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The Chess Pieces (The Chessmen):

The Rook rook

TES Teaching Resources

Wolverhampton Chess Club


The Rook looks like a castle, that is why it is sometimes called 'The Castle', but the word 'rook' comes from the Persian word ‘rukh’ which means chariot.

It moves either horizontally or vertically - never diagonally. So it moves in clear lines along ranks or files.

The rook can move to any square along the rank or file it stands on.

If you look back to how we set up the board, you will notice that there are four rooks, on the board at the beginning of the game. White has two and Black has two.

What is a Rook worth? The rook is the second strongest piece on the Board.
It is accepted that the Rook is equivalent to five pawns in strength.

What is the abbreviation for a Rook? R

A rook is generally more powerful when placed on a file on which there are no pawns. This is known as an open file.


This Rook may move to any square along one rank and one file as shown by the white stars.


The squares this Rook may move to are again along one rank and one file as shown by the white stars.


A further example of this Rook's move again shown by the white stars.