Lethal Pawns

As you may have read in a recent article by kurtgodden on the value of chess pieces ("Is the queen worth 9.94 pawns?") pawns are usually regarded as the most expendable infantry. Most of us are also aware that in endgames, pawns usually decide the game by promoting. 

In this blog I would like to give the pawn some credit for its abilities beyond promoting. This is because in my experience, a succesful attack is usually based on the groundwork done by these little beasts.

The game below, which I recently played on live chess, is a good example of both the good and bad that pawns can bring. Both parties create a weakness in their position by pushing pawns (d5 and d4 are weak - White fails to occupy d5, but black gets a good piece to d4 eventually)

The game is then also essentially decided by a pawn capture (20. ..dxe4). Though white could and should have prevented it, it is still an example of how powerfull pawns can be in opening up the position and getting the attack started. The reverse is also true: they are the best defenders against enemy piece intrusion!

Because of this, I dedicate the game below to the mighty pawn!




  • 6 years ago


    There's no denying that there's a team effort going on. In the game above the pawn capture was decisive because it opened up lines of attack for all my pieces while disrupting the pieces of the enemy.

    Still I think it is nice that one pawn move (even if it doesn't directly capture a queen or promotes) can change the evaluation of a game completely.

  • 6 years ago


    Well, the pawn my be awesome and all, but its success relies on a team effort. Even in end games its the king that multiplies the value of the passed pawn.

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