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How to Recover a Piece in Chess

The chess pawn can be promoted to any other rank in the game.
pawn image by Vasiliy Koval from Fotolia.com

An inevitable part of the game of chess is the loss of pieces -- even if you don't make any mistakes that allow your opponent to capture pieces, you'll likely sacrifice some as part of larger tactics. You can't directly recover a captured piece, but you can "promote" the weakest piece in the game -- the pawn -- and turn it into any other piece of your choosing, except the king. In this way you can replace any captured piece.

Promotion in Chess. The Pawn becomes a new piece!

As pieces are exchanged, pawns advance, the endgame commences. Pawns race to the opposite side of the board, and when they advance to the last square, the pawns are promoted to a choice of rook, knight, bishop, or most often a queen.

The player with white moves the pawn to the last row and replaces the pawn with a queen. If the queen already exists on the board, place a marker to represent the queen. You can promote a pawn even if no such pieces were captured -- just use a paper marker, a coin or a piece from another set to represent the new piece.

Promotion in ​chess​ is a rule that requires a pawn that reaches the eighth rank to be replaced by the player's choice of a bishop, knight, rook, or queen of the same color . The new ​piece​ replaces the pawn on its square on the same move.

Common questions regarding promotion:

Can you get a second Queen in chess?

Yes, each pawn can become a queen via promotion. The Queen is considered the most dangerous piece because it can move as a bishop and a rook; thus, combining the best ability of both pieces.

Can you have three queens in chess?

Yes, although it is rare in a game. Your opponent is afforded the ability to resign and if you have multiple queens, your opponent should respect the board position and your ability and resign.

Can you go back in chess?

No, pawns cannot go backwards and the game moves cannot be undone. The key to a chess game is each side moves inexorably forward in time. Now, other chess pieces can move backwards and once you develop your pieces, you may find it wise to reposition your pieces to best meet your opponent's moves.

How to recover from a blunder or a bad loss? Or, an opening mistake?

A bad loss is just a game. The great thing about chess is you can always play a new game, so learn from your mistake and move on.

Now if you blunder or make an opening mistake. As painful as it can be to stare out, make the most of the situation. Organize your pieces and create threats and opportunities. You never know what can happen if pieces are still on the board. Make your opponent earn a victory, but when it is clear you have no more chances, resign and move on to another chess game.

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