The Game of Chess: Pawns and Their Related Terms

The pawns of a chess game are often referred to as the “front-line” soldiers which can be killed off easily. Pawns are there for one reason only – to initially protect the key players of the game. They can be moved in one direction, and one direction only – forward.

The first move of your pawn can be one or two squares forward, however, the remainder of the moves can only be one square forward each.

Before you deem your pawns as unimportant, read below to learn how pawns work throughout a game and the common terms that are associated with pawns.

Exchanging Your Pawns

Pawns can be crucial to your strategy because they often go unnoticed by your opponent. While he is focusing on your “more” important pieces, your pawn can advance to Queen status before you know it! How can this be done? The pawn can be exchanged for another piece when it reaches the opponent’s far end of the board without being killed. This is a mighty accomplishment for such a small piece, but it can result in a great victory. Just in case you weren’t aware, you can have two queens on the chessboard at once.

Moving your Pawns Forward

Pawns are often moved forward to open a doorway for a possible attack, or to step up to the defense of another piece. Also, a pawn movement may provide an area for a bishop to move diagonally.

Important Terms Often Used with Pawns

1. Backward Pawn: Occurs when a pawn is left behind of the other pawns and will no longer have protection. This one’s on its own.

2. Pawn Island: Occurs when a group of pawns are connected.

3. Pawn Lever: Occurs when two pawns (opposing) are in a position where they can capture each other.

4. Pawn Storm: Occurs when pawns lead an attack.

5. Pawn Chain: Occurs when two or more pawns of the same player are connected diagonally.

6. Promotion: Occurs when a pawn reaches the final rank, and may be promoted to any piece other than the King or another pawn.

7. Pawn Center: Occurs when pawns reach the center.

8. Blockaded Pawn: A pawn that has been blocked by an enemy’s pawn that was placed directly in front of it.

9. Passed Pawn: A pawn that has victoriously passed all of the opposing pawns without being captured.

10. Isolated Pawn: A pawn that is not guarded on either side, with plenty of free space, but no protection!

11. Doubled Pawn: Occurs when two of a player’s pawns are lined up after a capture.

12. Unfree Pawn: Occurs when your pawn has a companion by its side.

Having a good knowledge of how to use pawns to your advantage is definitely not a waste of time. Pawns can be used in more ways than one, even if they can only be moved in one direction. By Candice Pardue.

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