Chess Tactics in Middle Game: Power of the Passed Pawn

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In our article on planning your chess strategy and chess tactics during the middle and end games, you learned that the techniques for using pawns to the best advantage should be part of the chess tactics in your arsenal. The creation of a protected passed pawn is one of the most important among such tactics.

Though the opportunity of creating passed pawn(s) is more during the endgame, you will be able to identify such possibility and the chess tactics to create such passed pawn(s) even during middle game as you gain in experience. Going through games of chess masters where such tactics were successfully employed will be a great help to you in seeing and exploiting such situations. You have already seen an example in Chess tactics: vision to combination

The potential power of a protected passed pawn is so great that such masters have resorted to piece sacrifice and/or exchange sacrifice just to create such passed pawn(s). In this process, many of such games have earned a place in the hall of fame for brilliant chess games and the move that started the combination became a justifiable contender for the best moves ever played in chess history.

Of course, a single move does not win a game but only sets up the process that leads to victory. Creating a passed pawn gives only a good start. How you nurture it and utilize its promotion threat to bring down the opponent constitute the essential chess tactics that bring you the reward.

In the following position reached after 29 moves, you can see that White has already got a passed KP. It now needs the tactics to promote that Pawn. You should first try to find out on your own that all important move to start the process and may be the continuation that will need to be followed thereafter. This type of analytical practice will open your eyes to identify such situations in your own games.

middle game tactics with passed pawn

The actual game proceeded as under.

1. Ba3 Qxa3  
2. Nh5+ gxh5  
3. Qg5+ Kf8  
4. Qxf6+ Kg8   4. … Ke8 5. Qf7+ Kd8 6. Qd7#
5. e7 Qc1+   Black has nothing else to do but keep giving checks to White King as long as possible!
6. Kf2 Qc2+  
7. Kg3 Qd3+  
8. Kh4 Qe4+  
9. Kxh5 Qe2+  
10. Kh4 Qe4+  
11. g4 Qe1+  
12. Kh5 Resigns   Black has run out of checks


In the next article, you will see the might of united passed pawns and the sacrificial chess tactics that have been used by Black to create that advantage, thereby producing a notable move in chess history!