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Pawns are the first line of defense. If you have seen war movie then you will know that these guys are the first ones to fight. Pawns have the lowest points among all the chessmen - 1 point. Due to the fact that it is weak, many beginners don’t bother about losing pawns. But once they(you make them) realize the potential of a pawn, they fight hard not to lose a single one of them!

Name: Pawn ♙

Points: 1

Pawn moves one step forward. As the diagram shown below, pawn usually goes one step forward. But when it is in the initial square, it has a provision to move two squares. One can use this or not depends on the players’ decision.

Pawn movement

Why do pawn gets to move two squares in the beginning?

A kid asked me the question. Well, I had no idea why it was so, Maybe there isn’t a reason why they move so. I had to make a story which is quite believable.

Pawn is actually a soldier. They are very enthusiastic in the beginning. If you have seen a war on a movie or something you will know. They run towards their enemy and they slow down once they get close enough!

That was convenient. Isn’t it?

Also as shown in the diagram, pawn can only capture sideways with one square of effectiveness. The Pawn on g5 can either take the Knight or the Rook.

Blocking a pawn

A Pawn can be easily blocked by placing a pawn or a piece in front of it. This way you are stopping a Pawn from any advancement. A Pawn blocked this way can only be freed by removing the blockade or by capturing another pawn or a piece.

One if the most important points about pawn is its potential to get promoted. That makes an advanced pawn very dangerous. In the end game usually the plan is to promote a pawn to a Queen to win the game.

Read Pawn Promotion.



This concept has helped me get the answer for why do pawns get promoted? question.


Sharath is a full-time chess coach, part-time web designer and a hobby blogger. He posts his chess articles on KidsChessWorld