A Black pawn reached the end of board and Black himself picked it up and placed a White queen on the board. He removed his hand from the piece.

I am not concerned with 'the spirit of the game' but want to know technically if this counts as any other break in concentration during a game, and thus a move played to Black's (extreme) disadvantage?

3 Answers 3


Promoting to a piece of the opposite color is an illegal move. Because of the touch move rule, Black must make a different legal move with that pawn, such as promoting to a Black queen. As a penalty for making an illegal move, two minutes are added to White's clock.


The FIDE Laws of Chess state:

3.7 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.

Thus it is not "a move played to black's (extreme) disadvantage". It is, as dfan says, says an illegal move but only if black has pressed the clock and completed the move. If he has not pressed the clock and the mistake is seen then he must complete a legal move by replacing the white queen with a black piece and pressing the clock. In that case he will suffer no penalty whatsoever and the only disadvantage that perhaps he feels a little foolish for his mistake.

If it is Black's first illegal move of the game the white queen will be replaced by a black queen and the only disadvantage black will suffer is that his opponent will get an extra 2 minutes on the clock. If it is his second illegal move he will lose the game.


That is very interesting, as after over 45 years of playing chess I was watching a 5 minute speed game and in time pressure, the White player promoted a pawn, but to a Black queen instead of a White one and quickly pressed the clock. The opponent grabbed the Black queen and ran it straight down the file to the opposite side and delivered a bank rank mate with the illegal queen. The first player, the promoter of the pawn, was confused and still did not realize what he had done. The other player, always a cheater of all sorts, claimed the queen was his and refused to give up since he lost on time.

We did not have the rules at that time, so I claimed the Queen belonged to the player who promoted despite being the wrong color because the clock had already been pressed. However, the rule is very clear. The other two problems are that it was a speed game and that USA rules sometimes differ from FIDE rules.

  • 3
    The rules in this case are very clear. The original promotion was an illegal move. In blitz the opponent can claim the game but does not have to and if he does not and an arbiter doesn't intervene to enforce the illegal move (not there or too slow) then the game continues. In this case the opponent used the extra queen to deliver checkmate. Perfectly legal and he wins the game immediately. Checkmate ends the game. Note, by the way, that your "answer" is not an answer to the question and you should rather add it as a comment.
    – Brian Towers
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 9:29

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