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What Is Meant By Landing Squares In Chess? [+Chess Basics]

Landing squares in chess means the squares on which chess pieces land. In chess, while making any move you pick up the chess piece and then put it in a particular square according to its nature. These squares are known as landing squares.

There is a total of 64 squares on a chessboard. These squares are of alternate colours. Remember that the shape of the chessboard is square and not a rectangle. There is a total of 8 squares in one row and a total of 8 rows are there. So, in total there are 64 squares.

chess board image
Chess x

The rows in chessboard are called ranks. The columns are called files. The trick to remember this is, the first letter of row and rank is r. So you can remember that way.

Each square has a designated name assigned to it. Each column that is a file, from left to write is named alphabetically starting from a to h.

While from bottom to top the rows or say rank, are named numerically from 1 to 8. You can see the above image to have more clarification about this thing.

This was basic information about squares in the chessboard. Now let’s see how each chess pieces move and what are their corresponding landing squares.

Landing squares of Pawn

Pawn is the smallest size chess piece. There is a total of 8 pawns for each player in chess. Thus, in all there are 16 pawns.

landing squares of pawn-explained-image
  • A pawn can move one square on each turn.
  • On its first turn it can move two squares at a time.
  • It kills diagonally on adjacent square.
  • So the squares where you put the pawn on its turn is known as its landing squares.

Moreover, pawns are the least powerful but they have two very unique properties.

One is en passant and another is pawn promotion. I have already written in detail about both these topics. You can check them out for information.

Landing squares of Rook

There is a total of two rooks for each chess player in chess. Rook is a very powerful piece. It is considered the second most powerful chess piece. Rooks are placed on the corner squares of the chessboard.

landing squares of rook-explained-image
  • A rook can move both in horizontal and vertical direction.
  • The squares on which you land your rook on its turn are known as landing squares for rook.
  • There is also a special move associated with it which is known as castling in chess
  • In castling the king moves two squares either left or right and accordingly that side rook moves beside the king.
  • There are actually two types of castling, kingside and queenside castling.

Landing squares of Knight

Knight or horse whatever you say is one of the most interesting chess pieces because of their move. There is a total of two knights for each player. These knights are placed just by the side of rooks.

landing squares of knight -explained-image
  • Knights move in L shape as you can see in the image.
  • The squares on they land are known as landing squares for them.
  • These gives very unique property to them.
  • Knights can jump over the chess pieces.

Read More: How Does The Knight Move In Chess?

Landing squares of Bishop

There are two bishops in chess. They are two for each player and placed by the side of knights.

landing squares of bishop-explained image
  • Bishops move diagonally and they can’t change the square colour.
  • In fact, there are two bishops on each side out of which one can move only on black squares.
  • While other can move only on dark squares.
  • Thus the square on which you land your bishop on its turn is known as the landing square.

Therefore you need to use them wisely. Check out how the bishop moves in chess.

Landing squares of Queen

Queen is the most powerful chess piece. It can move on any squares. The only thing it can’t do is jump like knights. This quality separates knights from other chess pieces. (Also See: Can a queen move like a knight?)

landing squares of queen-explained-image
  • The queen can move horizontally, vertically as well as diagonally.
  • The squares on which you land your queen is known as its landing squares.
  • the queen is also known as the major piece of chess.

Landing squares of King

At last, discussing the king. You might be thinking on what basis I am telling which chess piece is powerful and how much, right?

There is a system in chess in which chess pieces are assigned some value. (You can also see me my article on chess pieces value)

FYI, as per that system queen is the most powerful chess piece, then rook, knight and bishop same value and then pawn.

In that king is not assigned any value. Simply because when the king is checkmated, it is the end of the game. So the king is basically a priceless piece. Now coming to King landing squares and movement

landing squares of king-explained-image
  • A king can move in any square but restricted to move only square.
  • The square where you land your king on its turn is the landing square.

Read More: How Does The King Moves In Chess?

Okay! So these were basics that you must know before playing chess. Now the next thing that you might across is about controlling squares and weak squares in chess. So coming to the next question.

What is meant by controlling squares in chess?

Controlling squares mean the squares on which are under the control of your chess pieces. that means if the opponent’s chess piece will land on that square then you can kill it easily.

In chess, it is generally suggested to take the control of the centre squares right from the beginning. controlling the centre squares gives you an edge in the opening of the game.

Tip 🙂 – Want to know more about the importance of controlling the centre squares in chess? Then check out my detailed article on Why is controlling the centre squares important in chess?

What is a weak square in chess?

A square which is in control of your opponent and you have very less chance of gaining its control again are known as weak squares.

Actually many beginners understand what are weak pieces but they confuse thinking about what are weak squares. This article on chess.com gives more information about this topic.

What is a key square in chess?

As per Wikipedia, a key square means the square on which if the king gains control, then it can force some gain by either capture of a pawn or by pawn promotion.

Key squares are also known as critical squares in chess. They are very crucial, especially in the endgames. For further knowledge, you can visit the Wikipedia article.

Wrapping Up

So that’s it! Hope you enjoyed reading this article. Hope this help! Now let’s wrap up everything we have discussed so far.

  • Landing squares means squares on which chess pieces land on their move.
  • Controlling squares means squares which are under control of the chess pieces.
  • Weak squares means squares which you have very less probability of gaining it again.
  • Key squares also means critical squares which are very important during endgames.
  • We also studied Landing squares of all the chess pieces of the board along with some basics about chess boards and square.

So thanks for reading till the end. Thanks and have a nice day!

Tip 🙂 – Wait! Do you struggle to understand: What is a stalemate and what is the difference between checkmate and stalemate? Then check out my article on the same. This will clear all your doubts.

This article is approved as per the Editorial Policy Of ChessDelta.com.


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