What If King Reaches Other Side In Chess

what if king reaches the other side in chess

The other side of a chess board is often referred to as the back rank or 8th rank. In chess, a magical thing happens when a pawn manages to land on the other side of the board. It is promoted to a major or minor piece. Most chess players prefer to promote it into a queen since the queen is the most powerful piece on the board.

Due to this fascinating move called promotion, it makes us wonder what happens when the king reaches the other side?

What if king reaches other side in chess

When the king reaches the other side of the board, nothing actually happens. It remains a king unlike the pawn which can promote into a majestic queen. 

On the other hand, there is one small thing that happens to the activity of the king on the 8th rank. It goes up!

The king on the 8th rank can help to serve important purposes like guarding the queening square in the event a pawn gets promoted. The queening square is simply put the last square on the 8th rank to which a pawn gets promoted.

The king can play a critical role in helping the pawn get promoted by controlling the queening square. The diagram below illustrates this idea.

It’s White turn to move and luckily enough the white king on the 8th rank is guarding the queening square for his pawn. White can easily promote into a queen and draw the game since their is no progress to be made when only 2 queens are on the board. This is a typical drawing position.

Related Post: Why is the queen more powerful than the king

Role Of The King On The 8th rank

We pointed out that when the king reaches the other side nothing happens and it’s mere use is to control the queening square. However, the dynamics of the game changes when the king  arrives on the 8th tank. Here are a few things that may occur

  • The king may not be able to rush to blockade an enemy passed pawn because it’s so far up the board.
  • A king that reaches the other side of the chess board may help to achieve checkmate
  • The king on the 8th rank can gain opposition over the enemy king