The whole game of chess mainly depends upon the king because if your king gets a checkmate you will ultimately lose the game. Even though the King is the most valuable piece in chess, it has very limited moving abilities.
A king can only move 1 square per move in horizontal, vertical, or diagonal directions. That is why most often this question comes to mind why is the King so weak in chess? There are some possible reasons behind it so let’s have a look at them.
Why Is The King So Weak In Chess?
The moving power of the King is weak and the major reason is that it balances the whole game of chess. If the King has stronger moving abilities like Queen or Rook then it will be near impossible to checkmate the king. As he will easily come out of any trap created by the opponent and the game will take longer and longer. These things affect the game and people loose interest. That is why King is allowed to move only 1 square in a single move.
Many people believe that the King is the weakest piece in Chess but this is just a misconception. In the game of chess weakest piece on a chessboard is a pawn and it is worth one point. We cannot calculate the power of a King as it cannot be exchanged.
The power of any piece on the chessboard is calculated concerning its strength when they are exchanged. According to the chess rules a King cannot be captured or exchanged that is why we cannot calculate its exact value.
In my point of view, the king is priceless because the decision of winning or losing the game depends on the King. There is only one possibility in which a King can advance two squares in a single move. This process is called Castling and this move is only subjected to the King. The movement will be either to the right or left.
For kingside castling, a King should have two spaces vacant on the right side from its origin and a Rook at the corner. The King will move two spaces forward and the rook will be placed next to the King on the left side. So technically both Rook and King will move two spaces each in a single move. This strategy is very tricky and useful in some instances to save the game. You can also check out our new article on can a pawn take a king?
Why is the king useless in chess?
The fact that the king is useless in chess is wrong. None of the pieces in chess is useless as they all have unique abilities and roles to play. Especially the King is a very essential piece of the game because if you will lose your king ultimately you will lose the game.
Always build a strong defense around your king so your opponent cannot put you in checkmate easily. If you will place your king in the corner of the chessboard then you are decreasing its moving ability because it will hold only 4 squares.
While on the other hand if you place your king in the center then it holds a total of 9 squares. That’s why the king usually plays the role of a warrior in the endgames.
Role of King in the Endgames:
The king plays an attacking role in the endgames. In openings or middlegames, there is not much room available for the king to roam but in endgames most of the board is empty so you can use your King as an attacking piece. A king can help in several ways in endgames.
Let’s talk about the first strategy in which the king advances aggressively against the enemy king which helps his pawns to reach the end rank of the chessboard so they can be promoted to a Queen. Promoting a pawn to a queen means that game is finished for the opponent.
In various endgame strategies, you can’t put the opponent’s king in Checkmate without the support of your king. For example, if you only have a queen left and you want to checkmate your opponent alone king then you can do so with the help of your king and queen. In the same manner, a king is also used with other chess pieces to deliver a checkmate. That’s why the importance of the king cannot be denied in the endgames. Check out How can a king move in chess?