Chess Move: How The Pieces Move and Capture

Picture yourself playing a tough chess game and your opponent is threatening to promote a pawn. When should you capture this pawn? For most of us the answer would probably be to capture it as soon as possible, or when it is convenient for us. Typically a player will capture that pawn quickly to eliminate the threat that it presents by being able to be promoted. If the pawn has a few moves to go before it can be promoted a lot of players will wait until they are in a good defensive position before going after that pawn. What if both of these tactics are mistakes though?

Often times a better option to capture that promoting pawn is to wait until after it has promoted. This means that you take it the very next move, after it promotes. You must eventually capture the promoting piece, but doing so too early may cost you a win or, at worst, a draw. Most chess players face a promoting piece late in the end game where pieces and moves are extremely valuable. The end game situation makes it even more critical that you plan ahead and that you do not hurt yourself in capturing that promoting piece. Of course, do not wait to capture the promoting piece if your opponent is threatening to block your capture.

Instead of capturing the promoting piece too soon, try to gain tempo in the game so that you have your opponent forced into a more defensive stance. A tempo advantage often wins games. Tempo is when you are a move ahead of your opponent and you are able to threaten your opponent due to your solid defense. Being too hasty in reacting to your opponent‘s advances can be very destructive.

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