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Can I capture when my king is in check?

Q: Can I take the other player's piece with my king if it has me in check?

A: The king may take any opposing piece. However, the king may not move into check when doing so. This means that an opposing queen may be positioned right next to your king as long as that queen is protected. This rule causes a bit of confusion for beginning players, because it seems as though the king can be attacked with impunity. But this is not the case. An attack on the king must be meticulously planned, and attacks that come next to the king must be doubly well-planned. Often, in beginner and intermediate play, the attacks that are most likely to succeed in this way involve the queen and a knight. Because knights do not move in straight lines their attack can be devious and combined with the power of the queen, the attack can be devastating.

The purpose of a check is not always to capture the king. It can also be to take advantage of a fork. This is attacking two pieces at once with a single piece so the opponent is forced to move one or the other. In this case the player must choose to either defend or move his king or eliminate the threat.

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Rules of Chess | General Rules | Chess Setup | Pawn Rules | Rook Movement | Knight Movement | Bishop Movement
Queen Movement | King Movement | Castling in Chess | Pawn En Passant
End Game in Chess | Frequently Asked Questions

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