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Movement and Value of the Rook in Chess

Rooks are very useful pieces in chess. In fact, a rook ranks as the third most important chess piece. There are rules that govern the movement and operation of rooks in chess. Knowing them would add a lot to the quality of our play.

Two rook pieces are given each player in the game. Rooks are situated at the extreme ends of the last row at the start of the game. Using the coordinates, white rooks are placed on A-1 and H-1, and black rooks on A-8 and H-8 in the initial formation. They cannot be our first moves because they are not allowed to jump over or bypass the pawns in front of them—or any chess piece for that matter, ally or enemy.

Rooks move horizontally and vertically. They can cover as many squares forward, backward and sideward, as long as no other chess piece stands in their way. They are limited in the range or distance they cover only when other pieces block their paths. They may capture enemy pieces blocking their path and they may check the same accordingly. They may go from one end of the chess board to the other.

Rooks in chess have the prerogative to castle with their king. This means as long as they have not been moved in any way in the game, and the path between them and their kings is clear, we may change their positions with their kings (requiring 2 moves) in a single turn. With the white king castling with the rook to its right, for instance, we move the king 2 squares to the right while the rook involved we move onto the square that the king passed over.

Rooks have a high strategy value. It ranks third from the king and second from the queen. Strategy value means that rooks play important roles in most winning strategies than minor pieces. Among major pieces rooks stand third (king, queen, and rook). Lower in rank than rooks are bishops, knights, and pawns. Thus, capturing a rook counts more than taking a bishop or a knight.

It's good to have a rook or 2 near the end of a game. A king and a rook can work wonders during the last phases of a game, more so in team work with other ally minor pieces like the bishop and knight. Rooks are perfect supporters of the queen in action.

Hence, rooks in chess are important especially when we want vertical and horizontal fortifications in our defense and offense strategies.

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