Advanced Chess Moves

There are a number of advanced moves in chess. You should know how the pieces moves, and maybe even understand all the tricky parts of Pawn moves. But there are still a few extra moves to learn.

There are a number of special moves in chess:

Pawn promotion to Queen: The rule is that if you get your pawns up to the other end of the board, they can become a Queen. This is called "pawn promotion" or "promoting a pawn". The Pawn can get to the last square by a normal move (forwards into an empty square) or by its normal capture (diagonally). As you move the Pawn onto the last square, you remove the Pawn, and put a Queen down there. Sometimes you need to find another Queen piece from someone else's board. Sometimes if there's no spare Queen, players use an upside-down Rook to mean a Queen piece. You can do pawn promotion multiple times, and turn every one of your Pawns into a Queen. The Queen is then allowed to move like a normal Queen, including backwards (unlike a Pawn).

Pawn under-promotion to Knight, Bishop or Rook: Actually a Pawn at the end of the board can become any piece, not just a Queen. This is called "under-promotion". Beginners won't usually make this move, because usually you want a Queen, because it's the strongest piece. But you can legally choose a Knight, Bishop or Rook instead of a Queen. But not a King or a Pawn. This is rare in actual games, but quite common in chess puzzles.

Castling with the King and Rook: This is a special move where both the King and Rook move at the same time. It's still considered just a single move. Beginners use this move as soon as they learn it. Castling is useful to protect your king in the corner, while also developing the Rook into the center. Read more about Castling with King and Rook.

En Passant Pawn Capture: This is a very rare type of special pawn capturing move. The term "en passant" means "in passing". Most beginners don't understand this move until all of the other moves first. It is an odd move because the Pawn captures an empty square, which serves to capture an enemy pawn in an "en passant" move. Read more about en passant.