Can a Pawn take a King in chess – Legal Rules Explained

Pawns are considered as the weakest pieces in chess because of their limited moves. A pawn can advance only one or two tiles in a single move. It has the equal ability to capture or kill opponent pieces just like other chess pieces do. But most of the newbies want to know can a pawn take a king in chess? We have explained it technically and covered its all aspects.

can a pawn take a king

Can a Pawn take a King

The short and precise answer is No. A pawn can’t take a king in chess. Even no other pieces can take or capture a king because it’s against the rules of chess. The game can only be won when the king comes under checkmate position. 

Technically it is possible that a pawn can put a king in a checkmate position with the help of other chess pieces like a knight, bishop, or queen. But it takes a lot of effort to do that.

How does a pawn capture chess pieces?

A pawn has the option to advance one or two spaces in the forward direction while performing its first move. After that pawn can only advance one space forward each move. Pawn can’t move sideways or in the backward direction. 

There are two possibilities of capturing chess pieces by pawns. Firstly a pawn can only capture a piece that comes one tile forward in a diagonal direction. The second possibility is a bit tricky and it rarely happens in the game.

If your opponent’s pawn advances two tiles in its first move and it comes to the side of your pawn horizontally then you can capture it by moving your pawn to the empty space in the diagonal position. Yes, it sounds a bit shocking and tricky but it’s a legal move in chess.

A pawn can also be promoted to other chess pieces once it will reach the opposite direction of the chessboard. If you want to know how is a chess board setup. We have written a well explained article on it.

can a pawn check a king?

Yes, a pawn can put the king into a check position. There is no rule in chess that a pawn can’t put the king in check. However, it can only be done if your opponent is a newbie and he is making plenty of mistakes. Also, the pawn has to take the help of other chess pieces to put the king in check

Can a pawn check a king

In the above picture, you can see that the pawn at d7 has put the opponent’s king in check at the e8 position. Because it’s not backed by any other piece so the king can easily come out from check. The king, queen, and knight have an equal chance to kill the pawn. This example is just for understanding however these types of moves are not seen often in real games.

can a pawn checkmate a king?

It is entirely possible that a pawn can checkmate a king. Technically it’s possible but intermediate and professional chess players don’t fall into traps like that. Only people that are new to chess can fall into traps like this. Furthermore, this can be possible when you have other chess pieces as a backup on the chess board. 

Can a Pawn checkmate a King during the opening of the game?

Most players start their game by moving pawns. And pawn has a very limited capacity to move as it can be advanced 1 or 2 spaces in the first move. So it is near impossible to checkmate a king during the opening of the game. However, some people move their knight rather than the pawn in the first move.

Can a Pawn kill a king in the Endgame?

We have cleared earlier that no one can kill or capture King in the game because it is against the rules of chess. But to win the game there is a possibility through which a pawn can checkmate the king in the endgame.

If your opponent has one king and you have a king and a pawn left in the game. Then the only possibility to checkmate king is that you have to promote your pawn by reaching the opposite side of the chessboard. Otherwise, you can’t checkmate the king. In the endgame, if you are losing you can even draw the game. Most newbies don’t know what is a draw in chess. But it’s a great way to save the game if you have good presence of mind.


Yes, like other chess pieces pawn can take a queen.

Yes, a pawn can take a bishop if it comes one space forward in the diagonal direction of its way.

Yes, a pawn can take a rook. It can take any piece on the chessboard other than the king.

Technically any piece on the chessboard can checkmate the king. It can be a pawn, rook, bishop, knight, or queen.

A pawn can be promoted to any other chess piece other than the king. So pawn can’t become a king.

Normally pawn moves in a straight direction. It can only move in a diagonal direction while capturing other chess pieces.

A king cannot enter the pawn’s capture tiles. When you will play chess online you can check it doesn’t allow the king to move in the tiles where it can be captured.

No, a pawn can’t move in the backward direction. A pawn can only be moved in a forward direction.

Because it is against the rules of chess. According to the rules the king cannot be captured or killed.


The answer to the question “can a pawn take a king” is a big No because it is against the Chess rules. Technically a pawn can only put a king into check or checkmate. So try to build strategies using pawns in your game and utilize them properly to beat your competitor.

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