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Playing chess can be an intense and stressful game. You are always 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. 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.
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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.
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.
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 do a certain maneuver to trap your opponent’s king which is the main reason why you might 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.
What Is The Strongest Chess Piece?
It is important to know all your pieces when playing chess. You not only need to know the starting positions of the pieces but also their moves and power.
To have the upper hand when playing against your opponent, you should know which of your chess pieces is the strongest.
The queen is the strongest chess piece on the board. The queen can move in any direction. The only thing the queen cannot do is jump over pieces or make the L-shape move.
The Queen can move forward, back, and diagonal as many spaces as needed.
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 it 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 strategies where the queen is sacrificed.
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 and only forward so it isn’t as useful as other pieces.
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, adjacent 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.
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.
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!