Promotion (chess)

promotionpromoteunderpromotionpromotedpromotespawn promotionpromotingqueeningunderpromotedpromotions
Promotion is a chess rule that requires a pawn that reaches its eighth to be immediately replaced by the player's choice of a queen, knight, rook, or bishop of the same.wikipedia
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Queen (chess)

queenqueenschess queen
Promotion is a chess rule that requires a pawn that reaches its eighth to be immediately replaced by the player's choice of a queen, knight, rook, or bishop of the same.
Because the queen is the strongest piece, a pawn is promoted to a queen in the vast majority of cases.

Chess endgame

endgameendgamesending
Pawn promotion, or the threat of it, often decides the result in an endgame. The ability to promote is often the critical factor in endgames and thus is an important consideration in opening and middlegame strategy.
In particular, pawns become more important as endgames often revolve around attempting to promote a pawn by advancing it to the eighth.

Pawn (chess)

pawnpawnschess pawn
Promotion is a chess rule that requires a pawn that reaches its eighth to be immediately replaced by the player's choice of a queen, knight, rook, or bishop of the same.
A pawn that advances all the way to the opposite side of the board (the opposing player's first rank) is promoted to another piece of that player's choice: a queen, rook, bishop, or knight of the same color.

Stalemate

stalematingimpasseMilitary stalemate
A promotion to a rook is occasionally necessary to avoid a draw by immediate stalemate that would occur if the promotion was to a queen.
In that position, even if it were White's move, there is no way to avoid this stalemate without allowing Black's pawn to promote.

Rules of chess

chessrulesstandard chess
Promotion is a chess rule that requires a pawn that reaches its eighth to be immediately replaced by the player's choice of a queen, knight, rook, or bishop of the same.
In the case of a pawn promotion, if the player releases the pawn on the eighth rank, the player must promote the pawn.

Bishop (chess)

bishopbishopschess bishop
Promotion is a chess rule that requires a pawn that reaches its eighth to be immediately replaced by the player's choice of a queen, knight, rook, or bishop of the same.
In an endgame with a bishop, in some cases the bishop is the "wrong bishop", meaning that it is on the wrong color of square for some purpose (usually promoting a pawn).

Chess problem

chess problemschess compositionproblem
Underpromotion (promotion to a piece other than a queen) occurs more often in chess problems than in practical play.
There should be no promoted pawns in the initial position. For example, if White has three knights, one of them must clearly have been promoted; the same is true of two light-square bishops. There are more subtle cases: if f1 is empty, a white bishop stands on b5 and there are white pawns on e2 and g2, then the bishop must be a promoted pawn (there is no way the original bishop could have got past those unmoved pawns). A piece such as this, which does not leave a player with pieces additional to those at the start of a game, but which nonetheless must have been promoted, is called obtrusive. The presence of obtrusive units constitutes a smaller flaw than the presence of more obviously promoted units.

Albin Countergambit, Lasker Trap

Lasker trap
Promotion occasionally occurs even in the opening, often after one side makes a, as in the Lasker trap, which features an underpromotion to a knight on move seven: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.e3?
It is unusual in that it features an underpromotion as early as the seventh move.

Chess strategy

strategystrategiccontrol of the center
The ability to promote is often the critical factor in endgames and thus is an important consideration in opening and middlegame strategy.
In the endgame, passed pawns, unhindered by enemy pawns from promotion, are strong, especially if advanced or protected by another pawn.

Chess middlegame

middlegamemiddle gamemiddlegames
The ability to promote is often the critical factor in endgames and thus is an important consideration in opening and middlegame strategy.
Since many endgames involve the promotion of a pawn, it is usually good to keep that in mind when making trades during the middlegame.

Checkmate

matecheckmatingmates
(or any other promotion), Black wins with 1...gxh3, when White cannot stop Black from checkmating him next move with 2...h2.
It often occurs after a pawn has queened.

Desperado (chess)

desperado
There are also a few opening lines where each side gets a desperado pawn that goes on a capturing spree, resulting in each side queening a pawn in the opening.
He makes no attempt to stop me from queening!?

Saavedra position

Perhaps the most famous example is the Saavedra position.
This is among a minority of positions where king and pawn can win against a king and rook, and one of the most famous examples of underpromotion in chess.

Babson task

An extreme example is the Babson task, where underpromotions by Black are countered by matching underpromotions by White (so if Black promotes to a rook, so does White, and so on), White's underpromotions being the only way to mate Black in the stipulated number of moves.
2) Black's defences include the promotion of a certain pawn, to either a knight, a bishop, a rook, or a queen. (Black may have other defences as well.)

Perpetual check

perpetually checks
After 71.a8(Q)??, 71...Qxb2+, followed by alternating checks on the a and b files, would give Black a perpetual check, so Akopian played 71. a8=N!, and Karjakin resigned, as 71...Qxb2+ would be met by the cross-check 72.Nb6+, which in turn forces 72...Qxb6+ 73.Kxb6, with an easy win for White.
In the diagram, from Unzicker–Averbakh, Stockholm Interzonal 1952, Black (on move) would soon be forced to give up one of his rooks for White's c-pawn (to prevent it from promoting or to capture the promoted queen after promotion).

Pawnless chess endgame

queen versus rookpawnless endgamepawnless endgames
The only move that does not lose for Black is 74... e1=N+! The resulting rook versus knight endgame is a theoretical draw (see pawnless chess endgame).
Queen versus queen: usually a draw, but the side to move first wins in 41.75% of the positions . There are some wins when one queen is in the corner, e.g. as a result of promoting a rook pawn or bishop pawn.

Allumwandlung

An Allumwandlung is a problem where promotions to all four possible pieces occur.
Allumwandlung (German for "complete promotion", sometimes abbreviated AUW) is a chess problem theme where, at some stage in the solution, a pawn (or sometimes pawns) is promoted variously to a queen, rook, bishop, and knight.

Zugzwang

mutual zugzwangreciprocal zugzwangdetrimental
Black is in zugzwang for two moves.
The only legal move is 2...g5, whereupon White promotes a pawn first and then checkmates with 3.hxg5 h4 4.g6 h3 5.g7 h2 6.g8=Q h1=Q 7.Qg7#

Jan Rusinek

Some cases can be quite spectacular: a study by Jan Rusinek, for example, sees White promoting to knight, bishop and rook in order to induce stalemate.
White's being required to make all three underpromotions in order to draw is exceptionally unusual.

Opposite-colored bishops endgame

bishops on opposite colorsopposite-coloured bishops endgamebishops of opposite colors
In 1932, a long game between Milan Vidmar and Géza Maróczy had been a theoretical draw for many moves, because of the opposite-colored bishops endgame.
If the defending king and bishop cannot accomplish this, the first pawn will win the defending bishop and the second one will promote.

Queen and pawn versus queen endgame

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Queen and pawn versus queen endgame
The queen and pawn versus queen endgame is a chess endgame in which both sides have a queen and one side has a pawn, which he is trying to promote.

Rook and pawn versus rook endgame

rook and pawn versus rookback-rank defenserook endgame
Rook and pawn versus rook endgame
With optimal play, some complicated wins require sixty moves to either checkmate, win the defending rook, or successfully promote the pawn.

King and pawn versus king endgame

king and pawn against a kingking and pawn endgames
King and pawn versus king endgame
The crux of this endgame is whether or not the pawn can be promoted (or queened), so checkmate can be forced.

Cross-check

After 71.a8(Q)??, 71...Qxb2+, followed by alternating checks on the a and b files, would give Black a perpetual check, so Akopian played 71. a8=N!, and Karjakin resigned, as 71...Qxb2+ would be met by the cross-check 72.Nb6+, which in turn forces 72...Qxb6+ 73.Kxb6, with an easy win for White.
In the position shown, after 91. Kc5!!, Black resigned because the promising looking checks 91...Qc7+, 91...Qg1+, 91...Qf2+ and 91...Qc2+ are answered by the cross-checks 92.Qc6+, 92.Qd4+, 92.Qd4+ and 92.Qc4+ respectively, forcing an exchange of queens in all cases, which will result in the promotion of the pawn and winning the game by a basic checkmate.

Queen versus pawn endgame

queen versus pawnqueen versus pawn on the seventh rank
Queen versus pawn endgame
This endgame arises most often from a race of pawns to promote.