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33 votes

Can a pawn move 2 spaces if doing so would cause en passant mate?

Can a pawn move 2 spaces if doing so would cause en passant mate? Of course! There are no rules which forbid blundering mate in 1, even forced mate in one.
Brian Towers's user avatar
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23 votes

Can a pawn move 2 spaces if doing so would cause en passant mate?

Yes - Magnus Carlsen did exactly this in a game against Jon Ludwig Hammer. You can see the game: www.chess.com/game/live/66685869281 According to GothamChess' analysis at www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
pierrecurie's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Why is c4 a better move in this position?

White intends to play c5, which will gain space on the queenside and severely cramp black's position (The b6 knight has no good square). On the other hand, e5 weakens white's control over d5 and f5 (...
hdueru4's user avatar
  • 186
17 votes
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What is a pawn hook?

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 ...
D M's user avatar
  • 19.7k
17 votes

Why are side pawns better than center pawns in this position?

Chess strategy is complex and has several ingredients mingling at the same time. It is true that 3 c3 helps white mantaining two center pawns if black decides for a c:d4 pawn exchange. But black isn't ...
Andrea Mori's user avatar
  • 1,184
14 votes
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What is the "stonewall formation"?

Black usually reaches the Stonewall formation from the Dutch Defense (though QGD is an option as well, if he/she postpones Nf6) and involves putting pawns on c6, d5, e6 and f5. These pawns guarantee a ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
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14 votes
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Quintuple pawns / Interesting pawn structures

According to Tim Krabbé, Kovacs - Barth, Balatonbereny 1994 was the game with the longest living quadrupled pawns (23 moves). That would imply that he (an authority when it comes to chess records) ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 24.9k
14 votes
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Why is e5 the strongest move here for white?

You've given some good, very long-term reasons not to play e5. But in this position, dynamic considerations outweigh these long-term reasons. Look again at the position: you have developed (if you ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 27.9k
13 votes
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How to proceed in this endgame position?

This is a very common kind of endgame, where you have a pawn majority on one side and fight against a single pawn in the center. Winning this is not difficult, but let's first look at your game... ...
user1583209's user avatar
  • 20.8k
12 votes

Quintuple pawns / Interesting pawn structures

Wikipedia mentions Alekhine-Nenarokov 1907 and van der Wiel-Hort 1981 as two (and by no means the only) games with quadrupled pawns. I can find no mention of quintupled pawns.
dfan's user avatar
  • 14.7k
12 votes

What is it called when opposite colored pawns up against each other?

With the exception of Hans Kmoch's attempt to give it a name, which never caught on (I have never seen anyone else use it anywhere), they really do not have a name that I have even seen. I probably ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.6k
11 votes

How to quickly calculate two pawns facing two pawns

Since this is happenning so early in the game, the best idea is probably not to get involved in deep calculations, but rather to get some knowledge about the pawn structures that could arise from ...
David's user avatar
  • 16.3k
10 votes

Understanding the Tarrasch defence to the Queen's gambit

What is the idea behind 4... c5? Basically the same ideas as behind playing c4 in the Queen's gambit: challenging the center, potentially exchanging the c-pawn for a valuable central pawn, ...
user1583209's user avatar
  • 20.8k
10 votes
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Why isn't Bird's Opening at least as popular as the Dutch Defence?

A good opening for Black seldom is a great choice for White even with a tempo up. Grandmaster Alex Yermolinsky discusses reasons for this in his book "The Road to Chess Improvement". One of the main ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 16.4k
10 votes

Why is two pawns defending a outpost regarded as a strong outpost?

An outpost guarded by two pawns is stronger for two reasons. First, if the piece is guarded by two pawns, that means it is not possible for the opponent to win a pawn by attacking it with pieces. If a ...
D M's user avatar
  • 19.7k
9 votes
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How do I decide what color squares to place my pawns on?

This is a very complicated subject since there are a lot of other factors that come into play so I will give some examples, but there are no general rules that apply in all circumstances. First, let'...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.6k
9 votes

How to proceed with the book "Pawn Structure Chess" by Andrew Soltis?

I'm not familiar with the book itself, but for learning pawn structures it isn't important to memorize every single thing. The key is to understand the general ideas behind each structure. E.g.: what ...
Inertial Ignorance's user avatar
9 votes
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Pawn storm, should I start with h4 or g4?

Typically you use a pawn storm to exchange pawns around the castled enemy king and thereby to open lines and diagonals for an attack. Most of the time you want a closed (to some extent) center in ...
user1583209's user avatar
  • 20.8k
8 votes
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What is it called when opposite colored pawns up against each other?

I think what you're asking about is referred to as a "blocked pawn". There is another question here that asks basically the same question, except in reverse... A pawn can also be blocked by another ...
patbarron's user avatar
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8 votes
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Positional chess understanding in the early game

The main point of the engine recommending exd5 is because it opens up the diagonal from c8 to h3. By playing an early e6, the bad light squared bishop is really weak and has terrible scope, which is ...
dinosauce33's user avatar
7 votes

Best books on middlegame strategy?

The two books by John Watson about strategy. These themes are considered from a historical viewpoint usually in contrast to the way they are presented in textbooks. Even if you find a favorite ...
MichalRyszardWojcik's user avatar
7 votes

Why does the computer want to undermine this pawn chain at the tip instead of at its root?

You would like an answer that does not "go into deep variations", but if all such questions could be answered just on general principles, chess would not be as interesting as it is. In this particular ...
Philip Roe's user avatar
  • 8,633
7 votes

How can I improve my knowledge of pawn structure theory?

The old classical book by Hans Kmoch, Pawn Power in Chess is almost entiely devoted to this subject. It is often used as a reference because of its numerous useful examples, but also mocked for the ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 16.4k
7 votes
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Understanding The Isolani Pawn

To answer your first question, in these structures, white has more space and because of that, he can put his pieces in more advanced positions. Black's king is usually on the kingside in these ...
Houdineo's user avatar
  • 309
7 votes

Defensive strategy relying on a wall of pawns

I would say that type of formation leaves a lot of weak squares, as enemy pieces can occupy pretty much any dark square they want (mainly b4, d4, f4, h4) and start an attack from there with help from ...
David's user avatar
  • 16.3k
7 votes
Accepted

What are good resources to use to learn how to best use pawns and pawn structures?

A lot of chess is “what pawn break am I looking for, and how do I accomplish it?” These answer that in depth. “Complete Chess Strategy” volumes 1,2 and 3 by Ludek Pachman. (This teaches about many ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.6k
7 votes

How to proceed in this endgame position?

I think you should avoid taking on e3, even though it is objectively winning, this gives your opponent a passed pawn on e-file and exposes your f3-pawn (which is a big headache for white), this ...
Akavall's user avatar
  • 6,506
7 votes
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Does this pawn structure arising from the Caro-Kann Advance Variation have a name?

In "Chess Structures A Grandmaster Guide" by Mauricio Flores Rios he calls this structure "French Type III" Most of the examples keep the c-pawns on for a while, but there is one ...
Michael West's user avatar
  • 5,196
6 votes
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Why does White play 13. f3 and not 13. f4 in the Modern Benoni, Classical Line?

I played this position many times with white and f3 is really good move here. It is not only about what white wants, but also about what black wants. You have more space and so you can choose easier ...
hoacin's user avatar
  • 3,286
6 votes
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Pawn structure books

I would take a look at The Art of the Middle Game by Keres and Kotov. It is the only book I know of which devotes serious attention to pawn structure in a way that goes beyond opening development. If ...
Dennis's user avatar
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