Is En Passant Legal?

Guides / By Andrew Hercules
is en passant legal

Many beginner players are startled after first seeing en passant in a game of chess. The word is of French origin which translate to mean ‘in passing”.

Now you may be asking “is en passant legal?”

Yes, En passant is 100%  fair and legal move in chess. In the 15th century, the game was revised to include this special move as the motivation for en passant was to prevent the newly added two-square first move for pawns from allowing a pawn to evade capture by an enemy pawn.

How To En Passant In Chess

If a pawn moves 2 squares on its first move, and by doing so ends up next to an opponent’s pawn, that pawn then has the option of capturing this first one it passes by.

The diagram below depicts this idea:

Diagram showing a legal move of en passant

 

The white pawn just moved 2 squares forward as indicated by the arrow. Black may now capture the pawn diagonally thus landing on d3.

At times I am surprised when a high rated level chess player ask me what is en passant? I think all chess players of various levels should have solid knowledge of this special move. If you haven’t yet clearly grasped the concept of en passant, then I highly recommend you check out my earlier post on “What does an en passant mean in chess?”

 

 

Andrew Hercules

Hercules Chess, launched in 2020, is a website that teaches you about chess. We started as a chess blog and became a chess training platform in early 2022.

Related Posts:

What Is A Draw In Chess: Draws and Stalemate Explained

What Is A Draw In Chess: Draws and Stalemate Explained

By Andrew Hercules

What is a draw in chess? A draw in chess is another way to say that the game ended in a tie! The are five ways a chess game can end in a draw: Draw by Stalemate Draw by Insufficient material Draw by Agreement Draw by Threefold repetition Draw by 50 move rule When you […]

How to Set Up a Chessboard the Right Way

How to Set Up a Chessboard the Right Way

By Andrew Hercules

Chess is played on a board with eight columns called files, each containing eight squares, and eight rows, or ranks, also containing eight squares. So in total, there are 64 squares on every chessboard. You need to set up the pieces in their correct positions before you start. In this post, we will discuss how […]

What is the Time Control for Chess Tournaments

What is the Time Control for Chess Tournaments

By Andrew Hercules

What is the time control for a chess tournament? For all major FIDE events, the World Chess Federation has set a single-time control. This means a standard 90 minutes is given to both players. This time limit is enough for 40 moves after which the players can still get an extra 30 minutes to complete […]

So what are you waiting for?

Sign Up Now