43

If you promote to a queen with 1. b8Q, black has: 1...Re2+ 2. Kd1 Rb2 attacking the queen and hinting at mate with Rb1++. If white takes the rook 3. Qxb2 it is stalemate. Because of the mate threat white does not have any other good square for the queen either (no good check and no square that would defend b1). If you promote to a rook, black does ...


36

Dummy Pawns Today, it is little known that for forty years at the height of the British Empire, Dummy Pawns were the scourge of tournament play, and even grandmasters ran scared. (Possible exaggeration here.) The heresy raged from 1862-1904. See Eminent Victorian Chess Players: Ten Biographies by Tim Harding. Timeline of known events (+/- indicate ...


35

Edward Winter cites Owen J. Clarkin (Ottawa, Canada) who quotes from The Modern Chess Instructor by W. Steinitz (New York, 1889) which in turn cites this example from Lowenthal's Book of the London Chess Congress, 1862: [Title "Dummy pawn motivation"] [fen "r/1Pp5/2P3p1/8/6pb/4p1kB/4P1p1/6K1 w - - 0 1"] [StartFlipped "0"] 1.bxa8=Q gxh3 If 1 bxa8 and White ...


33

White to move: [FEN "8/q1P1k3/8/8/8/8/6PP/7K w - - 0 1"] Since my example is rather contrived and artificial, I'll also say that the so-called Lasker trap in the Albin Countergambit gives a more realistic setting, and one where a knight promotion is the best option as early as move 7: [FEN ""] 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.e3 $2 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 dxe3! 6.Bxb4 $4 ...


24

I have some partial statistics for the question, from the Million Base 1.74 database, a collection of 1742057 games. 77218 of these games (4.4%) feature at least one promotion. I counted 49970 promotions for white (54% of all promotions) and 42519 for black (46%). Here are the destination square statistics (meaning there is no track of the actual initial ...


24

Here is an example: [fen "8/4P3/8/4p1p1/2p3Pp/p4p1K/k1p2P1P/8 w - - 0 1"] 1. e8 leads to stalemate next move, while all legal promotions lose to 1... c1=Q followed by 2... Qf1#.


23

The procedure is (FIDE rules): move the pawn to its promotion square, then replace it with the piece you want. You can take it from the captured pieces yourself, your opponent does nothing. If the piece isn't readily available, you can stop the clock and ask the arbiter to bring one. Your choice of piece is only finalized when it touches the promotion square....


23

It's probably a trick problem with a promotion to a black knight. Such promotions to the wrong colour are not allowed, and never were. In the official rules it is now specifically pointed out that the new piece has to have the same colour as the promoted pawn. FIDE's laws of chess, Article 3.7 e: When a pawn reaches the rank furthest from its starting ...


23

Sometimes, choosing a bishop or a rook is the best move, because of stalemate possibilities. This happens most often with rooks, and very rarely with bishops. For instance, in this famous position from the Saavedra problem: [FEN "8/2P5/8/8/3r4/8/2K5/k7 w - - 0 1"] If white plays 1.c8Q, then black plays 1...Rc4+. White needs to take it or lose his queen ...


22

From FIDE rules (3.7 e): When a pawn reaches the rank furthest from its starting position it must be exchanged as part of the same move on the same square for a new queen, rook, bishop or knight of the same colour. The player’s choice is not restricted to pieces that have been captured previously. This exchange of a pawn for another piece is called ‘...


20

During round 9 of the Istanbul 2012 Chess Olympiads, at the Nakamura-Kramnik table of the USA vs Russia match, we've witnessed another one of those promotions to knight at move 62 by white. The relevant position (white to play): [fen "8/2P1k3/8/8/5p2/5KbB/3pp3/3N4 w - - 1 62"] 1. c8=N+ (1. Kxe2? f3+ 2. Kxf3 Bxc7) We can see here that if 62. Kxe2 then ...


20

It's because 1. exf8=Q+ Kxh7 2. Rxd7?? would be stalemate. I think it is a even a theoretical draw after 1. exf8=Q+ Kxh7 2. Qg7+. Therefore 1. exf8=B+! (with check!) is better, since white then can keep an extra piece and win easily. [FEN "5r2/3qPbkB/8/7P/8/8/8/1K1R4 w - - 0 1"] 1. exf8=Q+ (1. exf8=B+!) Kxh7 2. Rxd7? (2. Qg7+)


19

Yes. FIDE Laws of Chess, rule 3.7e: When a pawn reaches the rank furthest from its starting position it must be exchanged as part of the same move on the same square for a new queen, rook, bishop or knight of the same colour. The Wikipedia article on promotion contains some information about the history of the rule, which previously implicitly allowed ...


19

The Matt Bengtson problem Prof. Elkies mentions is: [Title "Matt Bengtson, Chess Braintwisters (Burt Hochberg), no. 103. White to move & draw."] [FEN "4kn2/3p1pPp/4pPpK/6P1/8/2p5/1b6/8 w - - 0 1"] [Title "A Visual Solution Minus The Illegal Move"] [StartFlipped "0"] [FEN "4knq1/3p1p1p/4pPpK/6P1/8/2p5/1b6/8 b - - 0 1"] 1... Qg7+ 2. fxg7 c2 3. g8=Q c1=Q ...


18

After answering this question, I was reminded of another important situation where underpromotion is necessary: [FEN "8/8/8/8/8/2K5/1p5R/2k5 b - - 0 1"] 1... b1=N+! (1... b1=Q 2. Rh1++) In this position, 1...b1=N+ is the only move to draw. Any other move will allow a quick mate, but after knighting the pawn, black sets up a drawing fortress. While ...


16

Once you have promoted your pawn do you get a second move to move it out of danger? No. Or do you still only get the promotion as your move and it becomes the opponents move? Yes. From the FIDE Laws of Chess: 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 ...


15

In the original form of the game from which chess probably derived, chaturanga, there was no piece named "Queen". The Queen of modern chess probably derived from a piece named "General": in the beginning this piece could move 1 square only diagonally, then its movenemt became more and more similar to the modern Queen. But there's more: in chaturanga there ...


14

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 ...


12

No, it is not. FIDE Laws of chess, clause 3.7e: When a pawn reaches the rank furthest from its starting position it must be exchanged as part of the same move on the same square for a new queen, rook, bishop or knight of the same colour.


12

Your only problem here is logistical. You can promote your pawn to any piece except the King, even if that means you have two bishops on the same colour squares, or two (or more) queens on the board; but according to the official rules, you must replace it physically with a piece of the correct shape and colour. What to do if no such piece is to hand? In a ...


11

Here's another example each of a rook promotion and a bishop promotion from actual play. Neither specific promotion was quite absolutely necessary (you'll see what I mean), but neither one was at all a superfluous underpromotion either. In the game Sajtar-Benko (Budapest 1954), the following position was reached after 85...Kh6: [FEN "8/5KP1/7k/8/6P1/8/8/8 ...


11

The wikipedia entry on promotion gives a position from a 2006 game at the Irish Chess Championship, in which a promotion to queen would allow stalemate: [FEN "8/8/4Q3/8/5q2/8/1p2K2k/8 b - - 0 1"] [StartFlipped "0"] 1...b1=R! $19 (1...b1=Q?? 2.Qh3+! Kxh3 $10) The same entry also points to the 1972 game between Aron Reshko and Oleg Kaminsky, where promotion ...


11

There was a time when the FIDE rules didn't specify that a king and rook need to be on the same rank in order to castle. This meant that, assuming the other requirements for castling were met, it was legal for White to castle with a rook on e8 (or Black with a rook on e1), provided that rook had never moved (which could only happen if it was a promoted pawn)...


11

The Lomonosov 7-man Endgame Tablebase shows the following. With the Queen, after the following...Re2+ Kd1, Rb2 Black king is stalemated. Rook: Queen: Stalemated Position: Link to Lomonosov 7-Man Endgame Tablebase http://tb7.chessok.com/probe


10

Yes, there are quite a few endgames that require more than 50 moves with best play from the defender. Wikipedia has a list of material imbalances where it could take more than 50 moves depending on the specific position. Here are a few examples: Rook and bishop vs lone rook (often a draw though) Two bishops vs a lone knight Two knights vs a lone pawn (...


10

The two previous answers both suggested that this position is a draw, but I believe it's a win for White. Stockfish 5 evaluates the position at more than +10 if left to run for long enough (e.g., to depth 40), which sounds pretty decisive, but of course Stockfish isn't infallible. I generated a FinalGen tablebase for the position, but unfortunately it wasn'...


10

Not Fischer. But there is the infamous Tim Krabbe vertical castling problem: http://www.futilitycloset.com/2009/12/11/outside-the-box/ Although it appears this was already illegal as of the problem's publication in 1972.


10

This sounds like a job for Tim Krabbé, who presents two games with six queens: Szalanczy - Nguyen, Budapest 2009 and Anton - Franco, XXI Elgoibar Magistral 2011. I don't know how many of the participants were grandmasters. There are some other games with 5+ queens at Chess Siberia. Of these, Miton - Benjamin, World Open Philadelphia 2005 definitely features ...


10

No, according to FIDE's Laws of Chess, castling has to be done along the first rank. §3.8.2: 3.8.2 by ‘castling’. This is a move of the king and either rook of the same colour along the player’s first rank, counting as a single move of the king and executed as follows: the king is transferred from its original square two squares towards the rook on ...


10

Per FIDE Chess Laws, rule 3.1, a piece is said to attack an opponent’s piece if the player’s piece can make a capture on that square (and in one more special case not relevant here). In full: It is not permitted to move a piece to a square occupied by a piece of the same colour. If a piece moves to a square occupied by an opponent’s piece the latter is ...


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