We bought a chess set in which the rules state that pawn promotion occurs when the pawn moves to the light square in the upper left corner of the opponent's first row. So, this cannot occur when the pawn reaches any square in the last row? All the other answers to pawn promotion do not address a specific square rule.


1 Answer 1


Pawns promote when they reach any square on the back row. The rulebook you got is either wrong or you are misreading it.

  • I can understand why you thought I might have misread the instruction sheet, but I quoted the rules as written. I wonder if this is a rule from some long ago, perhaps original, version of the game. In any event, we prefer to believe the "any back row square" promotion.
    – Karin
    Jun 18, 2019 at 21:10
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    @Karin in that case, the rulebook is wrong
    – Zags
    Jun 18, 2019 at 22:35
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    Or perhaps the rulebook presents a particular pawn as an illustrative example, and that pawn (barring captures) can promote at only one square. Jun 19, 2019 at 22:10
  • @Karin There are many rules in chess which have changed - castling didn't originally exist, pawns couldn't move 2 squares, and the queen was much weaker - but there was never a "pawns only promote in the left corner" rule.
    – D M
    Feb 27, 2020 at 12:36

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