Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Every pawn is a potential Queen.
- Mason

A Passed Pawn increases in strength as the number of pieces on the board diminishes.
- Capablanca
Well, guess what? Pawns have been inspiring me recently. I think many chess players consider pawns expendable and don't give them much thought. The lowly pawn is a valuable piece in chess, but it is underappreciated. The pawn is the first line of tiny wooden/plastic/virtual chess pieces to go into metaphorical battle, and often the first piece sacrificed. But one little pawn advancing across the board can, with reference to the quotes I added above, redeem a lost piece of higher worth if it completes its journey. Pawns may be tiny and adorable, but they are stronger than we give them credit for. My playing has improved in light of my newfound veneration for the meek and humble pawn. Well, the pawn may be the "weakest and most abundant" chess piece (thanks, Wikipedia!) and his name may be derived from the word "peon," but skilled chess players understand that the pawn's movements can determine the game's trajectory from the very first move! Perhaps you are playing on a chess board in which some of the pawns have been lost, like a certain someone I know who uses correction fluid bottles in place of a few pawns who've gone astray somewhere and at some time unknown. Well, regardless of what you're using to play your chess, please, for the sake of your game, be mindful of the pawn.

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