Playing a friendly game against my son (but with Touch-and-Move in force), I was going to promote a pawn to a queen, so I fished out my queen from among the captured pieces, and placed it on the eighth rank. But before removing my pawn to complete the move, I realised that this would lose me the game.

My question is: Am I required to complete the move, and promote to a queen? The law says that if I touch any piece on the board I must move or capture it. Does this situation count?


1 Answer 1


Yes, you should promote to a Queen forcibly. FIDE rules say that (emphasis mine):

4.4 If a player having the move:
4.4.4 promotes a pawn, the choice of the piece is finalised, when the piece has touched the square of promotion.

You placed the Queen in the promotion square, so you should promote to it.

However, I would suggest not to promote this way. Instead, you can move your pawn to the promotion square, then put the piece you want there.

  • 2
    Agree with your answer, but it's not necessarily bad to promote that way. As long as you remember to remove the pawn before hitting the clock. Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 19:36
  • 8
    It may be worth noting that simply touching the queen off the board does not trigger touch-move (since that's the question title.)
    – D M
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 23:13
  • 2
    I believe touching the queen does trigger touch-move - "4.2.2 Any other physical contact with a piece, except for clearly accidental contact, shall be considered to be intent." You did touch a piece, and your intent was clearly to promote. You do not need to promote to the queen because it didn't touch the square. But you need to promote to something. Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 21:29
  • 3
    4.2 is about adjusting the pieces. 4.3 is the actual article about touch-move, and it says (emphasis added) "if the player having the move touches on the chessboard ,with the intention of moving or capturing:". Captured pieces are off the board and the rules are entirely silent about what happens with those pieces. Some players fiddle with them and it's OK, as long as their opponent doesn't complain of distraction.
    – itub
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 12:02
  • 2
    @ScottJacobsen -- I would disagree. He could be sorting through the pieces to find a rook horsey or bishop. It is touching a piece ON the board that is significant.
    – yobamamama
    Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 3:50

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