index 2011
Letter #32 -  2011

Sub:    Question about a King in check
07/21/11  11:35:36 AM EDT
From:  Roberto H J

To whom it may concern.

Excuse my ignorance, I heard that when the King is in check it cannot capture opponent pieces. Is that true?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can answer, as you may already know, I am an amateur beginner.

Roberto H J

 Dear visitor,

It depends on the situation a King could be. When a King is in check, the first priority for a player is to get him off of check by all legal means possible including capturing the checking piece.

The following two diagrams show both situations in which the white King is in check and can capture and another one which cannot capture:

check 1
White King is in check and can capture

 In the above position, the black Bishop moves from d8 to f6 and checks the white King. White King has several options to move out of check: by capturing the black Pawn at c4, or capturing the Bishop at f6 with the Knight, or moving the King to c2, d2, or b4. 

check 2
White King is in check and cannot capture

This graphic shows the white King being attacked by the Bishop and black Rook. White King cannot capture the Bishop since is protected by the black King, or cannot capture the Rook because is protected by the Bishop, or cannot capture the Pawn at c4 because is also protected by the Rook, or move to e4 or e3 since those squares are controlled by the black Pawns. The only safe square to go is c5.

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