Chess Vocabulary: Backward Pawn



By Ramya Inapuri, Wizard Coordinator & Instructor in MA



What is a backward pawn? Does it actually move backward? Wait—pawns can't move backward! 

There are many different types of pawns, but a backward pawn is one that has no support from other pawns (because they have advanced ahead of the backward pawn or because they no longer exist.) A backward pawn cannot advance freely without being captured, and almost always supports another pawn on an adjacent file. Let's take a look at an example.

In the following position, black's pawn on c6 is backward—it cannot be supported by another pawn and cannot advance without being captured: