to make. 

“Which man do you like best of all?” 
Boris asked. 

“Which do you?” 

“T like the Knight best—he’s the 
most beautiful.” 

“And {I like the Pawn,” Sasha said 
hesitantly. “‘He’s the smallest.” 

The friends set about their task. Bo- 
ris quickly made a base on which he 
fashioned the neck of a chess horse. 
The head, though, turned out to be too 
short. Boris tried to make it longer, but 
the snow wouldn’t hold and crumbled. 

Sasha, meanwhile, built a fine Pawn 
with a strong round head. 

Boris looked at Sasha’s Pawn, then 
at his own Knight and said suddenly: 

“All the same, a Knight is stronger 
than a Pawn!..” 

Sasha thought that his Pawn was no 
worse than Boris’s Knight and he re- 
plied tentatively: 

“We don’t know that yet...” 

“We'll soon find out!” said Boris 
frowning. He stood beside Sasha rol- 
ling a snowball in his hands. ‘We'll 
soon find out!” Boris repeated and 
threw the snowball at the Pawn, hitting 
it on the head where it remained stuck 
like a protruding bump. This made Bo- 
ris even more aggressive and he rolled 


another snowball. The second “shot” 
displaced the Pawn’s round head which, 
miraculously, did not part company 
with the thick snowy neck. 

Sasha felt sorry for his little snow 
chessman and he too rolled a snow- 
ball. Wham—and the short head of 
Boris’s horse became even shorter. 

“So that’s your game?” said Boris, 
advancing towards Sasha. 

“What about your game?” 
countered, not giving way. 

The two boys grappled in earnest 
and started pushing and shoving each 

‘Now then boys, that’s against the 
rules!” they heard a stern grown-up 
voice saying. Looking round, Sasha 
and Boris saw Peter with his father— 
their “Uncle Max”. 

“What's all this then? You begin by 
making chessmen and finish up fight- 
ing?” Uncle Max sounded really an- 
noyed. “In chess you fight with your 
head, not your hands.”’ 

“And not with snowballs..."" Peter 
added. He was a very sensible boy and 
did not miss a chance of letting 
everyone know it. “At home they 
were knocking down chessmen with 
a plastic cube,” Peter told his fath- 

“Don’t you go telling on the boys,” 
Uncle Max said smiling. “Otherwise 
they'll turn even redder...” 

And indeed, even though Boris and 
Sasha had stopped pushing each other 
about, their faces were still red and 
their eyes sparkled. Peter announced 

‘Never mind, Ill teach them to play 
chess properly...” 



“You?” said his father in surprise. 
“But you still don’t know how to play 
properly yourself...” 

“Yes, I do!’ Peter insisted, now on 
the defensive. He didn’t want to lose 
his authority as a chess expert. 

“tT know how you play,” said his 
father with a faint smile. “It would be 
better if we all learned to play chess 
together. Come round, boys, when 
you’ve finished outside.” 

..And the boys soon had enough of 
running around. Flushed and dishevel- 
led they appeared at the door of Pe- 
ter’s flat. He had his own corner for 
toys and books and the chess-board 
stood there on a small table. But Uncle 
Max invited Sasha and Boris to sit at 
the big table; to his son he said: 

“Bring your soldiers over here.” 

Peter lifted the board with the pieces 
arranged on it and went over to the 
big table. The board tn Peter’s hand 
tilted to one side and the chessmen 
fell on the floor. 

“Now that’s clumsy,” Peter’s father 
sounded impatient, but he added quick- 
ly, “well, never mind, let the boys 
set up the pieces themselves—we’ll see 
what you've taught them.” 

The boys quickly began to place the 
pieces on the board, just as Peter had 
shown them the previous day, but Uncle 
Max stopped them. 

“Hold on! That’s not right! You’ve 
put the board the wrong way round. 
Remember: there must always be a 
white corner square on the right of each 
player. Yes, that’s right now...”’ He be- 
came thoughtful for a moment and 
then asked: “Boys, would you like me 
to tell you a story about chess?” 


The boys, of course, were delighted. 
Who would not want to listen to a 
story about chess! The wooden pieces 
stood stiffly on the board as if they too 
were waiting to listen to a story. 

..Long, long ago, in a far-off dis- 
tant land there once lived a King who 
was neither good, nor just, nor wise. 
No doubt this was why he often waged 
war against his neighbours, trying to 
seize their fields, their gardens and their 
cities. One day the King planned a new 
campaign to conquer foreign riches, 
but uncertain of success, he decided 
to ask the advice of the oldest and wis- 
est man in his kingdom and find out 
the truth. The white-bearded old man 
was brought to the palace and the King 
asked him: 

‘Listen, old man: | plan to go to war 
against my neighbours. Tell me, will my 
campaign be successful? Will I prove 
that I am stronger and wiser than other 
rulers? Will I destroy enemy armies 
and conquer new territories?” 

The sage thought for a while and 
answered in these words: 

“Do not hurry, oh Sovereign! Be- 
fore you embark on a big war, win a 
little one. Before you throw countless 
regiments into the thick of battle, learn 
how to command a toy army. Before 
you attempt to conquer large countries, 
master a tiny kingdom...” 

“What are you babbling on about, 
old man?” demanded the King angrily. 
“What litth war? What toy army? 
Where its this tiny kingdom?” 

“It is here, oh mighty King,” the 
old man answered calmly, taking a squa- 
re checkered wooden board out of a 
bag and placing it in front of the throne. 

“What sort of kingdom 1s_ that?” 
exclaimed the King, barely containing 
his rage. “You can’t even take a step 
on it!” 

‘Forgive me, Sire, but you are wrong. 
See how many roads and paths there 
are here—you can travel in a straight 
line, obliquely, forwards, and_ back- 
wards! And by commanding this army 
you can prove yourself to be a great 

The wise man emptied from the bag 
a large number of strange figures. 

“Look closely at these small wooden 
figures, Sire! They are constantly at 
war, attacking, retreating, launching 
ambushes and having amazing adven- 
tures. But they are made of wood and 
therefore no blood ts ever spilled here, 
no homes are destroyed and no or- 
phans weep. This is where successful 
wars are fought! Learn to win this 
bloodless war and the fame of your 
wisdom will reach the furthermost cor- 
ners of the land.” 

The King very much wanted to be- 
come renowned throughout the whole 


world and he started learning to play 
chess—as the old man called this re- 
markable game. 

‘It is indeed a royal game,” said the 
King pompously when he succeeded in 
winning. But when he lost he became 
angry and swept the chessmen onto the 

Such rough treatment offended the 
small wooden warriors and they began 
to revenge themselves on their capri- 
clous master: at the crucial moment of 
the battle first one then another piece 
would cease to obey their commander 
and move wherever they pleased, en- 
tirely disregarding the interests of the 
whole army. Then the King would be 
defeated and lose his temper, sweeping 
his army off the wooden battlefield. 
And the more he became angry and 
swept the pieces off the board, the more 
he lost. Neither in distant lands nor 
in his own kingdom was the King spo- 
ken of as a good, just and wise ruler. 
For what good, just and wise man will 
hurl his chessmen onto the floor and 
rage against those with whom he is 


The King grew tired of the toy 
battles which he so frequently lost and 
decided once again to test his strength 
in a real war. He dreamed of seizing 
great riches and annexing foreign lands 
to his kingdom. The King quickly mus- 
tered his infantry and cavalry regi- 
ments and at the head of his entire 
army marched against a neighbouring 
country. But the people of that country 
did not wish to become the slaves of a 
wicked and capricious ruler. As one 
man they rose to the defence of their 


homeland and defeated the King’s hor- 
de. Only one small detachment was left 
out of his huge army. Hanging their 
heads in shame the troops who had sur- 
vived the war returned home. More 
sombre than the’ blackest  storm- 
cloud was the arrogant and cruel King 
who had suffered such a_ crushing 

On his humiliating retreat the King 
met the wise man who had taught him 
how to wage chess warfare. Steering 
his horse towards the old man, the 
King said: 

“You see, old man, how my cam- 
paign has ended?” 


“T see, Your Majesty, I see,” replied 
the old man. Did I not tell you it was 
better to wage a_ bloodless’ chess 

“You lie, you wretch!” said the King 
in anger. “But I shall gather a new army 
and prove to the whole world that 
there is nO commander more expert 
than I!” 

“Do not excite yourself, Sire’, the 
Sage answered calmly. “How can you 
command a large army when you have 
not even learned to master the small 
chess pieces?” 

When the King heard these words 
he almost exploded in fury. 

“Throw the old fool into the dun- 
geon,” he cried, ‘ban and burn his foul 
wooden game throughout the entire 

Messengers galloped to the far cor- 
ners of the kingdom proclaiming the 
terrible royal decree. The King’s ser- 
vants seized chess sets from people and 
made huge bonfires of them on public 

squares. But however much they tried, 
they did not succeed in collecting all 
the chess sets: 

peasants and artisans 
concealed checker boards and 
their small chessmen although they were 
threatened with dire punishment if they 

were discovered. Simple people came 
to love this clever game. Meeting sec- 
retly, they set up the wooden pieces 
and led them into battle, saying to each 

‘Let's play the game which our King 


could not master. We would certainly a great and dreaded commander, peo- 
have beaten him!..” ple would smile and advise him: 

And whenever some small boy an- “First learn to command wooden 
nounced that he was going to become _ soldiers before you tackle bigger things.” 

The Battlefield 

The next time Sasha and Boris went 
round to see Peter, Uncle Max asked 

“Did you understand, boys, why the 
chessboard seemed to the King no more 
than a small square although the wise 
man said it was a whole country?” 

Sasha looked questioningly at Boris. 
Boris gazed thoughtfully at the ceiling. 
Peter came to his friends’ assistance. 
Appearing from behind his _ father’s 
back he said in a stage whisper: 

“Because there are a lot of little 
Squares on It...” 

“Well, well, you haven’t even star- 
ted school yet, but you’ve already 
learned to come up with the answers”, 
his father said. “I wanted Sasha and 
Boris to think for themselves.”’ He took a 
sheet of paper and drew a square on it. 
“Look,” he said, “it’s Just a square, 
there’s not much room to spread your- 
self. But see what can happen.” Uncle 
Max drew several lines from top to bot- 
tom and from left to right. “See how 
many squares there are now? However, 
they are all the same and that’s rather 

He quickly shaded in a corner square 
with a black pencil and leaving the one 
beside it blank, filled in the one next 
to it. Then once again he left a blank 
square and filled in the one beside that. 

“It looks like a chess box,” Boris 
said when Peter’s father had filled in 
the last corner square. 

“That’s right. Only not a chess box 
but a chessboard. Look carefully, boys, 
and you will see how many rows of 
squares there are. Like roads they lead 
from top to bottom and from left to 
right, they can be straight or diagonal. 

The square was rather cramped but see 
how much space there is now!” 

‘There are whole streets for the chess- 
men,” Boris observed. 

“Yes, streets and lanes,” Uncle Max 
agreed. “Only they’re not called that. 
The rows of alternating black and white 
squares going from left to right are 
called ranks and those going from top 
to bottom are known as files. The chain 
of squares of the same colour—from 
corner to corner, see—is called a dia- 
gonal. Of course, that’s a rather diffi- 
cult word for you, but try to remember 
it all the same—you will find it very 
helpful later on.” 

“There’s nothing special about the 
word ‘diagonal’,”” Peter said quickly, an- 
xious to show his superiority. 

‘‘Di-ag-on-al,” Sasha and Boris re- 
peated the word syllable by syllable. 

‘“Now count how many squares there 
are in a Straight line”. 

Together the boys counted the num- 
ber of squares. 

“Eight,” Boris atinounced, 

“IT make it eight too,” Sasha said 
when he had finished counting. 

“Correct. There are eight squares in 
each rank and file. And how many 
Squares are there in a diagonal line?” 

“They’re all different...” Sasha and 
Boris said in one voice. 

“Right again. Now, how many 
Squares are there in the longest diag- 


‘And in the shortest?” 


The boys were delighted that they 
could already find their way along the 




Streets and lanes of the chessboard. 
But their acquaintance with this black 
and white country was only just beginn- 
ing. In place of the ruled sheet of pa- 
per Peter's father opened out a real 
wooden board on the table. Next to it 
lay the light and dark-coloured chess- 
men which had been emptied out of 
the box. He took a Knight and placed 
it on the board. 

“Imagine, Sasha, that this Knight 
has fallen from the board and I| have 
picked it up,”” Uncle Max removed the 
Knight and pressed it in his palm. “* Now, 
tell me, where was the Knight stand- 

Sasha looked at Uncle Max in dis- 
may, Boris and Peter didn’t know 
either how to explain where the Knight 
had stood. 

“There you are, you see,—you can’t 
explain the position of just one single 
Knight, although it’s very easy for chess- 
players to do. They can even recon- 
Struct a whole battle and show all the 
movements and adventures of the little 
wooden men. The fact is that each 
square has its own symbol, that 1s, its 
own name.” 

Uncle Max set up the White chess- 
men. The first rank was occupied by 
Rooks, Knights, Bishops, the King and 
the Queen while the Pawns were lined 
up in front of them. 

“You know already that there are 
eight ranks on the board. They are 
called first rank, second rank, third, 
fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. 
They are counted from the near end 
of the board where the White army is 
positioned—the white pieces occupy the 
first rank and the White Pawns stand 

In the second rank. In which ranks Is 
the Black army lined up?” 

Boris counted the ranks. He said that 
the Black Pawns should stand in the 
seventh rank and the Black pieces in 
the eighth. 

“You certainly know how to count!” 

“Of course, we do!” the boys an- 
swered in chorus. 

“That makes everything a lot easier, 
but the ABC of chess consists of more 
than just numbers. To begin with, all 
the White Pawns stand in the second 
rank. But how can you tell them apart? 
Do you say—the one fourth from the 
left or second from the right? That’s 
too long and complicated. Chess-players 
have made it a lot easier: the horizon- 
tal lines—the ranks—are numbered 
from one to eight, while the vertical 
lines—the files—are lettered from A 
to H. Do you know all the letters of the 
alphabet, boys?’ 

“The whole 
confirmed, feeling offended 
father had even asked. 

“Again, you're jumping in before the 
others. Sasha and Boris are younger 
than you, you know. What about 
you, lads, do you know the _ alpha- 

The boys nodded their heads. But 
then Sasha admitted that some of the 
letters confused him. 

“Well, that’s nothing to worry about— 
you'll get used to them!” 

Peter's father explained that the first 
file from the bottom black corner square 
to the top white corner square was 
designated by the letter ‘‘a” and the 
second file by the letter ‘“b”. The third 
file of squares had the letter “c”’, the 

lot, of course!” Peter 
that his 


e@ erg nk 


a be 

the fifth the 
letter ‘‘e’’ and the sixth—the letter “f”. 

fourth—the letter “d”", 
That left two more files which had 
the letters “g” and “h”. 

The children looked bored—the !an- 
guage of chess seemed to them diffi- 
cult and uninteresting. Uncle Max no- 
ticed that their attention was wander- 

“What's the matter, boys, are you fed 
up? It’s not all as complicated as it seems. 
You see, now we can give each square 
an exact name. Let's take the bottom 


square in the left corner as an example. 
It is located tn file ‘a’ and rank ‘P’. 
Therefore the square will be called 
square ‘al’. Do you see? At the beginn- 
ing of the game square ‘al’ will be occu- 
pied by one of the White Rooks. On 
which square does the other White 
Rook stand?” 

“On square ‘h first.” 

‘No, you don’t say ‘h first’ but ‘h 


one’,” Peter’s father corrected them. 
“You see, if Sasha knew the language 
of chess he could easily tell me where 
to put the Knight. The Knight which 
I removed was standing on square e5. 
But I see that you’re tired and besides 
it’s quite late.” 

“When will we start playing?” Sasha 
asked timidly. 

‘Soon, Sasha, very soon!” 


Only Straightforward! 


The next morning Sasha couldn't 
remember the name of the last chess 
letter. He thought so hard about it that 
he even stopped munching his big red 
apple. Suddenly the last chess letter 
came to him: “H”! Sasha pronounced 
triumphantly. His mother looked at him 
anxiously and put her hand on his fore- 
head—perhaps he had a temperature? 
Unperturbed, Sasha went on munching 
his apple. ‘“‘H’—is the last chess letter,” 
he explained. “I just couldn’t remem- 
ber it.”” His mother didn’t ask any ques- 
tions, otherwise Sasha would certainly 
have been late for nursery school. At 
nursery school Sasha and Boris used 
letters in a different wav. Together 
with the other children they formed 
words with lettered bricks. 

..The chess lessons had suddenly 
come to a stop. Sasha and Boris found 
out that Peter’s father had gone away 
on business. Peter consoled the disap- 
pointed boys: 

“Tt doesn’t matter that Dad isn’t here. 
Pll show you how the Pawn moves. 
It’s really very easy.” 

Peter set up the chessmen in the 
Starting position. The wooden army 
stood in serried ranks and seemed only 
to be waiting for the command to com- 
mence battle. Peter took a White Pawn 
and moved it forward two squares. 

“Pawns march forward one square 
at a time,” he explained, trying not to 
sound too self-important. 

“You say they move one square at 
a time, but you’ve just moved that Pawn 
two squares forward,” Boris hastened 
to “expose” his teacher. Peter looked 
at Boris in annoyance, but restrained 

“Only once in the game, on its first 
move, can a Pawn advance two squares. 
After that, just one square at a time. 
And it always moves forward in a 
Straight line—forward and_ straight.” 

Peter took the same Pawn and moved 
it forward another square, then another. 
When the Pawn advanced one step for- 
ward it moved from a white square to 
a black and then back to a white square. 

After three moves the White Pawn 
came up against a Black Pawn stand- 
ing On its own square. Peter then 
whisked all the Black chessmen from 
the board so that they did not inter- 
fere with his demonstration of how 
Pawns move. 

“The Pawn always marches straight- 
forward and if it comes up against anoth- 
er Pawn or piece, it can’t move any 

“Why not let 1t knock down the Black 
Pawn?” Boris suggested. 

“No, that’s against the rules. I can 
only capture diagonally—to either side 

of the square it occupies.” Peter 
placed the Black ‘Pawn diagonally in 
front of the White Pawn. “If i Is 

White to move, the White Pawn can 
capture the Black, but if its Black’s 
turn, then the Black Pawn can capture 
the White. Do you see?” 

He first removed the Black Pawn 
and put the White one on its square. 
Then he put both Pawns back, removed 
the White one and put the Black 
One in its place. It turned out that either 
Pawn can capture the other, depend- 
ing On whether it is Black or White 
to move first. Once again Peter put the 
White Pawn in the middle of the board 
and diagonally in front of it he placed 


Sf. Y/S7) 


SIA. A yy Yh 4 



on one side a Black Pawn and on the 
other a Black Knight. 
“And now the Pawn can capture 

either to the left or to the right. Which 
would you rather capture, Sasha, the 
Pawn or the Knight?” 

“The Knight,” Sasha answered hesi- 

“That’s right, it’s better to take a 
Knight because he’s more important 
than a Pawn,” the “teacher” said ap- 

Then Boris took another Black Pawn 
and placed it on a square diagonal to 
the White Pawn, only this time behind 
the White Pawn rather than in front 
of it. 

“Can White capture the Black Pawn 
in that position?” 

‘“No, a Pawn always moves forward 
and can never capture a man Standing 
behind it. Now look,” Peter placed the 
White Pawn on square a2 and the Black 
On square b7, “which Pawn do you 
think will win here?” 

“White will win,”’ Sasha said, because 
Peter had spent the whole time show- 

ing them how the White Pawn cap- 7 

tures Black pieces. 

e Z 
oO Yh 
Wy ty ‘ 
tf titi ti 


‘Well, let's see then,” Peter suggest- sha once again moved his Pawn tt land- 

ed. “White to move!” ed on a square , diagonally opposite [J 
Sasha cautiously advanced his Pawn _ the Black and Peter captured it. 
One square while Peter moved his Black “Can we try once more?” Sasha ask- 

Pawn two squares forward. When Sa-_ ed. ‘‘Now I know how I have to move. * 

ras = = 

6) | 


‘ab cdef?®oh. 

“a bc def gh 

And he resolutely marched the Pawn 
two squares forward. But in re- 
sponse Peter moved his Pawn only one 
square and again it turned out that 
with the next move Sasha had to place 
his Pawn under attack. Peter smiled: 

“Do you see how it is? In this posi- 
tion whoever makes the first move, 
loses. You know, boys,” Peter went on, 
“T still haven’t told you about one very 
important rule. You think that the Pawn 
is the smallest and weakest man on the 
board? Well, it’s not true. It is only 
small and weak until it reaches the 
other end of the board. But as soon 

as it reaches the last rank, it can be- 
come another piece.” 

‘How can it become another piece?” 
Sasha and Boris asked at the same 

“Very easily: you remove the Pawn 
from the board and replace it in the 
eighth rank with any piece you like: 
a Queen, a Rook, a Knight or a Bishop. 
You can’t replace it with a King though, 
because there are never two Kings in 
one army. And you can’t replace the 
Pawn with another Pawn either because 
a Pawn doesn’t move backwards and 
it can’t move any further forward.” 

Who Has Been Placed 
in the Corner? 

2G ——$— 

Step bv stem Sasha moved forware 
resoiutely Tine further he went, the 
more enemies there were. They threa- 
tened to knock Sasha off his teet. to 
wipe him off the face of the earth. Bui 
he didn’t retreat a single step—forward, 
only straightforward! The Black enemy 
cavalrv charged past, menacing castles 
approached, the enemy infantry ai- 
lacked. One of his opponents was ver« 
close to Sasha, almost diagonally oppo- 
site. Sasha contrived to capture the 
enemy and occupy his place. And once 
again he moved forward, step by step. 
Sasha forced his way through the thick 
of battle to the enemy’s rear. And the 
comman@er said to him: 

“Well done, Sasha! You are the brav- 
est and the fastest soldier. But you 
don’t have to move on foot and force 
your way forward any more. Now you 
can become a cavalryman, a member 
of a tank crew or a gunner. You can 
even become a_ great commander. 
Choose which you want to be!” 

Sasha’s heart was bursting with 
pride and joy. How good it was to fee} 
oneself intrepid, to know that one has 
done one’s duty well! But what should 
he become? It was tempting to be a 
dashing cavairyman, but at the same 
time he wanted to be a great generai. 
‘Am ] capable though?” Sasha thoughi... 
and woke up. He woke up realis- 
ing that he had dreamed of a chess game 
in which he, Sasha, was a Pawn—a 
daring litthe Pawn who had forced his 
way through to the last rank and then 
not known which piece to turn into. 

That evening Peter called to say that 
his father had asked Sasha to come 

“Your father is back then?” Sasha 
was overjoye.. 
“Yes, ne arrived vesterday" Peter 

confirmed. “Let’s ge.” 

Uncle Max himself onened the door 
and seeing Sasha, he saic. 

“So you're alone are you, mv lad” 
Better to command a full force though. 
Go and fetch Boris.’ 

Boris too was delighted that he haa 
peen summoned and in a few minutes 
the boys were sitting at the table with 
the chessboard in front of them. 

“Peter told us how the Pawn moves.” 
Boris sai: 

Peter looked down at the floor as 
though he had committed some offence. 

“But —£ didn’t explain which piece 
the Pawn should become when il 
reaches the last rani.” 

‘What is there to explain?” his fath- 
er said in surprise. “A Queen, 0! 

“But the rules sav that it can be pro- 
moted into any piece, don’t they?” 

“That’s right. But i Is rare to re- 
place the Pawn with a Knight, a Rook o; 
a Bishop. Think of a Pawn becoming 
a Queen! But I believe you already 
know how that happens,” he put a 
White Pawn on square c2 and a Black 
Pawn one/7. “Now, chess-players, which 
Pawn will turn into a Queen first? As 
always, White begins.” 

“White will be first,” Sasha and Bo- 
ris calculated rapidly. 

“And now?” Uncle Max moved the 
Black Pawn to d7. 
Sasha wanted to say that it would 

again be the White Pawn, for it had 
been the first to move off, but he felt 
there was some sort of catch. This time 




=_— Nh & Dh OF S&S Ss) CO 


Boris wasn’t in a hurry to answer 
either—Uncle Max must have moved 
the Pawn for a good reason. 

Sasha leaned over the board. He 
tried to imagine these two Pawns mov- 
ing towards each other. Boris glanced 
at Peter and saw that he was looking 
at them impatiently. By way of encour- 
agement Peter said: ‘Well, come on 

Suddenly Boris remembered that last 
time Peter had shown them this very 
position and he announced gleefully: 

“The Black Pawn will become a 

“Why? After all, White ts first to 

“Because the Black Pawn will cap- 
ture the White Pawn! Shall I show you?” 


Sasha too saw what would happen 
and he smiled with relief. 

“IT see that Peter has taught you some- 
thing after all. Only don’t you get 
swollen-headed, my lad. And now, let’s 
get to know the other pieces. Which 
pieces occupy all the coorner squares on 
our board?” 

“The Rooks! The Rooks!” 
the boys in high spirits. 

Uncle Max took a Black Rook and 
placed him on the empty board. 

“The Rook has a straight character: 
he moves only tn straight lines—for- 
ward, backward, left and right—and 
he can move any distance. If a hostile 
man stands in the path of a Rook, the 
Rook can capture him and occupy his 
square. But 1f a friendly man blocks 
his path, the Rook cannot move. 

“The Rook ts not happy when he ts 
hemmed in. Now look. The Black Pawn 
is threatening the Rook who, even 
though he ts in the centre of the board, 
has nowhere to go because all his ave- 
nues of escape are obstructed by friend- 
ly Pawns.” 

“But the Rook himself can capture 
the Black Pawn,” Sasha observed, lean- 
ing over the board to show which 
Pawn could be taken by the Rook. 

“What are you doing—have you 
forgotten the rule ‘head and not hands’? 
Which square is this Pawn _ standing 

“On e6,” Sasha worked out quickly. 

“Then the other Black Pawn _ will 
capture the Rook,” Boris said. 

“Well, so what? There will still be an 
equal number of pieces!” 

‘‘No, Sasha, it’s not advantageous to 
sacrifice a Rook for a Pawn because 



= NS @®©O hk oO SD I C 

a bedef@gh 

“a bcde f 9 h 
a Rook is much more powerful. A Rook 
is worth approximately five Pawns. Yes, 
It’s true, don’t look so surprised. A Rook 
can Sweep across the whole board and 
inflict severe losses on the enemy.” 

‘But a Pawn can become a Queen!” 
Sasha tried to stick up for the small- 
est of the fighting men. 

“These wonderful transformations 
don’t happen all that often and then 
only at the end of a game. At the Start 
and in the middle the Pawn is still much 
weaker than the other pieces. And very 
many Pawns are lost in a chess battle. 
But don’t be upset, Sasha, it’s only a 
game after all.” 

With bold sweeping strokes Peter’s 
father moved the Rook from place to 
place, showing how he could dominate 

the board. Then he put Black Pawns 
on a7, b7 and c7 and a White Rook 
on the corner square h8&. 

‘‘Now, how are you going to attack 
the Pawns?” 

Boris suggested moving the Rook to 
a8, but Uncle Max moved the Pawn 
forward one square where it was pro- 
tected by the other Pawn. 

Boris then attacked the adjacent 
Pawn, but Peter’s father again moved 
forward one square so that Pawn ‘b”™ 
was now protected by its neighbour 
Pawn ‘“‘c”" 

Boris stubbornly continued to attack 
the Pawns from behind and moved the 
Rook to c8, but this Pawn too moved 
forward not one but two squares, and 
Boris saw that it could not be taken 
because the Pawn on b6 would then 
capture the Rook. 

“It will take a long time before you 
manage to capture any of the Pawns 
because you’re not attacking them in 
the right way. When Pawns stand in 
the same rank it 1s better to attack them 
from the side. Like this.” 

Uncle Max placed the Rook on h/7. 

Now both Sasha and Boris saw clear- 

ly that however the Black Pawns 
71@ $4 

"ab cdefopnh 




“ab ¢ def @ 

moved one of them would be lost in the 
next move, and then it would be a bad 
lookout for the other two. 

“The Rook is a powerful piece,” 
Peter’s father observed. ‘“‘But he needs 
space —open ranks and files.” 

‘How do you meéan—open?” Boris 
asked in surprise. 

“Open ranks and files are those in 
which there are neither friendly nor 
hostile men. But we still don’t know 
everything about the Rook. 

‘It 1s said that at one time the Rooks 
were placed in the centre, in front of 
the Pawns. The militant Rooks imme- 
diately rushed into battle, but they could 
not go very far—they were surround- 
ed by friendly and hostile men, they 
were hemmed tn! The Rooks lumber- 

ei inmn wohrkana ws © 

= f oh 

“ . 

ed around in the midst of this throng 
and got in the way of their own army. 
Then it was decided to hide them in the 
corners—not as a punishment, but so 
that they should not come out too soon 
and wait until there was space for them 
to move freely. Maybe it wasn’t all 
quite like that, but it is certainly true 
that Rooks should not rush into battle.” 

Sasha pictured the Rook moving 
importantly and majestically along the 
deserted streets of the chessboard— 
he was such a Straightforward, easy- 
to-understand piece. He moved only in 
Straight lines and would never dream 
of cutting a corner. 

When the two boys left Peter’s flat, 
Sasha set off for home in a straight 
line —just like a Rook. 

Leaping Horses 

=_ $0” 

a ar 
re = he: «s=.5 
Seg ee he gt Se Se — 

Sasha and Boris wanted to find out 
about the Knight as soon as _ possible. 
He seemed to them the most attractive 
of the pieces. What about the Rook 
though? It’s easy to understand how he 
moves, but who is he exactly, what 
can he be compared with? A tank? A 
connon? Yes and no. He’s a vague sort 
of piece really. The Knight is quite 
another matter! You see him immediate- 
ly as a dashing cavalryman, the horse 
under him rearing up, prancing and 
shying to one side. And when the time 
comes he charges into battle, leaping 
over obstacles. But how does the Knight 
behave on the chessboard? Once, when 
they were playing outside, Peter told 
them that the Knight moves in the shape 
of the letter “L”, which didn’t really 
make it any clearer. So the boys wait- 
ed impatiently until the next time Pe- 
ter’s father talked to them about chess. 
They hoped it would be the Knight’s 
turn—after all, he stood beside the Rook. 
Just in case it was, Sasha repeated to 
himself “b one”, “g one”, “b eight”, 
‘‘g eight’—the symbols for the squares 
occupied by the Knights at the beginn- 
ing of the game. Where would they 
gallop off to? 

On the table lay the board with the 
chessmen already set up for play. A 
solid row of Pawns protected the 

‘No piece can move until the Pawns 
open up a path for him,” Uncle Max 
said. ““No piece, that is, except the 
Knight. The Knight is not a long-dis- 
tance fighter, but he is very adroit and 
can leap over the other men. The Knight’s 
move is the most difficult of all to re- 
member, but unless you do, you won’t 

be able to play chess. Watch carefully: 
the Knight moves like this: two squares 
Out and one over. Forward and _ to 
the side, forward and to the side— 
in any direction. And if a piece is stand- 
ing in front of him, the Knight leaps 
Over it.” 

Peter’s father put the Knight which 
was Standing on square bl! onto square 
c3 and then played for Black, moving 
the Knight from b8 to c6. The other 
White Knight jumped from gl to f3 
and the Black horse opposite responded 
with a similar leap—from g8 Ww f6. 

“You see, the Pawns remain in po- 
sition but the Knights have already en- 

tered the game. The Knight’s move is 
like the letter ‘L"’ 

“If an enemy piece 1s standing in 
front of the Knight, can the Knight 
take it?” Sasha and Boris wanted to 
know there and then 

“No, the Knight captures only on 
the squares to which he jumps. Look 
at the board. The Knight can capture 
any of these pieces. He can choose any 
One he pleases... Where must you put 
the Knight now if he is to capture any 
of the Black Pawns?” 

Boris was the first to come up with 
the answer. He said that the White 
Knight should move to f5. 

‘And where has the Knight the least 
number of moves?” 

‘In the corner!” Sasha and Boris 


“That’s right. To put a Knight in a 
corner is to punish him severely. From 
a corner he has only two moves and 
can easily be captured there.” 

“But how can he be taken if he can 
leap over pieces?” Peter asked unex- 
pectedly. Usually, he tried not to ask 
questions for he considered that he al- 
ready knew practically everything. 

“And you, the teacher. don’t know?” 
Peter’s father narrowed his eyes crai- 
tily. “If I attack your Knight what 
will you do?” 

‘Move him to another square.” 

“And if enemy pieces can capture 



= NOR AS 1 & 

ase gee 

ob ¢ defaQnh 


your Knight on whichever square he 
jumps to?” 

Peter shrugged his shoulders, look- 
ing displeased. 

“Then the Knight will be captured. 
To capture a Knight you have to attack 
him and at the same time cut off all 
his escape routes. And this is easiest 
to do when the Knight is in a corner. 
See how the two Rooks have trapped 
the Knight? 

“A Rook and a Pawn can capture a 
Knight like this. 

“Even Pawns alone can capture a 
cornered horse.” 

“So that’s a horse for you!” Boris 
said disappointedly. “‘Anyone can cap- 
ture him... is he the weakest piece then?” 

“Yes, the Knight is very unhappy in 
a corner. But when he is at large he is 
extremely adroit and can cause a lot of 
unpleasantness. You’ve just seen that 
in the centre of the board the Knight 
threatens eight squares at the same time. 
And what if these squares are occupied 
by hostile men? [magine the alarm it 
will cause! When a Knight attacks two 
Or more pieces it 1s called a ‘Pin’.” 

‘“See, it really is like a fork prong- 
ing both Rooks at the same time. Black 


can Only move one Rook, the other 
remains On the ‘Pin’ and is captured.” 

‘A ‘Pin’ can also have another wid- A 

er shape. These are ‘Pins’ with two 

prongs; who can show me a ‘Pin’ with O 

four prongs?” 

— me woh 11D & 

It occured to Sasha that if two “Pins” 
were joined you would get a “Pin” 
with four prongs. 

He said what he thought and Peter’s 
father was quick to praise him. 

“But which piece is more power- 
ful—the Knight or the Rook?” Sasha 
wanted to know. He had now become 
rather fond of the clever adroit horse 
and wanted the Knight to be stronger 
than the obstinate Rook who _ only 
moved in straight lines. 

But Uncle Max’s reply disappointed 

“It can sometimes happen that the 
Knight is stronger than the Rook, but 
the Rook is nearly always the more 
powerful. The Rook 1s very fast-mov- 
ing, he can get to any square in two 
moves. Now count, how many moves 
must the Knight make to get from the 
al corner to the h8 corner?” 

The two boys started counting how 
many times the Knight would have to 
make his L-shaped move to complete 
the journey. But it was difficult to en- 

Muy, Ysty 



Z tip fp 
ty, = =§=YUb 

— Nr CO hh OF DS NI € 

Z, j Z “wy , 

visage all the Knight’s leaps and the 
boys got in a muddle. Then Boris put 
a White Knight in the corner and start- 
ed moving him across the board. He 
found that the quickest the Knight could 
move from one corner to another was 
In six leaps. 

There was certainly no way he could 
keep up with the Rook. 

For some reason Sasha thought of 
the little pony at the zoo on which the 
children had rides. By comparison the 
Rook seemed like a heavy lorry thun- 
dering along the motorway. 

When he was back at home Sasha 
came to the conclusion that the Knight 
was nonetheless a very interesting piece. 
Who else could leap so jauntily over the 
columns of friendly and hostile soldiers, 
who else could so skilfully catch out 
the enemy on a ‘Pin’? Sasha hopped 
across the parquet floor that was 
checkered like a chessboard. Each hop 
was in the shape of the letter “L”— 
forward and to the side, forward and 
to the side. 

“Lightweight” Bishops 
=: = eS oe 


if Sasha had been told that Bishops 
were only “lightweight” pieces he would 
never have believed it. But it turned 
out that in chess Bishops, like Knights, 
are called minor pieces while Queens 
and Rooks are known as major pieces. 
it was Peter who told him about the 
lightweight Bishops because his father 
had once again gone away on business. 
He also said that a Bishop needs only 
half the board. While they were play- 
ing outside Peter told them so many 
interesting things that Sasha and Boris 
could hardly wait to sit down with him 
at the chessboard. Peter explained to 
the boys that Bishops can only move 
diagonally, on those very diagonal 
lines which they had learned about when 
they became acquainted with the chess- 
board. The Bishop who stands initially 
on a black square, will move only on 
black diagonal squares throughout the 
game and is known as the black-squar- 
ed Bishop. In each chess army there 
is one black-squared Bishop and one 
white-squared Bishop who, from the 
very start, moves only on the white 
diagonal squares of the chessboard. 

“Why is it said,” Peter asked them, 
“that each Bishop needs only half the 

Sasha and Boris looked at each other 
and shrugged their shoulders. 

“Because”, Peter explained, ‘the 
Bishop only moves on diagonal squares 
of the same colour; the other squares, 
the other half of the board are in- 

‘ accessible to him. Do you understand?” 

Peter’s explanation was not really 
very clear to the boys: the board 
couldn’t be cut up into black and white 
squares for then there would be no bo- 

ard at all—only separate diagonals lying 
around! Peter sensed that once again 
he was not proving to be a very good 
chess teacher and he tried to put things 

“Td better tell you how the Bishop 
fights. Where does the Bishop have 
the greatest number of moves?” 

“In the middle...” Boris was the first 
to answer. 

“That’s right, in the centre of the 
board. And from which squares?” 

“From d4 and eS,” Sasha said. 

“No, from e4 and d5,”’ Boris objected. 

The boys glared at each other,— 
both were convinced they were right. 
Peter burst out laughing: 

“Yes, you’re both right! The black- 
squared Bishops have the greatest num- 
ber of moves from d4 and e5 and the 
white-squared Bishops—from e4 and d5. 
Look: all these squares are on the lon- 
gest diagonals. How many long diago- 
nals are there on the board?” 

“Two!” Sasha and Boris came out 
with the answer at the same time. 

“Yes, one white'and one black. Bi- 
shops are happiest on these two long 
diagonals. Here they are like long-range 
guns, they fire across the whole battle- 

“You promised to tell us why Bi- 
shops are called minor pieces,’ Sasha 
reminded him. 

“Bishops and Knights are called mi- 
nor pieces because they are weaker 
than Rooks and Queens which are 
known as major pieces. And perhaps 
also because Knights and Bishops en- 
ter the battle earlier while the major 
pieces are still only preparing for the 


—- so op an si o& — nwo wopraon na oc —-—nrwe oprudrd i & 

—- mS oOhea Dna © 

“But why is the Bishop weaker than 
the Rook?” Boris wanted to know. 

“The Rook sweeps across the whole 
board! But the Bishop...” Peter smiled, 
“Well, you can see for yourselves: the 
Bishop has only one half of the board 
open to him. He cannot move onto a 
square of a different colour and he is . 
less useful than the Rook.” 

‘‘Does it sometimes happen that the 
Rook has nowhere to move on a Straight 
line while the Bishop can move on 
a diagonal?“ Sasha asked. 

“Yes, it does. Then the Bishop is 
Stronger than the Rook. But the Rook 
is nearly always the more powerful,” 
Peter added knowledgeably, trying to 
sound like his father. “That is why it is 
not advantageous to exchange a Rook 
for a Bishop.” 

“What about exchanging a Bishop 
for a Knight?” 

“That’s all right. The Bishop and the 
Knight are equal in value.” 

Peter became thoughtful. He tried to 
remember what else his father had said 
about the Bishop, but he couldn’t re- 
call anything more. 

“Td better tell you about the Queen. 
Oh, what a powerful piece she is! Or 
maybe it would be better if Dad told 
you about the Queen?” Peter doubted 
his own powers. Sasha and Boris also 
thought it would be better if Uncle Max 
talked to them about such a powerful 
piece and they didn’t prevail on Peter. 

While he was having supper Sasha 
thought that Bishops probably found 
it very boring moving all the time on 
squares of the same colour and that 
they must somehow feel restricted in 
these diagonal cages. 

The Most Powerful Piece 

—— +e 


“Now boys,” Peter’s father said when 
Once again they had all gathered round 
the big table on which the chessboard 
was set up, “what did Professor Peter 
tell you about the Bishops?” 

Peter looked at Sasha and Boris as 
if to say: “Well, go on then, tell him!” 

Peter, Boris volunteered, hadn’t really 
said all that much about the Bishops, 
but what he told them they had under- 
stood. Sasha nodded in agreement. 

“What else is there to say about 
them?” Peter asked defensively. “They 
move on their own diagonals and that’s 
all there is to it...” 

“It’s not quite as simple as you think,” 
Peter’s father commented. “Did you 
tell the boys how the Bishops fight?” 

Sasha and Boris remembered that 
he had not. 

“Bishops move and attack on their 
own diagonals,” Uncle Max said. “The 
longer the diagonal, the more danger- 
ous the Bishop. Like the other pieces, 
the Bishop occupies the square of the 
hostile man he has captured. How can 
you escape from a Bishop then?” 

“Move off the diagonal,” 
jumped in with the answer. 

“That’s right, but it isn’t always so 
easy to do. Look: the Bishop is threaten- 
ing the Rook on d5, but if he moves 
the other Black Rook will be taken. 
Now let’s play with the Bishop against 
two Pawns,” he arranged the pieces. 
“How can the Bishop best attack the 

“From bl,” Sasna suggested. 

in repiy Peter's father moved the 
Pawn to 23. Sasha put the Bishop on 
d3 to prevent the Pawn from moving 
any further. But Uncle Max advanced 


the other Pawn to f3. Now Sasha found 
he couldn’t stop Pawn “e” from reach- 
ing the last rank. 

“You've lost, but you could have won 
you know”, Peter’s father demonstrat- 
ed that attack should have come not 
from bl, but from behind, from d5. 

If the Pawn had then moved to e3, 
the Bishop would have taken up his 
position on f3 and the Black Pawns 
would have been captured one after 
the other. 

If Black had tried to force his way 
through to the last rank with Pawn “f”, 
the Bishop would have taken one Pawn 
and succeeded in blocking the other. 

“You see,” said Uncle Max, ‘you 
have to be skilful when you fight with 
Bishops. And now, lads, the time has 
come to introduce you to the most po- 
werful piece in the chess kingdom— 
the Queen”. 

“T thought the King was the most 
powerful,” Sasha admitted. 

“The King is certainly the most im- 
portant, but he is not really so power- 
ful. The most powerful of all is the 
Queen. She can win against any other 
plece and even against two or three 
pleces together. Why? Because the 

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Queen can move like the Rook and the Bishop— 
on straight lines and diagonals. Imagine how 
many squares are accessible to her at one and 
the same time!” 

He removed all the pieces from the board 
and put the White Queen on e4. In his mind 
each boy traced the paths which led up, down, 
to the right, to the left and diagonally across 
the white squares. 

‘So, boys, you’ve seen that the Queen can 
move like the Rook and like the Bishop. 
She can attack a Rook on a diagonal ‘and a 
Bishop on a Straight line, while she herself 
remains safe.” 

“Dad, tell them how many pieces the Queen 
is worth,” Peter begged. 

“Oh, the Queen is a very valuable piece! 
She is roughly equal to two Rooks. How many 
of the minor pieces do you think can be ex- 
changed for a Queen?” 

“Probably three...” Sasha suggested timidly. 

“Yes, three minor pieces are approximately 
equal in strength to a Queen. But only if they 
are well protected. If the Knights and Bishops 
are scattered over the board, anyone of them 


can easily be captured by the Queen. In this () 

position for example: the White Queen moves 
to e4 and threatens all the Black pieces at the 
same time. As Black cannot save them all from 
attack in one move, one of the pieces will be 

“What move will the White Queen have to 
make here to win one of the Black pieces?” 

Sasha quickly moved the Queen, but Peter’s 
father reminded him that hands should not be 
used and put the Queen back in her former 
place. Sasha turned red and said in a guilty 
voice that the Queen should be moved to d8. 

“And how can a piece be captured in this 

“Move the Queen to d5!” Boris shouted A 

immediately, afraid that Sasha would again 


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“To b7,” Boris said. 

“Or to c6,” Sasha added after he 
had thought for a moment. 

“Or a7 and b8!” Boris put in quickly. 

“Correct. But the Queen can capture 
the Knight on any square in the eighth 
rank and not just in the corner. Here 
for instance”, he put the Knight on e8. 
‘“‘Now what move should the Queen 

Again Boris answered quickly that 
the Queen should move to d7. But Uncle 
Max showed them that the Knight co- 
uld then escape to f6. Then Sasha tho- 
ught that the Queen should move to 
e7. The ease with which the Queen 
was able to capture the leaping Knight 
took Sasha’s breath away. Peter’s fath- 
er moved the Knight to h3 and Bo- 
ris suggested putting the Queen on g3. 
When the Knight skipped to a4, the 
boys gave up trying to outdo each 
other—they both saw that the Queen 
must be placed next to the Knight. Not 
obliquely to him, but right up beside 
him. Then Boris asked whether the 
Queen could attack two Rooks at the 
Same time and capture one of them. 
The boys learned that on an empty 
board two Rooks have nothing to fear 
from a Queen because they can imme- 
diately take up their position in one 
line and defend each other. 

But if your own or enemy pieces 
prevent the Rooks from joining for- 
ces and coming to each other’s assis- 
tance, one of them will fall when at- 
tacked by the Queen. 

The boys also understood that it is 
not a good thing to bring out the Queen 
at the beginning of a game as she wiil 
be threatened by danger from all sides— 



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for everyone wants to destroy his 
Opponent’s most powerfui piece. On the 
other hand, the Queen can inspire ter- 
ror in the heat of the battle! 

Now Sasha saw why a Pawn is pro- 
moted into a Queen when it reaches 
the last rank—with such an important 
piece you won’t come unstuck! 

And if Sasha were to have another 
chess dream, he wouldn’t rack his brains 
wondering which piece to turn into, of 
course he wouid become a powerful 
Qucen—the cnampion among chess- 
men. There was only one thing Sasha 
couidn’t understand—why had Uncle 
Max said that the most important piece 
on the board was the King when he 
was weaker than the Queen? 

Watch Out, Your Majesty! i" 

——— SCti«dZ 

That day Peter didn’t go out to play 
and Sasha and Boris went round to 
see him at home. No sooner had they 
rung the bell than the door was flung 
open and the startled children saw be- 
fore them a King! A serrated crown 
adorned his head and in his hand he 
held a sceptre—the insignia of royal 
power. Admittedly, the sceptre looked 
more like a folded umbrella and the 
royal crown had been cut out of paper, 
but for all that here was a real chess 
King! The boys guessed immediately 
that he was a chess King because in 
place of armour, a piece of checked 
cardboard protected his breast. 

“Welcome to my chess kingdom!” 
announced the King in Peter’s voice. 

“And I am the Queen!” Boris ex- 
claimed seizing a ski stick in the hall 
and assuming a fierce expression. 

At that moment Uncle Max came out 
of the room and said that one King 
was enough for today, otherwise the 
boys might hurt themselves brandishing 
their ““weapons”. Turning to the King, 
he added: 

“And you, Your Majesty, sit still and 
stop waving your umbrella around be- 
cause the chess King is not supposed 
to poke his nose into trouble. The chess 
King is a timid creature, he likes peace 
and quiet and only at the very end of 
the battle will he occasionally show 
that he is no-one’s fool.” 

The King sat at the end of the sofa 
looking bored while Sasha and Boris 
~settled down beside Peter’s father. The 
chessboard, of course, was already set 
up on the table. 

“Do you remember, boys, how the 
Queen moves? In straight lines and dia- 

hie YY 

gonals in any direction. The King also 
moves in straight lines and diagonals 
in any direction, but only one square 
at a time—he has a short stride. His 
mobility is superior only to that of the 
Pawn, but there is no way he can keep 
up with the other pieces. It would be 
truer to say that he finds it rather diffi- 
cult to run away from the other pieces, 
because the King nearly always saves 
himself by flight and does not pursue 
the enemy. He is nevertheless the most 
important piece in the game of chess 
for the rules say you cannot play with- 
out a King. A chess war is waged for 
the sole purpose of placing the enemy 
King in a position from which there 1s 
no escape. When that happens—the 
war has been won! You may be left 
with any number of pieces and Pawns 
at that moment, but if your King cannot 
escape his downfall—you have lost. 

“That is why the King is the most 
important piece in the game.” 

Sasha and Boris fell silent amazed 
by the special status of this rather cow- 
ardly and difficult to manoeuvre 
plece. The chess King who was grow- 
ing restless on the sofa, jumped up 
and announced triumphantly: 


G Y 
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mm mS Oo Lh oS NC 

‘As you see, the King is the most 
important of all!” 

The King, apparently, was feeling 
hot for he started stripping off his royal 

‘So, it’s not easy being a King then?” 
Peter’s father asked him. ‘“‘ Yes, the chess 
King is not to be envied. He has to 
expect trouble all the time in the form 
of attack by enemy pieces. To make it 
easier for the slow-moving King to seek 
Shelter in a place of safety, a move 
called “Castling” was introduced into 
the game. The rules allow a player to 
Castle only once in the course of a game. 
That’s another difficult chess word 
for you—Castl-iiig. This is how it’s 


Uncle Max took all the pieces from 
the board, leaving only the White King 
and the two White Rooks on. their 

He moved one of the Rooks up next 
to the King and then made the King 
skip over him landing on the other 
side of the Rook on the adjoining 

Both the Rook’s change of position 
and the King’s skip over him count as 
One move. Castling is only allowed if 
neither the King nor the Rook has 
moved before, and if, after Castling, the 
squares on which the King and the 
Rook stand are not under attack from 
enemy pieces. 

“On which side of the board can you 
do this...”” Sasha stumbled over the diffi- 
cult word. “This Castling?” 

“Ah yes, boys, I forgot to tell you 
that you can Castle on the left and on 
the right. If you Castle on the Queen's 
side there is further to go than if you 

Castle on the King’s side. Do you 
“Yes, I see,” Boris replied. “But 

which is better—on the King’s side or 
on the Queen’s side?” 

“What on the King’s side or the 
Queen’s side?” Peter’s father asked, 
pretending not to understand, although 
there was a twinkle in his eye. Boris 
too was obliged to pronounce this awk- 
ward word. 

“Which is better—Castling on the 
King’s side or the Queen’s side?”’ 

“Well, it depends... It’s better to Cas- 
tle on the side where there is a solid 
barrier of Pawns behind which the 
King can hide in safety.” 


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the King can be protected if the White 

“How can the King be captured?” 

Sasha asked. 

Knight is moved from cl to e2. Ano- 
ther way of saving the King is to cap- 

“The King does not have the right to 
move to a square on which he could 

be captured. That is why, in the past, 

ture the attacking piece. Now, if in this 

position the White Knight were stand- 
ing on c3, he could capture the Black 

Rook and save his King. If the King 


when the King came under attack the 


player had to call out loud the word 

is in a position when he comes under 
attack and can neither move to another 
square, nor protect himself, nor capture 

the attacking piece, it is called ‘Check- 

‘King, beware!’ 

which means 
Nowadays you don’t have to say ‘Check’, 
but a direct attack by an enemy piece 

on the King is still called ‘Check’. Then 
the King must either move or protect 

himself against 


mate’. The death of the King is the end 

of the game. An attack on the King 
which results in his downfall is Check 

and Mate. There are a great many po- 

the attacking piece. 

Like this, for instance: the Black Rook 
has put the White King in Check, but 

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sitions in which the King can be Check- 
mated. Let’s look at a few of them to 
begin with.” 

One after the other Uncle Max show- 
ed the boys different positions from 
which the King had no way of escape. 

Sasha was delighted. Everything he . 

had so far learned about this fascinat- 
ing game now acquired a new meaning 
for him. The King 1s Checkmated! The 
King is Checkmated! Watch out, Your 

At home Sasha spent a long time 
thinking about the different Checkmate 
positions Peter’s father had shown them 
and he desperately wanted to create 
such situations himself 1n which he could 

Strike crippling blows at the enemy 

As he was falling asleep Sasha mur- 
mured ‘Check and Mate, Check and 

Watch out, Your Mayjesty!..” 

~ N ~~ » 



m tw WO Hh 1 DD NY C 
RSS x s — 
. < ‘ies: N 

Touch— Move 

At nursery school Sasha and Boris 
arranged to play their first real game 
of chess that evening. Now that they 
knew all the rules it was time to start 
a war of wood. It would be interesting 
to see who Checkmated whom! 

Sasha had hardly finished supper 
when there was a long impatient ring 
on the doorbell and Boris stood there 
all out of breath. He was in a tremen- 
dous hurry and quickly wiped his feet 
on the mat as though he were perform- 
Ing some energetic dance. 

Looking at his friend, Sasha too start- 
ed to hurry. The chessmen were set 
up in a flash and the battle commen- 
ced! The Pawns moved forward, the 
Knights leapt across the board and the 
Bishops swept along their diagonals. 
Boris even Castled. Sasha, however, 
didn’t manage to: he was so carried 
away capturing enemy Pawns that he 
failed to notice Boris had taken first 
his Rook and then his Queen. Soon 
Sasha’s King was surrounded by Boris’s 

“Check!” Boris shouted in excite- 
ment. “Check again! Watch out, King! 
No, you can’t move there—you’ll come 
under attack from my Rook! And you 
can’t go there either, you’ll be in Check 
from my Knight!” 

Sasha held the Black King in his 
hand, not knowing where to put him— 
all the surrounding squares were bom- 
barded by White pieces. Boris was 

“Checkmate! Your King is Check- 
mated! You’ve lost! Let’s play again.” 

Sasha tried to play the next game 
more carefully. Before moving a piece 
he first looked to see whether it would 

come under attack, and before making 
an exchange he stopped to think which 
plece was more valuable and whether 
it would be advantageous to swop. Af- 
ter his first victory Boris, however, play- 
ed too quickly and too confidently. He 
couldn’t wait to Checkmate Sasha’s 
King again. Sasha, of course, refrained 
from saying to his friend “He who 
laughs last, laughs best”, but one 
after the other, Boris’s pieces came 
under attack and disappeared from the 

Now it was Sasha’s turn to pursue 
the enemy King. He attacked him from 
this side and that, Checking him time 
and again, but Boris’s King proved to 
be very agile and Sasha simply couldn’t 
trap him. Even his own pieces seemed 
to be preventing him from making short 
work of the enemy King. Only when 
Sasha started to drive Boris’s King back 
to the edge of the board, cutting off his 
escape route to the centre squares did 
it become clear that Boris could not 
save himself. And indeed, after several 
more moves his King was Checkmated. 

Now every evening the boys took it 
in turn to play chess at each other’s 
home. They were well matched and 
nearly always won a game apiece, which 
meant that no-one was upset. True, 
they would sometimes argue when one 
of them made a move and then changed 
his mind, putting the piece back on 
the square and moving another. If 
the new move wasn’t right either, it 
would be a case of “Let’s go back to 
how it was...”. Both Sasha and Boris 
took back moves and the game became 
so confused that they had to stop and 
start all over again. However, they 


didn’t argue with each other for long, 
for then there would be no-one to play 
with and that was unthinkable! 

Sasha and Boris got used to playing 
with each other and it seemed to both 
of them that they were good players. 
But one day Peter called itn and sat 
down at the chessboard with thei. 
First he beat Sasha and then Boris and 
the same thing happened a second time! 
And not once could either of the boys 
put Peter’s King in Check. Peter no- 
ticed that they were upset and consoled 

‘Never mind, don’t worry. It’s just 
that you play with each other, and I 
with Dad. Dad says it’s good to play 
against someone better than yourself. 
Anyway, why have You stopped coming 
to see us?” 

The next day the boys went round 
to see Peter. 

‘Ah, the champions!. Come in, come 
in!’ Uncle Max greeted them. “So, now 
you know how the pieces move, you 
think there’s nothing more to learn? 
No, boys, it is only now that the art of 
playing chess begins! Let’s have a game! 
Set up the armies!” 

Boris played first. After making a few 
hurried moves, he suddenly noticed that 
he had put his Rook under attack. Quick- 
ly Boris grabbed his Rook and put 
him back in his former position. Peter’s 
father frowned: 

‘No, no! You can’t take a move back. 
In chess there is a rule which says that 
if a player touches one of his men he 
must move it. You make the move and 
you take the consequences. Even if 
you see that you’ve made a mistake, 
you can’t take back the move.” 


Sasha remembered how often he and 
Boris had taken back moves and got 
into such a muddle that they could no 
longer remember where the pieces were 
supposed to be. 

While Sasha was thinking the! never 
again would he take back a move or 
allow Boris to either, Boris’s King was 
Checkmated. Boris wanted to start ano- 
ther game there and then, but Sasha 
protested—it was his turn to play af- 
ter all. 

For the first time Sasha sat at the 
chessboard with a real grown-up player 
and not another boy like himself. At 
first Sasha felt timid but then he became 
sO immersed in the game that he al- 
most forgot against whom he was play- 
ing. Perhaps he would even have felt 
himself to be Uncle Max’s equal, had 
not the position of his men deteriorat- 
ed with every move. It seemed to Sa- 
sha that there were so many more of 
his opponent's forces and that each of 
his pleces was much stronger than the 
same pieces which belonged to him. 
Soon Sasha’s King, was left without any 
protection and Checkmated in the midd- 
le of the board. 

“Well, boys, you both play the sa- 
me,” Uncle Max hesitated for a mo- 
ment, “and you both play equally bad- 
ly. You know how the pieces move, 
but you have no idea where to move 
them to. An army that remains in bar- 
racks is not very dangerous. The 
pieces must not be left standing on their 
squares—they must be brought out into 
good strategic positions and only then 
can the attack begin. That’s why you 
must first develop the game and move 
Out as many pleces as possible rather 


than shift the same pieces backwards 
and forwards several times. It’s easier 
to bring out the minor pieces first— 
the Knights and the Bishops. What must 
you do before you can bring out the 

“Open up a path for them,” Sasha 

“That’s right. And it’s best to move 
the Pawns which stand in the centre 
files— Pawns ‘d’ and ‘e’. Why? Because 
by advancing the centre Pawns you 
open up a path for the Bishop and the 
Queen at the same time and because 
you can very easily manoeuvre the 
pieces when they are protected by 
the centre Pawns. Do you understand 
how you should ,play at the beginn- 
ing of a game? Sasha, you tell 

‘One must bring out the Knights 

and the Bishops and move forward the 
centre Pawns.”’ 

“Thats right. Before attacking the 
enemy you should have as many as pos- 
sible of your own pieces in good strate- 
gic positions and not move the same 
plece several times. See how much I 
have told you this evening and yet this 
is only the beginning, only the rudi- 
ments of the science of chess. We’ll 
have another session in about two weeks. 
In the meantime keep playing...” 

Sasha and Boris went away feeling 
serious and subdued. It was not prov- 
ing at all easy to play chess and they 
still had so much to learn. But then, 
they were still only very small... 

‘It’s a lot easier knocking down chess- 
men with a cube, isn’t it?” Sasha 
smiled at his friend. 

“Oh don’t...” Boris muttered guiltily. 

Who’s Won? 
It’s a Stalemate! 

agit SSE 
tt inh” 
= ait re 

When they were at nursery school 
or out of doors in the fresh air Sasha 
and Boris played with the other child- 
ren. They played hockey and threw 
snowballs, played hide-and-seek and 
being at war. But Sasha and Boris had 
another game that the rest of the chil- 
dren didn’t know about. This “other” 
game was chess. Had there been even 
One chess set in the school Sasha and 
Boris would not have kept their newly- 
found interest a secret, but happily have 
told the other children about this fas- 
cinating game. But there was no chess 
set and most of the children probably 
had no idea what one looked like. Sa- 
sha wanted to take his board and chess- 
men to school, but his mother wouldn’t 
let him. So, Sasha and Boris only played 
chess with each other or with Peter, 
and very occasionally with  Peter’s 

Sasha noticed that when he or Boris 
captured a piece, their advantage in- 
creased—they were in a stronger po- 
sition—and the stronger they were, the 
easier 1t became to pursue the deplet- 
ed enemy. Once Sasha managed to cap- 
ture Boris’s Queen. After the Queen 
had gone, Boris still had a Bishop and 
a Knight, but Sasha captured these mi- 
nor pieces one after the other and was 
left with his extra Queen. 

Sasha captured the Black Pawn on 
f7 with his Queen so as to Checkmate 
Boris’s King in the next move. Boris 
seized his King, intending to move him 
out of danger. He was always very 
quick to reach for his pieces but then 
found it was not advantageous to move 
them. Sometimes Boris even sat on 
his hands, so that they “could 

not act before his brain”, as_ he 
put it. 

But this time Boris did not sit on his 
hands for there was no escaping de- 
feat. Boris held the Black King in his 
hand, but there was nowhere for him 
to go—all the squares were under attack 
from Sasha’s Queen. And the Black 
Pawns were blocked—they could not 

“There’s nowhere to move...” Boris 
said quietly, looking in dismay at the 
board and then at Sasha. 

“That means you’ve lost!” Sasha an- 
nounced firmly. “Pll Checkmate you in 
the next move.” 

“But it’s my move,” Boris objected 
hesitantly. “I have to make a mo- 
VO ua 

“You’re Checkmated and that’s that!” 
Sasha waved his arm. But his friend 
did not agree. 

“It’s still not Checkmate. You don't 
have the right to make two consecu- 
tive moves.” 

Neither boy would give in. But why 
spend a whole evening arguing? The 
boys decided to ask Peter’s father to 
settle their dispute. 

Still convinced he was right, Sasha 
carefully carried the board with the 
pleces arranged on it while Boris went 
ahead and rang the bell. Uncle Max 
looked surprised when he saw Sa- 
sha standing with the board in his 

“Why have you brought the chess 
set? We have one here.” 

“This is our game so far. Do you 
see the position? I still have my 

“And I have nowhere to move.” 



Z Y Y 

=— © wohreana nv © 


“Whose game Is it?” 

“Its a Stalemate!” came the unex- 
pected reply. “I haven’t told you about 
this yet, I was afraid it would confuse 

looked hopefully at Peter’s 

you, but in chess warfare there are 
draws as well as victories and defeats. 
A game can end in a draw at any time, 
if both sides agree.” 

“I don’t agree!’ Sasha announced. 

“Wait a second, don’t interrupt. 
There can be draws when no agreement 
is necessary. If any move my King 
makes places him in Check and I have 


no other pieces or they are all blocked 
and my opponent has not called Check, 
then my King Is considered to be Stale- 
mated and the game ends in a draw. 
This is your position now. Of course, 
it’s very annoying to have to agree to a 
draw when you’re left with your Queen, 
but there’s nothing you can do about 
it—that’s a rule of chess. A player of- 
ten gets out of a difficult situation by 
forcing his opponent to Stalemate him. 

Uncle Max set up the pieces. 

“White has two extra Pawns and 
with them you would think he ought to 
win. But it is Black’s turn and he moves 
his Queen to h4. You see, he places 

her under attack and sacrifices her, but / 

in so doing he has created a Stalemate 
position and Black obtains a draw. 
White has to take the Black Queen 
because his King has nowhere to re- 

At that moment Peter came in from 
the next room. 

“You didn’t know about the Stale- 
mate? Oh, it’s a very cunning trick! 
When you pursue the enemy King to 
the edge of the board, you have to watch 
out that you don’t finish up with 
a Stalemate instead of a Check- 

“It is also a draw when perpetual 
Check occurs,” Peter’s father contin- 
ued. “The player for whom things are 
going badly will also aim for perpetual 
Check. Now look. The White Pawns 
are about to be promoted into Queens. 
But Black has an unexpected oppor- 
tunity to save himself.” 

Uncle Max placed the Black Queen 
on fl and showed them that after 


White averts Check by moving his 
Queen, Black again’ calls Check 
on h3. 

“White once more protects himself 
by moving his Queen to h2 and Black 
again puts him in Check from fl and 
so on ad infinitum. That’s perpetual 
Check for you! You may have extra 
Pawns and even extra pieces, but you 
won’t win. If, for example, you are left 
with a King and a Bishop and your 
opponent has only a King—it’s also a 
draw. A King and a Bishop or a King 
and a Knight—even two Knights— 
cannot Checkmate the other King. In 

cases should immediately 

agree to a draw rather than torment 


yourself and opponent. Do 
you see? 

“And now, boys, you’d better go out 
and play otherwise you'll not get enough 
fresh air and that won't do at all! If you 
don’t have plenty of exercise and run 
around after balls and pucks, your 
brain won’t work for you. Then you 
won't be able to get the better of all 
these wily chessmen. Boys who can ski 
and skate well don’t lose their way on 
the chessboard. All the famous chess- 

players—the Grandmasters as they’re 



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to show Sasha and Boris Just how much 

boys. See that next time you come with 
rosy cheeks—like this,” he spread his 
fingers and held them against his cheek 
colour they should have. 

all World Champions. So, there you are, 


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called—do a lot of physical training. 
You will often see Botvinnik and Pet- 
rosyan on the ski slopes. Spassky is a 
good swimmer and plays tennis. 

they have all achieVed remarkable vic- 
tories on the chessboard, they were 

Not Numbers 
but Know-How 


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The King 
Goes on the March 


Sasha really enjoyed attacking enemy 
Kings, putting them in Check, threaten- 
ing them with Checkmate and driv- 
ing the most important of the enemy 
pieces into a hopeless position. But 
when his own King was in danger, Sa- 
sha’s morale suffered. He lost confidence 
and derived less pleasure from the game. 
So, Sasha always endeavoured to 
hide his King away in a safe corner 
and keep his peace of mind. But he 
began to notice that at the end of a 
game when only a few pieces were left 
on the board, the King could not re- 
main on the side—it was just not pos- 
sible to do without him. 

And generally speaking, there was 
more than enough for the King to do 
at the end of a game. He had to pro- 
tect his Pawns and attack hostile men. 
Sasha discovered that the nearer the 
King to the decisive encounter, the 
better. Towards the end of the game 
the moment comes when you have to 
say to the timid King: “Enough of hid- 
ing, Your Majesty, it is time to come 
out into the open.” Besides it is now 
easier for the King to embark on his 
long journey because there are so few 
enemy pieces left on the board to attack 

Sasha now knew that at the end of a 
game the situation often arises when 
neither side has sufficient power to 
make a successful attack on the enemy 
King and Checkmate him. When that 
happens, you must try to advance your 
Pawn to the last rank and turn it into 
a Queen. With an extra Queen it is not 
difficult to seize the hostile King and 
win the game. Only it’s no simple mat- 
ter to push the Pawn through. Once 

Sasha and Boris found themselves in fal 

this position. 

Sasha boldly moved his Pawn for- 
ward and put Boris’s King in Check. 
Boris’s King moved to e8 immediately 
in front of the Pawn. Sasha moved his 
King to e6 so as not to leave unpro- 
tected his advancing Pawn which was 
about to become a Queen! Then Boris 
clapped his hands in delight and yelled: 
‘‘Stalemate!” And indeed, there was 
nowhere for the Black King to go. 

Whenever Sasha or his opponent 
reached the last rank, they always pro- 
moted their Pawns into Queens. But 
why should the rules say that the Pawn 
can be promoted into any plece? It 

4£Y4 ha 




must mean that there are situations 
when it is advantageous to choose a 
Knight or a Rook instead of the power- 
ful Queen? This question troubled Sa- 
sha for a long time and once again he 
had to turn to Peter’s father for the 

“Well, it’s quite clear, if there is a 
rule, it’s there to be made use of,” Uncle 



If you choose the 
‘“Pin”—Checking the 

Boris grabbed the White Queen from 
His answer was the correct one. Sa- 
sha too saw that if a Queen were cho- 
sen there would be an equal number 
of pieces, but if you took a Knight he 
King and attacking the Queen—and 
..At home Sasha thought about how 
the Pawn had become a Knight and 

the pieces lying on the table and was 
‘Into a Rook!” Sasha answered quick- 

ly, delighted that he had found the 
“So, you see, it is not always advan- 

tageous to promote the Pawn into a 
“Into a Knight!” This time Boris fore- 

“That’s right, Boris! He who laughs 
stalled Sasha. 

about to place her on the board when 
he met the warning look from Peter’s 
last, laughs best. 

father. He put the Queen back. 
piece should the Pawn be promoted 

move before he is Checkmated by the 

how this unexpected promotion had 

rank and convert it into any one of 
White would be left with an extra piece. 
immediately changed the course of the 

Queen, Black will be in Stalemate. What 
solution. “Then the King will have one 
Queen,” Uncle Max said. “And here’s 
another example. It’s White to move. 
He can advance the Pawn to the last 
the pieces. But which one?” 

would make a 


WS Ww" \ 

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miracles which occur on the checker- 

battle. He longed to show someone this 
ed board. 

unusual position and the many 

is better to choose one of the weaker 
[/] pieces are rare. Look at this first po- 
sition. It’s White to move. How can you 

Max said. “Only, positions in which it 
Checkmate the Black King?” 

All Children Should Learn 

a a2 

As though alive the participants of 
the war of wood, the heroes of fasci- 
nating chess adventures rose up in front 
of Sasha. 

Here come the fine round-headed 
Pawns, stepping out with soldier-like 
precision. They are the smallest on the 
square battlefield. But the courageous 
Pawns have no fear and make way for 
no-one. It is as 1f these intrepid warri- 
ors were Saying: not a single step back, 
only forward! What does it matter that 
the Pawns are smaller and weaker than 
the other pieces? When they are to- 
gether, marching shoulder to shoulder 
into the attack, many of the stronger 
chess pieces take refuge in flight. And 
the Pawns maintain a stalwart defence, 
protecting each other. Kings feel safe 
behind their serried ranks. Long-distan- 
se fighting Bishops take aim and spirited 
agile Knights leap out from behind the 
barriers of Pawns. Even. the powerful 
Queen is prepared to take cover behind 
the small courageous Pawns in mo- 
ments of danger. 

And here come the quick-moving 
but rather clumsy Rooks sweeping 
across the board at full speed. They 
need space and open lines. They cannot 
wield their power in a confined area 
and it seems that all the time they are de- 
manding—make way! Rooks are power- 
ful pieces and they are especially pow- 
erful when they reinforce each other. 
If two Rooks join forces and command 
an open line or if they penetrate the 
enemy’s rear line then—watch out! 
They will annihilate everything in their 

Then Sasha remembered that chess 
Bishops cannot protect each other be- 


cause from the start to the end of the 
battle one of them moves on white 
diagonal squares and the other on black 
diagonal squares. Sasha even began to 
feel sorry for these elegant warriors 
who are forbidden by the rules of chess 
to come to each other’s defence. On 
the other hand though, Bishops can 
join forces and bombard the enemy on 
black and white diagonals at the same 
time. It turns out that Bishops are good 

Sasha thought of the Knights with 
particular pleasure. Without these re- 
markable horses chess would be alto- 
gether too rectilinear, too regular. The 
indomitable and reckless Knights can 
turn everything upside down! And 
then there are these unexpected at- 
tacks—‘“Pins” from which there is no 
escape and no cover. Yes, the Knight 
is an agile piece and with him one has 
to be on one’s guard... 

And the Queen? Sasha thought about 
this commander of the chessboard with 
respect and a certain caution: the Queen 
is exceedingly powerful and menacing 
and it is terrible to lose her because of 
some stupid blunder. When the Queen 
dominates the board how weak and 
vulnerable the other pieces seem! 

The awkward slow-moving’ King 
rose up in Sasha’s imagination as though 
he were really alive. In appearance 
he is tall and thin, yet he moves with 
as much difficulty as a clumsy fat man. 
And he will happily settle down in a 
quiet place behind the Pawns, observing 
how the others fight for him. Is that 
really honourable? There’s nothing 
you can do about it though—without 
the King you can’t play chess and all 

the pieces have to protect His Majesty. 
Such are the rules. Then Sasha recalled 
that after all the King is quite likeable, 
particularly at the end of the game 
when he comes out of hiding and boldly 
hurries to the defence of his soldier- 
Pawns. It is very agreeable to observe 
the King when he has plucked up his 

All these pieces, so different in char- 
acter, march, leap and storm across 
the chessboard! Each has his own hab- 
its, his own style and very nearly his 
own face, although it 1s really only the 
Knight who has a face; you can’t see 
any features in the other pieces. Yes, 
these pieces are very different, but alto- 
gether they make a fascinating game! 

Then Sasha thought that he and Bo- 
ris were behaving badly in hiding their 
new pastime from the other children 
at nursery school. The other children 
too would certainly be interested. . 

When they were at school the next 
morning Sasha and Boris had a long 
conversation in whispers. Then togeth- 
er they went up to the teacher. Bo- 
ris was bolder and began first: 

“Miss, why don’t we have a chess set 
In the school?” 

“What do we need one for?” the 
teacher asked in surprise. 

“It’s such an interesting game!” Sa- 
sha blurted out. He felt offended that 
their teacher could be indifferent to 
this best of games. 

“But who will teach us to play?” 
she objected. “None of the teachers 
plays chess.” 

“We'll teach the others!” Boris an- 
nounced boldly. 

“Yes, Boris and I will teach them,” 
Sasha supported his friend. 

The teacher was even more sur- 
prised. She looked at Boris and then 
at Sasha. Gradually her features 
relaxed into a smile. 

“So, you can play chess and you 
want all the other’ children’ to 

“Yes, it will be interesting for every- 
body,” Boris said confidently and Sa- 
sha nodded in silent agreement. 

“Well,” said their teacher after think- 
ing for a moment, “perhaps we can 
try... Not long ago I saw a set with 
large chessmen—if we get that, all the 
children could learn at the same time. 
You, Boris, and you, Sasha, can be the 
teachers and we'll find one of the grown- 
ups to be your assistant,” she added 

Sasha and Boris were very happy. 
They had a clear picture of the chil- 
dren gathering in the large playroom 
when they had finished playing out- 
side. And they, Sasha and Boris, would 
tell them about the wonderful land of 
chess where wooden figures wage a toy 
war among themselves. 

All children should know what an 
interesting game chess is! 


The authors have deliberately omitt- 
ed from the text two rules of the game 
which, in their view, could cause diffi- 
culties.. Although these rules are not 
essential for beginners, there comes a 
time when they will have to be learned. 
The authors decided, therefore to ex- 
plain these rules in the appendix—“‘just 
in case”. The first rule affects 

En Passant. If your opponent’s Pawn 
takes advantage of its right to make two 
steps on its first move, passing by a 
square attacked by your Pawn, your 
Pawn can capture it. 

The capture takes place as if your 
Opponent’s Pawn took one step forward 
on its first move and came under at- 
tack from your Pawn. You could then 
capture your opponent’s Pawn in the 
usual way, although it is not obligatory 
to do so. Both sides should bear this 
possibility in mind. 

Finally, a Pawn must be captured 
en passant straightaway, on the answer- 
ing move, otherwise the right is for- 

Castling in the Path of a Hostile 
Man. The King is not permitted to 
Castle if the square he skips lies in the 
path of a hostile man. 

Be quite clear: when Castling the 
Rook can cross the path of a hostile 

man. It is only the King who is for- &4 

bidden to do so. In the position shown 
in the last diagram White can Castle on 
the Queen’s side, but not on the King’s 

mnNwmeohp o@® NI © 

-—_m= Mme © Ph OS N 

Answer These Questions Without 
Your Parents’ Help 

Between which pieces do the Knights stand in their initial position? 
Between which pieces do the Bishops stand at the beginning of the game? 
What colour is the square in the corner on the right-hand side of the player? 
Why did the King in the fairy story not learn to play chess well? 
In how many moves can the Rook attack any square on an open board? 

How many squares are there on the board from which the Knight 
has only two moves? 

Which Bishops never collide with each other? 
How can a Pawn protect itself from a Bishop on an open board? 

Which piece can make a sudden attack on a Queen and not be 
threatened by her at the same time? 


Why cannot a King move onto a square immediately adjacent 
to another King? 


Where can a King capture a Knight? 
What is it called when the King and his Rook move at the same time? 
From which piece is it impossible to take cover when it attacks? 
When does the King become courageous? 
Which pieces can be brought out when the Pawns are still in place? 

Which piece can skip over another piece only once in the entire 

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ar > 2 



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