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Number of Queens

Q: How many queens can I have on the board at once?

A: This can be a bit perplexing as most chess sets only provide one queen per side. But players should remember that pieces are only representations and any appropriate sized object can be used to represent a queen. It might be a coin or even a wadded up piece of paper. The fact is that any pawn reaching the opponent's side of the board is entitled to be a queen. This means that eight pawns could, in theory be promoted. Coupled with the queen, this would mean that a player could have nine queens.

This is highly unlikely and a practical impossibility unless both players are cooperating to make it happen. I have never seen a player with more than three queens on the board at once in competitive play, and three is rare. Because the play would have to be extremely lopsided to get more than three queens on the board, the game is usually over by check-mate or resignation before such an event occurs.

As a practical matter, if a player promotes a pawn while still in possession of the original queen, an inverted rook can be used to represent the new queen. Alternatively, find a wadded up piece of paper to stand in.

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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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