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Look at the square in the lower right-hand corner for each player. This should be a light-colored square. An easy way to remember this rule is the phrase "white on right."Continue to 2 of 7 below.
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Placing the Rooks
Put the rooks -- which in most sets, look like small towers -- in the four corner squares of the board. If your board has coordinates like the ones in the diagram above, place the white rooks on the first rank and the black rooks on the eighth rank. Ranks are rows that go from side to side across the chessboard.Continue to 3 of 7 below.
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Placing the Knights
Place the knights -- which usually look like a horse's head -- next to the rooks of the same color.Continue to 4 of 7 below.
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Placing the Bishops
The bishops are placed next to the knights of the same color.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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Placing the Queens
The queen is usually the second-tallest piece in a chess set. Place the queen in the center square of its color. Thus, the white queen is placed on the lighter center square, while the black queen is placed on the darker center square. A good way of remembering this is "queen on color." If your board has coordinates, the queens should both be on the d-file.Continue to 6 of 7 below.
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Placing the Kings
The king is usually the tallest piece in a chess set and typically has a cross on its head. Each king should be placed next to the queen of the same color. If your board has coordinates, the kings would be on the e-file.Continue to 7 of 7 below.
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Placing the Pawns
The pawns are the shortest and most numerous pieces in a chess set. You should have eight pawns of each color. Place the pawns in each square in the row in front of the other pieces of the same color. If your board has coordinates, the white pawns should be on the second rank, and the black pawns should be on the seventh rank.
Compare your board to the diagram above. If they are identical, you have successfully set up your chess board.