• it has 64 squares
• it has eight vertical rows called files (a-h)
• it has eight horizontal rows called ranks (1-8)
• EVERY square has its own label: e1, c8, etc.
• white’s pieces start on the lowest ranks,
black’s on the highest
• the squares alternate between two colors:
a light and a dark color; i.e., white & black
• the bottom right square is always white
There is a legend that the wealthiest man in a kingdom once wanted to learn from a master player who was a poor man, how to become a master player. The master player agreed to teach the wealthy man only if he would be paid in the following way: using the board, the wealthy man would pay 1 grain of rice for the first square (a1) and then double the amount for each successive space; i.e., 2 grains for a2, 4 for a3, 8 for a4, etc.