A pawn is the weakest piece in a game of chess.
Do you agree?
We do not. Pawns are very powerful if used correctly.
The Mighty Pawns have many superpowers like – En Passant, Pawn Promotion & more…
Today, we will learn about the En Passant rule in chess.
What is En Passant In Chess?
En Passant is a special pawn capture rule in chess; invented in the 15th century.
Meaning – In Passing (ɑ̃ paˈsɑ̃ in French)
In the early stages of chess, a pawn could only be moved one square ahead and capture diagonally. But, this approach was very time-consuming.
Due to which, En Passant, Pawn Promotion & the rule to move 2 squares on the first move was originally introduced.
How to do En Passant
Step 1. Capturing pawn on the 5th rank
First and foremost, your pawn should be on the 5th rank.
Note: The 5th rank (row) is measured from the original position of the pawns. As shown below,
White Pawn at the square c5, and Black Pawn at f4, are on the 5th rank from their original position (c2 & f7 respectively)
The capturing pawns are in the perfect place. NOW,
Step 2. The Captured pawn must move 2 squares (4th rank)
Your opponent’s pawn must move 2 squares forward (4th rank), landing next to your pawn.
That means, the first-ever move of the captured pawn, as pawns can only move two squares on their first turn.
Continuing the position from step 1,
Black just played his pawn from c7 to c5 (2 squares), which makes it the perfect opportunity for white to capture the black pawn using the en-passant capture rule.
NOW, it’s time for the final blow –
Step 3. Take It or Leave It
You have only 2 choices: Take It or Leave It.
When both of the above conditions are met, it’s time for you to decide whether to use en passant and capture your opponent pawn or leave it.
Here’s how it will look if you decide to take it:
The white pawn (which was on c5) captured the black pawn (which was on b5), using the en passant capture rule at b6.
Note: If you decide to leave it, you can’t capture that pawn afterward. However, it won’t forbid your right to use en passant rule in a different position in the same game.
The position of en passant is very common.
However, people are not aware of this special superpower of the pawns and continue to miss opportunities.
Next time, you play a chess game, look out carefully when you can use this special rule.