Promotion (chess)

A transformation takes place in chess when a pawn reaches the opponent's home row. The farmer is in stock to replace as part of this campaign, by a queen, rook, bishop or knight of the same color, with the figure looks transformed immediately. In general, is converted into a lady, because she is the most powerful piece. If the farmer converted to a different piece to give as a Springer fork or to avoid a stalemate, then one speaks of sub- transformation.

Wording of the FIDE rule and explanation

FIDE rule 3.7.e states:

" When a pawn reaches the rank furthest from its starting position it must be exchanged as part of the same move for a queen, rook, bishop or knight of the same color. The player's choice is not limited to characters that have been captured. This exchange of a pawn for another piece is called 'promotion ' and the effect of the new piece is immediate. "

The demand for a conversion to a character of the same color seems odd at first glance, but the following example shows the meaning of this formulation:

Would it be possible to convert the farmers in an opposing character, White might g7 - g8 into a matching (in this case: Springer ) convert black figure and thus checkmate the black king in the same train. Since neither the black king still this then converted Springer could beat a white figure, and the king can not move on the field that is not within reach of white as a single because there is now a separate and thus unbeatable figure, there would be no alternative.

Tournament practice

When a pawn reaches the opponent's home row, then it must be replaced by the desired figure instantly. Since the selection is not limited to characters that have been captured, a player may, for example, in the possession of two or more ladies. The record in a practical game is six queens on the board, where even fake games with up to seven women exist. There were also games with five towers and five jumpers.

In practice, sometimes the problem arises that the desired figure (a second lady about ) is not tangible. In this case, the rules stipulate that the referee or race director interrupts the game by stopping the chess clock. If the referee does not close, the player may even stop the chess clock to seek the arbiter's assistance ( FIDE rule 6.12).

Especially in free flash games it is sometimes tolerated if an upside-down tower is used as another queen. However, this is not in compliance.

It is usually pointless to turn a peasant into a tower or a runner, as a lady can perform all trains both a tower and a runner. However, in some situations can be prevented by a transformation into an inferior figure a stalemate the opponent.


In the Arab Shatranj was a farmer who had reached the enemy's basic series, converted to the weakest figure, the Firzan. In the Middle Ages, the transformation was only possible in a lady when the original lady was already removed from the board. This rule lasted until the 17th century. From 1560 onwards under transformations were allowed, the rules, however, for a long time were not uniform.

Even in the period around 1840 was in German-speaking the rule that a farmer may only convert into such a figure, which was previously defeated and thus removed from the board. This could lead to difficulties in principle, as the Swiss Johann Conrad von Orelli (1788-1854) in 1840 represented in his chess book.

It was still not beaten white figure, which is why the farmer on a8 according to the above rule can not convert itself. White must therefore wait until one of his characters is beaten before he can just swap that piece on a8 against the peasants. A problem arises now if White Dd3 -e4 pulls. After De7xe4 , the whipped white lady would be used on a8 again and Black would instantly dull. On the other hand, would also be the white king in chess lady. The question of what now takes precedence and how this problem could be solved ultimately remained unanswered.

In the second half of the 19th century, it was also allows the farmers not to convert after reaching the opponent's home row, but if necessary to make up to the end of the game stand on the transformation field as farmer - see dummy Bauer.