When it comes to learning how to play chess, many people initially think that the pawns are the most insignificant on the board. True, they can’t cross the entire board in one move like the Queen, nor can they leap over your opponent’s pieces like the Knight, but if you explore the rules of the pawn, you’ll find that it is actually quite a powerful piece.
The following are rules for the pawns in the game of chess. Knowing these rules better will help you to make the most of your pawns.
Basic Pawn rules:
The pawns are the most limited in their movement. Unlike the other pieces on the board, the pawn can only move in one directionâ€”forward. The exception to this is when he is capturing an opponent’s piece, in which case he moves to the space diagonally to the right.
If a pawn makes it all the way across the board without being captured, you can then transform your pawn into another queen (or rook, or bishop, or knight, but players almost always choose a queen.) If this is the case and your original queen is still on the board, you can turn a captured rook upside down. This universally signifies a queen.
Despite their limited mobility, pawns can be very useful in your game strategy. At any given time, a pawn controls two squares on the boardâ€”those to his diagonal. The following are some general strategic suggestions, although not official chess rules, that many chess masters adhere to when playing.
Don’t Double Your Pawns Up
Pawns that are “doubled ” are two pawns who end up one in front of the other. This typically only occurs when a pawn has captured an opponent’s piece. Doubled pawns are then limited in their mobility, making them weaker and less able to protect other pieces.
If you are playing against someone who has doubled pawns, keep in mind that this is a situation that is likely to remain throughout the game. So don’t be in a rush to get to these pawns. Once you have developed the bulk of your strategy and placed your pieces, you can then go about capturing weak pawns.
Don’t Isolate Pawns
While you don’t want to double your pawns one in front of the other, at the same time you don’t want to leave them isolated as well. Isolated pawns cannot protect other pieces. At the same time, they are more subject to capture themselves.
Keep Pawns Coordinated
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to keep your pawns coordinated and together. Basically, the pawns will decide who gets in and who gets out. Well coordinated pawns can open up avenues for bishops and rooks and can even be considered the foundation of the whole game. Isolated or doubled up pawns can weaken the whole playing structure.
Your Opponent’s Pawns
When dealing with your opponent’s pawns, keep in mind that the closer they get to your King and Queen, the more of a threat they become. Not only can they box you in (there are many instances in which a King was forced into checkmate by a pawn!), but you have the added threat of a pawn turning into a queen, should it make it to the end of the board.
The rules for pawns are somewhat complex, but knowing them can help you take advantage of your pawns.
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