There are eight pawns situated on each side of the board. They are the least powerful piece on the chess board, but have the potential to become equal to the most powerful. Pawns cannot move backward or sideways, but must move straight ahead unless they are taking another piece.
Generally, pawns move only one square at a time. The exception is the first time a pawn is moved it may move forward two squares as long as there are no obstructing pieces. A pawn cannot take a piece directly in front of her but only one at a forward angle. In the diagram, the green dots show where the pawn may move, and the red dots show where the pawn may capture a piece. In the case of a capture the pawn replaces the captured piece and the captured piece is removed from play.
Should a pawn get all the way across the board to reach the opponent's edge of the table, it will be promoted. The pawn may now become any piece that the moving player desires (except a king or pawn). Thus a player may end up having more than one queen on the board. Under normal circumstances a player will want to promote his pawn to be a queen since that piece is the most powerful and flexible. The new piece is placed where the pawn ended its movement. If there is no queen piece available an inverted rook will do or any other token, even a wadded up piece of paper!
There is a separate rule regarding pawns called en passant that will be described separately.
|Rooks on the Chess Board|