chess pawn

A pawn is advanced if it enters the opponent’s territory, i.e. reaches the fifth or higher rank.

Advanced pawns can be very powerful weapons that are often underestimated by inexperienced players.

Examples of Advanced Pawns in Play

AdPn-1First of all, we have to understand that the advanced pawn is not necessarily a passed pawn. In the first example, an advanced pawn is blocked by the opponent’s. So, it looks as though the g5 and h6 pawns are giving some space advantage to White, but it’s not such a big deal as to affect the result of the game, as an inexperienced player may think. There is one more important moment to take into account: the opponent’s h7 pawn that blocks White’s h6 advanced pawn is a potential weakness! If Black loses his h7 pawn, then White will gain a powerful h6 passed pawn that is almost a Queen! Black can’t accept an exchange of the h7 pawn for the other White pawn as the h6 passer again will win the game. So, the h7 pawn is a permanent headache for Black and needs huge attention.

AdPn-2Furthermore, the advanced pawn also creates tactical motives, as we see in the second example. White can sacrifice the bishop for the g6 pawn and then quickly promote the h6 passer.  So, there is not enough insurance in the blocking pawn structures (g6-h7 pawns) when there are advanced pawns at the board.

Playing Tips

  1. Advanced pawns are most dangerous in the endgames. They can suddenly become passers and slip away, while the opponent has limited pieces to take care of them.
  2. Advancing pawns is easy and fun, but don’t forget that the further they go, the weaker they may become. Always make sure that advanced pawn is well-protected.
  3. When using a strategy of creating advanced pawns, make sure that you have enough resources to attack the opponent’s pawns that will be blocking your advanced pawns.

You can view more strategies-in-action here on Chess Strategy: Pawn Power.

Chess Mentor

    Leave a Comment

    %d bloggers like this: