Beginnings of Chess Project

I started learning Python on Codecademy about a week ago, and when I try to learn languages I try to think of a project to attempt to accomplish in that language to measure my progress.
I used to just try to make Rock-Paper-Scissors as small as I could, when I was learning JavaScript, and then I would make it graphical when I started to learn HTML and CSS, but for Python this is basically the same code, so it’s not much of a different challenge.
Chess seems like it will be a very difficult project that will take a lot of thinking, and will force me to find new ways to deal with problems that I haven’t thought of before.
The goal of this post is to look for resources and/or tips anyone could have for starting to evaluate the legality of a “move” in chess. I don’t want you to hand the answers to me, I’m just looking for ideas.

Here is my initial ideas on the project, I’m about 50% through the Python course, so forgive me if I’m missing some blatant issues.

player = "nothing"
coinflip = random.random()
if coinflip == 1:
    player = "white"
    player = "black"

#Evaluate Algebraic Notation. Longform only. Qh4e1 or Pa2xa4
#Determines the row and column of the piece you are moving and where it is moving to.
#Determines if you are taking a piece
#Determines which piece you are moving
playerMove = input("What move would you like to make?")
playerMovePiece = playerMove[0]
playerMovePieceLoc = playerMove[1:3]
playerMoveLoc = playerMove[-2:]
playerMovePieceLocRow = playerMovePieceLoc[1]
playerMoveLocRow = playerMoveLoc[1]
playerMovePieceLocCol = playerMovePieceLoc[0]
playerMoveLocCol = playerMoveLoc[0]
if playerMovePiece == "Q":
    playerMovePiece = "Queen"
if playerMovePiece == "R":
    playerMovePiece = "Rook"
if playerMovePiece == "P":
    playerMovePiece = "Pawn"
if playerMovePiece == "K":
    playerMovePiece = "King"
if playerMovePiece == "B":
    playerMovePiece = "Bishop"
if playerMovePiece == "N":
    playerMovePiece = "Knight"
str1 = "x"
if str1 in playerMove:
    takes = True
    takes = False

print("Your move: " + playerMove)
print("Your piece: " + playerMovePiece)
print("Your piece location: " + playerMovePieceLoc)
print("Where you are moving it: " + playerMoveLoc)
print("The row it is currently in: " + playerMovePieceLocRow)
print("The column it is currently in: " + playerMovePieceLocCol)
print("The row you are moving it to: " + playerMoveLocRow)
print("The column you are moving it to: " + playerMoveLocCol)
print("Are you taking a piece? " + str(takes))

if playerMovePiece == "Pawn" and playerMovePieceLoc[0] != playerMoveLoc[0]:
    print("Illegal Move!")
if abs(int(playerMovePieceLocRow) - int(playerMoveLocRow)) > 2:
    print("Illegal Move!")

#En passant detection. If you move the pawn, change the value, so we can check for double moves in future. This has a flaw at the moment where it doesn't care which pawn is moving into the column, it just decides to turn off that column, that should be easily fixable if/when I find a way to map to my list format that I've planned.
pawna = True
pawnb = True
pawnc = True
pawnd = True
pawne = True
pawnf = True
pawng = True
pawnh = True
if playerMovePiece == "Pawn" and playerMovePieceLocCol == "a":
    pawna = False
if playerMovePiece == "Pawn" and playerMovePieceLocCol == "b":
    pawnb = False
if playerMovePiece == "Pawn" and playerMovePieceLocCol == "c":
    pawnc = False
if playerMovePiece == "Pawn" and playerMovePieceLocCol == "d":
    pawnd = False
if playerMovePiece == "Pawn" and playerMovePieceLocCol == "e":
    pawne = False
if playerMovePiece == "Pawn" and playerMovePieceLocCol == "f":
    pawnf = False
if playerMovePiece == "Pawn" and playerMovePieceLocCol == "g":
    pawng = False
if playerMovePiece == "Pawn" and playerMovePieceLocCol == "h":
    pawnh = False

# evaluate playerMove(Is checkmate? Is taking piece? Is stalemate? Is check? Is legal?)
# perform playerMove(Yikes)
# switch players
# repeat
# Ra1a3
# is the move legal for Rook?
# is there a Rook on a1?
# is a2 occupied?
# is a3 occupied?
# if yes, is it occupied by the opponent?
# if yes, take the piece.
# if no, move the piece.

# Pawn = 1
# Rook = 2
# Knight = 3
# Bishop = 4
# Queen = 5
# King = 6
# row8 = [2,3,4,5,6,4,3,2]
# row7 = [1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1]
# row6 = [0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0]
# row5 = [0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0]
# row4 = [0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0]
# row3 = [0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0]
# row2 = [1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1]
# row1 = [2,3,4,5,6,4,3,2]
#         a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h

So far the only “working” code I have takes a user input in longform Algebraic Notation, something like Qa3xa4 and splices that into it’s individual pieces to determine what the goal of the input is.
Q would indicate that they are trying to move their Queen
A3 would indicate that the piece they are trying to move is in column A and row 3
X would indicate that they are taking a piece, so there is a piece already on the destination
A4 would indicate that the destination is column A and row 4

I have a basic idea of how to make pawn legality checking function, I can have a trigger for “if the pawn in question has been moved yet” and if so, it’s only legal move is to take on a diagonal in front of it or to move 1 forward. Otherwise it’s legal moves consist of a double move, a single move, a normal diagonal take, or an en passant.

Moving beyond this into the legality checking for other pieces is where it gets daunting for me. My goal is to have the lists that appear at the bottom of my code (commented out) to function as my boards state, and I should be able to refer to the list number for row and the list index for column, in my head this should work, but when I want to put it down into code, I don’t really have any ideas on how to do it. I think a nested loop of some kind would work if I were to try to do this in JavaScript, but even then I’m not sure.

Any input anyone has, feel free to provide, this is a learning project for me, I have plans in the future to give it actual graphics as well rather. than it all just be backend, but I’d like to get the function worked out before I delve into trying to figure out how something like tkinter would work.