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According to Wikipedia, when a pawn advances to the eighth rank, the pawn is promoted as a part of the move.

However, this doesn't make it clear whether I am obliged to promote the pawn if it gets to the eighth rank.

  • Promotion itself is not itself a move separate from moving to the eighth rank. It's all part of a single move. – pabrams Jan 5 '16 at 16:54
  • I always wanted to know if there is a position where not promoting the pawn is the best move :) – ferit Jan 5 '16 at 19:21
  • @Saibot Ask that as a new question and I'll give you an example. – Dag Oskar Madsen Jan 5 '16 at 21:40
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Yes, it is obligatory.

From FIDE's Laws of Chess §3.7e (Link):

e. When a player, having the move, plays a pawn to the rank furthest from its starting position, he must exchange that pawn as part of the same move for a new queen, rook, bishop or knight of the same colour on the intended square of arrival.

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    And note that if he doesn't, it's an illegal move that must be corrected, and then you are only allowed to choose a queen. Since july 2014 iirc. People were using the delay to make up their minds. See rule 7.5a. – RemcoGerlich Jan 6 '16 at 13:53

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