What is the best pawn to move first?

Answered by Willian Lymon

In my experience, I’ve found that starting a chess game by moving either the e-pawn or the d-pawn two squares forward can be a strong strategic choice. This initial move opens up pathways for your other pieces to join the battle for control of the central squares.

Let’s focus on the e-pawn first. By advancing it two squares, you create an opening for your pieces to develop and exert influence over the board. This move allows your bishop and queen to be unleashed, as they can now move freely along the long diagonals that the e-pawn’s advance has created. Additionally, the e-pawn move opens up space for your knights to jump into the action, as they can now maneuver to squares like f3 and f6.

On the other hand, advancing the d-pawn two squares can also be an effective choice. This move opens up lines of development for your bishop and queen as well, allowing them to occupy central squares and put pressure on your opponent’s position. By pushing the d-pawn forward, you also create the potential for a strong pawn structure called the “center pawn duo” if your opponent captures it. This means that if your opponent takes your d-pawn, you can recapture with your e-pawn, reinforcing your control over the center.

Of course, the choice between the e-pawn and the d-pawn as your first move depends on the specific position and your own playing style. Some players prefer the d-pawn advance as it allows for a more solid, defensive setup, while others opt for the e-pawn to actively seize control of the center.

Personally, I have had success with both approaches. In some games, I’ve started with the e-pawn and quickly developed a strong initiative, launching attacks against my opponent’s king. In other games, I’ve chosen the d-pawn move to establish a solid foundation and gradually build up my position.

Ultimately, the best pawn to move first depends on your own preferences and the specific position you’re facing. It’s crucial to adapt your strategy based on the unique circumstances of each game. So, experiment with both the e-pawn and the d-pawn moves, and see which approach suits your style and leads to the most successful outcomes in your games.