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This item is a reference work
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2018-08-07
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender and Fergus  Duniho. Rules of Chess: Pawns FAQ. Rules of promotion and movement of pawns explained.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
peace wrote on 2015-02-23 UTCAverage ★★★
You gave pawn FAQ but didn't include en passant. Which should be shown with response to pawn's first move. If your pawn is on its 5th rank and a person moves adjacent to the left or right of your pawn (its 4th rank) on you next turn only you can take that pawn because it had to move through attack.

[Editor's note: Thank you for your comment. We actually link here to a page on En Passant but it would be good to describe them in brief, perhaps with the language you use. Would be good to add some animation illustrating en passant too. Thanks again.]

M Winther wrote on 2011-03-31 UTC
It is important to point out that 'en passant' can only be performed in the move immediately following the double-step move. This is the only chance to capture 'en passant'. It can't be done in the following moves. 

H. G. Muller wrote on 2011-03-30 UTC
Yes, that is allowed, and called 'en passant' capture. It was added to chess at the same time as the rule that pawns were allowed to make a double step, to prevent they could abuse that to pass a Pawn they could not have safely passed with only single steps.

Frostman04 wrote on 2011-03-29 UTC
Ive come across a problem where a pawn is taking my pawn after my pawn
jumps two spaces and lands next to the pawn that is overtaking me.

consider the situation
Black pawn on B2
White pawn on A4

Black pawn moves to B4
White pawn takes black pawn by sliding to B3

I've found this problem in a few online chess games.

Clarify for me if this is actually allowed to happen or not please.

Based on my chess experience, i was under the impression pawns could not be
taken by another pawn unless it was across from it.  say...

Black pawn on A3
White pawn on B2

Whoever's turn it was could take the opposing pawn.

But the situation above i would need clarifying. Thanks :)

bryce wrote on 2010-03-01 UTC
what is en oposon

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-02-22 UTC
Although 'altogether' would be spelled correctly it wouldn't be the correct word for the context. What is required is a space, so that it reads as two words - 'all together'.
	Of course if the page is up for this kind of criticism I could point out that Pawns do not promote. Players promote, and their Pawns are promoted.

Anonymous wrote on 2010-02-21 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Thanks for the great advice and tips

David Paulowich wrote on 2009-03-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
'For the en passant capture, see the FAQ page for en passant capture.'

Anonymous wrote on 2009-03-14 UTCBelowAverage ★★
you didnt cover en passant...

Art Bergquist wrote on 2009-02-20 UTC
Please replace the misspelled occurrence of 'alltogether' with the
correctly spelled 'altogether'.


Art Bergquist

Anonymous wrote on 2007-11-23 UTC
I have two questions. Does a pawn have to promote when it gets to the other side of the board? And my other question is: when there is for example more than one queen (the second queen from promoting), what is used to take the second queens place?

Anonymous wrote on 2006-07-20 UTCGood ★★★★

Stephen Stockman wrote on 2006-05-13 UTC

chaitra wrote on 2006-05-13 UTCGood ★★★★
if moving a pawn to the other end leads to a check..then can there be a promotion and check together?

David Paulowich wrote on 2006-02-28 UTC
In a chess tournament there will be spare pieces available. Also, it is customary to use an upside-down rook to represent a second queen.

hillie wrote on 2006-02-28 UTC
While I believe I understand 'promotion' quite well, I do not understand how newly promoted pieces are identified. (lacking a replacement 'lost' piece)

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2005-12-22 UTC
What you have described is not a legal Pawn move. A Pawn's initial double move is always non-capturing and always straight forward. A Pawn may capture on its first move, but only in the usual way it captures, one space diagonally forward.

Patricia wrote on 2005-12-22 UTC
Is it possible for the pawn's first move to be an attack? For instance if a pawn was moved forward one space and then diagonally for it's second space on the first that alright?

Anonymous wrote on 2005-11-07 UTC
If the knight is directly in front of the pawn, then no, 'Side-stepping' and capturing is not allowed.

Someone wrote on 2005-11-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Before a pawn's promotion:

My knight is blocking a pawn from making a promotion, can my opponent
either capture my knight and promote, 'side-step' my knight and
or can he not do a thing? This has been quite a discussion because he is
very difinitive that there is such an ability.

Bob wrote on 2005-11-04 UTCGood ★★★★
Once someone promotes a pawn to a queen but the queen is an upside down rook,which is still a queen, if the opponent captured this queen (upside down rook) the opponent gets the points for capturing a queen. is this true?

Thomas McElmurry wrote on 2005-10-19 UTC
If even the official rules aren't good enough for your friend, how about some actual games played by GMs? For example, check out the last round of the recent FIDE championship; the games can be found at and probably numerous other places.

In these four games, I count three moves of the type in question: 6. dxc3 in Svidler-Anand, 25. bxc3 in Leko-Kasimjanov, and 50... hxg6 in Morozevich-Adams.

If your friend considers every word on the Internet to be inherently untrustworthy, you might try the local library. Just about any book on chess should contain either the rules or records of games, and you won't have to dig through very many games before finding examples.

Doug Chatham wrote on 2005-10-19 UTC
If you look at the Pawn diagram on this guide for beginners at the US Chess Federation website, the description says that the White Pawn that hasn't moved yet can attack.

I hope that's authoritative enough for the know-it-all.

Clark C. wrote on 2005-10-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I have a 'know-it-all' friend who INSISTS that its true that, by the
rules that the official chess masters play, one cannot capture pieces
a pawn that has not yet moved.

Besides this site, is there a source that debunks this idea? That is,
in case an internet source isn't 'good enough,' are there any books
clearly state that this supposed rule is false?

Anonymous wrote on 2005-09-19 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

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