Friday, 3 August 2012
Pieces Of A Chess Set: The Rook
When you start playing the noble game of chess and learn the chess basics, one of the pieces of a chess set that will first draw your eye is the 'Castle,' more correctly termed the 'Rook.'
The word Rook may at first seem an odd name for this piece, which is indeed shaped like the turret of a castle - so the word castle seems more appropriate. However the name Rook comes from the Arab name for it, which is 'Rukhkh' and the ancient Persian name was similar: 'Rukh.'
Rooks are almost as valuable as the Queen as they can move quickly around the board and surprise an inattentive opponent. They move up and across the board (but only one direction per move) using both the Ranks and Files but cannot move diagonally. The Rook however cannot jump over other pieces in the way a Knight can.
Other pieces are taken by the Rook landing on the victim's square.
Of course at the start of the game all the valuable pieces of a chess set are hemmed in by the Pawns but, once these are moved forward, the Rooks and other pieces are let loose.
The Rook is often the most likely piece to put a King into check; in fact, two Rooks working together and trapping the King in a corner is probably the classic way (and one of the simplest ways) to ensure checkmate.
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