I was playing chess with my father.

My pawn was on the second-to-last square before promotion. He had two rooks side-by-side blocking my pawn, therefore I naturally took the rook beside it because a pawn moves diagonally to take the piece.

He said this was an illegal move and not allowed, that a pawn cannot take a piece diagonally and then gets promoted because it's on the other side. Is this true?

  • 10
    A rule like this would provide unfair protection for pieces in the back row and in the future I would ask for proof of such a rule.
    – Joe W
    Commented Dec 31, 2019 at 16:59
  • 3
    Chess has more great questions for you OP! Commented Jan 1, 2020 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


No, this in incorrect. A pawn may capture and promote on the same move, there's no rule prohibiting this (§3.7 of the official rules regulate pawn moves, including captures and promotions).

With two rooks next to each other, the pawn might be 'pinned' because your king is on the same column and there are no other pieces or pawns in between; then, a capture would put your king in check. Otherwise, capturing is just as legal as moving forward.

  • 4
    The rules get even more explicit in 4.6.3: “If an opponent’s piece stands on the square of promotion, it must be captured.”
    – wrtlprnft
    Commented Jan 1, 2020 at 11:18
  • @wrtlprnft True, but rules 3.7.1 and 3.7.3 must be borne in mind. We don't determine the promotion square and then remove any opposing unit on it, regardless. We must choose between applying rule 3.7.1 (in which case the promotion square is the one straight ahead and the move is legal only if that square is empty) and applying rule 3.7.3 (in which case the promotion square is diagonally ahead and the move is legal only if that square contains a unit the pawn may capture).
    – Rosie F
    Commented Jan 1, 2020 at 13:42
  • 9
    @RosieF All I was trying to say is that the rules explicitly consider the act of capturing a piece during promotion.So it's not just some omission in the rules, but a clearly stated intent.
    – wrtlprnft
    Commented Jan 1, 2020 at 15:59

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