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7 Basic Chess Rules About Pawn Structure Every Player Should Know!

Pawn structure plays important role in chess. When you go beyond Chess Rules. When you place your pawns you should be careful, such as isolated, doubled, or backward pawns, and holes, once created, are usually permanent. Care must therefore be taken to avoid them. We have to study a variety of pawn formations for all the openings.

Pawn structure plays a very important role in a chess game. This is also directly connected to your opening choice. Every opening has a different pawn structure. I would highly recommend you to study pawn structure before choosing your opening.

This article will find very important chess rules regarding pawn structure.

7 Basic Rules Regarding Pawn Structure

1- A pawn chain is important

A pawn chain is two or more diagonally linked pawns. Pawn chains are generally unbreakable. If you are able to set up a d4-e5-f6 pawn chain (from white) then most likely you will get an advantage in the game. Pawn chains co-ordinate the whole board. Understanding the pawn chain in a particular opening that you play is also a must. This also links to how well your pieces can coordinate in a game as the pieces can flow easily with a good pawn chain.

Because of a good pawn chain, many players prefer Advance Variation in French Defense or in Caro Kann’s defense.

2- Don’t push your pawns too much before developing pieces.

First, you should develop pieces properly and then should develop pawns. In opening If you pushed your paws too much then it can cost your result. A bad pawn structure creates many weaknesses. There is a famous principle do not hurry, That principle can be useful here.

If you didn’t find any good move, then just move your pawn one square. With this, at least you will not make any blunder.

3 – Grab opponent pawns whenever possible.

There are many gambit lines where you have 2 options to take and to not take. My suggestion will be to take pawn every time whenever possible. Because there are very rare chances that your opponent will play perfect moves and you will get nothing. When the opponent gives 1-2 pawns sacrifice, After this he has to play very accurately except in some cases. One of the best examples is the smith-morra gambit in Sicilian Defense. Every time you should take the c3 pawn in the Morra Gambit. We will discuss the mora gambit in a different article.

4- Don’t play gambit lines (For beginners)

A gambit in chess means the player gives sacrifice, mostly pawn sacrifice. Generally, Gambit lines are risky and you should not play such lines if you are a beginner. The major problem of playing the gambit line is, in opening only you become pawn down, and then if you play some move wrong or the player played some best moves then the position becomes equal and you simply become pawn down.

5- Keep your pawns on 6th rank

If you are able to keep your pawn on 6th rank then that pawn is equivalent to a piece. Generally try to cover squares like a6,c6,f6, and h6. 6th rank pawns can change position evaluation anytime. That’s why you see many top games in a blitz with 2nd or 3rd move h4 with a plan to h5 and h6.

6- Try to create passed pawns.

In chess, a passed pawn is a pawn with no opposing pawns to prevent it from advancing to the eighth rank. Creating passed pawns is one of the chess skills you have to develop. Passed pawns can be an advantage because only the opponent’s pieces can stop them from promoting. There is a very famous passed pawn example below.

White to play and win. Let us know the answers in the comment section

7- Try to grab the center with pawns

Center squares are very important. There are 4 center squares are on the chessboard which are e4, d4, e5, and d5. The player should try to grab the center square with pawns. Especially those who are beginner players, he should play 1 e4 or 1 d4. Generally, when you grab the center with your pawns the pieces can free flow in any direction we want.

To take control over center pawns, choose main lines from both sides. Sometimes, it is a good strategy to keep your position passive and give a center to your opponent. We see this strategy in openings like King’s Indian Defense, French Defense, Larsen Opening, etc.


A good opening selection is very important to make a good pawn structure. Usually, try to keep pawns supported and in the chain. Don’t create doubled pawns and also isolated pawns.

I feel the most important pawn structure in chess is the d4-e5 pawn chain. If you are an e4 player, then it is very important to study this. This structure arrives from many openings.

Also studying important pawn structures arriving from opening and going into endgames are also equally important.

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