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  • How The Pieces Move >> Pawns         Knights     Bishops     Rooks     Archbishops     Chancellors     Queens     Kings


    Pawns are probably mentioned most often in the real world, both inside and outside of chess circles.
    While equated with the lowest value for all of the pieces in the game of chess, their movements take quite a few steps to explain.
    In general, Pawns move irreversibly forward. That is to say, they cannot move backwards, ever.
    When not making captures, they can only move to unoccupied squares, and cannot "jump" over any pieces.
    When they are on their starting squares, as the pawns on squares d2/d7 in the animation demonstrate, they may move one or two spaces forward on their first move.
    Beyond the first move, all pawns move only one square forward on any turn. They may also move just once on their first turn, again shown in the animation above.
     
    Pawn Captures         Knights     Bishops     Rooks     Archbishops     Chancellors     Queens     Kings


    Pawns capture by moving diagonally left or right, always one square forward of its present square.
    The animation above shows white making the capture dxe5 after black moved his Pawn to that square. Black recpatures with his Chancellor.
    As you can see, white responded to this recapture by threatening to capture the black Chancellor with a Pawn of his own.
    For this reason, the black Chancellor retreated away from the attack (and, yes, I know, there was a stronger move on the board. This is just an example for those learning the game).
     
    The Dreaded "en passant" Rule         Knights     Bishops     Rooks     Archbishops     Chancellors     Queens     Kings


    Of all the rules in standard chess, the real groaner is the en passant capture rule.
    First of all, it was invented by the people of France, thus the French-sounding name.
    And if you have ever been an American visiting Paris and experienced the rudeness of a French waiter first hand, you know the French are annoying. Anyway...
    The rule was designed to prevent one pawn from "bypassing" or escaping the capture threat that an advancing enemy pawn exudes over the board, potentially gridlocking the pawn structure and restricting the mobility of the pieces.
    For this reason, the French decided this "act of cowardice" should not be permitted to go unscathed. If any pawn moves twice on its first move and passes over a square that the enemy could have captured with its own advanced pawn, the side to move may evoke an en passant capture.
    It is much easier to see this in the animation than explain it in words. Intuitively, treat the bypassing pawn as if it moved only one square forward, and execute the capture if you so desire.
    But... remember the French were behind this rule so they found a way to make it even more annoying... The capture can only be made on your turn immediately. In other words, the en passant capture is only legal for one move.
     
    Pawn Promotion         Knights     Bishops     Rooks     Archbishops     Chancellors     Queens     Kings


    Once a Pawn completes the arduous task of traversing the board to the other side, it gets a reward. It can become any other piece on the board, except the King.
    In almost all cases, you would want to promote the Pawn to a Queen. There are, however, some exceptions to this guideline.
    See the animations below for some of these interesting exceptions, most of which would only occur in severe time pressure during blitz games.
     
    Case 1: The Queen Stalemates         Knights     Bishops     Rooks     Archbishops     Chancellors     Queens     Kings


    In close quarters, promoting the Pawn to a Queen can result in a stalemate, if the Queen is a "Knight's move" away from the enemy King.
    In Trice's Chess, promoting to a Chancellor will at least give the necessary check to prevent the stalemate, and it's pretty easy to win that endgame.
     
    Case 2: The Archbishop Checkmates         Knights     Bishops     Rooks     Archbishops     Chancellors     Queens     Kings


    The Archbishop is the piece that most chess players "get caught" misevaluating or under-estimating. It can create some sneaky checkmates, as shown here.
     
    Case 3: The Chancellor Forks         Knights     Bishops     Rooks     Archbishops     Chancellors     Queens     Kings


    Once in a blue moon a newcomer will fall asleep and overlook the Rook-checking component of the Chancellor underpromotion when the new piece is a Knight's move away from their own Queen.
    When this rare case presents itself, it might take a while for your opponent to pick his jaw up from the floor. Give him time.
    This concludes the descriptions of how Pawns Move. To see how the other pieces move, access any Menu Item shown in red in the title bars above.
     
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