# When can a pawn go diagonal?

When can a pawn go diagonal?

In the game of chess, pawns are unique in their movement. Normally, pawns can only move forward one square at a time, either to occupy an empty square or to capture an opponent’s piece. However, there is a special rule called “en passant” that allows a pawn to move diagonally under specific circumstances.

To understand when a pawn can go diagonal, let’s first discuss the basic movement of pawns. Pawns are the smallest and most numerous pieces on the chessboard, and they are located in the front row at the beginning of the game. They can move forward one square at a time, but there are a few exceptions to this rule.

On their first move, pawns have the option to move forward two squares instead of just one. This is known as the pawn’s “initial double move.” It allows the pawn to quickly advance towards the center of the board or establish a strong position. However, this double move can only be made if the two squares in front of the pawn are both empty.

Now, let’s move on to the en passant rule, which is the specific scenario where a pawn can go diagonal. En passant comes into play when a pawn has advanced to the fifth row on the board and an opposing pawn moves out two spaces in an adjacent column.

Here’s how it works: If a pawn on its initial square moves two squares forward, landing beside an opponent’s pawn, the opponent has the option to capture the moving pawn “en passant” on the very next move. The capturing pawn moves diagonally behind the moving pawn, as if it had only moved one square forward. This capture can only be made on the very next move; otherwise, the opportunity is lost.

The en passant capture is unique because it allows a pawn to capture an opponent’s pawn that has just moved two squares, as if the opposing pawn had only moved one square forward. This rule was introduced to prevent a pawn from avoiding capture by advancing two squares while bypassing an opponent’s pawn.

To visualize this, imagine a situation where a white pawn on e5 moves to e7, landing beside a black pawn on f7. In response, the black pawn can capture the white pawn en passant by moving diagonally to e6. The white pawn is then removed from the board as if it had been captured normally.

It’s important to note that the en passant capture can only be made if all the following conditions are met:
1. The pawn to be captured has just moved two squares forward on its initial move.
2. The capturing pawn is on its fifth rank.
3. The capturing pawn is on an adjacent file to the moving pawn.

A pawn can go diagonal and perform an en passant capture when it has advanced to the fifth row on the board and an opposing pawn moves out two spaces in an adjacent column. This unique rule adds an interesting tactical element to the game of chess, providing opportunities for strategic captures and positional advantages.