Can A Pawn Kill A King?

Chess Guides / By Andrew Hercules
Can a pawn kill a king

Pawns are deemed as the least important piece in chess because they are only worth 1 point. Their movement are restricted to only one square forward. On the other hand, the king is the most important piece on the board since the death of the king  means the loss of the game.

Due to this contrasting difference, It makes one wonder, Can a pawn kill a king?

Can a pawn kill a king

A pawn can NOT kill or capture a king because it illegal to do so. Pawns may only give check to a king. However, pawns can capture any other piece like the knight, rook, queen, bishop and other enemy pawns. 

can a pawn kill a king

In the diagram above the white pawn has just given check to the black king. Black needs to step away from the attack by moving his king to a safe square as indicated by the green arrows.

Note: It is illegal for ANY piece to capture the king. If you give check to your opponent and he leaves his king hanging, you should NOT capture his king. You must however claim that he made an illegal move which can result in him losing the game according to the tournament rules. (in some cases 2 handicaps are given). 

Pawns Delivering Checkmate

Although the pawn is the least powerful piece on the chessboard, it can be the last one to help deliver the final blow on the enemy king (checkmate).

A pawn can deliver checkmate to a king as long as the king has no escape squares to go to nor pieces to block the attack. The diagram below illustrates this idea.

White plays pawn to e7 and delivers checkmate (The black king has no escape squares)

 

Andrew Hercules

Hercules Chess, launched in 2020, is a website that teaches you about chess. We started as a chess blog and became a chess training platform in early 2022.

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