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En passant

  • Last updated on 2/9/14, 11:12 AM.

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En passant (from French: "in passing") is a maneuver in chess which is performed after a player moves a pawn two squares forward from its starting position, and an opposing pawn captures it as if it had only moved one square. En passant may only be played immediately after a two-square square pawn advance, or the right to capture "in passing" is lost.

After pawns were granted the ability to move two squares on their first move, the En passant rule was introduced in 1490 to prevent pawns from having too much power or freedom.

Here is an example:

 In the second diagram, White can NOT capture en passant:

White can not take here though:
En passant captures are use in chess composition. Many Retrograde analysis problems utilize this fancy captures.
 
Black could only have moved c7-c5 last move, allowing 1.bxc6 e.p.# 

Comments


  • 7 years ago · Quote · #1

    AlecKeen

    This is a throwback to the period before the pawns were allowed to move 2 squares forward on the first move. Before then pawns could only move one square forward at any time, resulting in many boring defensive matches. The 2-square move was introduced to encourage more positive play and quicker development of the pieces. However, some of the more attacking players felt that their opponents were using the move to dodge being captured by the forceful player, already on the 5th rank while the slowcoaches were still on their starting square. Consequently, the en passant rule was introduced to ensure that attacking play did not grow unrewarded when defenders used the 2-square move for a purely defensive purpose. It is analogous to the rule that prevents castling across squares under attack by an opposition piece. 
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #2

    Trickster

    I think its sort of a Quirky move! no offence!
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #3

    sk8erkid

    kool
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #4

    chrisse23

    If I had a penny for every time I got done by this when I first started playing online... I'd have about 8p.

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #5

    K3bool

    it's the first time i hear about it ...i see it but i've not recognized it

     

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #6

    cioly

    i did quite many times...i like it its quite funny:))) especially when the other player doesn't take this move as a possibility
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #7

    bosco

    I once managed to capture 3 pawns with this rule. Its soo cool!
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #8

    Darth_Rabidus

    i have never seen this move before... i will have to use it against a friend of mine... he wont know what hit him!
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #9

    archerfish123

    I've just been caught out by it!! Never again!!!
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #10

    Rael

     

    How do you enter the move into Chess.com? 


  • 7 years ago · Quote · #11

    7thllSpirit

    this En passant move cost me a winnning game in a tournament..CryCry

    i saw this move when i play chess in my Phone..but thought it is some bug in the software...

    never seen it when played agaist other players...waaai...Yell

    after my game & knowing the rule, I thought of shooting the one who introduced this rule..hehe 


  • 7 years ago · Quote · #12

    Jimmyjoke

    I just accuesd someone for using a illgeal download doing this move on me. opps!!!!
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #13

    mercytononeZ

    thats really cool!!

     

     

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #14

    babatee

    one is always able to use this towards the end of the game and its always @ winning advantage.
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #15

    shadowslayer

    thanks for the example otherwise I would be lost
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #16

    NotKasparov

    I was playing my friend in chess on a cell phone, and I was going to win easily by using en passant - but the phone's chess program didn't allow this!  I won anyway, but it was much harder.
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #17

    14yearold

    not many people know this rule. 4 out of 5 times when i used this move my opponent said that i was cheating lol.
  • 7 years ago · Quote · #18

    ednorton

       You might think of en passant in this way.

       When foot soldiers actually did battle, they attacked diagonally upon their foe. Hence the diagonal pawn capture. In a real battle, a soldier moving forward would always run the the risk of being attacked by another soldier. You couldn't just run by magically. The opponent might let you by...but you never knew. En passant is similar to this analogy. A pawns optional 2 square first move is like trying to run by an opponent. You might get by...you might not.


  • 7 years ago · Quote · #19

    dvwork

    The option to use this is really an advantage in endgame scenarios.  If you are using it early on, it is likely not really to your advantage, to prevent some opposing situation because you lost the tempo, or you aren't playing chess, because the tendency in openings and even early middlegame is that this will leave you with a weakened pawn structure but an advanced pawn that you will have to throw away or find a way to defend.  I may be wrong but this has been my experience.  You don't see it used all that often in master+ games.
  • 6 years ago · Quote · #20

    Davidmingming

    Why did the second diagram say 1/2 1/2, it is not a draw.
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