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Can A King Take A Queen In Chess? (With Case Study!)

When we study how to save the king from a check, there are actually three ways. According to one of these ways, a king can save itself by capturing the attacking chess piece of the opponent. But, can a king take a queen in chess?

Yes, a king can capture a queen as long as doing that doesn’t put the king in check. However, if the queen is protected by another opponent’s chess piece then the king can’t take the queen because that would put the king in check which is illegal.

As per the standard rules, it is illegal to make a move that puts one’s own king in check.

Now ahead I’m going to discuss with you how a king responds to a check, case by case of explanation of when a king can take the queen and when can’t plus some related questions. This will be a very exciting read so stick with me till the end!

How a king responds to a check?

Whenever a king is in check there is a total of three ways through which you can respond to the check and save your king.

  1. Taking the attacking piece
  2. Keeping another chess piece between the king and the queen
  3. Moving your king to another square

So these are the three ways in order to save your king and get out of check.

Now, here we are talking about the first point that is taking the attacking piece when the king is in check. Remember a king can take the attacking piece as long as doing that doesn’t put it in check.

Tip 🙂 – Ever wondered, Can A Pawn Check A King? Then check out my detailed article on the same.

Now we are going to do two case studies where a king is in check and able to kill the queen and in the next case, it is not able to kill the queen. So let’s see!

Case-1: When a king can take a queen in chess

When can king take queen? A king can take a queen in chess only when it is not supported by another piece. As per the standard rules of chess, it is illegal to put one’s own king in check. So if the queen is not supported by another opponent piece then the king can capture the queen.

Let’s discuss this case-1 about when can king take queen pointwise. (It is white’s turn to move)

can-a-king-kill-a-queen-in-chess
  • White’s king is on e1, the rook on h1, the knight on g5, one pawn on h3, and the other on c5.
  • Black’s king on c8, the rook on d8, the pawn on d6, and the queen on e2. So these are the positions of all the chess pieces as you can see in the image.
  • Black’s queen on e2 is directly attacking white’s king on e1.
  • White’s king is in check and it is white’s turn to move.
  • So what do you think will be the best move to get out of check.
  • Yes, the white king can get out of check by taking the black queen.

Read Related: Can A King Kill In Chess? (Explained)

Here the white king can easily take the black queen because the queen is not supported by any other piece. But this is not always possible and this brings us to our next case.

Case-2: When a king can’t take the queen in chess

Why can’t the king take the queen? The king can’t take the queen in a situation where capturing the queen would put the king in check. As per the standard rules of chess, it considered illegal to put one’s own king in check. So if the queen is supported then the king can’t take the queen because it would put it in check.

It is white’s turn to move. Let’s discuss!

can-a-king-kill-a-queen-in-chess
  • Here all the positions are the same as discussed in case-1 except, there is a bishop on b5.
  • So now the black queen is directly attacking the white king.
  • This time what do you think can the king take the queen?
  • No, the king can’t take the queen because it is guarded by other chess piece. As per FIDE rule, a king can’t make any move that puts itself in check. So the king can’t kill the queen.

The black bishop on b5 guards the queen as you can see in the image. Therefore king can’t get out of check. This actually a clear checkmate by black.

Now talking about another case which mostly occurs when we are in endgame. So let’s discuss that.

Case-3: King and queen checkmating a lone king

Can a king and queen checkmate? Yes, a king and queen can checkmate a lone king by working together. A queen can’t checkmate alone. However, there should be a perfect strategy for this because many times it leads to a stalemate.

A stalemate is a type of draw in chess that occurs when the king is not in check but the player has no legal moves left so that he or she can continue the game.

Now let’s understand this situation with the case study.

can-a-king-kill-a-queen-in-chess

Here, when we are able to drive the king to the corner, this is the position that leads us to win.

In this position, if you are thinking that why the king can’t take the queen then the answer is because the queen is supported by another piece.

  • In this case, black’s king is on a1 (corner square)
  • White’s queen is on b2 with a backup by the king on c3.
  • So the black king can’t get out of check killing the white queen because then it will again put it in check by the white king.

Before concluding our talk I want to share with you my personal anecdote. You will definitely like reading it.

My anecdote 🙂 So I was playing chess with a computer on chess.com. At that time I had just started to play chess, learning the chess rules properly.

I kept the computer level very high just to get myself out of comfort zone. lol!

But after making about fifteen moves I was totally trapped by my opponent’s queen. I thought that a king can kill to get out of check. This what most beginners would think.

However, when I tried to click on the queen, beep! beep! sound came. I was totally frustrated with what was this happening.

But then I discovered that the queen was guarded by a bishop from a distant square. So I was not able to kill the queen.

This was the first time I realized that a king can’t kill a queen in check if doing so will again put the king in check.

Read Related: Can A King Kill A King In Chess?

Conclusion

So far we discussed if a king can take the queen, and how, along with three case studies. At last, I shared with you my personal anecdote.

Hope you enjoyed a lot! Please do share if found this article if you found it helpful.

FAQs

Can a king kill a queen in chess?

Yes, a king can kill a queen in chess as long as doing that doesn’t put the king in check. As per the standard rules, it is illegal to make a move that puts one’s own king in check. So If the queen is protected by another opponent piece then the king can’t kill the queen because that would put the king in check which is illegal.

Can a queen kill a queen in chess?

Yes, a queen can kill a queen in chess as long doing that doesn’t leave the king in check. As per the standard rules it is not allowed to make a move that exposes your king in check.

Can a queen take a king in chess?

Yes, a queen can take a king chess as long doing that doesn’t leave its king in check. As per the standard rules, it is illegal to put one’s own in check.

Can a king take a queen in chess when in check?

Yes, a king can take a queen while being in check but only if doing so doesn’t put the king in check again. As per the standard rules, a king can take any piece in check only if doing that helps the king to get out of check.

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