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57 votes
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Is rotating a pawn so that it faces a different direction and then moves in that direction technically permitted according to the 2018 FIDE Laws?

This sort of thing is what the Preface of the Laws of Chess is for: PREFACE The Laws of Chess cannot cover all possible situations that may arise during a game, nor can they regulate all ...
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51 votes
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Why struggle for a single pawn?

As the old poem says: For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of the rider the message was lost. For want of ...
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33 votes
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Games where a pawn checkmates the king

One amazing game I know that ends in a pawn mate in one called The Polish Immortal in which Black sacrifices all four minor pieces to win the game! The pawn does a double-step to give the mate. [Title ...
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33 votes

Why struggle for a single pawn?

I'm not at all disagreeing with the existing answers - both sound. Indeed every pawn is a potential queen. However, one aspect of the question remaining is: why struggle for a pawn as opposed to a ...
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  • 531
30 votes

Are pawns pieces?

I think a "piece" in the chess context is typically shorthand for the more specific terms of a "minor piece" (Knights and bishops) or a "major piece" (Rooks and Queens). ...
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28 votes
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How did a pawn appear out of thin air in “P @ e2” after queen capture?

You were playing the chess variant called Crazyhouse. In this variant you can place pieces you captured, as one of your color anywhere on the board, instead of a normal move. I don't know the software ...
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  • 1,144
23 votes

Pawn Promotion Endgame Problem-White to move and mate in 1

It's probably a trick problem with a promotion to a black knight. Such promotions to the wrong colour are not allowed, and never were. In the official rules it is now specifically pointed out that ...
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23 votes

Can a pawn that performed an en passant capture promote at all?

From FIDE rules (3.7 e): When a pawn reaches the rank furthest from its starting position it must be exchanged as part of the same move on the same square for a new queen, rook, bishop or knight ...
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23 votes
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Is the "Pawn Box" possible in standard chess?

As @BrianTowers showed, it can be done. Here’s a shorter proof game for the fun of it. [FEN ""] 1. h4 g5 2. hxg5 f5 3. g4 Nf6 4. gxf6 d6 5. gxf5 Be6 6. f4 Bb3 7. axb3 c5 8. e4 c4 9. bxc4 d5 10. cxd5 ...
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23 votes

Would there be more decisive games if we began to see stalemates as checkmates? And hence more "interesting" chess?

Absolutely not. Making stalemate a win would be a sure way to make for less interesting chess. Any rule change which makes it easier to convert a small material advantage to a win, will ipso facto ...
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  • 3,236
22 votes

What is the shortest number of moves from the starting position required for Black to mate White with a pawn?

4 moves, as far as I can tell. [FEN ""] 1. e3 e5 2. Ke2 Qh4 3. Kf3 d6 4. Qe2 e4# Another one: [FEN ""] 1. d3 d5 2. Kd2 e5 3. Kc3 Be6 4. Qd2 d4# And one more: [FEN ""] 1. e3 e5 2. Ke2 d5 3. Kd3 ...
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  • 3,622
20 votes

Is rotating a pawn so that it faces a different direction and then moves in that direction technically permitted according to the 2018 FIDE Laws?

There is no loophole. Rules 3.7.1 to 3.7.4 allow pawns to move forwards along the same file, or diagonally forwards onto an adjacent file. The only argument here seems to be that "forwards" is not ...
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20 votes

Is the "Pawn Box" possible in standard chess?

Here is one simple solution: [fen ""] 1.c4 d5 2.cxd5 e6 3.dxe6 f6 4.g4 g6 5.g5 Ne7 6.gxf6 Nd5 7.e4 Nc3 8.bxc3 Qd4 9.cxd4 b5 10.d5 b4 11.a3 c6 12.axb4 c5 13.bxc5 Bd6 14.cxd6 g5 15.h3 g4 16.hxg4 Rg8 ...
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20 votes
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What is the the idea behind this popular double pawn sacrifice line In the Evans Gambit?

The problem with 7... dxc3 is that White quickly regains both pawns. r1bqk1nr/pppp1ppp/2n5/2b5/2BpP3/2P2N2/P4PPP/RNBQ1RK1 b KQkq - 1 7 [StartFlipped "0"] 7... dxc3 8. Bxf7 Kxf7 9. Qd5 Kf8 ...
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  • 3,924
18 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 ...
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  • 1,166
17 votes
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The chess.com engine didn’t show a checkmate

As White's previous move was pawn on h2 to h4 then pawn g4xh3 is a legal en passant capture. For more info - see Rule 3.7.d of the laws of chess
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17 votes
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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 (...
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  • 186
16 votes
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What is the maximum number of passed pawns in a position?

EDIT: record is now 20.0 moves! (See below.) If we like pawns undoubled... [title "16 non-doubled passed pawns in 21.0 moves"] [fen ""] [startply "42"] 1. g4 h5 2. g5 Rh6 3. gxh6 g5 4. h4 g4 5. b4 ...
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  • 9,408
15 votes
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Pushing the e-pawn

I disagree that it is primarily about development. This is a very common theme, and it comes down to the fact that e5 is not easily defended by a pawn (aka "artificially isolated"). Bg4 soon ...
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  • 31.9k
15 votes
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What should be the value change if pawns are doubled?

Start with whatever and tune it. That's how chess engine programming works - you start with some number, and then tune it. For example you start with -5, then create another version with -10. You get ...
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  • 21.7k
15 votes

Would there be more decisive games if we began to see stalemates as checkmates? And hence more "interesting" chess?

The game would definitely become way less interesting, as many endgames that offer a chance to keep fighting would become hopeless. There would be more games that end in a win (so yes, more decisive ...
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  • 13.1k
14 votes

Is rotating a pawn so that it faces a different direction and then moves in that direction technically permitted according to the 2018 FIDE Laws?

This is a good question, as much as some may be instinctively frustrated by it, because finding room for improvement in rulesets is useful and can prevent future issues where arbitration is required. ...
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  • 141
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 ...
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13 votes
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What are the motivations behind pawn moves on a and h files?

The question is extremely open, as these pawns may be moved for many reasons depending on the position you are facing. In a general sketch, you may consider five kind of a and h pawn moves: To create ...
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13 votes

Pushing the e-pawn

e5 does nothing for you and helps your opponent. Why? First, it does nothing for your development. Much better would be d3 which releases the c1 bishop and protects the e pawn. If your opponent plays ...
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  • 75.7k
13 votes

Is rotating a pawn so that it faces a different direction and then moves in that direction technically permitted according to the 2018 FIDE Laws?

No matter how a chess piece is shaped, FIDE rules do not define "front" or any other direction relative to the orientation of the piece. Chess pieces do not have a front, rear, direction of advance, ...
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13 votes
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Would there be more decisive games if we began to see stalemates as checkmates? And hence more "interesting" chess?

There are already many good answers here that address your question from a hypothetical point of view. I want to add to this discussion some empirical data coming from AI chess, based on the arXiv ...
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  • 544
12 votes
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Pawn confrontations: capture, push past, or leave the tension?

This is too complex to have straight principles. Of course there are some patterns that you are going to recognize during your improvement and there are also easy things. I'm going to mention a few at ...
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  • 1,052
12 votes

Was the value of thorn pawns fully appreciated in decades past?

I had never heard the term, but such pawns are very important for their contribution to certain mating patterns, the most famous of which would be Damiano's mate, which was included in Damiano's 1512 ...
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  • 10.2k
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 ...
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