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Chess
Twin towers flank a host of fourteen
     with all the court in between.
Born of chariots, their reach is far.
     To friend, to foe, to all there are.

Beside them the mounted dogs of war trod,
     followed by those that speak the words of god.
All bow to the crown and guard his grace,
     moving when threatened to take his place.

To a bloodless war lowly footmen are chanced,
     but deadliest of all is his lady's advance.
Dark ranks match them, man for man,
     a pale knight leads, the charge began.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
two rooks + fourteen other pieces
start at both ends of the back row
originated as chariots
can move to the end of the board,
    unless a piece is in the way
knights
bishops
king, which needs to be protected
check can force pieces to be sacrificed

pawns, bloodless since it's a game
queen, the most powerful piece
traditionally black & white, balanced
    at the start, white moves first