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What is the Function of Rook in Chess?

In this article, we are going to discuss rook chess. You will understand what rooks do in chess, the value of rooks in chess, etc.

The rook is considered a major piece on the chessboard. As we already know, a chessboard has a total of 6 pieces which are King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight, and pawns. There is a total of 32 pieces on a chessboard. From all these pieces, the rook plays a very important role in chess. Rook plays a major role in the endgame.

How does the rook move in chess?

The rook moves only horizontally and vertically. This means rooks have various limitations. Rook cannot move diagonally or cannot function as knights do. Generally, Rook has a significant role in open files and ranks.

If we keep the rook in the center file from which he can occupy maximum squares, then only he can occupy 14 squares only, whereas the queen can occupy 27 squares. We can say the rook is paralyzed, queen. It is very important to remember how the rook moves in chess so that you will not make any illegal moves.

Rook Moves Horizontally and Vertically

The Function of Rook in Chess

The rook is a powerful piece that is typically considered to be worth five points in chess. It can move horizontally or vertically across any number of squares, as long as there are no other pieces blocking its path. This makes the rook a highly versatile piece that can be used to control large areas of the board.

The primary function of the rook in chess is to provide support to the other pieces and to help control the board. The rook can be used to attack and capture enemy pieces, as well as to defend its own pieces. The rook can also be used in combination with other pieces to create powerful attacks and combinations, such as the famous rook-and-queen checkmate.

In general, the rook is considered to be one of the most valuable pieces on the chessboard, and it is important for players to understand how to use it effectively in order to be successful in the game.

What is the Purpose of the Rook in Chess?

The Rook is one of the six types of pieces in a standard game of chess. Its purpose is to move around the board and capture the opponent’s pieces, particularly the pawns, which are usually the first line of defense.

The Rook can move horizontally or vertically any number of squares, as long as there are no other pieces in its way. This makes it a powerful piece, particularly in the endgame when the board has cleared out and the Rook can move around with greater ease.

The Rook is usually considered to be worth five points, making it the second most valuable piece after the Queen.

Rook Name in Different Languages


How to use a rook in chess to win the game?

  • Castle first – In chess, we can do a short castle or a long castle. Most of the time, players do short castles. When you do castle, then immediately your king becomes safe, and the rook also gets opened.
  • Develop on an open file – After castling, develop your rook immediately on an open file or semi-open file. When you place your rook on an open file, you capture most of the squares and restrict your opponent from developing a piece in that file. Most of the time, this decision is right.
  • Grab 7th rank whenever possible – 7th rank is very important for a rook. 7th rank means 7th or 2nd rank depending on your color. This is the best possible rank you can grab to paralyze your opponent’s resources. When you place your rook on 7th rank, then automatically, it becomes a very strong piece.
  • Start doubling your rooks – This is a very important rule which you have to remember. When you grab an open file or rank, then start doubling your rook. If you are able to succeed in doubling your rook then it is very hard for your opponent to get control.
Initial Position of Rook

Value of Rook in chess

All pieces have some value. Values are useful in many terms. When you exchange pieces then you generally don’t give your queen to get opponents, knight. Why? Because you know the queen has a higher value than the knight or rook. Let’s see the Values of pieces in chess other than the rook.

  • King – infinite or zero
  • Queen – 9 points
  • Bishop – 3 points
  • Knight – 3 points
  • Pawn – 1 point

As you can see from the above table, the king has the highest value, and then the queen has the 2nd highest value.

Rook has 5 points which means the rook is stronger than the bishop, knight, and pawns but weaker than the king and queen. So you should always remember when exchanging pieces.

Castling in Chess – Chess King and Rook Switch

In chess, a king and rook switch, also known as castling, is a special move that involves moving the king two squares toward the rook, while the rook moves to the square immediately adjacent to the king on the opposite side. This move is designed to improve the king’s safety by moving it away from the center of the board, where it is vulnerable to attack, and bringing the rook into a more active position.

The king and rook switch is subject to several restrictions:

  1. The king and rook must not have moved from their original positions.
  2. The squares between the king and rook must be empty.
  3. The king must not be in check before, during, or after the move.
  4. The king must not move through or into a square that is attacked by an enemy piece.

Assuming all of these conditions are met, the king and rook switch is a legal move that can be used strategically to improve the player’s position on the board.

Best chess games with rook sacrifices

Here are some of the best chess games which include rook sacrifice. These games are very interesting and involve rook sacrifice or rook dynamic play. You will defiantly like these games.

  • Georg Rotlewi vs Akiba Rubinstein
  • Mikhail Botvinnik vs Lajos Portisch
  • Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs. Emanuel Lasker
  • Viswanathan Anand vs. Garry Kasparov

How to checkmate with a single Rook?

Many times you can face this problem. But trust me, checkmating with a single rook is very easy.  You just have to cut the files and ranks, and you can mate on your opponents. You can watch this video to get more knowledge.

Importance of Rook in Chess

  • Control of open files: Rooks are particularly strong on open files, which are files (columns) on the chessboard that do not have any pawns. Rooks can move up and down these files, controlling important squares and attacking enemy pieces.
  • Mobility: Rooks can move horizontally or vertically as far as they like, which gives them great mobility and range on the board. This makes them excellent pieces for controlling space and for launching attacks.
  • Endgame strength: In the endgame, rooks are often the most powerful pieces on the board. They can easily create passed pawns, promote them, and attack weak enemy pawns and pieces.
  • Support for other pieces: Rooks can be used to support other pieces, such as bishops or knights, by controlling key squares and providing defensive cover.
  • King safety: Rooks can be used to protect the king by controlling the squares around it and preventing enemy pieces from getting too close.

Importance of Rook in the Endgame

Rook plays a very important part in endgames also. Rook endings are very difficult to study and play. There are thousands of different positions which arrive from the rook endgame. Rook endgame is very important to study and to learn if you want to become a master in chess. There are a lot of rook endgame books available on the market. Here I am suggesting to you some of the best books and courses to become a master in a rook endgame.

These courses will help you to learn various rook endgame positions with rook vs. rook and rook vs. pawns. There are a lot of other positions, such as Lucena, which you have to know by heart.

When to exchange chess rooks?

Exchanging is a serious problem in chess. When you exchange any chess piece, then you cannot take it back. That’s why it Is very important to exchange pieces at the proper time. Rook is a piece that can get easily exchanged. Due to this, here are some rules you can follow so that you will not ruin your advantage.

  • Exchange your rooks when they are comparably weaker than your opponent. When you feel that your position is not that better, at that time you can try exchanging your rook
  • When you think your opponent will start the attack and it will be very difficult to defend, at that point, you can exchange your rooks.
  • Sometimes giving up exchange sacrifice is also very important. When you feel you are getting good compensation by giving rook sacrifice, then you have to give.

How Many Rooks are there in Chess?

In a standard chess game, each player starts with two rooks, making a total of four rooks on the board. The rooks are positioned on the corners of the board closest to the player, next to the knights. Rooks are considered to be one of the most valuable pieces in the game, along with the queen.

They are powerful pieces that can control large areas of the board and are important in creating and executing various tactical and strategic plans.

Why Rooks are Better than Bishops?

In chess, the relative value of pieces can be subjective and depends on the position and strategy being employed. However, there are some general reasons why rooks are considered better than bishops in many situations:

  1. Range of movement: Rooks can move horizontally and vertically across the entire board, while bishops are limited to moving diagonally. This greater range allows rooks to exert control over more squares and influence a wider area of the board.
  2. Value in the endgame: Rooks become especially powerful in the endgame when the board is more open and there are fewer pieces blocking their paths. They can easily switch between ranks and files, making them highly effective at controlling the board and supporting passed pawns.
  3. Rook’s role in the opening and middlegame: Rooks play a significant role in the opening and middlegame by controlling open and semi-open files. They can also be doubled on a file to create additional pressure on the opponent’s position.
  4. Rook’s flexibility: Rooks can move and attack on both light and dark squares, while a bishop is limited to the color of the square it started on. This means that a rook can potentially attack or defend more targets than a bishop.
  5. Ability to create checkmate threats: Rooks are better at coordinating with other pieces, such as the queen or another rook, to create checkmate threats. The back-rank checkmate is a classic example of the rook’s power to force the checkmate.


How many ways can a rook be moved from the bottom left corner to the top right corner?

From a1, we have 470,010 ways to reach h8 using legal rook moves to the right and up. 

Two rooks vs. queen which are better?

Defiantly two rooks are better in many conditions. If you simply add points value, then also you will get the idea that rooks are better.  Sometimes in open positions, a queen works better than a rook, as Queen has more flexibility. 

Usually, connected rooks are better than nonconnected rooks. Also, rooks are far more powerful in the endgame positions than in middle-game positions.

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