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55

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 administrative questions. Where cases are not precisely regulated by an Article of the Laws, it should be possible to reach a correct decision by studying ...


42

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 a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. Exactly the same principle applies in chess. ...


34

White to move: [FEN "8/q1P1k3/8/8/8/8/6PP/7K w - - 0 1"] Since my example is rather contrived and artificial, I'll also say that the so-called Lasker trap in the Albin Countergambit gives a more realistic setting, and one where a knight promotion is the best option as early as move 7: [FEN ""] 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.e3 $2 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 dxe3! 6.Bxb4 $4 ...


32

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 "Glucksberg-Miguel Najdorf, Warsaw Poland, 1929, The Polish Immortal"] [FEN ""] 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e6 4.Nf3 d5 5.e3 c6 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.O-O O-O 8.Ne2 Nbd7 9....


29

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 more decisive plan? In the games that you are watching, if they are between capable and well-matched players, very often the game will be quite well balanced with ...


24

I have some partial statistics for the question, from the Million Base 1.74 database, a collection of 1742057 games. 77218 of these games (4.4%) feature at least one promotion. I counted 49970 promotions for white (54% of all promotions) and 42519 for black (46%). Here are the destination square statistics (meaning there is no track of the actual initial ...


23

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 the new piece has to have the same colour as the promoted pawn. FIDE's laws of chess, Article 3.7 e: When a pawn reaches the rank furthest from its starting ...


23

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 e6 11. dxe6 Na6 12. b4 Nc5 13. bxc5 Qd5 14. c4 Bd6 15. cxd6 Rf8 16. cxd5 Rh8 17. d4


22

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 Qf6 4. Qe2 e4# Same theme for all of them, really.


22

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 of the same colour. The player’s choice is not restricted to pieces that have been captured previously. This exchange of a pawn for another piece is called ‘...


20

During round 9 of the Istanbul 2012 Chess Olympiads, at the Nakamura-Kramnik table of the USA vs Russia match, we've witnessed another one of those promotions to knight at move 62 by white. The relevant position (white to play): [fen "8/2P1k3/8/8/5p2/5KbB/3pp3/3N4 w - - 1 62"] 1. c8=N+ (1. Kxe2? f3+ 2. Kxf3 Bxc7) We can see here that if 62. Kxe2 then ...


20

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 17.f3 Rg5 18.f4 Rf5 19.gxf5 Na6 20.d4 More moves can be added to reach the exact position with no other pieces other than kings.


19

Here's a preliminary answer to where such a belief about chess pawns could possibly have come from. In the Japanese variant Shogi, in which an opponent's captured pieces may be placed onto the board as one's own, it is not legal to place down a pawn that gives immediate checkmate. It's still perfectly legal to drop a pawn that gives check though (and to ...


18

From Wikipedia: Allowing the en passant capture is one of the last major rule changes in European chess that occurred between 1200 and 1600, together with the introduction of the two-square first move for pawns, castling, and the unlimited range for queens and bishops (Davidson 1949:14,16,57). Spanish master Ruy López de Segura gives the rule in his 1561 ...


18

After answering this question, I was reminded of another important situation where underpromotion is necessary: [FEN "8/8/8/8/8/2K5/1p5R/2k5 b - - 0 1"] 1... b1=N+! (1... b1=Q 2. Rh1++) In this position, 1...b1=N+ is the only move to draw. Any other move will allow a quick mate, but after knighting the pawn, black sets up a drawing fortress. While ...


18

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 explicitly defined but it is implicitly defined by 3.7.5.1 which beings with the following quote: "When a player, having the move, plays a pawn to the rank ...


17

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


17

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 (e.g. Black can then go ...Ne7-f5). Black could also take advantage of the weak c4 and d5 squares with ...Na5 and ...Bc6. Keeping the pawn on e4 seems better. ...


16

In the original form of the game from which chess probably derived, chaturanga, there was no piece named "Queen". The Queen of modern chess probably derived from a piece named "General": in the beginning this piece could move 1 square only diagonally, then its movenemt became more and more similar to the modern Queen. But there's more: in chaturanga there ...


15

A pawn break is a pawn move designed to free the player's position. Generally speaking, a pawn move is only called a pawn break when the moving pawn is on a file adjacent to two enemy pawns facing each other, and the pawn moves forward to the same rank as the player's other pawn. Since a picture is worth a thousand words... White can play either 1. c3 or ...


14

It's a mistake to view the pawns themselves as overextended targets that you might get to "pick off" as you say in your post. After all, Black's main objective with the pawn storm is probably to open up lines to attack your king, and so your snapping up such overextended pawns really only furthers Black's goal. As already pointed out in comments in this ...


14

I believe the en passant rule is designed to cope with the fact that pawns do not move backwards, hence if the en passant rule did not exists you could have a lot of blocked positions, making play slower and probably more drawish. Differently from pawns, pieces can move backwards, so the black Knight in your example still has the possibility to move ...


14

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 will trade one of the pe5's defenders, and it will need constant watching. It is not a big deal that you will be trading the Bc8 on f3 since white already traded on c6 ...


14

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. My understanding is that "front" is defined by the piece's colour, not it's rotational orientation. This is consistent with the definition of "last rank" in ...


13

I have never heard this before... A pawn can check and also mate. http://chess.about.com/od/tipsforbeginners/ss/BasicCheckmates_7.htm http://www.chess.com/forum/view/game-showcase/beutiful-pawn-mate http://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/solid-pawn-mate


13

According to Wikipedia: "...it is a pawn that is behind a pawn of the same colour on an adjacent file and that cannot be advanced without loss of material, usually the backward pawn itself. In the diagram, the black pawn on the c6-square is backward." "Pieces can become weak when they are devoted to protecting a backward pawn, since their obligation to ...


13

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 some luft for the king, that is, avoid once and for all the back rank threats. [FEN "r5k1/5ppp/8/8/8/8/5PPP/1R4K1 w - - 0 1"] In this position, neither rook ...


13

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 e5 6. f4 e4 7. Nf3 exf3 8. e4 f5 9. e5 Qg5 10. Nc3 a5 11. Ne4 fxe4 12. c4 a4 13. Qb3 axb3 14. a4 b5 15. a5 d5 16. c5 Bd6 17. cxd6 c5 18. Ra4 c4 19. d4 Na6 20. ...


13

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, and so forth. Only the board has these.


12

Let's assume that white is the side with the two knights, and black has the single pawn. The endgame study composer A. A. Troitzky gave an analysis (in a lengthy supplement to his 1937 Collection of Chess Studies) that established what is now known as the "Troitzky line": So long as a white knight has the black pawn securely blockaded on one of these ...


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