If f2 and f7 are the weakest squares on the board, if the f-file the weakest file on the board? For example, other than attacking f2 and f7, is there a theoretical advantage in dominating the f-file?

  • 5
    What is a "weak file"? – RemcoGerlich Oct 18 '19 at 8:04
  • f2/f7 is only weakest at the start of the game (since only the king guards that square). There are no weak files as they are all closed. – Ywapom Oct 18 '19 at 16:20
  • It depends on your rating.If you rating is below 1500, every square is weak. – Randy Minder Oct 18 '19 at 19:53

The f2/f7 squares lose some significance after castling has occurred. The square is no longer protected by just the king - the rook now also protects it. But a f2/f7 pawn with a king on g1/g8 might be pinned by a bishop, which sometimes results in tactical opportunities.

Generally, you should attempt to control the center of the board. The f-file is not the center, but it is adjacent to the center. It might make sense to try to control the f-file if it is open or half-open (or if you plan to make it that way) but that's true of any open file.

If the file is not open or half-open, then it probably makes more sense to look at the individual squares rather than the file as a whole. If White has a pawn on e4, that pawn controls f5, but it also means that pawn can never control f4 (so f4 might be weak.)


I have heard that a million times, but in practice, unless you are really careless with your development, and your king gets stuck in the center, they rarely play a role right out of the opening. Later in the game, I have seen many games where f7 gets pounded on, and if you already happen to have the open f-file (f2 can also fall under attack, but it is less common), that is nice, but in a real game, it is usually a B on the a2-g8 diagonal with a rook or two on the 7th, and any other supporting pieces.

You have to also realize that only a few select openings really aim at f7. You can rule out all but a few k-pawn openings, in most cases.

In short, develop normally, and IF you see the opportunity to pressure f7/f2 naturally, and it makes sense, then go for it. I would not develop artificially trying to strive to make something out of that just because f2/f7 have been called the weakest squares.

There is no weakest file that I can see.


No such thing as a "weak file".

Different pieces move in different ways. Open files do allow rooks to come into the game however. So, in that sense, a weak file would be whatever is open and can be dominated by heavy pieces.

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