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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?

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Yes, you should promote to a Queen forcibly. From the article 4.4d of the FIDE laws of chess, we can see that (emphasis mine):

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

It's like the capture rule: if you touch an opponent's piece that can be taken by you, you should take it.

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

Note: It is good not to promote in this way. Instead, move your pawn to the promotion square, throw it out and put the promotion piece there.

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    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. – Inertial Ignorance Feb 27 at 19:36
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    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 Feb 27 at 23:13
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    @DM: yes, you are right -- that's what my title says. If I hadn't placed the queen on the promotion square, I would presumably have been within my rights to make another move entirely. (On the other hand, this FIDE rule might only apply to a situation when the pawn has been touched, which was not the case. So perhaps there is still room for argument...) – TonyK Feb 28 at 1:39
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    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. – Scott Jacobsen Feb 28 at 21:29
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    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 Mar 8 at 12:02

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