Pawn at the End of the Board

In chess, when a pawn reaches the other end of the board, it becomes a Queen. This is called “pawn promotion”. It cannot stay as a pawn, but it is changed into a Queen as part of the same move. There are some special factors including:

More details about pawn promotion are below.

Multiple Queens Allowed

You are allowed more than one Queen. In common practice, an upside-down Rook is used to represent the second Queen if you don’t have a spare Queen piece around.


Pawns on reaching the edge of the board can also become other pieces. This is called “underpromotion”. They can become not only a Queen, but also a Knight, Rook, or Bishop. But usually you’d want the Queen, which is the most powerful piece. Note that you cannot underpromote to a pawn (staying a pawn), or to a King (only one King is allowed!)

Only Pawns Promote

Promotion only applies to pawns. Any other pieces that reach the end of the board are not anything special. There is no special rule if the King reaches the other end of the board. They would simply sit on the square at the end, and can then move back later.

Related Chess Rules Topics

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