Whenever a pawn reaches the 8th rank it is time for its promotion! Most chess players promote and feel relieved that now they can win easily. But, then suddenly your opponent snaps your promoted pawn. So, at that time the very first question comes to your mind.
Can a promoted pawn be taken immediately? Yes, a promoted pawn can be taken immediately, but only when you are not in check, or by doing so doesn’t put your king into check. If doing so is the best possible move then you should definitely go for it.
See, if you are not violating any chess rule then you can definitely do that. There is no rule in FIDE Laws that says you can’t take a promoted pawn immediately. So keep that in mind.
Now that you know that a promoted pawn can be taken immediately, you might think why is this so. Therefore answering your next question.
Why a promoted pawn can be taken immediately? Because promoting a pawn is itself considered a move. So if your opponent promotes a pawn, now it is your turn to move. If you see that you can easily kill the promoted pawn then you should take that immediately.
But make sure you fulfill the conditions that we talked about above and are going to discuss ahead in detail.
Let’s summarise whatever we are going to discuss in this article through this table of content and then dive into it!
Pawn Promotion – In Brief
In simple words, pawn promotion means whenever the pawn reaches the last rank it gets the chance to get promoted. It can either be promoted to a queen, rook, knight, or bishop.
Actually, promoting a pawn to the queen is called queening as per Wikipedia. Moreover promoting a pawn to a rook, knight, or bishop is known as underpromotion and not promotion.
Many chess players don’t say it and many times say it as a promotion. Both are correct because anyone can understand the motive of saying it.
As per FIDE article 126.96.36.199, when a pawn reaches the other side (8th rank) it can be promoted to any of the four pieces from the queen, knight, rook, or bishop.
One important thing to note is that you are free to select ‘any of the pieces’ as per FIDE. There is still a very common misconception among many players about this topic.
As you can see that it is clearly mentioned, “Choice is not restricted to a previously captured piece.” Also, the effect of pawn promotion is immediate.
So this was a brief description of pawn promotion. Now let’s move forward and talk about what are the chess rules we have to keep in mind while taking a promoted pawn.
Rules To Keep In Mind While Taking a Promoted Pawn
There are two rules you have to keep in mind while taking a promoted pawn immediately.
1. You are currently not in check
Many times while playing chess we overlook and overestimate the situations. In that case, it happens that we forget the fact that we are in check.
Rather we try to go on and take any other chess piece of an opponent! This is completely illegal. Of course, if you are playing online or with a computer, the system will not allow you only to make any move unless you get out of check.
But this you have to keep in mind when you are playing casually with your friends or even if you are a newbie and playing in club tournaments. These silly mistakes might put you in shameful situations at any time.
So always, before making any move, be sure that you are not in check!
2. By making the move you do not put yourself in check
Of course, you can take the promoted pawn if it is the best possible move and shock your opponent. But if doing so you get into check then that is totally illegal move.
Though this type of situation occurs very rare but is possible. If happens then you cannot because as per the rules you have to first get out of check.
So these are the two basic rules you have to follow in order to take a promoted pawn immediately.
Tip 🙂 – Do you ever think: Why would you promote a pawn to a rook and not queen? In which circumstances with a case study, then check out my detailed article on the same.
When can you take a promoted pawn immediately?
You can take a promoted pawn if you are not in check, neither get into check by doing so. Here is a case study highlighting this point.
Read Also: Can you promote a pawn to a second queen?
Note that it is the white’s turn to move.
So now, from the below image what do you think, should it take the promoted pawn or make any other move? Let’s discuss this pointwise.
- First of all, talking about the positions of important pieces.
- White’s one rook is on a1 and other rook is on f1 and the king is on g1.
- Black’s pawn was on b2 square which is promoted to a queen on b1 square.
- It is now white’s turn to move.
- So let’s check our first condition. Are we in check? No!
- Second condition. Will taking the promoted pawn put us in check? No!
- Is it important to take the promoted pawn? Yes, because it is directly threatening our castled position.
So considering all these factors taking the promoted black pawn (into a queen) on b1 square by white’s rook on a1 square will be the best decision.
Now, this was the case where you can take promoted pawn but sometimes though rarely it can happen that doing so will not be a wise decision. Hence we come to our next question.
Tip 🙂 – Can a king take a queen in chess? Are you curious to know this! Then check out my article on the same where I explained the reason with case studies.
When can you not take a promoted pawn immediately?
You cannot take a promoted pawn immediately if by doing so you get into check or when you are already in check.
Here’s is another case study that I made for you so that you can understand the concept well. Let’s discuss!
Note that it is black’s turn to move.
- First discuss the positions of each chess piece.
- White’s king is on g5, the bishop on e5, and the queen on e8.
- White’s pawn on e7 got promoted to a queen and now it is on e8 square.
- Black’s king is on g7 square with a knight on f6 and a pawn on b5.
- It is black’s turn to move. So let’s again ask those three questions.
- Are we now in check as per the situation shown? No
- Next question. Will taking the promoted pawn put us in check? Yes
- This time yes, because as shown if we take the promoted pawn (to a queen) by black’s knight on f6 then it will put us in check.
- Because as soon as the black knight will leave their place, the white bishop will check the king.
- Do you think taking that promoted pawn e8 by black’s knight on f6 would be a good decision?
- No rather black’s king should be moved to a safer position.
- Analyzing the situation it can be said that black has only one possible move at this stage. That is to move its king on h7 square.
So this is how there are circumstances where we can’t take the promoted pawn immediately. It can put us in check and sometimes also prove to be a bad move for us. While playing chess you should always keep in mind this one thing,
Every rule in chess should be followed according to the position and evaluation plus keeping the mind open!
Ask these 3 questions before taking a promoted pawn (Tips)
Now studying the above cases it can be said that you need a perfect method, roadmap, and guideline before you attempt to take and kill a promoted pawn.
So here’s a set of three questions that I ask before taking a promoted pawn immediately, and I think that will also help you so they are,
- Am I in check?
- Will taking the promoted pawn immediately, put me in check?
- Is taking the promoted pawn immediately, the best move?
If the answer to the first two is no and the last one is yes then you are good to make the move. Otherwise, you should react according to the problem that arises.
Also Read: Can a pawn move diagonally to promote?
So that’s it! Hope you enjoyed reading this article. Please do share if this article helped you. Here’s a quick recap of everything we discussed.
- We first started with topics, if a promoted pawn can be taken immediately and why is it so
- Then talked about pawn promotion in brief.
- After that discussed in which circumstances it can occur by proper illustrations.
- Finally shared with you the roadmap (tips) that will solve your problem next time you think about taking a promoted pawn!
Hope this helps! Thanks and have a nice day!
Tip 🙂 – Do you know: Can a pawn check a king? If eager to know and much more related concepts then I recommend you to check my article on the same.
By the way, below I have listed down some of the frequently asked questions. You can check them out, who knows if it can clear some of your doubts.
Do you get an extra turn when you promote a pawn?
No, you don’t because you move your pawn to 8th rank, promote it and your turn ends. It is now your opponent’s turn to make a move.
Where does a promoted pawn go?
After the pawn promotion, the promoted pawn goes outside of the chessboard. The promoted pawn is replaced with either the queen, knight, rook, or bishop depending on the player’s choice.
How many times can a pawn be promoted?
As per the standard rules, a pawn can be promoted whenever it reaches the last rank on the opposite side. After pawn promotion, that pawn is replaced with either queen, knight, rook, or a bishop so a single pawn can be promoted only once in a game.
How many pawns can be promoted?
In chess, each player has a total of 8 pawns. So all of them can be promoted in a game provided all the standard chess rules are followed. However, all 8 pawns rarely get promoted in a game.
Can you move after the pawn promotion?
No, a player can’t make the move after pawn promotion because pawn promotion is itself considered a move. So as soon as a player promotes the pawn, it is their opponent’s turn to make the next move.
Wait! Are you a beginner and want to learn how to play chess? Then check out this free step-by-step guide on chess basics where I clarify all your basic chess concepts.