Is Underpromotion Necessary?

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

*WAIT... before you start reading and learning, check out Casey Chess Tutoring merchandise. Find cool chess designs and endless products! Check it out here.*

"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. 

*Looking for a chess program and guide that fits your needs? It's free. Click here.*

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.*


Underpromotion to Bishop:

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

Avoid Stalemate:

Full game with underpromotion:


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!

Liked this post? Now check out the other blogs FULL of more amazing information!

I am offering chess lessons to anyone who is interested (and below my skill level of course!).

Have suggestions for other blogs? Post in comments and share!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

©2020 by Casey Chess Tutoring

Do you want a FREE complete chess training guide?