Attack – When a piece is moved to a square that puts it into a position to capture (or put into check if the piece is a King) a piece.
Blunder – A drastic mistake in chess that has no logical or foreseeable benefit.
Capture – To remove an enemy piece from play with a friendly piece.
Check – When an enemy piece is in position to “capture” the king. The king can’t be captured, so it is referred to as “check”. When a king is in check, their next move requires them to either block the threatening move with a friendly piece, capture the threatening piece, or move the king to a safe square.
Checkmate – The signal that the game is over. At this point, the opponent who has received “Checkmate” has their king both in check and no moves to get them out of check.
Draw – A draw occurs when players agree that the game is an even tie; it’s neither a win nor a loss.
- Draw by Repetition (Threefold Repetition) – If both players make the same moves three times in a row (such as moving pieces interchangeably between two squares), then a draw by repetition is called.
En Passant – En Passant can best be explained with pictures.
A white pawn is on f5. The black pawn on e7 is unable to move forward one space without being threatened by the white pawn.
So instead, the black pawn moves forward two spaces.
But because of en passant, the black pawn is still vulnerable. The above picture shows a completed capture of the black pawn using en passant.
Fianchetto – When a bishop moves above a knight after the knight pawn has been moved forward.
Fork – A fork occurs when a piece is threatening two enemy pieces at once. Forks can result in a painful stab to your opponent. For example, if your piece is moved to a position where it’s attacking both the enemy king and queen, and your piece isn’t vulnerable to any other enemy pieces, then your enemy is forced to move their king, thus securing a queen capture.
GrandMaster (abbreviation: GM) – The highest chess ranking achievable by man. A GM’s ELO rating is required to be above 2500.
Promotion – When a pawn reaches the very end of the board, they are able to undergo promotion. This allows a pawn to promote to any other piece (of their own color) except for the king. Since in almost all cases players promote their pawns to a queen, the term “queening” is generally used instead.
Passed pawn – A pawn that has made it past all other enemy pawns, therefore being unstoppable to promotion. Passed pawns are strong advantages because it forces your opponent into a defensive position.
Resignation – When a player surrenders the game and gives the win to the opponent. Most professional matches usually end in either draws or resignations, as they can calculate their available moves left, realizing that there is no path to victory.
I highly recommend this book below if you are truly interested in chess and would like to expand your knowledge on terminology (and more). The information listed here are the simple terms that will get you by.
Click here for a hard copy that you can add to your home library.