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Can A Pawn Become A Queen By Getting To The Other Side In Chess? 


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Playing chess can be an intense and stressful game. Chess can be so stressful that many people will turn to checkers over chess since its a far more laid back game.

With chess you always have to be contemplating not only your next few moves but also your opponent’s counter moves as well. 

There are times when your opponent changes strategy mid-game and now you need to change yours too. You may start to feel trapped as most of your pieces are no longer on the board. 

You have a bishop, the king, and a few pawns and are feeling hopeless. I mean sure your king could take the opponent’s queen but how often is your opponent going to be stupid enough to place their queen in such a position.

With all seeming to be lost you might consider just giving up, however there is still hope as long as you can get a pawn to the other side of the board. 

Once your pawn crosses to the other side of the board, you have two options: 

  • Queening: Once a pawn has reached the promotion square, you can exchange it for a queen. 
  • Underpromotion: You can exchange your promoted pawn for either a knight, bishop, or rook. This is especially useful if you promoting your pawn to a queen could end the game in a stalemate.  

You can never leave a pawn on the board and not choose to promote once it gets to the other side of the board. Your piece would be stuck on the end row. 

Your pawn no longer has the option to move forward once it reaches that position so it must be exchanged for one of the pieces mentioned above. Most of the time players will choose to exchange their pawn for a queen since she is the most powerful piece on the board.

The only downside to the Queen is that she cannot move in an L shaped pattern like the Knight.

So if the pieces you have left will fit in better with a knight, bishop, or rook you can certainly exchange your pawn for those pieces as well. Later in this article I will discuss why someone might choose to underpromote their pawn to where it is only a knight, bishop, or rook but most of the time it has to do with figuring out exactly how to block the king in and get to checkmate quickly.

Since the knight has such a unique movement pattern it can be helpful to put your opponents king in check in some cases where a queen would not be able to. A bishop or rook have similar movement patterns to a queen so they will rarely be chosen over one when promoting a pawn.

Can You Promote A Pawn To Queen If You Already Have A Queen? 

What if your queen is still on the board when you have the chance to promote a pawn? Are you allowed to have two queens? 

Can you only promote the pawn to a piece that has already been captured? 

You can have two or more queens on the board. You do not need to only promote a pawn to a piece that has already been captured. 

Most chess sets come with extra pieces for this very reason. If your queen has not been captured and you choose to promote your pawn to a queen, typically there should be another same color queen in your chess set that you can use to give you multiple queens on the board at once.

If there is only one queen with your chess set, there are other options. You can take a rook and place it upside down to represent the queen. If you still have both rooks, you can then turn your pawn on its side and continue to use the pawn as a queen until your queen is captured.

Then you can replace the rook or pawn that you are using as a queen with the queen piece that was captured.

Why Would You Promote A Pawn To Rook Or Bishop And Not Queen? 

Now that you finally have your pawn across to the other side, the most logical step would be to promote the pawn to queen. However, sometimes this decision may not be the best. 

Though the queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard, it can almost be too powerful. 

The main reason you may not want to choose a queen when reaching the other side is that your game could end with a stalemate. A stalemate is where the king can no longer move to a space without putting itself in check. 

Since the king piece is not allowed to be placed in a position where it can be captured, the game would end in a stalemate. 

When your pawn reaches the other side of the board, adding a queen might cause the end of the game with no winners (but this is rare). More often you will under promote a pawn if it allows you to move the king into checkmate within the next move or two. 

For example you might need to have the Knight to jump over certain pieces to trap your opponent’s king Since the knight is unique in that it can jump over pieces where a queen, bishop, or rook cannot this is the main reason why you might choose to under promote. 

If you have majority control of the board, adding a queen will likely be best but if having a Knight will allow you to immediately trap the opponent’s king or push him to a corner then that is a better choice. 

Since a bishop can move forward or backwards on any diagnal line and a queen can do the same it is rare that a pawn will be promoted to that instead of a queen.

What Is The Strongest Chess Piece? 

It is important to know all your pieces when playing chess. For instance, many people believe that the king starts on his own color when in fact it is the queen piece that actually does that. You not only need to know the starting positions of the pieces but also their moves and how powerful they are.

To have the upper hand when playing against your opponent, you should know which of your chess pieces is the strongest in which situation.

The queen is the strongest chess piece on the board simply because of all the options she gives you. The queen can move in any direction until she reaches another piece. The only thing the queen cannot do is jump over pieces or make the L-shape move like the knight.

The Queen can move forward, backwards, and diagonal as many spaces as needed. Although all pieces (besides the pawns) can move forward and backwards, the queen is the only piece that can make the same moves as every other piece (besides the knight).

Since she can make every move that every other piece can (besides the L shaped move of the knight) then it is important to protect her at almost any cost.

When the game was first invented, there were no female pieces. It wasn’t until the game was brought to England where the game was reinvented and the queen was introduced. Each of the pieces was given new powers and reinvented into the game we know and love today. 

The best strategy for the queen is to protect her as long as possible. If you decide to move your queen all over the board right at the start, you could end up losing your queen rather quickly. 

Since the queen is the most powerful piece, it is automatically a target. In most high-level chess games, the queen is played around the mid to end portion. There are also some chess strategies where the queen is sacrificed but this is rare in most games.

This is only done to ensure a better tactical advantage in winning. Once the queen is gone though, it is not impossible to bring it back. Once your pawn crosses to the other side, you can exchange it for a queen. 

What Is The Weakest Chess Piece? 

Much like needing to know your strongest piece in chess and how to play it, you also need to know your weakest piece. While some may think the king is the weakest piece in chess since it needs defending, there is a piece weaker than the king. 

The pawn is the weakest piece on the chessboard. Each pawn can only move one space (or two at the beginning) and it can only forward and can only capture an opponent’s piece diagonally.

There are two exceptions: on a pawn’s first move it can move up to two spaces forward and it can only attack a forward, diagonal square. 

The best strategy for a pawn is to play each pawn as part of a team. There will be times where you need to sacrifice a pawn to protect one of your more “valuable” pieces. Though the pawns may be the weakest piece, they are also the most unique. 

Although the pawn is a weak chess piece it can be used to help you win if you play it correctly. A pawn can be used to block your king and get him out of check, it can be used to keep your opponent from occupying a certain space on the board, and it can even be used to take pieces if your opponent isn’t careful where they place them.

Not only that but as mentioned earlier, if a pawn can cross the board to the other side, it can then be promoted to a different piece. You can promote the pawn to a queen, knight, rook, or bishop and then it morphs into one of the most powerful pieces to help you win.

Final Thoughts 

It can be tricky getting your pawns to cross the board, but the results are worth the difficulty. The next time you play chess, be sure to get one of your eight pawns to the other side if at all possible. 

If you’re really good, you could end up with even more than just two queens to protect the king. Be careful though, you don’t want to make your friends mad by overpowering them too badly! 

They might never play with you again! 

Matthew R

Hi, My name is Matt and I am all about toys! When trying to find accurate information online about toys I was finding it difficult so I decided to make this site.

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