Jump Moves

Which pieces can jump in chess? The answer is really just the Knight piece (the Horse). The Knight can jump over its own pieces or over enemy pieces. It doesn’t need a pathway for its L-shape move, it can be literally surrounded by pieces on every square, and jump over them. But the Knight can only move a limited distance, in a 2-1 pattern, or a 1-2 L pattern.

Other pieces can slide along empty squares, either horizontally or vertically or diagonally, depending on which piece (Queens or Rooks or Bishops). But these pieces cannot actually jump over any pieces. Once they slide up to another piece, they can capture it if it is an enemy piece, or they have to stop if it’s their own piece (no self-captures).

Pawn Jump Moves

Pawns normal moves and normal captures (pawn diagonal captures) are 1-square only, and there is no jumping. Even the special “en passant capture rule” is 1-square only and has no jumping.

Pawns have a special 2-square move as the Pawn First Move. However, this move is also a “slide” and cannot jump over any pawns or pieces that might be on the square in the middle of this move. They cannot slide forward more than 2 squares.

King Moves and Castling

The King’s normal move is 1-square in any direction. There’s no jumping possible.

The King’s special “castling move” is a bit like a “jump” because the Rook jumps over its own King. But even this move, you cannot jump over any pieces between your King and Rook; they must be empty squares. The King slides 2 squares towards its own Rook (on either side), and then that Rook jumps over its own King.

Related Chess Rules Topics

Read more about these related chess rules, chess puzzles, and other chess tactics and strategies: