I do not play chess much. Recently a friend reached out to play some online games. We ran into an odd situation that I cannot find a rule on.

His White pawn was at g2 and my Rook was still at h1. He planned to take the rook with his pawn to promote it, but the game would not allow him to make the move and we couldn't figure out why.

Is there something illegal about that move? There were no underlying issues with the pawn movement that would leave the king in check or something similar.

Addendum-Per the answer below, I asked him about popups getting blocked. He said he had no problem getting the promotion going forward, but was being blocked from taking the rook.

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3 Answers 3


Black plays from 7th and 8th rank, his king starting from e8, so the white pawn is on b7.

There is no (FIDE) rule that forbids a combination of taking and promotion. b7xa8Q (or whatever) is a legal move.

When playing online at some minor platform, you will often find that the rules of chess are badly implemented. I know of no single platform that plays strictly FIDE rules. So you might find some surprises in future games.

  • Chess is heavily moderared since 1000 yrs.. Modern chess has lost the objective and depth of protocol based conflict management... Shadyantra (Dhyut) in its highest denomination became modern chess. Entire chess community is thrashing me for this.
    – ShadYantra
    Mar 10, 2023 at 6:39

Since the board is mirrored, the pawn is on b7 and the rook on a8. But b7xa8 promoting to a piece is a valid move.

I'm not sure which program/website this is, but it could be that a popup is asking to which piece White wants to promote, and something/your browser is blocking this popup, and your friend cannot complete the move.

  • I guess he got the pop up when moving straight ahead, but was still unable to make the move to take the Rook Jul 17, 2020 at 17:39

The move is legal.

If it were blacks move the computer would block it. If White were in check the computer would too.

LIke @Glorfindel said the popup probably asked for which piece so blocking it stopped the move. But in that case you should still not have been able to push straight instead of capturing.

Do tell us what program/website that was! I do not recognize the board colors but I do not visit all the sites.

  • I had that in the question but someone edited it out. It was chess.com, and he got the pop up just fine when just going straight in, but when trying to take the Rook to do it it wouldn't let him make the move. Jul 18, 2020 at 17:56

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