Once I was playing a chess game with my little sister and while playing, a time came my pawn reached the last rank and so I promoted it to a queen. But then seeing me having two queens, she was very confused and asked if it was legal to have multiple queens or not. This inspired me to write a complete article.
So, can you have more than one queen in chess? Theoretically, a player can have 1- 9 queens in chess. There are no rules that limit the number of queens one can have in chess. However, it is very rare to see a player with 9 queens in actual games.
Generally, in real chess games, a player could have at most two to three queens. Provided already having the original queen. Just imagine is it possible to promote all your eight pawns to the queen!
Interested to learn more about pawn promotion plus many related things that will enhance your chess knowledge? Then continue reading!
Why Can You Have More Than One Queen In Chess?
Simply because in chess whenever a pawn reaches the last rank on the opposite side then it gets a chance to replace itself with either a queen, knight, rook, or bishop. This process of promoting a pawn to any of the four chess pieces mentioned above is known as pawn promotion.
But always remember that piece you promote your pawn to, must be of the same color, and also you can’t promote it to a king (obviously! :))
Here’s a video by Chess with Suren of a chess game played between Sumpter and King in 1965. In this game, there were a total of 7 queens on the board on the 30th move. You can watch the video to see how the game was played.
How Do You Get A Second Queen In Chess?
If a player already has a queen and one of its pawns gets promoted, then the player can have two queens. In the same way, if some more pawns get promoted then it can have more queens.
So, this is the way players can have more queens in chess by promoting pawns. Now let’s discuss some important points about pawn promotion in brief:
- Queening– If you promote a pawn to a queen then this is known as queening.
- Underpromotion– Whereas when you promote the pawn to either rook, knight, or bishop is known as underpromotion.
- Misconception- It is a general misconception that you can choose to promote the pawn only in place of the previously captured chess pieces, but that is totally wrong.
What FIDE Says About Promoting A Pawn To A Queen?
Here’s what the FIDE Laws Of Chess describe how a pawn is to be promoted and everything.
(FIDE is the apex international chess organization and governs the chess competitions from framing the rules to providing and maintaining ratings of the chess player.)
As you can notice how clearly it is mentioned in the rules that you are free to promote any of the four pieces mentioned above except the king.
Tip 🙂 -You can also see my related article where I have explained Can A promoted Pawn Be Taken Immediately? [Here’s Why+Tips]. Reading that many of your doubts will get cleared.
Keypoints Related To Promoting A Pawn To A Queen
- Whenever a pawn reaches the last rank of the opposite side, promote it to any one of the four chess pieces as you wish (except the king) and then only press the clock.
- If there are no pieces available to promote the pawn, then as per FIDE you need to first stop the clock and then take the assistance of the arbiter, whereas in casual games and in US chess federation rules, an upside-down rook is also accepted as a queen.
- You have the choice to promote so use it sensibly. Most of the time it is favorable to promote a pawn to a queen but sometimes there arises some sort of problems. In that case, you can promote the pawn to a rook, knight, or bishop.
- I have discussed more of the problems that could occur when promoting a queen with relevant examples in the article Why Would You Not Promote A Pawn To A Queen? (Explained!). I recommend you to check that out for further reference.
So in this way you can have multiple queens in chess. I hope now you might have understood everything well. Please do share if you find this article helpful.
Now let’s summarize everything we learned so far.
- Can you have multiple queens in chess- Yes
- Why- Because there is no limitation in having multiple queens but then you have to take the desired number of pawns to the last rank on the other side to promote them to queens.
- Pawn promotion, queening, and underpromotion along with some misconceptions cleared.
- Plus saw what is pawn promotion as per the FIDE.
- Finally discussed the key points.
That’s it! So from now onwards, I expect from you that the next time you see your opponent promoting a pawn to a second queen, you don’t get a shock! Right?
Can you have 3 queens in chess?
Yes, you can have two, three, and theoretically up to nine queens in chess because there are no rules that deny this fact. However, generally in a real chess game, it is very rare to see 9 queens.
Can you have two queens in chess at the same time?
Even if you already have a queen, if your pawn gets the chance to get promoted to a queen then yes, you can have two queens at the same time.
How many queens can you have in chess?
Theoretically, you can have up to 9 queens. One that you already have and remaining queens by promoting all the eight pawns. However, it is rare to see so many queens in a real chess game.
Can a pawn be promoted to a second queen?
Yes, a pawn can be promoted to a second queen even if you already have one queen. There is no restriction to the number of queens one can have in chess so theoretically, you can have up to 9 queens.