Chesshustle’s glossary helps you to understand the terminology commonly used by chess.

Active Piece

A piece that is well-positioned and able to move freely without obstruction.

Algebraic Notation

A method of recording chess moves using letters and numbers to indicate the squares on the board.


A move or series of moves designed to put pressure on an opponent's pieces or position.

Backward Pawn

A pawn that is behind the pawns on adjacent files and is therefore difficult to defend.


Two or more pieces of the same color lined up in a row or diagonal, ready to attack a target square.

Bishop Pair

When a player has both of their bishops still on the board, which can provide a strategic advantage in certain positions.


A serious mistake in a chess game, often leading to a significant disadvantage or loss.

Candidate Moves

Possible moves a player considers during their turn.

Capture Sequence

A series of moves that leads to the capture of a piece.

Closed Position

A position where there are many pawns and few open lines, making it difficult for the pieces to move around freely.

Color Complex

A term used to describe the influence of the pawn structure on the position and movement of the pieces.

Combination Tactic

A series of moves that involves a sacrifice or exchange to gain a positional or material advantage.

Connected Pawns

Two or more pawns of the same color that are connected on adjacent files, which can provide support and strength in pawn chains.

Control Of The Center

A strategic goal in chess to occupy and control the center squares of the board with pieces and pawns.

Critical Square

A square that, if occupied or controlled, can greatly affect the outcome of the game.

Deflection Tactic

A tactic that involves moving a piece to distract or lure an opponent's piece away from a key square or target.


A piece that is sacrificed in order to gain a tactical advantage or avoid a worse outcome.


The process of moving pieces from their starting positions to more active and useful squares.

Discovered Attack

A tactic where a piece is moved to reveal an attack by another piece.

Double Check

A check delivered by two pieces at once, which can limit the king's options for escape.

Doubled Pawns

Two pawns of the same color on the same file, which can create weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the pawn structure.

Endgame Study

A chess problem that involves a position with a limited number of pieces and a specific goal to achieve.

Exchange Sacrifice

A sacrifice of material in exchange for a positional or tactical advantage.

File Rank And Diagonal

The three types of lines on the chessboard that determine the movement and control of the pieces.

Fischer Random Chess

A variant of chess where the starting position of the pieces is randomly generated.

Flight Square

A square to which a king can move in order to escape a check or danger.

Good Bishop

A bishop that is not blocked by its own pawns and has potential for active play.

Hanging Pawns

Two or more pawns of the same color that are not connected and can be vulnerable to attack.

Hanging Piece

A piece that is not defended and can be captured by an opponent.

Hedgehog System

A defensive setup with pawns and pieces arranged in a hedgehog-like formation.

Hook Pawn

A pawn that is advanced to create weaknesses in an opponent's pawn structure.


A style of play that emphasizes control of the center from a distance rather than.

In Between Move

A chess move played in response to an opponent's move, but before playing the intended move. This tactic is used to disrupt the opponent's plan or gain an advantage.

Initiative Advantage

A term used to describe a player who is able to dictate the pace and direction of the game. A player with the initiative has more options and can force their opponent to react to their moves.

Interference Tactic

A tactic used to disrupt an opponent's piece coordination by placing a piece between two of their pieces, preventing them from communicating with each other.

Isolated Queen Pawn

A pawn structure where one pawn is isolated from the others and has no pawns on adjacent files. This structure often arises from certain openings and can lead to positional weaknesses.

Key Square

A square that is strategically important for controlling certain areas of the board or for gaining an advantage.

King's Indian Attack

A system used by White that involves playing d3, Nd2, Ngf3, g3, Bg2, and often a pawn storm on the king's side to attack Black's king.

King's Indian Defense

A popular chess opening where Black fianchettoes their king's bishop and often uses a pawn storm to attack the opponent's king.

King's Pawn Opening

An opening where White plays 1.e4, often leading to an open and tactical game.

Knight Fork

A tactic where a knight attacks two pieces at the same time, forcing the opponent to lose material.

Majority Pawn Structure

A pawn structure where a player has more pawns on one side of the board, often leading to an advantage in controlling that side of the board.

Minority Attack

A strategic idea where a player attacks the opponent's majority pawn structure with their own minority pawn structure, often creating weaknesses and gaining space.


A term used to describe a piece's ability to move around the board and participate in the game.

Move Order

The specific order in which moves are played in the opening, which can have a significant impact on the resulting position.

Nimzo Indian Defense

A popular chess opening for Black that involves playing 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4, often leading to a solid and flexible position.

Open Position

A position where many pawns have been traded and there are many open lines and diagonals for pieces to move around.


A term used to describe a situation where two kings are on the same rank, file, or diagonal with only one square in between them. The player with the move often gains an advantage by forcing their opponent's king to move.

Outarticle Square

A square on the opponent's side of the board that a player's piece can occupy without being easily attacked or removed.


A strategic concept where a player defends a piece or square with multiple pieces, making it difficult for the opponent to attack or capture it.

Passed Pawn

A pawn that has no opposing pawns in front of it and is free to advance and promote to a stronger piece.

Piece Coordination

The ability of a player's pieces to work together effectively, often through the use of tactics and strategic planning.

Pins And Needles

A tactic where a player immobilizes an opponent's piece by attacking it with a more valuable piece, forcing the opponent to keep the piece in place and limiting their options.

Poisoned Pawn

A pawn that appears to be free to take, but doing so would expose the capturing piece to a strong attack.

Power Center

The four central squares of the board (d4, d5, e4, and e5) which are considered to be strategically important and provide control over a large part of the board.

Queen's Gambit

A chess opening where White offers their d-pawn to Black in exchange for gaining control of the center of the board. It is considered one of the oldest and most popular openings in chess.

Queen's Pawn Opening

An opening where White plays 1.d4, often leading to a more positional and strategic game.

Quiet Move

A move that is not immediately forcing or aggressive, often used to improve the position of a piece or prepare for a future attack.

Rook Lift

A tactic where a player moves their rook to a higher rank, often to improve its activity and create threats against the opponent's position.

Rook Pawn

A pawn located on the a-file or h-file, which is often used to create a pawn shield in front of the king.

Space Advantage

A term used to describe a situation where one player has more space on the board than their opponent, often providing more options for their pieces and restricting the opponent's movements.


A situation in chess where the player to move has no legal moves but is not in check. The game ends in a draw.

Staunton Chess Set

The standard style of chess pieces used in official tournaments and competitions, named after the 19th-century British chess player Howard Staunton.


A situation where a player would prefer to pass their turn, but any legal move they make would result in a disadvantageous position. This often leads to the loss of material or the game.