Can a Pawn Take a King in Chess

Chess is a strategy game that is played by two people on a board of 64 square. These squares are arranged in eight columns and eight rows. This game was derived from an ancient Indian game known as chaturanga, which Indians used to play in the 7th century. Chess reached Arabia, Persia, and Europe in the 9th century due to some historical events’ aftereffects. The rules of modern Chess were made in the 19th century. However, there is still some confusion in the regulations that are not cleared for many people; for example, can a pawn take a king in chess? In this article, we will find out the answer to this question. Before going any further, we should understand a few things so we can discuss the Chess in depth. 

How Chess is Played?

Chess is played between two people. There are 32 pieces in Chess (16 in white and 16 in black); each player plays with 16 pieces, which are mentioned below.

List of Pieces

  1. One King.
  2. One Queen
  3. Two Knights.
  4. Two Bishops.
  5. Two Rooks.
  6. Eight Pawns.

Each piece of Chess among the 16 moves differently. Queen is the most powerful piece in Chess, as she can move more than any of the pieces. 

In this game, the player tends to take the opponents’ pieces to take the upper hand until he is in a position to checkmate the opponent’s king. One can only win the chess game when he checkmates the opponent’s king.  

Can a Pawn Take a King in Chess


Checkmate is a situation in which your king can’t escape anywhere. This is the situation where the opponent wins.

Other than checkmate, a player also loses if he resigns or in a timed game the time runs out.

Can a pawn move backwards

Drawn Game

The game of Chess can also be drawn in several conditions, which are mentioned below.

  • If both players agree to due to any reason or fear of each other.
  • Repetition of position can also draw the match. If a player repeatedly moves in the same position for the third time and no changes in castling privileges. A player who wants to draw by repeated positions must announce it before moving. 
  • If there are no moves for your king and it is not in check, in this scenario, the game is drawn.
  • If both players combined to make 50 moves with taking any piece and moving his Pawn, the next player could declare a draw.
  • In case, you can ensure that you can put your opponent in check forever, you can draw. However, it is not obliged for you to declare a draw; you can go for a win too.
  • If both players don’t have the pieces available for checkmate.
Can you checkmate with a pawn

These are the conditions for drawing a match.

Read More: Can a Queen Move like a Knight in Chess?

Can a pawn take a king in Chess?

Now, as we know the basics of Chess, we can move forward to solve our query. But before moving straight to the question, we must know the moves of the king and Pawn to make it easier for us to understand.

Can a pawn capture on its first move

Related: Can a Pawn Check a King?

Moves of Pawn

A pawn in Chess is a simple piece as it has limited moves, but it can be lethal sometimes, which we will discuss ahead in the article. The Pawn can move in the straight direction to one square, which must be unoccupied. However, in the first move, it can advance to two squares straight. The Pawn can take a piece on the first diagonal square ahead of it. These are some simple moves of Pawn.

Can a king kill a king in chess

Special Moves

There is a special move of Pawn. A pawn can convert into any piece other than a pawn and king when it reaches the eighth rank. This move is called promotion.

Another special move is “in passing.” When a pawn (white) advances two square from the starting point, and there is an opponent’s Pawn (black) next to the destination square. The opponent’s Pawn (black) can capture the other Pawn (white) by moving to the square the Pawn (white) jumped.

Moves of King

The king moves only moves one square in any direction. There are not so many moves for the king. However, there are is a special move of the king.

Chess rules

Special move

The only special move of the king is known as castling. In this move, the king can move two squares towards the rook only on the first rank, and the rook moves to the square from where the king moved. There are some conditions for castling.

  • It should be the first move of the king and the rook.
  • There should be no pieces between them.
  • The king should not be in check.

As we have discussed the moves of King and Pawn, let’s get back to our question.

Coming back to our question, can a Pawn take a king? It depends on how you think this; no piece can take a king, the king can only be checkmate, and we have already discussed checkmate.

However, if you are talking about a pawn involved in checkmate with other pieces, then it is possible. It seems unlikely, but it is possible. The universal truth is king can only be taken by checkmate; it can’t be taken by one piece.

Can a Pawn take a queen?

Yes, a pawn can take a queen. There are two things you can’t take in Chess, your piece and opponent’s king. You can take the Queen by any of your pieces. Pawn is the best piece to kill a queen risking the least of your pieces.

Can a Pawn capture on its first move

The Pawn can only move to two squares in the front direction, and according to the rules, the Pawn can capture only diagonally. A pawn can capture on its own first move, but it cannot capture on the first move of the game.

Frequently asked questions

What Pieces can take a King?

As we have discussed, a king can only be checkmated; a single piece can’t take it. So no pieces can take a king. However, any piece can be involved in checkmating the king.

Can Pawn kill a King?

A pawn is just like all other pieces of Chess, except it moves differently. The same rule applies to the Pawn, just like other pieces. A pawn can’t kill a king single-handedly just like other pieces, but it can be involved in blocking the king and trapping it for checkmate.

Related: Can a Pawn Move Backwards?

Who can kill a King in Chess?

There is no legal way to kill a king, and there is no piece who can kill a king, not even Queen. A king can only be checkmated or captured, and any piece can do that.

What if the king reaches the other side of the chessboard?

If the king reaches the other side of the board, it is completely normal. There are no such rules for the king; however, it is unusual, but the game continues. However, if a pawn reaches the other side of the board, it can be promoted to any piece other than itself and king.

Why is the king so weak in Chess?

As we all know, the king has no such perks, such as moving dramatically like a queen or bishop. The king has nothing to offer other than it can’t be killed until checkmated. However, it is the most crucial piece in Chess; the whole game depends on it. If it moves like a queen, it would have been difficult to trap it.

Can you win in Chess with just a king?

You can’t win in Chess with just a king. A king can’t impose check; therefore, it can’t checkmate the other king alone. However, a single king can help you with drawing the match. For instance, if both players are left with kings, the game will immediately draw.

Related: Can you Checkmate with a Knight and a King?

Who is more powerful than a king?

A king is the most critical piece in Chess, but not the most powerful. Because there is a more powerful piece than a king in Chess. For instance, Queen, a queen, is undoubtedly a more powerful piece than a king.

Related: Can a King Capture Other Pieces?

What happens if there are only two kings left in Chess?

If only two kings are remaining on the board and all other pieces are captured. The game is immediately declared as a draw.


Chess is a game of the mind, as it requires incredible strategies. In Chess, only two players play; either the game ends up in win and lose or draw. There are several conditions for a draw. However, a player wins when the opponent resigns, or he checkmates the opponent’s king, which requires attacking the king. That is why it is not possible to take a king with a pawn, not even with its special moves. However, a pawn can capture any piece other than a king, even a queen, which is considered the most powerful piece.

In this article, we have discussed chess rules and discovered the answer to our question. I hope this article will be helpful to you. Please give us your feedback in the comment section.