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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 ...


43

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. ...


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 ...


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 ...


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


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.


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 ...


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 ...


14

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 the two engines to play against each other, and the one that wins more often is the "correct" version that you keep. Of course as pointed out by other ...


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.


13

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 have not encountered this term before, it means moving your pieces from their starting squares so they can participate in the game) two knights, a bishop, and ...


12

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 have seen this referred to mostly as "two opposing pawns", but that is really just English rather than a specific chess term.


11

The official PDF of the FIDE Laws of Chess includes illustrations of the legal moves for each piece. These clearly show the white pawn moving "up" the file (including the two-square move from the starting rank), and the black pawn moving "down" (only one square, because it's shown away from the starting rank). Moving the pawn along a rank is explicitly ...


11

Another point which has not been raised by the excellent answers above is that pawns are easy to block. A pawn can be blocked by just one piece in front of it, and it cannot take the piece which blocks it. Contrast this with any other piece, which can take a piece which blocks its movement (barring other circumstances such as a pin). This property means that ...


9

The main ideas behind d4 serve several purposes. It threatens dxe5 winning material. It opens up your pieces, like the Bc1, in particular. It gains space since the trade on d4 leaves white with a pawn that is more central than black's d6 pawn. And probably most important, and this is typical of many double-king-pawn openings, and that is that it is easier ...


9

This is really not difficult. Brian gave you one example, but you could imagine many more. It is quite obvious that in order to achieve the "box" as given, white needs to capture 10 black pieces. Out of the 16 black pieces, all but the black king can help in achieving the box by letting themselves being captured. The black a and h pawns don't seem at ...


9

I am sorry to say that the answer is "no", there is no "easy way" to apply pressure and win a pawn in the opening, otherwise, at the top level of chess, the game would be won every time. That is what positional chess is about: You gradually improve your position until the opponent can no longer save all of the material. A theorem of chess is that you must ...


9

A beautiful, more recent, game between Svilder and Carlsen: [Title "Svidler - Carlsen, GRENKE Chess Classic, 2019"] [FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Bc4 Be7 5.d3 d6 6.Nd2 Nf6 7.Nf1 Nd7 8.Nd5 Nb6 9.Nxb6 axb6 10.c3 O-O 11.Ne3 Bg5 12.O-O Kh8 13.a3 f5 14.Nxf5 Bxc1 15.Rxc1 Bxf5 16.exf5 d5 17.Ba2 Rxf5 18.Qg4 Rf6 19.f4 exf4 20.Qg5 Qf8 21.Qxd5 Rd8 22.Qf3 Ne5 ...


9

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 are the main plans, which pawns are weaknesses, what squares work well as outposts for pieces, can the structure be changed as the game goes on, etc. Knowing ...


8

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's take this common opening structure from the Slav. In this equal position, black wanted in imbalance, and traded off the light-squared bishop, so in order to ...


8

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 of the opponent's pieces, rather than another pawn. In either case, it can't make any progress unless the pawn/piece blocking it somehow goes away, or unless ...


8

Preceding answers and comments make many good points. Why struggle for a single pawn? The simple answer is: Chess games are mostly won by material advantage! Generally being up a single pawn in an otherwise safe position is a clear advantage, often a winning advantage. In such a situation a GM analyst might say: And the rest is technique! Of course there are ...


7

It's possible to win a pawn in the opening, but because it is the opening (i.e. heavily analyzed), you can't do it by force. You can only do it if the other side lets you. The Two Knight's Defense with 4. Ng5 is effectively a pawn-up opening for White, although it's not obvious. You might want to take a look. [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/...


7

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 basic plans, and what you are striving for with your pieces and pawns, especially. This made a light go off in my head, and THIS is what made me a master.) “Pawn ...


7

The shortest explanation I can think of: if you play 1.e4 and 2.e5, presumably you want that pawn there for a reason. If you then immediately trade it off, you've lost whatever you were trying to achieve, like maybe space or central control. In the case with ...c5-c4 followed by b2-b3: again presumably you want that pawn to be there for some reason (...


7

My plan was to keep the Black rook on the 5th or 4th rank to cutoff the White king and advance the h and g pawns. But then what? Your plan is a bad one. The general rule in rook and pawn endgames is: Your king protects your pawns Your rook attacks your opponent's pawns You can add another one: Push your passed pawns As you can see your passed pawns are ...


6

To be frank, you hit the nail on the head: "White lost two moves to go to e5 only to be exchanged". After some explanation, in the last paragraph, I will give some basic lines as to why exchanging is probably best already. White is not developing, and since he cannot maintain the pawn on e5 easily, it is not good. That whole line starting with 2.e5 is also ...


6

Warning: I am only 1800 rated in lichess. I believe one reason for playing 3.d4 is that after the exchange on d4. White has a majority of pawns in the kingside which is one of the reasons to later mount an attack on the kingside. If Black tries to hold on to the square d5 with Nc6(Nd7), White can then play Bb5 putting under attack once again the d5 pawn. ...


6

The answer by @Brian Towers is both beautiful and true, but not always true. It is perhaps true if you think of every pawn as a potential queen. However, in endings, especially in Rook endings, the textbooks will tell you not to be drawn into passive defence but to keep your pieces active, and counterattack. That being said, you may not have the choice. ...


6

There's no real rule for how much do doubled pawns (or any other kind of weakness on the pawn structure) worse your position. There's not even a rule for piece value, specially if you'll add bonuses for things like centralized knights or the bishop pair. In general, doubled pawns in a minority or balanced side tend to be less important than in a majority (as ...


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