Let’s learn how Rooks move and capture.

The Rooks are the pieces shaped like a castle tower in your chess set:


And indeed rooks are sometimes called castles, because they look like castle towers.  However, note that the correct name is Rook, not castle.

Where does the term “rook” come from?

Some think it is from an old Persian word: “rukh”, meaning war chariot:

War chariot

Others think it comes form the Italian word “rocca”, which means tower.

Where are the rooks in the chessboard?

Each player starts with two rooks. They start in the corners: white on a1 and h1, black
on a8 and h8:

Rooks starting position

How do rooks move?

A rook moves in straight lines horizontally or vertically (across the ranks and the files – do you remember what the ranks and the files are in the chessboard?):

How Rooks Move

It cannot move diagonally.

A rook can move as many squares as it likes in a straight line, as long as it is not blocked. In the chessboard below, the White rook can move for example to c4 or d4, but not to c5 as that square is occupied by a pawn of the same color, and not to c6, as rooks cannot jump over other pieces:

How rooks move 2

How do rooks capture?

Simply, they capture by taking the place of an opponent’s piece. The opponent’s piece is removed and the attacking piece takes its square:

How rooks capture

In the figure below, the White rook can capture for example the Black pawn in h4 or the Black pawn in e7:

How rooks move 2

A rook is much more more powerful than a pawn. It can control a whole file and a whole rank at the same time.

Image credits: Fain