Chess Tips: The Pawn

Today’s chess tip is about those pieces that we sometimes overlook in a real chess game, thinking they don’t matter as much as other pieces do. Yes, we are talking about pawns.

Pawns are the pieces with less value in chess or at least that is what everyone teaches us at the beginning of our career, and that is why some people do not give the importance that they deserve, therefore, they move their pawns without thinking too much, weakening more the position and losing some of them and the game eventually.

Philidor once said:
“Pawns are the soul of chess”

If someone like Philidor, one of the best chess players in the past, said such an important thing about pawns, we should think that pawns are more important than we thought. Today I will not go deep into the whole theory that you must know about pawns but I will give you some advice that you can apply in your games to get a better position (or at least not to deteriorate it). Today’s chess tip is: think twice before playing a pawn move.

This ‘rule’ can also be expressed as: every pawn move creates a weakness. A truth about pawns that you already know is that pawns can’t go back if you decide to move a pawn, you have decided to go down a dead-end road, after that there is no chance to regrets. Although this is known, many players do not seem to fully understand well this fact.

We should think of your pawns as our bones. In our bodies, they are the base of muscles, veins, and more. In chess, they are the base to the activity of our pieces.

We can analyze through these two examples how some pawns moves are good to open lines to our pieces, and others are simply bad because they weak our position. We can get one conclusion from this: activity compensates weaknesses. Indeed, that is applied to some openings:

That’s why evaluate a pawn move might be hard in some situations, will that move bring more activity to our position or will that move weak more our position? Every position is different, therefore, only you will have the final decision. What is evident is that you must think twice before playing pawns moves.

To end, I would like to give three positions where you can train your ability to decide whether a pawn move is good or not, hope you enjoy them.

If you have any questions or anecdotes on this topic, you can leave us your comment, or contact us to go deeper with one of our coaches.

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