Pawn Center

From Chessprogramming wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Home * Evaluation * Pawn Structure * Pawn Center

Chess theory holds that it is advantageous to control the center with pawns. This principle has been stressed especially in the classical period of chess theory to the extent that some perfectly healthy openings were considered disadvantageous on the grounds that they "give up the center" like the Rubinstein line in the French. Many of the hypermodern openings adopt the opposite attitude, allowing the opponent to build the pawn center in order to attack it later on. It follows that the evaluation function, in order to remain flexible, should not assign too great weights to pawn center - else it would be unable to evaluate this kind of position correctly.


related to Pawn Center by Hans Kmoch [1] [2]

  • Center lever - A lever wholly within the two center files
  • Center pawn - Pawn on the d- or e-file
  • Centerswap - A capture from and to the d- or e-file that produces a doubled pawn
  • Innerswap - A capture towards the center that produces a doubled pawn


Coding pawn center evaluation routine, one can

  1. use values in a piece-square table for pawns
  2. raise the material value of central pawns or
  3. assign bonuses for certain pawn configurations, like the following:
    1. good formation of white pawns on d4 and c4
    2. e4 or d4 pawn defended by another pawn

Some other evaluation factors are interrelated with the pawn center, like the penalty for a knight on c3 blocking c2 pawn in the closed openings.

See also

Forum Posts

External Links


  1. Glossary for Pawn Power In Chess by Hans Kmoch
  2. Hans Kmoch (1959, 1990). Pawn Power in Chess. New York: Dover, 1990. Previous ed.: New York: McKay, 1959. ISBN 0-486-26486-6, Google Books, amazon

Up one Level