Ever wanted to learn how to play and enjoy the royal game of chess? Great, you are in the right place. Welcome to iPlayoo Chess!

These chess lessons are specially designed for an absolute beginner in mind (and chess players, parents, or educators who may want to check a novel method to teach a complete beginner).

Mighty Rook. The Power of the Tower

Okay, let’s get rolling. Today, I want to introduce you to a formidable and powerful personality. He’s a veteran of an unrivaled military experience: he’s been engaging in chess battlefields for 1500+ years, all around the world, from Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) to Devil’s Backbone in Arkansas.

He’s been fighting all over the place under many names: Rook, Top, Kula, Castell, Tour, Torre, Turm, Ладья, Navak, Jū, Rukku, Tseriakh, Et’li, πύργος, and so on, and so on, but seems that his first name ever used in a war zone was Rukh (if you want to check his name in 73 different languages, go here).

A very interesting fellow, don’t you think? And very skillful, and powerful, deserving every respect.

Unexpected, Chess art by Samuel Bak

Unexpected, Chess art by Samuel Bak

“So who are you in the end?”

“I am part of that POWER which eternally desires evil and eternally does good”, Goethe, Faust

“But how are you showing off your Power?”

“Well, it’s kind of easy: I’m a straight guy. Um, I mean I’m firing away along straight lines on the battlefield, an 8×8-square chessboard . Thanks to Euclid, who introduced the concept back in 4th c. BC, it’s really easy for your brain to see how I focus firepower:

Unexpected, chess art by Samuel Bak

Diag. 2

“Can you see the lines of fire, or lines of force I am spewing along my vertical (d-line) and horizontal (4th rank)? This is my range, field, or radius of action, or sphere of influence on the board.”

“You can’t see them? Well, maybe you should visualize in your mind’s eye first. Like this, or this” (Note: you may want to read commentary below diagrams to help you get the idea).

* * *

As you can see, a very simple concept for your subconscious brain to grasp. Again, we use the following words to describe the Rook’s using its firepower: the Rook has contact with, attacks, controls a square. These all have the same effect.

In other words, we can look at this as a simple geometrical pattern on the board, where a chess unit and a square (or another unit) line up.

The Rook is really powerful. Just imagine what might happen to you if you get in the line of fire? You would be in a great danger. You would be under attack. You’re toast!

Enemy pieces are filled with absolute terror at the sight of a mighty Rook that took up an attacking stance. They tremble from head to toe as they are just a trigger-finger (or one move) away from annihilation, or capture.


NOTE:  You sure can see on the above diagram that the Rook is placed in the middle of the board on the square d4. Okay? Now, can you visualize how four invisible lines go through d4-square: a vertical, a horizontal (your eye  met them already today), and here, two diagonals as well? It’s important for your eye to get trained to see this.

* * *

Just two more things, and we can call it a day:

(1) Here’s a little quiz to solidify what you’ve learned today. Look at the above diagram and check whether:

a) The Rook is attacking d7-square?     (Y)  or  (N)

b) The Rook is controlling a5-square?   (Y)  or  (N)

(2) Can you see how many squares the Rook is controlling, or has contact with, from its d4-post?   (7) or (14)

* * *

Great, that’s all for today folks. Well, almost.

Lastly, just in passing, just wanted to tell you a secret: there are only two effects chessmen produce in chess:

(1) Control effect, or attacking contact (we just learned today)

(2) Body effect (we’re going to cover next time)

The beautiful thing is that everything you’ll learn in chess, including more advanced concepts like strategy and tactics are based on these two effects, basically mere geometry thing — you just have to spot two points that lie on the same line (a piece and a square, or two pieces, that line up). Et voilà!

Your unconscious brain is an amazing visual learner. Yet you are not aware of it at all. It’s doing so many good things for you, in silence, under the surface!

* * *

Answers to the Quiz:

(1a) Y

(1b) N

(2) 14

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