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Junior Chess Game for Kids & New Chess Players

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A free online chess game for kids. Challenging for adults, too! Learn to play Chess against the computer in one of three difficulty modes: Easy, Medium, or Hard. If you don’t know the rules of chess, there is a helpful tutorial that explains the moves each piece can make. To win a game, you must capture the opponent’s king. The game may also end in a draw.

  • Play against the computer.
  • Play at three different skill levels.
  • Try our classic strategies to improve your chess game.

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Play Jr. Chess Board Online

You can play this free online chess game for beginners by clicking in the window below.

Alternatively children and adults can play this chess board game as a web application here.

If you want to play a chess game catering to adults & practice hundreds of historically significant board scenarios check out Chess Grandmaster.

Junior Chess Online Game Play Instructions

How to Play

Trap your opponent’s King to win the game.

  • Starting the Game
    • Select a color. Your choices are Red or Blue. Red moves first.
    • Select a level. Your choices are Easy,Medium or Hard.
    • Click on the yellow button marked “Play!” to start the game.
    • If you need to review the rules of Chess, click the square yellow button marked “? Rules”
    • You will be presented with a chess board. Red moves first.
  • Game Controls
    • Playing
      • Select pieces by clicking on them. Tap on them if you are using a mobile device.
      • The computer will suggest possible moves.
      • To make a move, click or tap on one of the highlighted squares. Your piece will move to that square. Wait for your opponent to take their turn.
      • If you want a hint, click the yellow Hint button on the bottom right.
        • This button can be used an unlimited number of times throughout the game.
      • Once you select a piece, the game will highlight red squares indicating a suggested move.
    • Scoring
      • The game is played until there is a win or a draw.
      • Captured pieces will appear as prisoners in the cage icons at the top and bottom of the board.
      • Players take it in turns to both attack and defend.
      • Chess is a strategic game that requires thinking a few steps ahead in order to outwit your opponent and trap their King. This is known as “Checkmate”. At this point, the game ends.
    • Mouse
      • Click on a piece to highlight it.
      • Click on a highlighted position to move.
    • Touchscreen
      • Use your finger like a mouse and tap on the pieces you want to highlight and move.

Basic Chess Strategy for Beginners

Chess pieces.
The 16 chess pieces each player begins a game with. 8 pawns and 8 other pieces, with 1 king, 1 queen, and 2 each of rook, knight and bishop.

There are many strategies you can learn in order to beat an opponent. We’ll show you one where you can win against a rookie in just four moves! First, you need to know how each piece moves.

Piece Points Move Exceptions Extras
Pawn 1 1 square forward on initial move can move 2 squares forward & en passant allows forward-diagonal capture of competing pawns can be promoted to other pieces
Rook 5 unlimited forward, back, side to side   castling
Knight 3 like an L – two squares in any direction (up, down, left, or right) and then turn right one square   only piece that jumps off the board
Bishop 3 unlimited diagonal in any direction    
Queen 9 unlimited in any direction (like a rook and a bishop combined)    
King   one square in any direction can not move to a square which is already under attack castling

Castling is the only move that allows two pieces to move during the same turn. During castling a king moves two spaces towards the rook that it will castle with, and the rook jumps on the other side. The king can castle on either side so long as:

  1. The king has not moved.
  2. The king is not in check.
  3. The king does not move through or into a check.
  4. There are no pieces between the king and the castling-side rook.
  5. The castling-side rook has not moved.

Chess Board Notation

Learn the board notation. Learning the notation is not necessary in order to play, but it will help when we outline a few strategies for your to try.

Numbered chess board. A to H from left to right & 1 to 8 from bottom to top. The red or white side is 1 & the black side is 8.

Here is a numbered board without any pieces on it.

Numbered chess board without pieces.
Numbered chess board without pieces.

Key Concepts

Remember these basic concepts.

  • Open with a Pawn. This clears a path for pieces that have greater mobility, like a Bishop.
  • Once you’ve cleared some space with a few pawns, advance your Knights and Bishops. You want to try and control the center of the board quickly in order to mount an attack.
  • Pay close attention to how your opponent responds. Are they laying a trap for you? Are they moving into a position that would be difficult for you to defend? This is why it’s important to think a few moves ahead.
  • Don’t make too many moves with your Pawns. It’s more important to get your more powerful pieces into commanding positions. This will restrict your opponent’s options.
  • Castle as soon as you can. To Castle means to move the king two squares toward the rook. Then the rook moves to the square on the the king’s other side. If your opponent neglects to Castle, you will be in a more powerful position. You can only Castle when there is no occupied squares between the rook and the King. For an illustration, click on the “? Rules” button on the main screen and scroll through the options using the right arrow until you get to screen 9, or look at the castling section near the piece info.
  • You will take pieces from your opponent. They will take pieces from you. Sometimes, you’ll have no choice but to sacrifice a piece. Which piece should you sacrifice? Typically, you should sacrifice pieces with the lowest value. The values are:
    • Queen: nine points
    • Rook: Five points
    • Bishop: Three points
    • Knight: Three Points
    • Pawn: One Point
  • However, don’t sacrifice all your pawns. If you manage to get one of your pawns to the opponents first line of squares, the Pawn can turn into a Queen! Or a Bishop, Knight or Rook. This is a very powerful position called “Promotion”. Likewise, you should defend against your opponent doing the same thing! Here’s a further explanation of Promotion on Wikipedia.
  • You win the game by trapping your opponent’s King. This means that your opponent can’t move the King out of harms way, they can’t take one of your pieces to neutralize the threat or they cannot block you. This is called “Checkmate”. The game ends.
  • It’s also possible for the game to end in a draw. This is called “Stalemate”. This typically happens when there are few pieces left on the board and each piece can easily maintain a safe position.

General Chess Rules, Tips & Advice

This section highlights chess rules which are shown in the game help file screenshots near the bottom of the page.

Chess Rules

  • Chess is one of the oldest games in the world. It was probably invented in India more than a thousand years ago.
  • Each player controls an army of pieces which are set up at the start of the game as shown. The aim of the game is to use your army to capture the enemy king.
  • This capture happens when the king is under attack and unable to avoid capture. In that case we have a checkmate and the game is over.

Pawn Movement

  • Pawns only move forward.
  • On the first move a pawn can move one or two spaces. On the next turns it can only move one space forward.
  • Pawns move diagonally to take opponents.

Pawn Promotion

  • If a pawn reaches the opposite side of the board, it is promoted to a higher piece (except king).
  • There is no limit to how many pawns can be promoted.

Rook

Rooks are the second strongest pieces of our army and move in a continuous line forwards, backwards, and side-to-side.

Knight

  • Knights are the only pieces that jump off the board. Unlike other pieces they are not blocked if there are pieces in between them and their destination square.
  • To make it easier to remember how a knight moves think of an L. Two spaces in a direction forward, backward or side-to-side, and one space at a right turn.

Bishop

Bishops move in continuous diagonal lines in any direction.

Queen

  • The queen is the strongest piece and moves in continuous diagonal or straight lines forward, backward, and side-to-side.
  • Each player starts with one queen but it is possible to obtain more by promoting pawns.

King

  • The king can move in any direction, one square at a time.
  • A king can’t move to a square that is under attack by the opponent.

Castling

Castling is the only move that allows two pieces to move during the same turn. During castling a king moves two spaces towards the rook that it will castle with, and the rook jumps on the other side. The king can castle on either side so long as:

  1. The king has not moved.
  2. The king is not in check.
  3. The king does not move through or into a check.
  4. There are no pieces between the king and the castling-side rook.
  5. The castling-side rook has not moved.

En Passant

  • En passant is a special movement for pawns attacking pawns.
  • It only applies if your opponent moves a pawn two spaces, and its destination space is next to your pawn. You can take the opposing piece by moving forward-diagonal to your pawn’s attacking square.

Check

  • A king is in check when an opponent is in a position that can attack the king. A player must move their king out of check, or block the check immediately.
  • A player cannot move their king into a check.

Checkmate

  • Putting an opponent’s king in checkmate is the only way to win the game.
  • A king is in checkmate if it is in check, cannot block the check, and cannot move to a square that is not under attack.
  • In the checkmate image shown below the red queen has the blue king in check, and all of the spaces the king can move can be attacked by the queen.
    • The king cannot take the queen because the knight is protecting the queen.
    • The blue bishop cannot block the queen.
    • This is checkmate.

Stalemate

  • Simply put, a stalemate is a tie. It is achieved if there are no legal moves for a player to make.
  • In the below stalemate illustration it is red’s turn.
    • All spaces around the king are being attacked, but the king is not in check, therefore it cannot move.
    • The only other red piece, the pawn, is blocked by the king.
    • Because movement is impossible, the game is a stalemate.
  • If red had another piece somewhere on the board that was not blocked, it would have to move. The game would continue.

Classic Strategy Combinations for Chess Beginners

  • Do you want to know how to win a chess game in only four moves? It can be done, typically against beginner opponents. It’s called “Scholars Mate”. Try this one in Easy mode.
    • Refer to the board notation. Then make the following series of moves: e4 e5, Qh5 Nc6, Bc4 Nf6, Qxf7. Here’s a helpful video of Scholar’s Mate on YouTube.
  • Do you want to get control of the board early? Try a “Queen’s Gambit”.
    • Move your queens pawn forward two squares. Move your Queen side Bishop forward two squares. In chess notation, the moves are: d2 d4, c2 c4. These moves may sacrifice a pawn but enable you to gain more control of the centre of the board. This limits the moves your opponent can make. Here is a helpful video of Queens Gambit on Youtube.
  • If you’re playing Blue, and therefore move second, you can try the fastest win in Chess.

Like This Game? Review This Free Online Chess Game for Children

Junior Chess Game for Kids & New Chess Players
4.6 / 5 Editor
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Overall4.7
Design4.8
Fun4.5
Originality4.1
Replayability4.7
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Jr. Chess Beginner’s Chess for Kids Game Screenshots

Junior Chess Welcome Screen Screenshot.
Junior Chess Chess Rules Screenshot.
Junior Chess Pawn Movement Instructions Screenshot.
Junior Chess Pawn Promotion Screenshot.
Junior Chess Rook Movement Instructions Screenshot.
Junior Chess Knight Movement Instructions Screenshot.
Junior Chess Bishop Movement Instructions Screenshot.
Junior Chess Chess Queen Movement Instructions Screenshot.
Junior Chess King Movement Minstructions Screenshot.
Junior Chess Castling Movement Instructions Screenshot.
Junior Chess En Passant Movement Instructions Screenshot.
Junior Chess Check Instructions Screenshot.
Junior Chess Checkmate Instructions Screenshot.
Junior Chess Stalemate Instructions Screenshot.
Junior Chess Queen Move Options Screenshot.
Junior Chess Move Hint Screenshot.
Junior Chess Red Wins Checkmate Screenshot.

Mobile Friendly Cross Browser Support

This game is rendered in mobile-friendly HTML5, so it offers cross-device gameplay. You can play it on mobile devices like Apple iPhones, Google Android powered cell phones from manufactures like Samsung, tablets like the iPad or Kindle Fire, laptops, and Windows-powered desktop computers. All game files are stored locally in your web browser cache. This game works in Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and other modern web browsers.

This game was published using our teamwide Plays.org account. If you have any comments, questions, concerns, or others (are there others even???) you can use the comments below to send along your 2 cents and help us improve the site further :) Your 2 cents plus 3 cents will buy you a nickel, but if your comments are genuinely useful and/or helpful and/or funny and/or memorable in a good way, we will probably say thanks :D

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2 comments on "Junior Chess Game for Kids & New Chess Players"

  • Joey says:

    Junior Chess is a fun and cartoonish introduction to the world’s most famous board game. The game itself plays out like a regular chess game, with three difficulty levels. The graphics depict a family-friendly take on medieval warfare. The pieces are “imprisoned” in little cells.

    The game also comes with an instruction manual that outlines the rules and moves in the game. The manual is written in simple English, easy for a young learner to understand.

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