Mastering 1v1 Chess on the Same Computer: A Step-by-Step Guide

Chess 1v1 is a classic game that pits two players against each other in a battle of strategy and skill.

We will explore the steps to setting up a Chess 1v1 game, the rules you need to know, and tips on how to play effectively.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, this guide will help you navigate the world of Chess 1v1 and improve your gameplay.

What Is Chess 1v1?

Cheating, according to Wikipedia, is the action or practice of winning practical advantages or accomplishing a gain in a manner initially decreed to be in violation of rules that ultimately enable equal opposition. There are many new ways to cheat, such as mobile phone apps that can use a chessboard recognition algorithm to calculate the best moves and perform them on a separate computer, or advanced sports analytics that can assess the probability that someone is cheating based on how much they deviate from a statistically normal game.

How To Set Up A Chess 1v1 Game On The Same Computer?

You Set Up A Chess 1v1 Game On The Same Computer by choosing and installing any chess app, running it on one system in a multiplayer mode, and setting up a new versus game against a human-controlled second account. Specific steps are as follows:

  • Assuming you do not already have a chess app that supports multiplayer play, first choose one. Google “best programs to play chess on PC” and find a list that helps you select the chess program you like.
  • Install the chess app on your computer. You can Google “download app name” to find the website to download the app from.
  • Start the chess app on your computer. Most apps will have a starting screen where you can choose play mode. Once you have chosen the computer as the player with whom you want to play, either a special 1v1 mode will open up or you’ll be able to play a new game which after choosing the game setting will open up a new chess board.
  • Move one piece and pass the mouse to the other player as appropriate to continue play. Always make sure that the game is against the computer and that no prior game still has preprogrammed moves waiting to be played. After every move the game waits for a move from the second player or the computer, so it is very easy to know when to make a move.
  • Losing one’s King in a 1v1 with the same computer game is the same as losing a 2-player game and means the end of the game.

Choose A Chess Program

The first step to 1v1 in chess on the same computer is for both players to choose a chess program that meets their needs. Many free online chess games support two-player games including and Additionally there are various commercial versions of chess, some with extra features like 3D graphics while others are composed of simple game boards with traditional chess piece designs. An easy way to play is to simply use the pre-installed Microsoft Windows chess program Winboard. It supports two-player chess games and is free to use as long as one has Windows.

Set Up The Board

To set up the board, you need to choose a virtual or physical one. Since the players are together while playing 1v1 chess on the same computer, a physical board is the best option. This is because physical boards have tangible pieces that can be removed and placed in captured position areas.

The starting position on the board is shown in the game board graphic below. There are 64 squares set up in an 8×8 grid. Ensure that each piece category is in the right order and position as shown below. The following categories are there when the game board is initially set up:

  • 8 Rooks in the corners
  • 8 Knights next to the Rooks
  • 8 Bishops in the corners next to the Knights
  • 1 Queen in the middle
  • 1 King on rotated square next to Queen of the same color
  • 2 Bishops (fianchettoed) next to the respective colored Bishop
  • 2 Knights next to the first Knights on the side of the Queen
  • 2 Rooks next to the first Rooks on the side of the Queen
  • 8 Pawns in the front row, exactly 1 square apart

The best quality physical board is the standard FIDE chessboard. This is an inlaid board with 55 mm squares incorporating a rosewood, leather, or other luxury finish. The traditional version with checkered squares is always popular. Less expensive alternatives come with hardwood and plastic playing surfaces.

Select The Game Mode

After signing in, selecting the game mode in the Normal Screen is simple. Choose New Game and the 1v1 player is required to go to the window at the top right of the lobby to invite Computer Level 1 to the game. Once the invitation has been accepted by Computer Level 1, the 1v1 play can be started by pressing Start Game.

Between two human players, the Challenge Screen is the avenue to create a 1v1 environment. One player will have to stand up and press the nearby small heart button, then go to the Create Challenge option. They must then select the parameters for the game including time limits (including none), chess variant, and who can accept the game challenge from the available options of Only Friends, Only Host, and No One.

The in-person player can establish the playing parameters, including how their pieces are laid out on the board. The remote player can start the game and play as soon as they join, and using the sitting down button can preserve and resume the game for their turn if they choose to leave.

Choose The Playing Side

In Chess 1v1, the player who acts first is assigned the White Pieces (lighter color), with the other player getting the Black Pieces (darker color). In some setups and apps, you have the option to toggle the colors of the pieces before you begin the game. Given that there is no way to actually play simultaneous moves when playing with oneself, it is best to select the White Pieces to make the game more challenging.

Set The Difficulty Level

In a 1v1 game of Chess on the same computer, set the difficulty level of the virtual computer chess opponent similar to the level of play of the person with least Chess experience. This can be set in the Options menu for the chess software where difficulty level is shown in terms of a rating score in elo. The typical elo difficulty levels are as follows:

  1. Level 1: Beginner – Elo 400800
  2. Level 2: Casual Player – Elo 800 – 1200
  3. Level 3: Club Player – Elo 1200 – 1600
  4. Level 5: Tournament Player – Elo 1600 – 2000
  5. Level 6: Class A Player – Elo 2000 – 2400
  6. Level 7: Master – Elo 2400 – 2800

What Are The Rules Of Chess 1v1?

The rules of chess 1v1 are based on the same rules that govern standard 2-player chess within a tournament or between friends. Some have even created specialty rules for one-on-one chess variants, but the core rules do not change with the player count. Rules usually include the following:

  1. Capturing pieces: If a piece is moved onto a square occupied by an opponent’s piece, the latter is removed from the board and is said to be captured, whether it is the opponent’s king or not.
  2. Check: When a player’s king is under immediate attack by one or more of the opponent’s pieces, it is said to be in check.
  3. Resolving check: The king must not be in check after the player moves and does not need to be in check.
  4. Checkmate: When a player’s king is in check and there is no legal move to avoid check, the king is said to be in checkmate.

In almost all cases, the same rules of 2-player chess apply unilaterally to all player counts.

Movement Of Pieces

The pieces in chess each move in different ways. The following shows the unique ways pawns, knights, bishops, rooks, queens, kings, and even the possibility of castling can legally move. Note that the following keys are for easy move entry into the bar at the bottom of the screen:

  1. Enter to finish your move
  2. Arrow keys to move wherever you want and easily display allowable moves
  3. U to undo — helpful for those inter-game challenges
  4. R to request a take-back
  5. C to claim threefold repetition
  6. F to claim fifty moves

The different rules on piece movement on the board across players when using a computer are defined the same as traditional chess, but with key presses instead of moving the piece with

  • Pawn
  • Knight
  • Bishop
  • Rook
  • Queen
  • King


Capturing Pieces

In these computer chess games, after winning a piece and taking your turn, each player must immediately realize the immediate risk of losing that piece and take measures to protect it. In this example, the White player plays 1.Qg6, attacking the Black King and the Rook on g8. Then the Black player makes a move to capture White’s Queen (Nc6). White forever loses their Queen?

No! After Black captures the White Queen, the White Knight captures the Black Queen (Rxh8).

After the simpler capture of a a White piece (like the h8 Rook in Kam Chess), White ends up with a mere Rook while Black has a Bishop, a Knight, a Rook, and a Queen. The chances of White winning at this point are slim.

While playing Kam Chess or any other chess variant but one in which captures do not introduce more common structural variations like Three-check chess, adapt your play style accordingly. Capturing on your turn will lead to your opponent getting a counter-capture, which will usually favor them.

The best move strategy while playing Kam chess is to advance and consolidate your position while causing small nuisances for your opponent. Plan your moves so that any captures are set up for your subsequent turn. However, Kam Chess is a unique and casual variant of the game, so proper strategy is sacrificed to the opening up of endless possibilities.

No wonder Kam Chess has become increasingly popular among AI and human chess players! Whichever kind of chess you prefer, in two-player chess against yourself or with a friend, the emphasis on using captures to their best strategical advantage remains the same.

Check And Checkmate

Check and checkmate are rules in chess which refer to the control of certain squares (for check) or positions within the game (for checkmate). The attacking player has ‘check’ if the defending player is unable to move them out of direct attack status during that turn. ‘Checkmate’ means that the attacking player has ‘check’ and the defending player has no moves that can get them out of direct attack status.


Stalemate occurs when a player is not in check but has no legal moves to make. In this case, the game results in a draw. It is a common way to end a 1v1 in chess situations. Stalemating the opponent who only has a king while retaining other major pieces is an especially difficult endgame tactic, as the danger of forfeiting the game increases the longer unnecessary moves are played. A player can also opt for the 50-move rule, which results in a draw if the game is not concluded within 50 moves by either player.


In chess, a draw is the outcome of a game between two players when neither player wins. There are basically three types of draws.

  1. No one wins and there is no way to win – this is called a Stalemate
  2. No one wins because only one player has sufficient material to win – this is called a Draw by insufficient material
  3. No one wins because the same exact position has repeated three times, or because fifty moves have elapsed since the last capture (or pawn advance) – this is called a Draw by threefold repetition or Draw by the fifty-move rule.

These rules still apply in a 1v1 chess situation even with no other pieces on the board except the Kings. A draw was achieved by stalemate at 3:68 in the below chess 1v1 game, meaning the player took an action that would inevitably lead the game to a stalemate, so they acknowledged that the game resulted in a draw. In this case, white moved their King to b6, leading to a stalemate.

How To Play A Chess 1v1 Game?

To play a Chess 1v1 game, you only need a board and two players. The players should sit opposite each other. Black makes the first move and, after that, the players alternate moves until the game is done. The easiest way to start is for an adult to teach a child and then play a Chess 1v1 game with them. It is easy for parents to teach their children How to play chess in 2 minutes.

Make The First Move

Who plays white in a 1v1 match? Whether in a 1v1 simulation or in a traditional 1v1 against a friend, ideally the participants should negotiate this. A fair way to solve the issue is to start helping your adversary see eye-to-eye with you on your first move, letting them make the first move.

If you’re simulating with yourself, pick white. If playing against an algorithm or computer simulation, decide to let luck decide: heads one, tails the other.

Use Strategies And Tactics

  • Strategies
  • Strategic advantages include having more material on the board, like attacking the King before enemy units are developed. When you have more pieces than the enemy, allocate most of those (your King and at least one pawn are usually sacrificed to attack the enemy’s King quickly) to the attack on his King. The following are strategies you can use for winning 1v1 in chess:
    • Dominating the center from afar. Your pieces have maximum freedom for short and long-term deployment, as well as the ability to work together, if they are centralized. If you take all the enemy pieces off the board, the center gains even more importance as white squares tend to be quickly blocked off (either physically or with the threat of force).
    • A strong central pawn or two can help prevent your pieces from being pushed back from the center of the board.
  • Tactics
  • Tactical advantages include having a better position than the enemy, creating multiple threats with a single move, and exploiting any weaknesses in the enemy position. Guide your attack against your opponent’s King and respond to their threats during the game. To win the game quickly, you will need to outmaneuver them and remove most of their pieces from the board. You have a big advantage if you are able to maintain a strong material advantage after your opponent sacrifices a piece in sacrifice for attacking your position.

Keep Track Of Your Opponent’s Moves

By keeping track of your opponent’s moves, you can anticipate their future moves based on the game dynamics, and make adjustments to own game strategy. This is chess. At the beginning of a chess game, each player has twenty possible moves and even more as the game progresses. As a player noting your opponent’s last move, you are reducing the possibilities in your move selection. This is a useful technique, especially for beginner to intermediate level chess players.

Anticipate Your Opponent’s Next Move

With experience, you will learn to anticipate your opponent’s next moves. You want to be in a situation where if you’re threatened, you already have strong counter play in position. You should be able to exploit your opponent when they make blunders or tactics errors.

Aim To Checkmate Your Opponent’s King

When playing 1v1 chess, ultimately, you should aim to checkmate your opponent’s king. A player’s king is checkmated if it is in a threatened position (in check) but has no safe squares to move to, and it cannot be blocked by any of the other player’s pieces. When a king is checkmated, the game comes to an end, and later we will look at some examples of checkmating the king.

When playing 1v1 chess, you have the opportunity to close out a game against a strong opponent without actually checkmating their king if they do one of the following:

  • Put their own king into checkmate (as was the case in one of Fischer’s quickest wins against Moe),
  • Surrender before being checkmated,
  • Claim a draw against you (one way to do this is by the opponent declaring that a stalemate position exists. A stalemate is a situation in which the player whose turn it is to move has no legal move and their king is not in check).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 1v1 in chess on the same computer?

1v1 in chess on the same computer refers to a game mode where two players can play against each other on the same device without the need for an internet connection.

How do I set up a 1v1 game in chess on the same computer?

To set up a 1v1 game in chess on the same computer, open your chess program and select the option for local multiplayer or hotseat mode. This will allow you to play against another player on the same computer.

Can I play 1v1 in chess on the same computer with a friend?

Yes, you can play 1v1 in chess on the same computer with a friend. Simply launch the game and select the option for local multiplayer, then have your friend join in as the second player.

Is it necessary for both players to have the same chess program for 1v1 on the same computer?

Yes, both players will need to have the same chess program installed on their computer in order to play 1v1 on the same computer. This ensures that the game runs smoothly and both players have access to the same features.

Are there any special settings or rules for 1v1 in chess on the same computer?

No, the rules and settings for 1v1 in chess on the same computer are the same as a regular game of chess. However, you can customize the game by adjusting the time limit, difficulty level, and other settings before starting the game.

Can I save my 1v1 game in chess on the same computer for later?

Yes, most chess programs have a save option that allows you to save your game for later. This is especially useful for longer games or if you need to take a break and resume the game at a later time.

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