While starting chess as a beginner, many times several questions come to mind. And one of them is this one. Can you capture your own piece in chess?
No, you can’t capture your own piece in chess. As per the standard rules of chess, a player is not allowed to move a piece to a square occupied by a piece of the same colour.
Now you may be thinking from where I’m telling you the standard rule of chess. Right?
Well, I’m saying this based upon the FIDE laws of chess. FIDE is the International Chess Federation.
So in that, it is clearly said,
“It is not permitted to move a piece to a square occupied by a piece of the same colour.”
Note the word “same color”! You are not allowed to move your piece to square that is already occupied by a piece of the same color which means your own piece.
So just think, if you are not permitted to move to a square that is occupied by your own piece, then how you can you capture it, right?
Thus, now your doubt is very clear, okay? But wait!
One important point to remember is that although you can’t capture your own piece in chess, you can sacrifice your own piece.
Can you sacrifice your own piece in chess?
Yes, you can sacrifice your own chess piece as long as the move is legal. However, it is not allowed to take your own piece with your own piece.
By legal move, I mean that the move should not be violating any standard chess rules. And if the move violates any standard chess rules then it would considered an illegal move.
I have already written an article on illegal moves which you can read here.
Now, sacrifice means to give up a piece so that you can gain tactical or positional compensation in other forms.
Is there any chess variant where you can take your own pieces?
Now although you can’t capture your own chess piece in a standard chess game. There are chess variants where you can do so like in the self eliminator, option-suicide chess, recycle chess, and capture anything.
By the way, a chess variant is basically a game inspired by chess but can differ from chess in many different ways.
So let’s discuss the chess variants in which you are allowed to capture your own piece.
1. Self Eliminator Chess
John Gallicano and Steve Mann invented this variant. In this variant, players may also take their own pieces.
You can read about self eliminator chess here.
2. Option-Suicide Chess
In this game you can destroy your own chess pieces. You have to follow the rules of FIDE but you may capture your own pieces.
You can read this article on option suicide chess.
3. Recycle Chess
Now this is another chess variant in our list in which capturing your own piece is allowed. You can read about recycle chess here.
4. Capture Anything
As per an article on chess.com, Capturing anything is a chess variant which was first proposed by DeepMind, the team behind Alphazero.
As the name of this variant suggests, players can capture any piece, even their own.
Some Related Questions
Can you kill your own pawn in chess?
No, you can’t kill your own pawn in chess because it is not allowed to capture one’s own chess pieces in chess. However, if needed, a pawn can be sacrificed for gaining any kind of advantage in the game.
Can you take your own knight in chess?
No, you can’t take your own knight in chess. It is not allowed to take one’s own pieces in chess. However, if needed, a player can sacrifice their own pieces to get any advantage in the game.
Can you eat your own chess pieces?
No, you can’t eat your own chess pieces because it is not permitted to capture one’s own pieces in chess. As per the standard rules, you can’t move a piece to a square occupied by a piece of the same colour
So I hope now you are very clear whether you can capture your own piece in chess or not. Please share this article if you found it helpful. Thanks!
And if you are a beginner (which is most likely), I do highly recommend you to check out the article I have written on basic chess rules here.
That’s it for today! Thanks 🙂
Hi! I’m Pritam and I’m a huge chess enthusiast! I know the actual problems that chess players face. I created this site to make chess easy to understand for newcomers, and also to help players of all levels of ability to improve their chess-playing skills. Read more about me here.