~~~Tips of the Day~~~ (9)

The Power of the Pawn

Many in chess underestimate how powerful their pawns can be. Pawns are similar to the foot soldier in a war, while not as awe inspiring as the tank or the heavy artillery, the foot soldiers ultimately win the war. It is the same with pawns in chess also. One very rarely, and rarely know about moves by a pawn is called En Passant. This move can be used only when an opponent moves his pawn forward two squares on its initial movement. When this happens, the opposing player has the option to take the moved pawn "en passant" as if it had only moved one square. This option, though, only stays open for one move.

Allowing your pawns to move forward in small multiple groups can give you an edge as well. It is much more difficult for your opponent to defend against different approaching attacks than just one large one. If you are on a battlefield and have a limited number of troops, it is easier to defend when the enemy comes in one large group. It is much more difficult to try and defend against multiple fronts. This is the same in chess when the pawns are advancing into opposing territory.

Keep in mind that towards the end of many games all that is left is pawns, the king, and perhaps one of your primary pieces. At this point in time pawns become critical defenders and offensive pieces. Combine that with the ability to trade them in for a queen when you reach the 8th rank (other side of the board), pawns become all important. So do not allow your pawns to simply be thrown away as unimportant since they can help you a great deal in the end.


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