Can a promoted pawn be taken immediately?

can a promoted pawn be taken immediately

Once your pawn reaches the end of the board, and your opponent captures it immediately, is it legal?

I have played chess games where this scenario happens, and sometimes there is certain dispute like is it a legal move to capture a promoted pawn immediately.

I suggest you read an article I wrote about chess pawn rules.

In this article, you are going to find out if your promoted pawn can be taken immediately.

Can a promoted pawn be taken immediately?

Yes, a promoted pawn can be taken immediately, it’s because a pawn promotion does not give you an extra turn but instead considered as one move. After pawn promotion, it is another player’s turn to move, and if the opportunity to capture the pawn is the best move, there is no way to prevent capture.

To illustrate this answer let us imagine a game where the pieces are in the following positions, Black King on h8, Black Rook on g8, White King on a6 and White pawn on c7, the turn corresponds to White, if the play made is to move the pawn from c7 to c8 and promote it to a Queen, the board would be as follows, Black King on h8, Black Rook on g8, White King on a6 and White Queen on c8, now it would be Black’s turn, so Black’s Rook would be on c8 and would have taken the White Queen which was the promoted pawn in the previous move, it is a case that shows clearly that if a promoted pawn is taken immediately.

Rules on capturing promoted pawns

At the international level, the current rules of chess had its last update on January 1, 2018, in Turkey during the development of the congress number 88 of Fide, the International Chess Federation and, therefore, the organization that governs the sport, in Article 1.3?

It states that a player is entitled to play when his opponent’s full move has been made, 3.7.1 says that a pawn may move forward to a square immediately in front of him and on the same column, provided that this square is unoccupied.

If the promoted pawn is at the mercy of any piece of the opposite color according to the statements in articles 3.2 to 3.6, which deal with the way the pieces may be moved on the board. If the newly promoted pawn is according to these rules in a lawful condition to be taken by one of the promoted pieces, it is entirely possible that its taking will take place immediately after its promotion.

3.7.5.1 states clearly that when a player is due to move and plays a pawn on the 8th row in the case of White, or the 1st row in the case of Black, he must change it, he may replace it as part of the same move with a new queen, rook, bishop or knight of the same color as the pieces he is playing. This action is called promotion or crowning.

Examples of how can a promoted pawn be taken immediately

The pawns are the only pieces in chess that can be promoted according to the current FIDE rules, this gives this piece a very important feature within the development of a game, since having a pawn at an advanced height of the game is potentially a piece of more value and with more versatility to try to take advantage in every subsequent move.

The fact that at the moment of completing the move that ends the promotion, the play ends and it is the opponent’s turn, clearly gives the option, if it is the case, that the promoted pawn can be taken by an opponent’s piece immediately, in the following game situations we will show how can a promoted pawn be taken immediately.

We have the White King on a1, White Rook on c2, White Pawn on c7, Black King on h8, Black Bishop on h3, the shift of play is for the White, and the move is White Pawn on c7 to c8 promoting it to a White King, now the turn is for the Black and the Black Bishop is moved from h3 to c8 taking the White King promoted in the previous move, thus showing that can a promoted pawn be taken immediately.

Another game situation which shows that can a promoted pawn be taken immediately, is the following, White King on a5, White Rook on b5, White Pawn on b7, Black King on e8, Black Rook on h8, Black Knight on d7, White’s turn, moves White Pawn from b7 to b8 promoting it to a White King, Black’s turn and the move is Black Knight from d7 to b8 taking the newly promoted White King on White’s previous turn.

For the promotion of a pawn to be fruitful and have good results, the consequences of the move that takes it to the opposite end of the board must be foreseen. This type of play must be made after having observed the situation of the game very well, and having analyzed the pros and cons of such a move, to decide whether it will be the option that best fits the pretensions of winning a game, so know that it is feasible that the pawn that is promoted to any piece of higher value can legally be taken immediately after his coronation, can be taken immediately by an opposing piece, will make the assessment of risk before making the move of the pawn.

Chess grandmasters such as Boris Spassky, Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov, and Garry Kasparov, among many other world champions, recommend prudence, analysis, and intelligence and tolerance when facing the imminent promotion of a pawn, Anxiety about the advanced state of a game can lead to fatal errors. The opportunity to crown a pawn and take a higher value piece at a decisive moment in the game can mean winning the game, provided you do not expose yourself to your opponent’s immediate capture.

The success of the great players lies additionally in a great capacity that they possess to fix their attention and visual memory in determined areas of the board, this aptitude offers them the possibility of planning and developing several moves in very few instants, one of the strategies that usually give fruits thinking about the promotion is what is called the past pawn.

To have a past pawn consists of that pawn not having in front of it in its column, nor in the adjacent enemy pawns, nor another piece that impedes its advance, and the best strategy to apply to guarantee that this one will not be captured when promoting itself is that it is supported, either by another pawn or by another piece, having a pawn in these conditions means a potential danger for the opponent and a very big guarantee of victory for the one who holds it.

Wrapping Up

If you come across players who stop you from taking a promoted pawn – you can call the attention of an arbiter or just let them read this article. 🙂

Or remind them that they cannot make a second move after a pawn promotion. There is no rule regarding moving twice, or even a rule that states a promoted pawn cannot be captured immediately.

A pawn promotion can be stopped or can be captured anytime, as long as it is legal to do so. Any promoted pawn can be captured immediately, not only the Queen but all other chess pieces except the King and the pawn.

Gary Flores

Hi there! I'm a dad with kids who loves to learn how to play chess by learning online - also, this is my way of refreshing my knowledge about this game of tactics & strategy. I created chessdelights.com to inspire people who are also learning, re-learning or teaching their kids the game of chess.

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