The original chess webserver

Learning Center

Try a Training Game

Confusing Concepts

Chess can be a confusing game for new players, and sometimes even not-so-new players. Here we've cataloged some of the most commonly misunderstood elements of the game. Have a look at the topics below for concise explanations, examples, and test positions for these important themes.
Checkmate Stalemate Checkmate vs. Stalemate En Passant Promotion Castling

Frequently Asked Questions

My opponent captured my pawn in a weird way. Is he cheating or is this a glitch?

Neither, he probably used a special move to capture your pawn "in passing." See En Passant for more details.

I was winning, why did my game suddenly end as a draw?

You may have stalemated your opponent. See Stalemate for more details,

I thought I had checkmate, why was the game scored as a draw?

You likely stalemated your opponent instead of checkmating him. See Checkmate vs.Stalemate for more details.

How did my opponent get a second queen?

He promoted a pawn to a new queen. See Promotion for more details.

Why won't the computer let me castle?

There are several things that can prevent you from castling. You may have moved your king before, or you may be in check or trying to move through check. See Castling for a complete description.

Can I castle if my rook is attacked?

Yes, you are permitted to castle when your rook is under attack. See Castling for full details.

Can a pinned piece deliver checkmate? If the piece can't move, can it really attack the king?

A pinned piece can still deliver check or checkmate. It doesn't matter if it can "move" or not. See Checkmate Misconceptions for more details.

How did my opponent just capture my king?

You (and your opponent) have enabled the "king capture" option. This option emulates over-the-board games by allowing you to move into check and allowing your opponent to capture your king to claim a win. You can identify when this option is active by the small "KC" icon near the move list.

Copyright © 1995-2023 Caissa Project LLC