The pawns are frequently seen as the weakest pieces on the chessboard, yet if you can get a pawn to the last row, it may rapidly develop into a most powerful piece. A pawn that makes it to the other side of the board may be promoted to any piece (except for a pawn or king).
Can pawns move diagonally? Yes, a pawn can move diagonally to promote if it captures a piece on the final rank. A pawn cannot move diagonally, not even being promoted unless it captures an opponent’s piece.
That’s not true. It is incorrect to claim that a pawn “instantly” changes just before it reaches the final rank and can thus move diagonally (because it’s a queen). Here are the ins and outs of pawns and promotions.
Pawn Promotion In Detail
When a pawn reaches the 8th rank (row on the chessboard) of the opponent’s file (column on the chessboard), it is promoted to a higher-valued chess piece.
A pawn may be promoted to a queen, knight, rook, or bishop. It can’t be promoted to a king. Promoting a pawn to a queen is known as queening. Underpromotion occurs when we promote a pawn to any three pieces from the knight, bishop, or rook.
A pawn is mainly promoted to a queen; it can also be promoted as a rook, knight, or bishop in specific circumstances.
When promoting, there must be at least one extra queen. If no more queens are available and you’re following FIDE regulations, you may ask the judge for assistance. In some cases, an inverted rook has been utilized (under US Chess Federation rules and in informal games) as a promoted pawn.
The Evolution of Pawn Promotion
Real-life inspires this notion of marketing. If a pawn in the Middle Ages made it to the rear line of the opposing army, they would be rewarded with a promotion that granted them officer rank (the lowest possible officer grade, mind you; they wouldn’t suddenly become royalty).
The queen was formerly a much less powerful piece in chess, able to navigate only one square diagonally ahead and one square vertically. When the promotion happened to the game, a pawn was elevated to the rank of “farzin” when it could previously move only one square forward and one square down. The term “Farzin” meant “vizier,” not “queen.”
The “queen” was then introduced, along with her robust move set, and a considerable uproar erupted in chess. Indeed a king couldn’t have two queens? And, in fact, for a time, it looked like he couldn’t, and pawns were the only pieces that could be promoted.
There was even a “dead pawn” situation once when a pawn had to wait to be promoted until another piece had been captured before being enhanced. Howard Staunton, one of the greatest players of all time, was in favor of it.
The first pawn promotion rule initially restricted by pieces on the board wasn’t established until 1828. These rules were codified at the London Chess Congress in 1862. However, the law did not require you to promote your pawn to any particular color, and there was a lot of humor in coming up with chess problems at that time when the “joke” was that you promote your pawn to the other player’s piece. The rule was changed in 1883 to make it clear that you had to choose your color.
What Are The Different Promotion Rules?
The rules of promotion are:
- A pawn must reach the final rank.
- When it’s time to relax in the final rank, the pawn must be promoted on that turn to a queen, a knight, a rook, or a bishop.
- When a pawn has been elevated, the player’s turn is over (as it prevents the new piece from moving until the next turn).
That is all there is to it. Chess promotion may be summed up in a few simple steps. The intricate work isn’t learning the rules of promotion; it’s getting your pawn across the board in the first place.
Is It Possible For A Pawn To Move Diagonally To Be Promoted?
Yes, it means that a pawn can diagonally promote if the move it makes is legal in chess. That implies the pawn must capture a piece and occupy a square one step ahead to either side of the pawn to move diagonally to reach the final rank.
Despite the claims of some players that the pawn “magically transforms” as it travels across the line from penultimate to final rank, this is pure nonsense. Once a pawn has come to rest on the last position, it merely becomes another piece.
The player may not delay promoting a piece at this stage. A player might also end up in a stalemate situation when promoting their pawn to a queen or another piece.
Pawn Promotions In Other Variants Of Chess
There are numerous chess variations, and it is not feasible to discuss them all in general. In general:
A pawn can be promoted diagonally in Western systems, provided the move is legal, and such a maneuver is not prohibited. When a pawn reaches the ultimate rank, it will normally be promoted. In some versions of Western chess, pawns may be promoted to “fairy pieces” (that is, a non-standard piece) or even to a king.
In different types of chess, particularly regional variants, some of these rules do not include promotion. The laws may restrict the pawn’s piece to be promoted, the queen rank at which a pawn rises to become a queen, and whether or not a pawn can be promoted by moving diagonally.
To be safe, you’ll need to check the individual rules of most variants to ensure that pawns can only be promoted diagonally or in any other manner.
Few Last Tips
When you want to promote your pawn by moving diagonally, remember that
- Your king is not in check.
- There is a vacant square on the adjacent diagonal.
- Your pawn is allowed to capture that piece in a permissible approach.
If you can fulfill all three of these criteria, you may indeed advance your pawn diagonally to become a queen, knight, rook, or bishop.
So there you have it, folks. I hope you understood everything and that I could clarify any of your concerns. Be patient and continue to learn the rules of chess. Never be uncomfortable to ask about anything since failing to resolve doubts might prove severely detrimental in your quest to become a great chess player.
Continue reading and expanding your chess knowledge. Don’t forget to apply what you’ve learned and trained in real chess games.
Hi Guys, I am Natalie K. Domenico and I am the author of this website. I am a chess expert. If you have any questions related to chess, feel free to contact me.