The pawn (♙, ♟) is the most numerous and weakest piece in the game of chess. It may move one vacant square directly forward, it may move two vacant squares directly forward on its first move, and it may capture one square diagonally forward. Each player begins a game with eight pawns, one on each square of their second rank . The white pawns start on a2 through h2; the black pawns start on a7 through h7.
Individual pawns are referred to by the file on which they stand. For example, one speaks of "White's f-pawn" or "Black's b-pawn". Alternatively, they can be referred to by the piece which stood on that file at the beginning of the game, e.g. "White's king bishop's pawn" or "Black's queen knight's pawn". It is also common to refer to a rook's pawn, meaning any pawn on the a- or h-files, a knight's pawn (on the b- or g-files), a bishop's pawn (on the c- or f-files), a queen's pawn (on the d-file), a king's pawn (on the e-file), and a central pawn (on the d- or e-files).
The pawn historically represents soldiers or infantry, or more particularly, armed peasants or pikemen. 
Each player begins the game with eight pawns placed along their second rank.
A pawn may move by vertically advancing to a vacant square ahead. The first time a pawn moves, it has the additional option of vertically advancing two squares, provided that both squares are vacant. Unlike other pieces, the pawn can only move forwards. In the second diagram, the pawn on c4 can move to c5; the pawn on e2 can move to either e3 or e4.
Example of regular capturing
Example of capturing en passant
Unlike other pieces, the pawn does not capture in the same way that it moves. A pawn captures by moving diagonally forward one square to the left or right (see diagram), either replacing an enemy piece on its square or capturing en passant .
An en passant capture can occur after a pawn makes a move of two squares and the square it passes over is attacked by an enemy pawn. The enemy pawn is entitled to capture the moved pawn "in passing" as if the latter had advanced only one square. The capturing pawn moves to the square over which the moved pawn passed (see diagram), and the moved pawn is removed from the board. The option to capture the moved pawn en passant must be exercised on the move immediately following the double-step pawn advance, or it is lost for the remainder of the game. The en passant capture is the only capture in chess in which the capturing piece does not replace the captured piece on the same square. 
A pawn that advances to its last rank is promoted to a queen, rook, bishop, or knight of the same color. The pawn is replaced by the new piece on the same move. The choice of promotion is not limited to pieces that have been captured; thus, a player could, in theory, have as many as nine queens, ten rooks, ten bishops, or ten knights on the board. Promotion to a queen is also known as queening and to any other piece as underpromotion. Underpromotion is most often to a knight, typically to execute a checkmate or a fork to gain a significant material advantage, among other reasons. Underpromotion to rook or bishop is used to avoid or induce stalemate or for humorous reasons.
While some chess sets include an extra queen of each color, most standard sets do not come with additional pieces, so the physical piece used to replace a promoted pawn on the board is usually one that was previously captured. In informal games, when the correct piece is not available, an additional queen is often indicated by inverting a previously captured rook or by placing two pawns on the same square. In tournament games, however, this is not acceptable; in the former case, it may result in the arbiter ruling that the upturned piece is in fact a rook. 
The pawn structure, the configuration of pawns on the chessboard, mostly determines the strategic flavor of a game. While other pieces can usually be moved to more favorable positions if they are temporarily badly placed, a poorly positioned pawn is limited in its movement and often cannot be so relocated.
Because pawns capture diagonally and can be blocked from moving straight forward, opposing pawns can become locked in diagonal pawn chains of two or more pawns of each color, where each player controls squares of one color. In the diagram, Black and White have locked their d- and e-pawns.
Here, White has a long-term space advantage. White will have an easier time than Black in finding good squares for their pieces, particularly with an eye to the kingside . Black, in contrast, suffers from a bad bishop on c8, which is prevented by the black pawns from finding a good square or helping out on the kingside. On the other hand, White's central pawns are somewhat overextended and vulnerable to attack. Black can undermine the white pawn chain with an immediate ...c5 and perhaps a later ...f6.
Pawns on adjacent files can support each other in attack and defense. A pawn which has no friendly pawns in adjacent files is an isolated pawn . The square in front of an isolated pawn may become an enduring weakness. Any piece placed directly in front not only blocks the advance of that pawn but also cannot be driven away by other pawns.
In the diagram, Black has an isolated pawn on d5. If all the pieces except the kings and pawns were removed, the weakness of that pawn might prove fatal to Black in the endgame. In the middlegame, however, Black has slightly more freedom of movement than White and may be able to trade off the isolated pawn before an endgame ensues.
A pawn which cannot be blocked or captured by enemy pawns in its advance to promotion is a passed pawn . In the diagram, White has a protected passed pawn on c5 and Black has an outside passed pawn on h5. Because endgames are often won by the player who can promote a pawn first, having a passed pawn in an endgame can be decisive – especially a protected passed pawn (a passed pawn that is protected by a pawn). In this vein, a pawn majority, a greater number of pawns belonging to one player on one side of the chessboard, is strategically important because it can often be converted into a passed pawn.
The diagrammed position might appear roughly equal, because each side has a king and three pawns, and the positions of the kings are about equal. In truth, White wins this endgame on the strength of the protected passed pawn, regardless which player moves first. The black king cannot be on both sides of the board at once – to defend the isolated h-pawn and to stop White's c-pawn from advancing to promotion. Thus White can capture the h-pawn and then win the game. 
After a capture with a pawn, a player may end up with two pawns on the same file , called doubled pawns . Doubled pawns are substantially weaker than pawns which are side by side, because they cannot defend each other, they usually cannot both be defended by adjacent pawns, and the front pawn blocks the advance of the back one. In the diagram, Black is playing at a strategic disadvantage due to the doubled c-pawns.
There are situations where doubled pawns confer some advantage, typically when the guarding of consecutive squares in a file by the pawns prevents an invasion by the opponent's pieces.
Pawns which are both doubled and isolated are typically a tangible weakness. A single piece or pawn in front of doubled isolated pawns blocks both of them, and cannot be easily dislodged. It is rare for a player to have three pawns in a file, i.e. tripled pawns.
In chess endgames with a bishop, a rook pawn may be the wrong rook pawn , depending on the square-color of the bishop. This causes some positions to be draws that would otherwise be wins.
The pawn has its origins in the oldest version of chess, chaturanga, and it is present in all other significant versions of the game as well. In chaturanga, this piece could move one square directly forward and could capture one square diagonally forward.
In medieval chess, as an attempt to make the pieces more interesting, each pawn was given the name of a commoner's occupation: 
The most famous example of this is found in the second book ever printed in the English language, The Game and Playe of the Chesse . Purportedly, this book, printed by William Caxton,  was viewed to be as much a political commentary on society as a chess book. 
The ability to move two spaces and the related ability to capture en passant were introduced in 15th-century Europe;  the en passant capture spread to various regions throughout its history. The en passant capture intends to prevent a pawn on its initial square from safely bypassing a square controlled by an enemy pawn. The rule for promotion has changed throughout its history.
The term pawn is derived from the Old French word paon, which comes from the Medieval Latin term for "foot soldier" and is cognate with peon . In most other languages, the word for pawn is similarly derived from paon, its Latin ancestor or some other word for foot soldier. In some languages the pawn is named after a term for "peasant" or "farmer", reflecting how the lower orders were conscripted as footsoldiers in wartime: Hungarian paraszt, Slovene kmet, German Bauer, Danish/Norwegian/Swedish bonde, Latvian bandinieks.  In Irish, the term fichillín, a diminutive of ficheall ("chess") is sometimes used, though the term "ceithearnach" ("foot soldier") is also used. In Thai the pawn is called เบี้ย (bîia), which signifies a cowrie shell or a coin of little value. In Turkish the pawn is called piyon, borrowed from the French word Pion in the 19th century.
Outside of the game of chess, "pawn" is often taken to mean "one who is manipulated to serve another's purpose".   Because the pawn is the weakest piece, it is often used metaphorically to indicate unimportance or outright disposability, only having utility in the ability to be controlled; for example, "She's only a pawn in their game."
|Arabic||ب بيدق / عسكري (baidaq / `askarī)||pawn / soldier|
|Azerbaijani||P Piyada||foot soldier|
|Armenian||Զ Զինվոր (Zinvor)||soldier|
|Belarusian (Taraškievica)||(Л) латнік||pawn|
|Bengali||B বোড়ে / সৈন্য (boṛe / śoinno)||Walker/Troop|
|Bulgarian||(П) пешка||foot soldier|
|Czech||(P) pěšec||foot soldier|
|Estonian ||(E) ettur||forwarder|
|Galician||(P) peón||foot soldier|
|Georgian||პ პაიკი (paiki)||pawn|
|German ||(B) Bauer||peasant / farmer|
|Greek||(Σ) πιόνι (pióni)||pawn|
|Hindi||(P) प्यादा (pyādā)||infantryman|
|Hebrew||רגלי (Regli)||foot soldier|
|Hungarian||(Gy) gyalog / paraszt||footman / peasant|
|Irish||(F)fichillín / ceithearnach||little chess piece / kern|
|Italian||(P) pedone||foot soldier|
|Japanese||(P) ポーン (pōn)|
|Kannada||ಪಾ ಪಾದಾತಿ (paadaati)||foot sodier|
|Kazakh||(П) пешка (peshka) / (С) сарбаз (sarbaz)||foot soldier / warrior|
|Korean||(P) 폰 (pon)|
|Latin||(P) pedes / pedo||foot soldier|
|Macedonian||P пешак / пион||infantryman / pawn|
|Malayalam||(P) കാലാള് / പടയാളി|
(kaalal / padayaali)
|Marathi||(P) प्यादे (pyāde)||foot soldier|
|Mongolian||(Х) хүү (hüü)||boy|
|Norwegian Bokmål||(B) bonde||peasant|
|Norwegian Nynorsk||(B) bonde||peasant|
|Odia||P ସୈନିକ (sôinikô)||soldier|
|Portuguese||(P) peão||foot soldier|
|Russian||(П) пешка (peshka)|
|Scottish Gaelic||(P) pàn||pawn|
|Serbo-Croatian||(П) пешак / пион (pešak / pion)||pedestrian / pawn|
|Northern Sotho||S Seitšhireletšo|
|Sicilian||(P) pidinu||foot soldier|
|Slovak||(P) pešiak||infantryman / pawn|
|Spanish||(P) peón||foot soldier|
|Tamil||(P) காலாள் / சிப்பாய் (kālāḷ / cippāy)||foot soldier / sepoy|
|Thai||(บ) เบี้ย (bīa)||menial|
|Turkish||(P) er / piyon||soldier / pawn|
|Ukrainian||(П) пішак / пішка (pishak / pishka)||foot soldier|
Unicode defines two codepoints for a pawn:
♙ U+2659 White Chess Pawn (HTML ♙)
♟ U+265F Black Chess Pawn (HTML ♟)
The pieces bear the names: Koenig, Dame, Turm, Laeufer, Springer, Bauer
Chess strategy is the aspect of chess play concerned with evaluation of chess positions and setting goals and long-term plans for future play. While evaluating a position strategically, a player must take into account such factors as the relative value of the pieces on the board, pawn structure, king safety, position of pieces, and control of key squares and groups of squares. Chess strategy is distinguished from chess tactics, which is the aspect of play concerned with the move-by-move setting up of threats and defenses. Some authors distinguish static strategic imbalances, which tend to persist for many moves, from dynamic imbalances, which are temporary. This distinction affects the immediacy with which a sought-after plan should take effect. Until players reach the skill level of "master", chess tactics tend to ultimately decide the outcomes of games more often than strategy. Many chess coaches thus emphasize the study of tactics as the most efficient way to improve one's results in serious chess play.
A chess piece, or chessman, is a game piece that is placed on a chessboard to play the game of chess. It can be either white or black, and it can be one of six types: king, queen, rook, bishop, knight, or pawn.
The knight is a piece in the game of chess, represented by a horse's head and neck. It moves two squares vertically and one square horizontally, or two squares horizontally and one square vertically, jumping over other pieces. Each player starts the game with two knights on the b- and g-files, each located between a rook and a bishop.
The rules of chess govern the play of the game of chess. Chess is a two-player abstract strategy board game. Each player controls sixteen pieces of six types on a chessboard. Each type of piece moves in a distinct way. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent's king. A game can end in various ways besides checkmate: a player can resign, and there are several ways a game can end in a draw.
In chess and other similar games, the endgame is the stage of the game when few pieces are left on the board.
This glossary of chess explains commonly used terms in chess, in alphabetical order. Some of these terms have their own pages, like fork and pin. For a list of unorthodox chess pieces, see Fairy chess piece; for a list of terms specific to chess problems, see Glossary of chess problems; for a list of named opening lines, see List of chess openings; for a list of chess-related games, see List of chess variants; for a list of terms general to board games, see Glossary of board games.
Checkmate is any game position in chess and other chess-like games in which a player's king is in check and there is no possible escape. Checkmating the opponent wins the game.
Makruk, or Thai chess, is a board game that is descended from the 6th-century Indian game of chaturanga or a close relative thereof, and is therefore related to chess. It is part of the family of chess variants. The word "ruk" in Thai is thought to derive from "rukh" which means "chariot" in the Persian language. The Persian traders came to the Ayutthaya kingdom around the 14th century to spread their culture and to trade with the Thai kingdom. It is therefore possible that the Siamese Makruk, in its present form, was directly derived from the Persian game of Shatranj via the cultural exchange between the two peoples in this period. This is because the movement of Makruk's queen, or the "seed", is essentially the same as the ferz in Shatranj.
In chess, a passed pawn is a pawn with no opposing pawns to prevent it from advancing to the eighth rank; i.e. there are no opposing pawns in front of it on either the same file or adjacent files. A passed pawn is sometimes colloquially called a passer. Passed pawns are advantageous because only the opponent's pieces can stop them from promoting.
In chess, an isolated pawn is a pawn that has no friendly pawn on an adjacent file. Isolated pawns are usually a weakness because they cannot be protected by other pawns. The square in front of the pawn may become a good outpost or otherwise a good square for the opponent to anchor pieces. Isolated pawns most often become weaker in the endgame, as there are fewer pieces available to protect the pawn.
In chess, promotion is the replacement of a pawn with a new piece when the pawn is moved to its last rank. The player replaces the pawn immediately with a queen, rook, bishop, or knight of the same color. The new piece does not have to be a previously captured piece. Promotion is mandatory; the pawn cannot remain as a pawn.
Hexagonal chess is a group of chess variants played on boards composed of hexagon cells. The best known is Gliński's variant, played on a symmetric 91-cell hexagonal board.
The opposite-colored bishops endgame is a chess endgame in which each side has a single bishop and the bishops reside on opposite-colored squares. Without other pieces besides pawns, these endings are widely known for their tendency to result in a draw. These are the most difficult endings in which to convert a small material advantage to a win. With additional pieces, the stronger side has more chances to win, but not as many as when bishops are on the same color.
In chess, an exchange or trade of chess pieces is a series of closely related moves, typically sequential, in which the two players capture each other's pieces. Any type of pieces except the kings may possibly be exchanged, i.e. captured in an exchange, although a king can capture an opponent's piece. Either the player of the white or the black pieces may make the first capture of the other player's piece in an exchange, followed by the other player capturing a piece of the first player, often referred to as a recapture. Commonly, the word "exchange" is used when the pieces exchanged are of the same type or of about equal value, which is an even exchange. According to chess tactics, a bishop and a knight are usually of about equal value. If the values of the pieces exchanged are not equal, then the player who captures the higher-valued piece can be said to be up the exchange or wins the exchange, while the opponent who captures the lower-valued piece is down the exchange or loses the exchange. Exchanges occur very frequently in chess, in almost every game and usually multiple times per game. Exchanges are often related to the tactics or strategy in a chess game, but often simply occur over the course of a game.
Omega Chess is a commercial chess variant designed and released in 1992 by Daniel MacDonald. The game is played on a 10×10 board with four extra squares, each added diagonally adjacent to the corner squares. The game is laid out like standard chess with the addition of a champion in each corner of the 10×10 board and a wizard in each new added corner square.
In chess, several checkmate patterns occur frequently enough to have acquired specific names in chess commentary. By definition, a checkmate pattern is a recognizable/particular/studied arrangements of pieces that delivers checkmate. The diagrams that follow show these checkmates with White checkmating Black.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to chess:
Triangular chess is a chess variant for two players invented by George R. Dekle Sr. in 1986. The game is played on a hexagon-shaped gameboard comprising 96 triangular cells. Each player commands a full set of chess pieces in addition to three extra pawns and a unicorn.
Chesquerque is a chess variant invented by George R. Dekle Sr. in 1986. The game is played on a board composed of four Alquerque boards combined into a square. Like Alquerque, pieces are positioned on points of intersection and make their moves along marked lines ; as such, the board comprises a 9×9 grid with 81 positions (points) that pieces can move to.
Falcon–hunter chess is a chess variant invented by Karl Schultz in 1943, employing the two fairy chess pieces falcon and hunter. The game takes several forms, including variations hunter chess and decimal falcon–hunter chess added in the 1950s.