# What is en passant in chess?

That move with the pawns, what is it?

Relevance

Hello;

When a person is learning chess the en passant move is a bit confusing because it seems to violate how the pawn is supposed to move. The term is French and it means literally "in passing". It kinda/sorta means I am taking your pawn as it passing my pawn. Rather like saying "... you can't move your pawn two squares to a avoid my pawn taking yours ... we have a special move for that ... I am taking your pawn as it passes ... en passant."

Here is the best way to understand it ...

When chess was first set up the rule was simple pawns moved one square at a time and could capture one square diagonally, easy to understand and simple. We have games from this time and we notice that the game goes very slowly because it takes forever to get a pawn out. That is easy to fix -- make a rule so the pawn can move two squares on its first move -- the game now goes faster because it takes half the time for a pawn to reach the centre of the board. A very good idea except for one serious flaw -- when the pawn gets close, the opposing pawn can now go past the square where it should be taken if it moved just one square at a time. Not cool so the idea was to create a special case where a pawn could not move two spaces to avoid capture -- it is like it moves only one square, and thus it can be captured. The final point is that it is only available for one move if it isn't captured then it stays on the second square (where it was originally placed).

I hope that helps ... once you see it done a few times then it become natural to consider it.

Gens Una Sumas

Bill

it's french for in passing, a special pawn move

• Anonymous

its a legal & complicated move to explain,

basically it prevents a pawn from sneaking past unchallenged