How Many Pieces are in a Chess Set? (Explained)

A chess set comes with several different pieces, all of which have a particular purpose in a chess game. The number of pieces in a chess set varies slightly depending on the manufacturer and what they include in a set.

How Many Pieces in a Chess Set?

The Chessboard: This is where you set up the pieces. Sometimes it also doubles as the container of your pieces.

The Chessmen: These are also called chess pieces. These are the main components of any chess set but may also be sold separately from the board. A standard set of chess pieces comes with 32 chessmen, 16 for each color, but some sets come with 34 pieces.

The two additional pieces are usually extra queens if the most important piece of the set is lost or misplaced. When the number of chess pieces varies, it’s usually because of extra pieces.

Now the number of pieces found in a chess set is cleared up, and the extra pieces have come to light.

It is now time to learn more about the different pieces and their roles in the game. Although there are 16 pieces on each side of the board, there are only 6 kinds with different roles and movements.

How Many Pawns are There in Chess?

There are 8 pawns, which account for half of all the chess pieces on the board. They are placed on the second row and are only allowed to move one square at a time, except on their very first move, where they can move two squares.

chess pawn
8 Pawn

To beat an opponent’s piece using the pawn, they must be diagonally positioned from the pawn.

Although limited in their movement, Pawns can promote to another piece when they reach the other end of the board. They can turn into a Bishop, Rook, Knight, or Queen. There are no limits to how many pieces are allowed a promotion.

How Many Rooks are There in Chess?

chess castle piece
2 Rooks

Each player has 2 castles (rooks). These pieces can move as many squares as possible, providing they stay in a straight line. They can move either horizontally or vertically as long as no piece of the same color is blocking their way.

How Many Knights are There in Chess?

chess knight
2 Knights

There are also 2 knights per color. These are the only pieces allowed to leap over other pieces, but they are severely limited as they can only move in an “L” shape.

How Many Bishops are There in Chess?

Again, each player has 2 bishops in their set. These pieces can only move diagonally but aren’t limited to how many squares they move forward.

chess bishop
2 Bishops

Only when a piece of the same color blocks their path do, they have to stop at a particular square.

How Many Queens are in Chess Set?

There is only one queen of each color in every set. Although a set may have two extra queens (1 different for each color), they cannot be used on the chessboard during the game at the same time.

The queen is the most powerful piece within the set because she can move in any direction and for as many squares as possible as long as no other piece is blocking her path.

chess queen
1 Queen

Losing your queen does not end the game, but it does put you at a severe disadvantage if your opponent still has their queen and you do not. The best way to regain all the queen’s power is to get a pawn promoted and turn them into a queen.

How Many Kings are There in a Chess Set?

Every set only has one king of each color, and a “Check Mate” is how a chess game ends in victory. When your opponent calls “Check,” they simply warn you that your king is in danger and you need to block the path or move the king.

chess king
1 King

Kings are limited because they can only move one square at a time, but they can move in any direction as long as nothing is blocking their way.


The number of pieces in a chess set depends on the manufacturer. Typically, a set will have 32 or 34 if an extra queen is added.

If you count the board as part of your chess set, you will have 33 or 35 pieces. Usually, though, you’ll find that most chess sets don’t come with spare pieces, so make sure that you take extra care not to lose any of them.

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