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Chess is played on a square board of eight rows (called ranks and denoted with numbers 1 to 8) and eight columns (called files and denoted with letters a to h) of squares. The colors of the 64 squares alternate and are referred to as "light squares" and "dark squares". The chessboard is placed with a light square at the right-hand end of the rank nearest to each player, and the pieces are set out as shown in the diagram, with each queen on its own color.
The pieces are divided, by convention, into white and black sets. The players are referred to as "White" and "Black", and each begins the game with 16 pieces of the specified color. These consist of one king, one queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights, and eight pawns.