In this guide, we will talk about the most important piece of action chess except for the king: about a pawn.
Weak pawns vs strong pawns
We will not go into details much, first of all, since almost all knowledge about this can be gained from chess manuals, but we will give a brief overview:
- Connected pawns are good
Both white and black pawns are located side by side (connected) and therefore can support each other. These are strong pawns.
- Isolated pawns are bad
Now the white pawns are not nearby and therefore cannot support each other. These are weak pawns.
- Doubled pawns are even worse
White pawns do not support each other, and at the same time, one of them does not even allow the other to move. These are very weak pawns.
- Why you should know all this nonsense is shown below:
In this position, Black just went on a6-pawn. Now, if White has read our brief overview, he must understand that taking this pawn with his b-pawn is a bad idea:
Having taken a pawn, White created two isolated pawns for himself. As stated above, such pawns are weak. See what happens next:
Four-way winning combination
The capture of the a6-pawn substituted the rest of the white pawns under the combination on the black side. Likely, exchanging pawns is not in your interests if after it you are left with isolated pawns.
- Pawn chains
You have a pawn chain if you have pawns connected diagonally:
Pawns in a pawn chain are often weak in action chess. In this position (only slightly changed compared to the position above) White can win a pawn at the end of the chain, attacking the previous pawn with his own:
If Black eats a pawn, White will be able to win the already unprotected e4-pawn:
If Black does not do this, White will still take her away with a one-time attack:
Pawns are an often overlooked but key element of real-time chess. Due to the time-based nature of this chess, in which multiple moves are allowed, pawns are significantly stronger than in regular chess. The fast pawn movement can be extremely difficult to stop, and often an expensive sacrifice is required from your opponent to prevent the transformation of one or more pawns.
A passed pawn is one that cannot be attacked or blocked by another pawn on the way to the transformation field.
(In this position, White sacrificed his dark-squared bishop to get two passed pawns. More information about this type of sacrifices can be found in the next guide).
Passing pawns are marked with red arrows.
The white pawns f4 and g5 are passed, as they cannot be eaten or stopped on the way to becoming a queen. Assuming that all the remaining pieces are exchanged equally, we come to the following position:
White now has a clear advantage, since their pawns practically support themselves and threaten to turn into a lack of sharp defensive actions on the part of blacks. White can immediately go f5, for example, threatening the black bishop, which must move, while the white king can freely enter f4. Ideally, Black would like to attack the white queenside pawns with his bishop, but the threats from the f and g pawns are enough to force the bishop to defend.
At first glance, White’s win seems to be a difficult task, despite a clear advantage. If White tries to push the pawn onto g6, then the only thing they achieve is to push the bishop back to e8. And White is obliged to go king to g5 to make sure that Black will not achieve blockade with Kf6:
White needs luck to win in that position. The only way White can increase the pressure is f6, after which Cg6 (the g-pawn moves forward to evade capture) and Kf7 guarantees Black at least a draw:
Note that if White goes to defend his pawn with Kf4, Black can play Ch7 and Kf6.
Thus, we can see that our furious attempt to force victory with the help of a pawn advantage would not lead to success. You should scroll through such scenarios during the game in advance, for example, while the white king moves to the field f4. Thinking ahead will save the party.
What is required in this position is a slight subtlety. White must play e5! - a sacrifice which wins the game:
In response to de and Kd6, White can play f6, g6, and Kf5, after which at least one white pawn must become a queen, and White must have enough time to eat the queen when he appears on e1 and wins.
If Black decides to simply exchange, White can take the king to e5. Then White wins by playing g6, forcing the black bishop to retreat further. Then White plays f6, forcing the black king to retreat, after which f7 wins the bishop, and the white king is the first to get to the black pawns of the queenside, trying to create a second passed pawn and winning.
Failure to accept the pawn sacrifice can be even more catastrophic, since White can continue the game further with three connected passed pawns, and they are guaranteed victory.
Thus, thanks to the passed pawns that White created by sacrificing the bishop for two pawns in the opening, they won the game. Whenever possible, try to create a secure passed pawn, this can be a decisive factor for winning the game. By creating a passed pawn, you create a potential queen.
Other Click-Storm Action Chess content is in the article below: