Solo

A solo is a pawn that’s not being neighbored on the same rank by friendly pawns.
The e4-pawn is a pawn solo.

Duo

A duo is a set of two of friendly pawns next to each other.
The d4- and e4-pawns are a pawn duo.

Trio

A pawn trio is a set of three of friendly pawns next to one another.
The c4-, d4-, and e4-pawns are a pawn trio.

Quartet

A trio is a set of four of friendly pawns next to one another.
The c4-, d4-, e4-, and f4-pawns are a pawn trio.

Duel

A duel is when pawns can capture each other.
The d5- and e4-pawns are a pawn duel.

Flexible Duelist

A flexible duelist is a pawn that has more options than the pawn it is dueling; it can push, capture, or stay.
The e4-pawn can push, capture, or stay.

Inflexible Duelist

A inflexible duelist is a pawn that has fewer options than the pawn it is dueling; it can capture or stay.
The d5-pawn can capture or stay.

Head Pawn

A head pawn is the farthest advanced pawn one has.
The e5-pawn is white's head pawn.

Head Duo

A head duo is the farthest advanced set of two of friendly pawns next to each other.
The c4- and d4-pawns are white's head duo.

Head Duel

A head duel is when one side's farthest advanced pawn can capture another pawn.
The d5- and c4-pawns are a head duel.

Head Duo Duel

A head duo duel is when one side’s farthest advanced duo is part of a duel.
The d5-, c5-, and d4-pawns are a head duo duel.

Potential Duelist

A potential duelist is a pawn that allows the creation of a distant duel.
The g6-pawn is a potential duelist because it allows the creation of an h5-g6 pawn duel.
White has created a favorable duel.

Weak Square

A weak square cannot be defended by pawns and is located within one’s third and fourth ranks.
The d6-, c6-, and a6-squares are black's weak squares.
The h3-, c3-, c4-, a3-, and a4-squares are white's weak squares.

Space

Space is the total amount one controls with his pawns and pieces. The advancement of pawns creates weak squares but also space.
White has 14 weak squares but black cannot exploit them. White has a significant space advantage.
White's advanced pawns give him control on the kingside and in the center.

Outpost

An outpost is a square in the opponent's territory that is weak, is defended by a friendly pawn, and can be occupied by a piece.
Black's last move, 11...e5 created a white outpost on d5. The idea was to prevent white from playing e5, getting space and creating a threat but black must play with accuracy or white will exploit the outpost.
Black did not play with accuracy. White has a strong outposted knight, thus he has a significant advantage.

Outpost Offshoots

An semi-outpost is a square in one's own territory that cannot be attacked by enemy pawns, is defended by a friendly pawn, and can be occupied by a piece.
Black's f5-knight occupies a semi-outpost. White's d6-rook occupies an outpost.

A quasi-outpost is a square in the opponent's territory that is weak and can be occupied by a piece.
Black's c4-knight occupies a quasi-outpost.

An pseudo-outpost is a square in the opponent's territory that isn't weak but whose defense would create weak squares.
White's d5-knight is a pseudo-outpost because black can attack it with ...e6 but that would weaken the d6-square.

Blockade

A blockade is when a piece blocks a pawn from advancing.
The g5-queen is blockading the g5-pawn, the e5-knight is blockading the e4-pawn, and the d3-bishop is blockading the d4-pawn.

Weak Pawns


Isolated Pawn

An isolated pawn is one with no friendly pawns on adjacent files.
White played 1.c4 because he was worried about black's kingside pawn storm. After 1...d-captures-c4 black has the advantage because white's isolated d4-pawn is a long-term vulnerability.
Black is in complete control; the isolated d4-pawn is blockaded and can be threatened.

An unsheltered isolated pawn is one with no enemy pawn in front it.
White's unsheltered isolated d4-pawn can be attacked vertically.

A sheltered isolated pawn is one with an enemy pawn in front it.
White's sheltered isolated e3-pawn is safe from vertical attacks.

An isolated pawn can offer compensation in the form of space.
White's pieces are placed well; his knights are on pseudo-outposts and his rooks are on deep, open files.
White's pieces are placed well: his knight is on a pseudo-outpost and his c3-rook has options on the third rank.

Backward Pawn

A backward pawn is one that cannot be defended by friendly pawns because its advance is impeded.
Black cannot advance the backward d6-pawn because white controls the d5-square.
White will win the backward d6-pawn.

An unsheltered backward pawn is one with no enemy pawn in front it.
Black's unsheltered backward e6-pawn can be attacked vertically. It cannot advance because white will win the d5-pawn.

A sheltered backward pawn is one with an enemy pawn in front it.
The backward pawns are sheltered and cannot be attacked vertically.
The backward pawns are being attacked laterally and diagonally.

A backward pawn can offer compensation in the form of space.
Black has created a backward d6-pawn.
The backward d6-pawn gives black central control and a good c8-bishop.
Black has space in the center and on the queenside; black has a significant advantage.

Overextended Pawn

An overextended pawn is one that is difficult to defend because it is close to the enemy's forces.
White's e4- and f4-pawn duo looks healthy but black will attack it.
24...Knight-e6 Black threatens the f-pawn. 25.f5 Knight-d4 Black threatens the f-pawn. 26.f6 g-captures-f6 27.e-captures-f6 White's f-pawn is overextended and vulnerable.
White resigned.

Overextended pawns make targets and potential duels.
White's g4-, f5-, and d5-pawns are overextended.
Black has used white's overextended pawns to create an semi-open file against white's isolated h-pawn. White's f5- and d5-pawns are overextended.

Pawns that are well protected are not overextended.
Black's d4- and c3-pawns are well protected.

There is a difference between a strong pawn and an overextended pawn.
Identification can be difficult in some situations.
If 29.Knight-d3 e-captures-f5 30.g-captures-f5 Knight-c6 black has an advantage because he is blockading the passed c5-pawn and he has a queenside majority.

29.c6 White threatens c7 with the double threat of c8=Queen and c-captures-b8=Queen 29...King-d6 30.f-captures-e6 White threatens e7 ...King-captures-e7 c7 31...Knight-captures-c6 32.Knight-captures-c6 King-captures-c6 Is white's e6-pawn strong or overextended?
After 32.e4 d-captures-e4 33.d5-check white's pawns are strong because they cannot be captured. If King-captures-d5 then e7 wins.
The pawns are strong; black resigned.