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What happens when a pawn reaches the other side?

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A pawn is the only piece that moves forward in a chess game. In most circumstances, Pawns are described as the weakest pieces in chess, but they have power in numbers as each player starts the game with eight Pawns.

Furthermore, Pawns have a couple special abilities that are commonly overlooked. They can move two spaces only for their first move, only attack at a forward diagonal and get promoted when reaching the other side fo the board.

So, what happens when a pawn reaches the other side? When a pawn reaches the final rank on the opposite side, the Pawn gets promotes. A promoted Pawn can convert into a Bishop, Knight, Rook, and Queen. 

However, a King cannot be replaced by a promoted pawn. 

A player can use promoted pawns to recover pieces that the opponent has previously captured. A player is not limited to converting promoted pawns into captured pieces, thus making multiple Queens a realistic possibility. 

For instance, a player can convert more than one Queen, despite having only one Queen at the start of the game, provided the original Queen is still on the board.

In general, any Pawn that reaches the final rank on the opposite side is promoted. Once the Pawn has been promoted, it can be converted to any of the four chess game pieces, apart from the King. 

The promoted piece is placed on the square the pawn was before it got promoted. Note that there are eight rows on a chessboard that a Pawn must move to reach the final rank on the opposite side to get the promotion.

This article discusses everything you need to know about a Pawn getting to the other side of the chessboard. Answered below are frequently asked questions about Pawns reaching the other side in chess, and what happens next.

Can a Pawn take another Pawn in sideways?

Yes, and no. A Pawn can capture another pawn sideways using the En Passant rule. However, that is isn’t implemented very frequently because the situation rarely presents itself.

Pawns can take another pawn with a forward diagonal attack, but not straight or sideways unless a certain situation presents itself. Pawns can only move straight one space at a time, except for the first move, and they typically attack in a diagonal move. 

Pawns in chess do not capture pieces in the forward direction they generally move. A Pawn can capture another pawn diagonally one square, either on the upper right or lower left direction.

The En Passant rule allows a pawn to capture an adjacent Pawn under a condition called “fide,” which means an attacking Pawn can capture the opponent Pawn sideways that has advanced two squares in a single move. The Pawn captures the opponent pawns by occupying the square the opponent player passed over. 

En Passant means in passing, so the opponent must double move on its first advance, then your Pawn can take it sideways. This can only happen on the first advance by a Pawn on the 4th or 5th rank depending on which color you are playing. 

The En Passant cannot be played at any other position on the board, and if forgone on the initial turn, then you cannot En Passant at a latter play.

When a Pawn captures another Pawn with a sideways En Passant, the capturing Pawn has to move to the square which the captured Pawn passed over on the double advance. The opponent Pawn is removed from the chessboard and gameplay proceeds.

Can you promote a Pawn to a second Queen?

Yes, a player can convert a promoted pawn into a second Queen. In chess, a player is allowed to have two Queens during the game. 

Remember, there are eight pawns and a player can promote all if they reach the final rank on the opposite side. That implies a player can have a possible nine Queens, though that seems pretty far fetched.

When used legally or well-strategized, pawn promotion is vital in a chess game since it can be used as an ending game strategy. 

Sometimes, a player may decide to promote a Pawn into a Rook, Knight, or Bishop instead of a Queen, especially in circumstances in which an additional Queen can result in a draw due to a stalemate that occurs if a player cannot make a legal move. 

The player is not restricted to the number of Queens they can have in a chess game, therefore a player can promote as many Pawns as they can manage to reach the final rank.

When a Pawn is promoted, where does it go?

Once the Pawn has reached the final rank and is promoted to Bishop, Knight, Queen, or Rook, the new piece replaces the Pawn and the Pawn is taken off the board. 

The player has to remove the Pawn from the chessboard so that the pawn can be replaced. The new piece has to be placed on the square the promoted pawn was previously occupying.

Most of the time, a player opts to promote a Pawn to a Queen for obvious reasons, but sometimes they can opt to promote Pawns to other pieces such as Knights, Rooks, and Bishops if promoting it into a Queen can result in a stalemate. 

What Happens when a pawn reaches other side in Chess

Pawns Reach Other Side: Conclusion

When a pawn reaches a final rank on the opposite side of a chessboard, a player can promote it to any piece in the game such as Knight, Queen, Bishop, or Rook. The only piece that a player can not promote from a Pawn is the King. 

In most cases, the promoted pawns are converted into Queens for strategic purposes. Although this can prove to be unbeneficial if it results in a stalemate, so occasionally other pieces are chosen.

Pawns typically move forward one space at a time and attack in a diagonal direction. However, Pawns can advance two spaces forward on their first move, and opponent Pawns can use the special rule En Passant to take a Pawn sideways.

After crossing to the other side of the board, a player can convert any promoted pawn into a Queen or other power pieces of their choice. It’s allowed in a chess game for a player to have two or more Queens at the same time. 

Upon being promoted, the Pawn has to be removed from the chessboard to replace it with the new piece. There are eight pawns in the chess game, and all can be promoted into Queens, provided they reach the final rank. 

Crossing your Pawns to the other side of the chessboard is one of the many strategies. You may be working diligently towards the plan, but realize your opponent might also be doing the same thing!

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