# What is a pawn hook?

On my question (Why is 11. .. h6 such a bad move?) someone commented that I should read about the concepts of hooks. One definition that I found was:

A hook is an advanced pawn which can be exploited by the opponent to open lines. (https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/one-small-step/)

I found more examples on the internet that did not explain the concept clearly to me. Do you have further explanations and examples for this concept?

• Here's GM Naroditsky answering this exact question literally hours after you asked it: youtu.be/Gti01VN0zXA?t=1848 Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 8:35

Here's a position from one of my games. I'm playing White versus a master:

``````[FEN "r2qk1nr/pp2bp2/2p1p2p/3pPnp1/1P6/P1N2N2/2P2PPP/R1BQR1K1 b kq - 0 11"]
[White "D M"]

1... g4
``````

This position isn't great for me, but his pawn storm really isn't all that strong. But imagine if I had a pawn on h3 instead of h2.

``````[FEN "r2qk1nr/pp2bp2/2p1p2p/3pPnp1/1P6/P1N2N1P/2P2PP1/R1BQR1K1 b kq - 0 1"]
[White "D M"]

1... h5 2. Nd2 g4 *
``````

Now I've got the choice of playing hxg4 or letting him play gxh3. Either way, my king is going to be significantly more exposed than it was in the actual game. But because I didn't have that hook for him to grab, the pawn storm came to nothing and the game was eventually drawn.

Your troubles might stem from the fact that all pawns are hookable, loosely speaking.

I thus define strictly operational: A pawn hook is a pawn in a position that allows the opponent to advance an own pawn, and open a file for its rooks by a capture.

Now consider D.M.'s two positions and the h hook exploited by storming with the g pawn. As soon as the hook "grabs", the opponent has three options:

• Capture
• Be captured