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# The Knight by The U.S. Chess Federation and Peter Kurzdorfer

The peculiar child of chess, knights are shaped like a horse's head and don't behave like any of the other pieces. They do not move along ranks, files, or diagonals, either short-range like the king or long-range like the rook, bishop, or queen. Instead, the knight moves from one corner of any six-square rectangle to the opposite corner.

Thus, the rectangular corner highway is what he uses. You will notice very quickly that a knight always winds up on a different color square from where he began his move. Thus in a way he is the bishop's opposite.

## Fact

Knights are the cavalry of chess. Although there are no men or horses involved, the jumping action of the rectangular corner leap is close enough to have given players that impression. Along with the king, rook, and pawn, the knight represents one of the original pieces of the earliest Indian and Persian version of chess.

## Other Explanations

The move of the knight is so strange that it takes some getting used to. It also allows for a wide variety of explanations. Many chess books introduce it as a piece that moves in an L-shape: one square forward along a file, then two squares at a ninety-degree angle along a rank; or two squares to the left along a rank, then one square backward along a file, etc.

But this L-shape puts emphasis on a square (along the bend) that has absolutely nothing to do with the knight's move.

## Essential

Place a White knight in the center of the board; let's say on d5. Look at all the rectangles that use d5 as one of their corners. Now place a Black pawn on all the opposite corners. You should wind up with a Black pawn on c7, e7, f6, f4, e3, c3, b4, and b6. That is the knight's wheel, which is a great visualizing tool.

Another way of visualizing the knight's move is to think of this piece as a jumper. And as soon as you start to use the knight during a game where many other pieces are in the way, you will see that this is very true. Regardless of whether the squares in the middle of the rectangle are empty or occupied by friendly or enemy pieces, the knight can still make the jump.

The Black knight can move to any of the three dotted dark squares. The White knight can move to any of the eight dotted light squares.

## Captures

Like the other pieces, the knight captures the same way it moves. Spring out from the square the knight occupies, and choose the occupied rectangular corner that is your destination. Land the knight on that square, removing the enemy from the board. You have just completed a knight capture.

## Alert

There are two different types of chessmen: the pieces and the pawns. The pieces include the king, rook, bishop, queen, and knight. They all capture the way they move and can operate in any direction. The pawns are very different creatures.

Read More The Pieces and Pawns
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#### THE EVERYTHING CHESS BASICS BOOK

By The U.S. Chess Federation and Peter Kurzdorfer

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3. The Pieces and Pawns
4. The Knight