What would you like me to call you this lesson?

Hello kiddo.

In this war there are six different types of soldier. In this lesson you'll learn their names and where they go at the start of the battle.

But first, how did you get on with finding all those bombs?

It was easy - I'm really good at working out the names of the squares

It's pretty hard - I really need some more practice

I still don't understand how to work out the names of the squares

This is the battlefield.

Do you remember how many squares there are on it?

Of course I do - the answer is 64
I really have no idea

And you also remember that you set it up with...

White on the Right
Black on the Right

You know what, Kiddo?

If you happen to have a chess set there it will help you to learn how to set up the armies.

At the start of the battle we place the White army on the ranks numbered 1 and 2, and the Black army on the ranks numbered 7 and 8.

First look for some big guys who look like castles.

But they're NOT REALLY called castles. I get VERY ANGRY with anyone I hear calling them castles.

They're really called ROOKS, even though they look like castles.

The ROOKS are the CHARIOTS in your army.

The ROOKS start in the corners, so place your White Rooks on a1 and h1, and your Black Rooks on a8 and h8, as in the diagram.

Next, look for the guys who look like horses.

Again there should be four of them, two White and two Black.

No, they're not called HORSES

But they ARE the cavalry in your army.

These soldiers are actually called KNIGHTS

The KNIGHTS start next to the ROOKS. The WHITE KNIGHTS start on the 1st RANK, on b1 and g1.

And the BLACK KNIGHTS go on the 8th RANK, on b8 and g8.

Next up we have some pointy headed dudes. Can you find four of these, two White and two Black ones?

They may not look like it but they're the ELEPHANTS in your army.

And jolly useful they are too!

They're really called BISHOPS, though. They are shaped like a bishop's hat or MITRE.

Guess where they start?

That's right, next to the Knights.

Place your White Bishops on c1 and f1 and your Black Bishops on c8 and f8.

Now you should be able to find two really big guys on each side.

Look first for the big guy with the cross on top, like the one in the picture.

You'd be right to guess that he's the most important member of your army.

In fact he's the KING - if you kill the enemy King you win the battle.

And if your King gets killed you lose the battle.

You have to pay attention to the next bit!


And the BLACK KING starts on a WHITE SQUARE.

So place your WHITE KING on the e1 square and your BLACK KING on your e8 square.

Now find the other two big guys - the ones WITHOUT the cross on top.

You'd be right to think that they are also very important.

In fact they are the most POWERFUL pieces in your army.

What do you think they're called?

Yes you're right. These are the QUEENS.

You can probably work out where they start.

Don't you ever forget this:


So the WHITE QUEEN starts on d1 - a WHITE SQUARE.

And the BLACK QUEEN starts on d8 - a BLACK SQUARE.


They are the INFANTRY - the foot soldiers in your army.

Don't believe anyone who tells you they're called PRAWNS.

They're certainly NOT called PRAWNS!!

We call them PAWNS - and they start in front of the other pieces.

So the WHITE PAWNS start on the SECOND RANK - eight of them, going from a2 to h2.

And the BLACK PAWNS, surprise surprise, start on the RANK numbered 7 - eight of them as well, from a7 to h7.

And now the forces are set up for the start of the battle.

Which piece would you like to be in the army? When you've learnt all the names you'll be able to take the part of each piece in a battle.

When you are really good with all the pieces you'll be ready for a full battle.

One other thing you need to know: in every battle WHITE starts by playing the first move, and then the players take it in turns: White, Black, White, Black and so on.

Now for your homework, kiddo.
I'm going to give you a worksheet with some questions about the armies. Bring it in to me next time.

Fantastic! I'll learn a lot from doing it.

It's too scary. I might stab myself with my pencil.

You'll get a different worksheet every time you click the red button, so do as many as you want.

That's the end of the lesson, kiddo.

You also have to do a REALLY HARD EXAM.

Cool! I can't wait! Can I do it now?

I didn't understand the lesson

I'll do it later - I have to go now

No way!! I hate Really Hard Exams