Chess Titans is a complex strategy game, and success depends on planning ahead, paying attention to your opponent, and making adjustments as the game goes on.

Because the strategy used in a game of chess can be complicated, hundreds of helpful books have been written about mastering the game. As players become more interested in the game, they often look to these references for more advanced information. What we can explain to you here is limited to the object of the game, how to start a game, and how to move each piece on the board.

The object of the game is to put your opponent's king in checkmate. Each player has one king. As you capture your opponent's pieces, you'll gradually make the opposing king more and more vulnerable to capture. When your opponent's king cannot move out of the way of your pieces before your next turn, you've won the game. When you see a bold red square under your king, it's in check, and your opponent has won.

At the beginning of a game, the chess board features two groups of 16 pieces, each arranged in two rows, with one piece to a square. As you move your pieces forward across the board, you and your opponent will try to occupy the same squares. If you can move one of your pieces to a square that your opponent occupies, you capture that piece and remove it from the board. This reduces the size (and strength) of your opponent's set of pieces.

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To play Chess Titans

  1. Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Games, and then clicking Games Explorer.

  2. Double-click Chess Titans.

    If Chess Titans is not available, you might need to turn on the Games feature. For more information about turning on the Games feature, see Where are my games?

    If you don't have a saved game, Chess Titans starts a new game. If you have a saved game, you can continue your previous game.

  3. To make your first move, click a piece and then click the square where you want to move it.

    Players take turns moving their pieces across the board, moving one piece per turn. Squares where you can move your pieces will be blue; squares where you can capture an opponent's piece will be red. Players can't move to a square occupied by a piece from their own army, but any piece can capture any other piece from the opponent's army. The six types of pieces that make up your army can move in the following ways:

    • Pawns. Pawns can only move forward, and only one square at a time. On the first move, however, a pawn can move forward either one or two squares. Pawns move forward diagonally to capture opposing pieces.

    • Rooks. Rooks can move forward, backward, or sideways in either direction for as many squares as you decide to move them.

    • Knights. Knights can move two squares in any direction, and then turn 90 degrees and move one more square. Knights are the only piece that can jump over other pieces while moving. All other pieces must stop when another piece (of either color) is in their path.

    • Bishops. Bishops can move diagonally, in any direction, and for as many squares as you decide to move them.

    • Queens. Queens can move as far as you want to move them in any direction (forward, back, sideways, and diagonal) as long as they travel in a straight line. Next to the king, the queen is the most valuable piece in your army.

    • Kings. Kings can move one space in any direction. Slow moving and hard to protect, the king is the prize you must guard from your opponent.

Tips

  • The first time you play the game, you'll select a difficulty level somewhere between one and ten.

  • Practice patience. If you see a good move, take the time to look for a better one before you take your turn.

  • Take advantage of castling. In a single move to protect your king, you can move your king two spaces sideways and your rook to the space that the king skipped over. You can only do this if there are no pieces in between them, neither piece has moved in the game, and your opponent does not gain a more direct attack at the king as a result of the move. If castling is available to you, the square that you can move the king to will turn purple and then, when you click that square, your king and rook will move.

  • En passant. If a pawn is about to capture one of your pawns that hasn't moved, you may decide to move that pawn forward two squares. If you do, it's more exposed for one turn. During the next turn, your opponent can move to the square where your pawn is, or to the square behind that, and capture your pawn. After that one turn, your pawn is normally vulnerable again. Both armies' pawns are vulnerable this way.

  • Pawn promotion. If you advance a pawn all the way to the back row of your opponent's army, you can promote that pawn to rook, knight, bishop, or queen. This increases the number of powerful pieces in your army. Choosing the queen is usually the best strategic option.

To adjust the game options

You can adjust the difficulty level and other options in the Options dialog box.

  1. Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Games, and then clicking Games Explorer.

  2. Double-click Chess Titans.

    If Chess Titans is not available, you might need to turn on the Games feature. For more information about turning on the Games feature, see Where are my games?

  3. Click the Game menu, and then click Options.

  4. Select the check boxes for any options you want to turn on, and then click OK.

To save games and continue saved games

  • If you need to finish a game later, just close the game and click Save. The next time you start a game, the game will ask you whether you want to continue your saved game. To do so, click Yes.