My opponent moved his pawn to the 7th rank. It was blocked by my bishop. He captures the bishop and promotes the pawn to a queen.

I was under the impression that a pawn captures diagonally and not in the same direction of movement.

Is there a rule that allows a pawn to capture a piece directly in front of it?

2 Answers 2


Pawns cannot capture in a forward direction, even though they move that way. If they could, there would be no way of blocking them. E.g. 1. e4 e5. 2. e4xe5. So the pawn cannot capture the blocking bishop.

Pawns capture only in a forward diagonal direction. But there are two such directions; left diagonal and right diagonal. Pawns are the only pieces in chess that capture differently from the way they move.

  • 6
    You should mention the "En passant" move also....
    – MathieuL
    Feb 10, 2017 at 23:31

Pawns can only capture diagonally. If there is a piece directly in front of them, they cannot move forward into that space. This isn't any different if they are moving onto the 8th rank to be promoted.

From chess.com:

Pawns are unusual because they move and capture in different ways: they move forward, but capture diagonally. Pawns can only move forward one square at a time, except for their very first move where they can move forward two squares. Pawns can only capture one square diagonally in front of them. They can never move or capture backwards. If there is another piece directly in front of a pawn he cannot move past or capture that piece.

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