In chess what is en passant? Is it something used al;ot?

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  • 8 years ago
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    En passant is a chess term of French origin meaning "in passing". When you have a pawn on your fifth rank and the opponent moves an adjacent pawn from its original square to its fourth rank, you have the one-time option (must do so on your very next move) of capturing that pawn en passant. To capture en passant, you move your pawn on the fifth rank diagonally to the square behind the opponent's pawn, and remove the opponent's pawn from the board. The effect is exactly the same as if the opponent had only advanced the pawn one square and you captured it in normal fashion. En passant only involves pawns capturing pawns, as described above. Pawns do not capture other pieces by en passant, although they can. of course, take any piece except the king by normal capture on any square located one square diagonally in front of them.

    The opportunity for en passant captures does not occur very often in a chess game. However, players must be alert for such a possibility whenever advanced pawns can interact with enemy pawns moving two squares from their original position.

    Serverchess.com has an excellent tutorial, "How to Play Chess", which addresses this topic and many others as well.

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