When it comes to chess setup, a diagram is most effective.

Basically, the proper initial chess board setup looks like this –

Correct chessboard set up

In which –

= King

= Queen

= Bishop

= Knight

= Rook

= Pawn

Follow this chessboard setup diagram, and just like that you’re ready to play.

Remembering The Chess Pieces Set Up

Of course, a simple diagram doesn’t do you much good if you’re intention is to be able to set up a chess board correctly without having to look up the chess board layout every time you play.

Ideally, you will be able to memorize the correct chessboard setting and know where all the pieces go without a guide. So, here’s a tip.

The simplest way I have found to remember how to set up a chessboard is like this –

Royalty –> Clergy –> Horses –> Towers

While it’s not exactly a perfect mnemonic device, if you can remember this simple four-word reminder, it gives you the proper setup from the center of your back row out toward the edges.

Since a traditional chess set already lends toward kingdom imagery, it may even help to envision the board as a kingdom in itself.

In the center of the kingdom, in the greatest positions of safety and power, you have the king and queen.

Next to them, you have the bishops or spiritual leaders of the kingdom.

Then, the horses/knights who guard the kingdom.

Then, the rooks, which you can think of as the castle towers along the outside walls.

Royalty –> Clergy –> Horses –> Towers

If you can remember this, you need to know only three other things in your chess game setup –

1 – The position of the board itself.

Each player should have a dark square on their left-hand side.

There’s no easy way to remember this. Sorry. You’ve just got to lock it in.

2 – The setup of the King and Queen.

The queen goes on her own color.

If you don’t mind a somewhat sexist mnemonic, you might think it’s because the queen is more concerned with color-coordination than the King.

3 – The pawns fill the front row.

Pretty easy to remember this one, but if it helps, you can think of everything in the back row – Royalty –> Clergy –> Horses –> Towers – as inside the castle and the pawns as peasants who live outside the castle walls.

You’ll note all three of these things in our chess board setup diagram above.

Set Up Your Chess Board For Strategic Success

A proper chess board setup is the foundation upon which a game of chess is built, but it can be an annoyance to have to look it up every time you want to play.

We hope our chess setup guide not only helps you set up your chess board for your next game, but helps you memorize the correct chess table set up for games to come.

After all, a proper setup is your first move in a game well-played.

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