Can't a pawn capture onto the last rank to promote?

Chess Asked by Rockwell Rice on October 5, 2021

I do not play chess much. Recently a friend reached out to play some online games. We ran into an odd situation that I cannot find a rule on.

His White pawn was at g2 and my Rook was still at h1. He planned to take the rook with his pawn to promote it, but the game would not allow him to make the move and we couldn’t figure out why.

Is there something illegal about that move? There were no underlying issues with the pawn movement that would leave the king in check or something similar.

Addendum-Per the answer below, I asked him about popups getting blocked. He said he had no problem getting the promotion going forward, but was being blocked from taking the rook.

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3 Answers

Black plays from 7th and 8th rank, his king starting from e8, so the white pawn is on b7.

There is no (FIDE) rule that forbids a combination of taking and promotion. b7xa8D (or whatever) is a legal move.

When playing online at some minor platform, you will often find that the rules of chess are badly implemented. I know of no single platform that plays strictly FIDE rules. So you might find some surprises in future games.

Correct answer by Christian H. Kuhn on October 5, 2021

The move is legal.

If it were blacks move the computer would block it. If White were in check the computer would too.

LIke @Glorfindel said the popup probably asked for which piece so blocking it stopped the move. But in that case you should still not have been able to push straight instead of capturing.

Do tell us what program/website that was! I do not recognize the board colors but I do not visit all the sites.

Answered by edwina oliver on October 5, 2021

Since the board is mirrored, the pawn is on b7 and the rook on a8. But b7xa8 promoting to a piece is a valid move.

I'm not sure which program/website this is, but it could be that a popup is asking to which piece White wants to promote, and something/your browser is blocking this popup, and your friend cannot complete the move.

Answered by Glorfindel on October 5, 2021

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