Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Pawn Game, Part 2

Now that you have played the game with the pawns only, you should be able to answer the riddle from my last blog. And the answer is: You should not take a pawn that's touching another pawn when you can move past it and win the game! Now we need to add another piece to the board.

The Knight is the piece shaped like the head of a horse on most chess sets. The movement of the knight has been described many different ways (all of which are confusing to the beginner in my opinion). The knight stands on the second square from the egde of the board behind the pawns of the same color. Since you have two knights, they both stand on the second square from the left and right side of the board behind the pawns. The knight's movement is simple. Picture an upper case L. This is how the knight moves every time. The starting position is 0, the knight moves foward 1 square, then foward a second time. To complete the L shape, you move to the left or the right. (Tip: Beginning players, you should count to yourselves as you move the knight 0-1-2-3.) So now the knight has moved three squares. Remember, 0 does not count as a movement, it is just the position where the knight is positioned prior to beginning a move. Just remember 1-2-3 and that the total movement of the knight resembles a upper case L shape when you add the 0. Try it!!! Grab your knight and move it counting 0-1-2-3 two spaces foward and one to the right or left. Notice also you had to jump over your pawn to move your knight. The knight is the only piece that can jump over other pieces. Now, the goal of the pawn game is the same -- to win, you still have to get the pawn to the other side of the board. If the knight reaches the other side of the board you do not win. Only a pawn can win the game. Oh, and just one more thing: the pawns (as you now know) can only move foward. The knights can move in any direction as long as they are making a L shape and a piece of the same color is not in the #3 square. If you're doing this properly, the move is correct.

You cannot take your own pieces. The knight takes, not by jumping over the enemy pieces, but by landing right on top and removing them from the board! So if you move your knight and you count 0-1-2-3 and where the knight stops there is a pawn or knight of the opposite color, you can take it. Another Hint: Knights are worth 3 points and pawns are worth 1 point, so don't give up your knight for a pawn. That's bad math. Chess On!

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