Is Underpromotion Necessary?

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"Every Pawn is a potential Queen" - James Mason


Well, the theme of this blog is every Pawn is a potential Knight or Bishop!


Underpromotion is one of those things that seems mysterious to beginning players.


"Why should I ever promote to a Knight when I can always get a Queen?"


Though rare, underpromotion is sometimes the key that wins or draws a game. And because of this, underpromoting is one of most elegant moves in chess. 


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Here are examples of when to underpromote:

  1. To avoid stalemate

  2. To support a tactical combination that wouldn't be possible with a Queen

Both are extremely rare cases, and 99% of the time you will always want to trade a Pawn for a Queen. But in today's post, I will show a several cases of when underpromoting is the only winning action!


*Learn more about the fascinating topic of underpromotion here.*


Combination:


Underpromotion to Bishop:


Underpromoting to a Bishop may be the most rare move in all of chess!



Avoid Stalemate:


Full game with underpromotion:


Exercises:



Underpromotion exists for a reason!


*Liked those exercises? Get more here.*


So, every time you are about to grab that Queen, stop! Make sure you aren't about to throw the game but instead check for hidden tactics!


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