Can Pawns Go Backwards in Chess? (Explained!)

The movement of the chess pieces is an essential aspect of learning chess. While you are studying this, a question pops into your head.
Are pawns able to move backward in Chess? Pawns cannot move backward during chess. According to the standard rules of chess, pawns can only move one or two squares forward.

Only on the first move can pawns be moved two spaces forward. Pawns can only move one square in front during the rest of the game.

They move in the opposite direction to capture any piece. The only piece of chess that captures differently is the pawn.

Can pawns be used to kill each other in chess?

Pawns cannot kill in reverse in chess. Pawns cannot capture any chess pieces that are one square diagonally in either the left or right directions.

Even if a chess piece is in front of a pawn, it doesn’t stop it from moving. It retains its right to capture a piece diagonally in front of it.

Let’s look at an illustration to see how the pawn captures.

It’s the turn of the white to move. As you can see, the white pawn can capture the black knight (present in its diagonally right corner).

The white pawn on the right can also capture the black one (presented diagonally right in the image), even though the black knight is blocked in front.

Both situations allow you to capture the pieces.

But, capturing these pieces in the backward direction would have made it illegal.

After all this, you might wonder why pawns cannot capture pieces backward.

Let’s talk about that!

Why can’t pawns be moved backward?

Wikipedia states that chess was first developed in the 7th Century AD. Its earliest form, chaturanga, is also available.

Chaturanga was also chaturanga, where the pawn moved forward.
Therefore, pawns cannot move backward. The pawns moved forward in the past. The same tradition was continued after the rules of chess became standard. The pawns cannot move backward.

Two special moves of the pawn are also available that I would like to share with my readers. One is called en passant, and the other is pawn promo.

Let’s get started!

What is En Passant?

En passant refers to a particular form of pawn capture in which one pawn takes control of the adjacent enemy pawn and moves two squares away from its original position.

The above image shows that the white pawn takes the black pawn’s position and moves two squares away from its starting position.

French for “in passing,” En passant means “en passant.”

Note that pawns could not move 2 squares forward from the beginning.

Later in the game, the ability for the pawns to move two steps ahead was added.

This created a problem. The new rule allows the pawns in their starting position to escape the attack by the adjacent enemy pawn (by moving two spaces from their starting positions).

To prevent this, the en passant capture rules were created along with the law that allows pawns to move two squares in the first move.

This is how the En passant made a unique move for a pawn.

This might seem confusing, especially for those new to the subject. But don’t worry!

You can find a detailed article about what is an en passant in Chess here.

What is Pawn Promotion?

According to the standard rules of chess, if a pawn has reached the farthest square of the 8th rank, the player may promote it to a queen, bishop, knight, or even a rook.

This is also known as pawn promotions.

The above image shows that once the white pawn has reached the last rank, it can be promoted to a queen, knight, or rook.

After you have promoted the pawn, it is taken off the chessboard and replaced with the newly promoted piece.

A pawn cannot be promoted to a King or kept as a Pawn. It would help if you upgraded your pawn once you were encouraged.


Here are some key points to remember

In chess, pawns will never move backward.
When they capture, pawns cannot move diagonally and only do so in the forward direction.
Pawns can’t jump over other pieces like a knight.
Pawns can move either two-step (only on a first move) or one in chess.
That’s it! We hope you have understood everything and that your doubts have been cleared.

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