The Saving and Converting Pawns Chess Strategy

We would be amazed at how beginners in chess have utter disregard for pawns. In fact, many novices would even wish to take out pawns in the beginning of the game as these only slow down their use of the queen, their favorite piece. But we must know the value of saving pawns for pawn conversion in chess.

There are 8 pawns assigned each player at the start. A good strategy is to preserve half of them (or more if possible) for our pawn conversion strategy. Pawn conversion is when a pawn reaches the enemy's end row (rank 1 for white and rank 8 for black). This rewards the pawn with conversion or promotion to a higher rank---like a queen, rook, bishop, or knight. Pawns cannot be converted into kings, though.

Thus, a pawn conversion in chess aims to preserve as many pawns as possible for the purpose without appearing obvious. This is often done by waiting for the path of the pawns to at least partially clear, especially the seventh and eighth rows, and then slowly advancing 3 to 4 pawns until they get to their destination.

Some skilled players will gradually advance 3 to 4 pawns earlier in the game unnoticed and then surprise the opponent with a conversion. This moment is perfect for having the queen do enormous assault missions—even challenge the opponent to a queen-to-queen—and then immediately convert a pawn into a queen right after the ally queen gets captured.

Pawns for conversion or promotion are best supported by a knight or bishop. A bishop can support the pawns from a distance while a knight has to be close them. More than 4 pawns will attract the opponent's attention to try to break the pawn formation. In the latter phase of the game some players would opt to support converting pawns with a king, or a king and rook.

As the game nears its end pawns often begin to increase in value. If we have a king, rook plus 3 pawns and the enemy only has a king and a rook, we win in strategy value. If we take care to convert or graduate our pawns we win for sure. Thus, the enemy strategy at this point is to destroy the attempt to convert.

Pawn conversion in chess is one of the best contingency plans to have in the game. It can cushion the effect of heavy losses later in a game of chess.

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