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Passing on en passant?

  • #1

    After an unsuccessful search online, I'm hoping to receive some insight from the Chess.com community on when it might be advisable to pass on a potential en passant capture. In a recent game, I was faced with the scenario shown in the diagram below. After Black played c5, I had a potential en passant capture with dxc6:

    I believed my opponent was strong enough not to have overlooked this, and so began to consider potential traps which might come as a result of accepting it.

    This "paranoia" mindset initially led me to prefer the move d6, foregoing the en passant and keeping my central pawns linked, with potential support from both rooks. After further consideration, I decided the material gain of the en passant came at very little risk and should be taken advantage of, since we seemed to be approaching an endgame where the extra pawn might be very significant.

    I'd appreciate any thoughts on whether or not I may have overlooked a positional advantage for a material one in this position. Also, if anyone has example games where a potential en passant was forfeited for the sake of structural or positional advantages, it would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  • #2

    Your pawn will be much more difficult to protect in that position. He would most likely be able to gain it back. I would imagine that pushing your already passed pawn would be better than taking it e.p. You could later play Rd5 to attack the pawn and prepare to double up your rooks to protect your passed pawn.

  • #3
    KnightShifter wrote:

    Your pawn will be much more difficult to protect in that position. He would most likely be able to gain it back...

    This was my initial feeling as well, and may have been the right one (still undecided, I guess). However, it seems like any attempt to attack my passed C pawn with his rooks would weaken his defense of his own pawns, and result in a sort of "pawn attrition" where I would have the advantage (note that I was already up a pawn prior to the en passant).

    As a sidenote, there was also a psychological aspect to my choice in that I didn't want to avoid what seemed to be a good move solely out of a "fear of the unknown". I figured if it was in fact a blunder to accept the en passant, I should play it anyway to understand why and learn from the mistake, rather than wonder about "what might have happened..."

  • #4

    He would get the pawn back if u played it, he just did that for you to waste time.

  • #5

    I would suggest b3 to lock his c pawn.

    Possible continuation would be 1. b3  g4 2.Bxg4  Nxe4 3.Be7  Re8 4.d6  Nd7 5.Ra5, Rd1 etc to attack both a pawn and the c pawn.


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