If you're new to chess, the board and pieces may seem like nothing more than little men placed randomly on a checkered battle field. But rest assured that there is only one way to properly set up a chess board. If you are going to play chess, you need to follow this guide on how to set up a chess board.
Place the board correctly. The first step in correctly setting up a chess board is making sure the game board itself is positioned correctly. The bottom right-hand corner should contain a light-colored square. An easy phrase to help you with this is ‘white on right'.
Divide the chess pieces. There are two identical sets of chess pieces for each chess game. Each player gets his or her own specific color of game piece to play with. Divide the pieces by color.
Place the rooks. Begin the set up of your chess board by putting the rooks in the bottom corners of the chess board. Rooks look like castle towers or turrets. One should sit on the far left corner on the bottom, and one should sit on the far right corner of the bottom row.
Set the knights in place. Next you should place the two knights in their proper position on the game board. Knights look like a horse's head. One knight belongs directly beside each rook, taking the second and second-last position on the bottom row of the chess board.
Put the bishops in place. Your bottom row will continue to fill as you place the bishops on your chess board. You'll recognize the bishops by the two pointy round projections on top of them. Set a bishop directly beside each knight, so that they take the third and third-last position on the bottom row of the chess board.
Place the queen. You should have one queen (the second-tallest chess piece in your set), and she belongs on the color square that matches her color on the bottom row. That is, if your color is white, then your queen belongs on the white square on your bottom row. Black queens will sit on black squares. (Both queens will sit directly across from one another.)
Put the king in his spot. The final spot on the bottom row of your chess board belongs to your king. He's the tallest piece in the chess set, if you're having trouble distinguishing him from the queen. Again, both kings will sit directly opposite one another.
Set the pawns in place. Your last move as you set up a chess board will be to place your pawns. You will have eight of them, and they are to be placed directly above your bottom row. When you've placed your pawns, you will have filled two full rows on the chess board with your chess pieces. Repeat this placement for both colors of chess pieces and you will have successfully set up a chess board.