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Promotion?

  • GM thamizhan
  • | Nov 14, 2011
  • | 9327 views
  • | 32 comments

From: jetfighter13

My question is, when is it ok to underpromote, I sometimes do, but only when I even/win material, or put my opponent in check.

To help illustrate my point, I offer the following game:


Dear jetfighter13,

Under-promotion is an interesting concept in chess. It is not very common, but when used appropriately, it can be very useful. This is also something you would not want to do without a very good reason. The concept of under-promotion is like your boss asking you to take a promotion in your job and you refusing it. You would never do such a thing unless something worse is going to come out of that promotion that would outweigh all the positive factors.

It is always nice to have examples and I am glad you provided one with your question. We will first establish some pointers that can help us decide if an under-promotion is a good thing to do and then we can evaluate the under-promotion in your game.

Under-promotion would be a very good thing to do if one of the two following conditions were to be true:

  • If the piece you are planning to under-promote is going to be of more use than a queen. In this case the under promotion obviously has to be knight, because a queen can also move like a bishop and a rook.

     

     

  • If promoting to a queen is going to make the situation worse. The main cause for such a situation would be a possibility of stalemate.

     

     

 

I hope these pointers and the examples give you a clear idea of when you would want to under-promote. Now think about the under-promotion from your game. As you had mentioned in your comment, it is definitely a cool thing to do, but it was not really necessary. However it was not bad either since in this case it did not matter what you promoted that pawn into, it was just about to be captured anyways.

Comments


  • 3 years ago

    TRON84NH

    From my own experience, there has only been a few times underpromoting pawns. But like what has been stated in this article, I would only do it to get a guaranteed win out of it. Otherwise that pawn made its trip in vain.

  • 3 years ago

    wbport

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 3 years ago

    wbport

    Shown in a Chesscafe email.

  • 3 years ago

    NM flashboy2222

    .

  • 3 years ago

    Groen

    @Yoniker: I really love the Gserper articles. I have read all of them and actually got the chance to put some of his advise and skill in to practice in OTB play. I am a fan of his work and waiting for his bundled booklet, if he ever makes one, he will surely sell at least one copy :-)

    But still this isn't a bad article. It has the right illustrations and gives the essence of underpromoting.

  • 3 years ago

    RealDarren

    There is yet another case where under promotion might be the best option. For example: When you go to promote your pawn on a square that's under attack (maybe because you took a piece with your pawn in question with it's final move), if you chose a queen then your opponent would probably be obliged to take her straight off because she would give you too much of a materiel advantage irrespective of the position.

    However your opponent might be tempted to leave a weaker piece where it is if taking it meant either losing yet more materiel or position. 

  • 3 years ago

    alnoth

    never mind i just now got the point... this whole blog being your reply to the very first example and all

  • 3 years ago

    13th-madman

    The stalemate example is certainly worth noting.

    Another thing I find worth noting is the concept of getting a pawn to the seventh, and then leaving it there. I've found that some players tend to think "It's just a pawn" subconciously, and you can goad them into tearing their formation apart in the process of cornering and killing your queen, before promoting it and leaving them with no defenses.

  • 3 years ago

    __vxD_mAte

    In the situation when you want to practice checkmate with 3 knights.

  • 3 years ago

    Matir

  • 3 years ago

    DavidMGA

    If there is one thing I appreciate is the time, the effort, and the work that goes into someone writing a study and analysis of the science of chess. You've pointed out something I have not tried. I thank you very much for the insight and your understanding of the subject of underpromotion.

  • 3 years ago

    DavidMGA

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 3 years ago

    YoniKer

    Compare this "article" to ANY article written by Gserper,and you will know what i really think about it. Anyone above 1600 could write it in less than 5 minutes.

  • 3 years ago

    Greatrolls

    Here's another example of unnecessay underpromotions by a GM. Mate in 271. Rybka vs Hikaru Nakamura http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1497429

  • 3 years ago

    wowiezowie

  • 3 years ago

    GRThompson

    Excellent answers!  Fantastic!

  • 3 years ago

    milestogo2

    quick answer: almost never except in artificial endgame studies

  • 3 years ago

    ilikeflags

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 3 years ago

    mrguy888

    http://www.chess.com/echess/game.html?id=43275331

    Tons of horrible blunders but at the end there is a nice trap that is averted by underpromotion.

  • 3 years ago

    bluemoonkasparov

    nice article and it gives me some knowledge about when to underpromote and not to.  

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