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Video:Top Tips for Using Rooks

with Stephen Pruitt, PH.D.

Rooks are a valuable chess piece and should be moved on the chess board with a strategy to win. Watch this video on tips for using rooks in chess.See Transcript

Transcript:Top Tips for Using Rooks

Hi, I'm Doctor Stephen Pruitt with, with today's top tips on how to move a rook in chess.

Value of Rooks in Chess

Rooks are considered to be second in value only to the queen, they are particularly valuable when used as a pair.  They can move forward, or backward, as far as they want in any direction, but they may not move through another piece. If they capture their opponent they must stop and their turn is over.

How Rooks Moves

There is also a move called castling that is unique only to the king and the rook it partners with.  In order for castling to occur there can be no other pieces between the king and the rook.  This has to be the first move for both pieces.  The king cannot be in check, and castling cannot move the king through check.  If all of this criteria is met then the king moves two spaces toward the rook, it can be either the kingside or queenside rook.  The rook then moves into the square on the opposite side of the king from where the rook started. This move is very valuable when done early in the game because it protects the king.

When to Move Rooks

Except in castling the rook is not often used at beginning of a game because of its position in a hard to get to spot in the corner of the board.  The opening of the game also means that there are still a lot of pieces on the board giving the rook limited movement.

Because rooks are considered to be valuable it is not often wise to open a game by advancing the pawns in front of them.  Rooks need to be protected and you will probably waste a lot time moving them out of danger as your enemy approaches.  It is better to move out you knights and rooks first, leaving as many pawns as possible in their original positions.  Later on you can move out your rooks and use them quite effectively.

Using Rooks to Your Advantage in Chess

Rooks love open files because they allow them access to move freely and to capture any piece that happens into the file.

Remember that rooks are most powerful when used in combination with each other.  They offer protection for one another, and can be used offensively with great success.  Together they cover a lot of area, especially when they are in otherwise empty ranks and files.

Be sure to take advantage of all the special characteristics of the rook. Thanks for watching, for more information on how to play chess, please visit us on the web, at

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