In chess, the term used to describe the replacing of a pawn with a piece of a higher value (Queen, Knight, Bishop, or Rook may be substituted) once it reaches the final rank of the chessboard.

For example, a player may add a second queen, or replace one lost earlier. Although the queen is generally the piece of choice, special circumstances may rarely call for a different piece (for example, if you wish to avoid stalemating your opponent upon promotion).

Pawn promotion is the driving force of the endgame in chess; when a pawn is 'queened' its owner will almost always gain a strong, if not decisive, upper hand in play.

Very, Very, VERY rarely, circumstances can be so special as to dwarf even the unusualness of promoting a pawn to anything other than a queen.

This actually happened to me once; unfortunately, it was when I was in high school (which, at the time of this writing, was about 23 years ago) and I don't remember what the special circumstances were[1]. What happened was, my opponent picked up his pawn, gave the board one last once over to make sure his plan was correct, then plunked the pawn down on the eighth rank and replaced it with one of my pieces! IIRC, it was a knight.

This wasn't in a tournament or a rated game, so we just had a laugh over whether it was technically legal or not (I still don't know[2]). But it was certainly an example of thinking outside the box.

[1] I may be totally making this up, but my only guess as to why this was an amazingly clever move is that it may have prevented a stalemate which would have been created if he promoted the pawn normally, by giving me a piece to move when I otherwise would have had none.

[2] December 22, 2002 Thanks to ariels' prodding, I went and looked it up. FIDE rule 5.6(d) states

On reaching the last rank, a pawn must immediately be exchanged, as part of the same move, for either a queen, a rook, a bishop, or a knight, of the same colour as the pawn, at the player's choice and without taking into account the other pieces still remaining on the chessboard.
and hence, the move was illegal. But according to rule 8.1, it's too late to do anything about it now :)

"Hurry up, the new episode of Fitzgerald and Cassidy is about to start."

"Cool, I read in TV Guide that they're getting transferred."

"Oh, yeah, I read in People that they are gonna be in a new super secret government department."

"I got the popcorn, let's get comfy."

"Men, I know you've heard a lot of rumors.
As usual, they are completely true.
You are both being transferred."

"No way, Captain, I've got twenty-five years in homicide. I ain't taking no damned transfer."

"I am afraid you have no choice.
This comes down from The White House.
A new division of this Homeland Security is starting up.
They want the two of you for it."

"The White House, Captain?"

"That's right, Cassidy.
The White House."

"What the hell kind of division they want two burned out homicide detectives for?"

"It is called the Division of Assholish Behavior.
It is very undercover and is not being made public."

"You've got to be fucking kidding, Captain."

"I am not kidding.
With war on the horizon the president and his staff have done some hard thinking.
They are worried about growing protests about the war effort.
I am told they want some tough as nails cops to bust some heads and sweep it under the rug."

"Captain, I was a teenager during Vietnam and I did my share of war protesting in college.
This kind of thing sound very wrong to me."

"Wrong, my ass, boy scout. It sounds to me like the time has come to Americanize the pansy-ass motherfuckers who don't realize what the president is doing is in our best interests. I'm all for it, Captain. I think this may be my calling."

Fitzgerald and Cassidy did not speak as they drove to an unmarked building that served as an undercover bunker for the more secret workings of the Department of Homeland Security. Cassidy's feelings were mixed. They always had been for a homicide detective with a lifetime membership in the American Civil Liberties Union. He had taken a vow to serve and protect and when he first joined the force he believed he could make a difference. He hoped to be amongst the first of a new breed of sensitive and caring police officers. He managed to be that, and to have an impact on some of the officers around him, even his partner, Fitzgerald. At the same time he came to realize he couldn't always be sensitive to people's concerns or problems. The law was the law and it was not to be trifled with. If you let one killer go because his life had been especially tough you would have to let them all go.

"This is a whole different ball of wax," Fitzgerald told Cassidy while reading his mind, a talent he had picked up after eating a contaminated brain on a case he worked while Cassidy was on vacation.

"This just doesn't feel right."

"Busting the heads of commie liberal bastards. This is like a dream come true for me, boy scout."

The temporary office of the Division of Assholish Behavior was in a decrepit warehouse on the edge of downtown. The song playing on the radio as they pulled in was one Cassidy knew the name of but Fitzgerald didn't. Fitzgerald might have guessed at who the song was recorded by, but he didn't have to guess. Luckily, Fitzgerald was able to read his partner's mind and ascertain the name of the song and the artist without asking.

They were to report to a retired high ranking CIA officer on the third floor of the warehouse. They were required to do a quick puzzle before using the elevator. It was a 250 piece puzzle and once the pieces were assembled they were able to drink in a lovely young lady in a red bikini. Both were pleased. It was the intended impact of the puzzle and it had worked wonders on the two homicide detectives. Their concerns about the Division of Assholish Behavior were swept from their minds and replaced with visions of beautiful girls in bikinis on a tropical beach.

"Gentlemen, I am Commander Abraham Lincoln."

"You don't have a beard or a stovepipe hat."

"I'm merely using this name as part of my cover.
Abraham Lincoln effectively suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War.
That makes him a personal hero of mine.
Cigars? They're Cuban."

"You can't smoke in a government building!"

"Sure we can, nancy boy. This is a top secret thing-a-ma-booby. Besides, these are Cubans. Top notch."

"We're different, boys.
We're above the law.
And besides, queer laws were meant to be ignored.
Now, if I may get onto business?"

"Okay by me, chief," Fitzgerald said after lighting his cigar.

Now, as you may know, the president has had most of the faggot hippies put into corrals when he speaks in public.
This is done so that the television crews only catch the cheering people.
This increases his popularity and the popularity of the war we are staging.
This has worked marvelously so far, and the president's approval ratings remain high.
However, some of the faggot hippies are starting to make some noise.
Our department is assigned to do everything possible to silence dissention amongst the masses.
This is a big country, so we're recruiting in cities and towns everywhere.
Pretty cool job, eh?"

"How many of these cigars you got, chief?"

It isn't like there is a real embargo or anything.
Help yourselves."

"A real embargo?"

"Government agent humor.
Don't worry about it if you don't get it.
You sure you don't want one, Casey?"

"No, and it is 'Cassidy.'"

"Names are throw aways in this business.
That's more government agency humor.
Laugh with me boys, this shit is funny."

"What do you need us to do? We're here, chief."

"Some of these faggot hippies are going to be protesting outside the Navy yard tomorrow.
A lot of sailors will be heading to the Gulf with their families waving them off.
It is a good photo op for the press and a good boost for war morale.
We need you to do whatever you can to drive them hippies off.
You are allowed to do anything outside of murder.
You remember the splash-back on those hippies that bought it at Kent State, don't you?
If you kill someone, make sure you hide the freakin' bodies.
You fellas cool with that?"

"You can't be serious.
This is so wrong."

"If you aren't with us, buddy boy, you are against us.
Don't make me have you locked up until all the shit blows over."

"I'll take care of Cassidy, chief. He's just a little sensitive and all. We'll take care of your hippie protester problems. Don't you worry about a thing."

"Fitzgerald, I can tell you boys are going to make us proud.
You will make us proud to be Americans."

"Cold as shit out here, Cassidy. What's up with that? Maybe them protester pussies won't show up."

"They'll show up. They've got more balls than we do. We're just going along with the program. What happened to our social conscience?"

"You lose that shit when you grow up and realize there is a real fucking world out there."

"This just seems so wrong."

"Grow up, boy scout. Remember what happened with Vietnam? We didn't support our boys and now our government knows we have to support our boys all the way. That's why they take such good care of veterans and the families of those who get killed in the line of duty. I don't know the stats, but I have a pretty good feeling it is better than the cops take care of us. This is a good gig, Cassidy."

"Here come your protesters. Let's just leave and say we didn't see them."

"Screw that, Nancy. I've got six canisters of tear gas and this really fancy new stun gun. Let's go scare the crap out of those faggots."


Any resemblance between people, events or things mentioned in this story and real life is purely coincidental.

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