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How Chess Pawns Move
Unlike all other chess pieces, Pawns move and capture in different ways.

The Pawn can only move forward. It never moves sideways or backwards. This means that each time a White Pawn moves, it advances toward Black's side of the chess board, and each time a Black Pawn moves, it advances toward White's side of the board.

The Pawn normally moves one square at a time, but there is a big exception to this rule. On its first move, when it is still sitting on the second row, it can move one or two squares. The green circles in the diagram show the two possible initial moves for the White Pawn and the two possible moves for the Black Pawn.

After its first move, the Pawn can advance only one square at a time. The green circles show the only possible move for each Pawn. The Pawn can only advance if the square in front is empty.

The Pawn captures on a forward diagonal, one square on the right diagonal or one square on the left. It can only capture if the diagonal square is occupied by an opponent's piece. If the diagonal square is empty or is occupied by a piece of the Pawn's own color, the Pawn cannot move to that square. The diagram shows the White Pawn on the left side of the board with three possible moves -- it can advance one square, or it can capture either of the Black Pawns on the diagonal. The Black Pawn on the right also has three possible moves.

The diagram here shows each of our two example Pawns with a single possible move. The White Pawn on the left can only capture the Black Pawn on its right diagonal; it can't advance on the column because it is blocked by an opponent's piece; and it can't capture on the left diagonal because the square is empty. The Black Pawn on the right also has only one possible move; it can capture the White Pawn on its diagonal.

In all captures, whether by a Pawn or by another piece, the captured piece is removed from the chess board. Only the opponent's pieces can be captured.

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