What is the correct verb to convey the meaning of expelling or removal of a chess piece, which is done by your opponent's action; i.e. when he or she moves one of his pieces to a square where one of your pieces is located?

closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, user240918, Skooba, Dan Bron, Scott Mar 7 '18 at 1:39

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs to chess.stackexchange.com – user240918 Mar 4 '18 at 11:43
  • @user5768790 it's a perfectly acceptable English language question, otherwise, why did you answer it in the first place? This question would be closed immediately on SE Chess for lack of research. – Mari-Lou A Mar 4 '18 at 15:33
  • @Mari-LouA - I answered because I misunderstood. Only those who play and are close to chess/checkers circles can tell you if capture or take is more commonly used. That’s what OP ultimately wants to know. It is sort of jargon usage OP is looking for. – user240918 Mar 4 '18 at 16:34
  • I aways considered chess to be a rather silent game... @user5768790 I'm sure the rules of chess are online, accessible to all, and the term for kidnapping an opponent's piece is used. General reference might be a better reason for closing the question. Might... not saying it is. – Mari-Lou A Mar 4 '18 at 16:40

A common alternative to capture (suggested by user5768790) for the expelling or removing from the board of an opponent's piece is take:

  • Why does white not take on e5 in the Kings Indian Defense?
  • The white queen can move to one of the marked squares, or take one of the black rooks.
  • The bishop can take any other piece on the board that is within its bounds of movement.
  • When a pawn does not take, it moves one square straight forward.
  • Any source for that? Is that more informal than "capture"? – deLock Mar 4 '18 at 8:00
  • @deLock. The sentences above are from a Google search on "chess + take". Take is both more common and more informal than capture. "Chess + 'captures on'": 652.000 results - "Chess + 'takes on'": 31.800.000 results. I have played chess for many years and I don't think I have ever used the verb capture in discussions with my opponent after the game. It's always something like: Why didn't you take the knight? I should have taken the pawn when I had the chance. – Shoe Mar 4 '18 at 8:21
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    I’d say that “capture” is the term you’ll most likely find in books and sites which discuss chess rules. Take is commonly used by players as a more informal term. – user240918 Mar 4 '18 at 8:40

The term is capture:

A move by a pawn or piece that removes from the board the opponent’s pawn or piece. The capturing piece then occupies the square of the captured piece (except in the case of a capture that is done en passant).



Like most pieces, the rook cannot jump over other pieces. However, it can land on a square occupied by an opponent’s piece, removing that piece from the board. This is known as capturing a piece. All pieces are capable of capturing in this manner.

In the diagram above, the rook can move to any of the squares marked with a dot. It can also capture the black bishop on g4 by moving to that square. It may not move onto or through the squares occupied by the white pawns.

enter image description here


  • Can "capture" be used in other games with pieces and squares (other than chess)? Or would "take" be more common? – deLock Mar 4 '18 at 8:01
  • @deLock - it is used also in Checkers for instance: A piece making a capturing move (a jump) leaps over one of the opponent's pieces, landing in a straight diagonal line on the other side. Only one piece may be captured in a single jump; however, multiple jumps are allowed during a single turn. thespruce.com/play-checkers-using-standard-rules-409287 – user240918 Mar 4 '18 at 8:21
  • @deLock - one of the meanings of to take is to capture. That’s why it is used in chess, checkers and other similar games, you may ask also here to have a more spot on answer. chess.stackexchange.com/questions/8667/… – user240918 Mar 4 '18 at 8:33

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