Learning how the chess pieces move is the first and most important lesson you need to know if you wish to play the game properly.
Two of the most special pieces on the board are the king and queen with each having their own unique characteristics. The queen controls the most squares on the board as it has the ability to move in any direction any number of squares in a straight line.
Due to the power that the queen possesses, many beginner players want to know “Can the king take the queen?”
In this article, we will discuss whether or not the king can take the queen in chess and how the king moves and captures over the board. Here is what you need to know.
Can The King Take The Queen In Chess?
Yes, the king can take the queen so long as the queen is not defended by another piece. Because the king moves and captures one square in any direction, then the queen must be right next to the king for you to take it.
In the following position, the black king can take the white queen on d8. This is actually a well known line in the Ruy Lopez Berlin chess opening.
The king can take the queen if she is on any of it’s neighboring squares.
The king can pretty much take every piece on the chess board except the opposing king. The rules of chess forbids you from capturing the opponent’s king. The goal is to deliver checkmate. Therefore, this makes capturing the king illegal. You can read more about this in the article: Why can’t you capture the king in chess?
When Can’t The King Take The Queen?
In chess, it it illegal to move your king onto an endangered square. This means that the king cannot capture a queen that is defended by another piece. Otherwise, the defending piece will take the king after the king captures the queen. Let’s look at an example.
In the above position, the black queen just delivered check to the white king. The white king would love to take the queen, but with closer inspection, this is not possible as the black queen is defended by the bishop on a6. The white king would have to move away from the check via b2 or c1.
Queen Too Far Away From King To Be Captured
If the queen is one square or more away from the king, then the king cannot take the queen as the king can only move one square at a time. For example, in the position below, there are two squares between the king and queen making it impossible for the king to capture the queen.
How Does The King Compare With The Queen?
The queen is the most powerful piece on the chess board because it can move any number of squares, in any direction in a straight line unlike the king that can only move one square at a time. When compared to the king, the queen is by far more powerful due to it’s scope and it’s ability to move from one end of the board to the other. This makes the king harder to take the queen.
The queen’s scope vs the king’s scope
As you can see, the queen controls more squares than the king. Nonetheless, because the goal of chess is to checkmate the king, then the king becomes the most important piece on the board despite its limited scope.
In fact, the game would be much difficult if the king was granted the same powers as the queen. The king would easily escape checkmate and the game could go on forever. This is why the king is made to move just one square at a time.
Which Other Piece Can Take The Queen?
Though the queen is the most powerful piece on the board, it can still get captured just like any other piece on the board. The king is not the only piece that can take the queen. Every piece on the chess board has the ability to capture the queen so long as it is a legal capture. Let’s look at a few examples.
Knight takes queen
The knight moves and captures in a L shape direction. In other words, it moves 2 squares like a rook and then one square at a right angle. The knight can capture the queen if the queen is on the square that the knight lands.
Pawn takes queen
The pawn moves one square directly forward but it captures one square diagonally. This means the pawn can capture the queen if the queen is one square diagonally right or left of the pawn.
Rook takes queen
The rook moves up, down and sideways in a straight line any number of squares. The rook can take the queen if the queen is in the horizontal or vertical path of the rook.
Bishop takes queen
The bishop moves diagonally on the chess board any number of squares. The bishop can also capture the queen if the queen is in the diagonal path of the bishop.
Queen takes queen
A queen can capture the opposing queen if it is in the path of the queen (digonal, horizontal or vertical path). The following diagram illustrates how all the chess pieces capture the queen.
The king is not the only piece that can take the queen
You now know that the king can indeed take the queen in the game of chess. Just remember that this is only made possible if the queen is not protected by another piece. The king captures the queen next to it, so it’s necessary that the are no squares between the king and queen if there should be a capture.
Like the king, every other piece can capture the queen. However, the king is the only piece that cannot be captured on the board as the goal is to deliver checkmate. This makes the king the most important piece on the board, surpassing that of the queen.
Related Post: How many spaces can the queen move?