Stop losing at Chess! Big Savings on our top-notch Courses and Packages. Click here!

Pawn last Rank Promotions when playing against Computer

by Peter (Punta Gorda, Fl.)
When playing against an older computer device, the computer will routinely promote a pawn to a queen when it already has a queen. Is this legal?

If I am playing a fellow human, this would not be allowed as there would not be a piece available. Thanks Pete


Hi Pete,

It is perfectly legal to promote any number of pawns into queens. There is no limit. But it almost never happens that a grandmaster or club player has two queens at the same time.

It is highly unlikely that such a situation arises, but it can happen. In this case you just use the queen from another chess set.

If you are playing a game of chess at home and have just one set available then take a rook that is not used anymore in the game, turn it upside down and use it as a queen and tell your opponent that this rook is meant to be a queen. Or use something else like a stone, who cares.

Only beginners in chess tend to have sometimes more than one queen on the board because they never resign a game when the position is hopelessly lost and keep promoting their pawns.

However, the computer should give you the choice to select any piece for promotion, not just queens. There are situations where it is more effective to promote a pawn into a knight, when this knight is executing a deadly fork when promoted.

Two Queens each

Replay the game below where the famous American chess champion Bobby Fischer and the well known Armenian grandmaster Tigran Petrosian had two queens each on the board. This is a quite unusual game.

Robert James Fischer – Tigran Petrosian

Flip Board: Press F-Key (or click e7 or d2 on top) Select a game: Click on grey bar

Go to – Chess Openings

Get UNIQUE Chess Video Courses from Chess Grandmaster Igor Smirnov (Ukraine)! BIG DISCOUNT! Click here!