I know this is very basic question, but I just started playing and want to know. How do you set up king and queen the right way?


I generally get confused between the King and Queen and what square they start from. I recently read this about chess setup. I just want to be sure, as I am still confused.


5 Answers 5


It starts with the board being setup correctly, and that means a light square in the right-hand corner. Then, the queens each go on their own color.

 [FEN ""]
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Brian Towers
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 14:56
  • What does [FEN ""] mean? As the question is a relatively basic one can you also explain what that means?
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 16:25
  • 3
    @BruceWayne It lets us add in boards, and other notation. It stands for Forsyth–Edwards Notation. If you are looking on a mobile browser, click what you need to see the desktop site, and it will produce the board. For example, on an Android using Chrome, click the horizontal ellipsis, and then click "Desktop site", and it will render. Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 16:30
  • Hmmm. Sadly if I click "open in browser" it simply reopens in the app. Lol. Looks like we just found a nasty bug in the SE android app...
    – Pedro A
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 17:03
  • @Pedro A, I am not sure how to do it on your phone, but you can change the settings so it opens in a browser. Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 18:05

First the board must be correct. Put the white square in the right hand corner nearest to you.

Then put the queens on their color in the center of the board on the row closest to you. White queen on white. Black queen on Black.

Finally put the kings next to the queens in the center of the board.

That link you gave is not that useful.

For the rest of the men: The first row corners near you have a rook on them. Next to the rooks are the horsies aka knights. Next between the knights and the K/Q are the bishops. Finally in front of those there are 8 pawns on the 2nd row.


The queen's dress must match her shoes.

That fashion statement reminds the player that the color of the queen, which is presumably the clothing on the queen's body, needs to match the square she stands on.

I grant to people that this may seem sexist. But I that remember struggling, many years ago, to recall if the king got his way, or the queen got her way. But from the day that I first heard this story that the fashion-sensitive queen is the one who cared more about what she looked like, I never again forgot which piece goes on its own color.

  • 2
    Of course, this only works if the pieces are placed with the correct board orientation. Pieces should only go on the top and bottom sides of the board if the lower-right corner is white. Otherwise, if following the "queen is on her own color" and if white moves first, the result is the side with the queen on the right goes first, which is similar to if black went first when using a proper setup.
    – TOOGAM
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 18:53

Turn board so that dark square in the bottom left. Put queen on her own color, king on opposite color that he is.

White player sees queen, king, from their left to right.

Black player sees king, queen from their left to right.

  • white on right is how most folks remember it. got a cutesy slogan for black on left although that is very discriptive about half the people wont get it. Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 19:38

King belongs to e file and Queen belongs to d file. 1st and 8th rank for the White and Black pieces respectively. As simple as that. Exception is Fischer Random Chess aka Chess960.

More precisely-

If the file names are not present or for some reason you are unaware of the notations, look for the opposite colored centered square for the King on the top and bottom. Look for the other centered square for the Queen.

White King - Black center

White Queen - White center.

Black King - White center

Black Queen - Black center.

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