Outside Passed Pawn:
Part of the Advanced Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 1) and the
Chess Strategies Guide (Section 2: Studying the Pawns)

Outside Passed Pawn
Point Count Chess: [+]

About This Article...

Advanced Beginners Chess Teaser pccThis article includes my notes, additional images and interactive chess positions from my study of Horowitz & Mott-Smith's book, Point Count Chess.

Point Count Chess,
Chapter 21. The Outpost Passed Pawn (p251-252)

To qualify as an Outside Passed Pawn, it just has to be a standard Passed Pawn that is the most-remote from all the rest of the pawns.

If, as in Diagram 1 (below), pawns are blockaded on g and h files, for instance, and Black has a passed pawn on the e file, and White has a passed pawn on the d file, the White d file pawn is the passed pawn most remote from all the other pawns. Thus it could be central, or on the flank.

Outside Passed Pawn, Image 1, Advanced Beginners Chess Guide
Diagram 1: White's d5-Pawn qualifies as
an Outside Passed Pawn
Just to clarify, in Diagram 2, below, even though both sides have a Passed Pawn (White's c4; Black's a4), this time it'd be Black's a4 Pawn that's the Outside Passed Pawn ...
Outside Passed Pawn, Image 2, Advanced Beginners Chess Guide
Diagram 2: Black's a4-Pawn qualifies as
an Outside Passed Pawn

Here, if White eventually snatches up Black's a-pawn, the idea is that Black can snatch the c-pawn (through proper maneuvering), and because he is closer to the other two pawns that are stationary, he can get there faster than White's King, so will get the White pawn on g4, and be able to nurture his Black pawn to Queening, thus the outside pawn is a major advantage in the endgame.

White must deal with this loose a-pawn, but to do so will lose the game for him. He is lost already. If you were to go back, say, 10 moves in a game like this before the final exchanges, an Outside Passed Pawn is a countable point, and also lets you know that you should exchange everything to get to the position above, to win the game.

So, reading between the lines, it means the Outside Passed Pawn (a4, in this example) ISN'T necessarily the Pawn that'll go all the way to the Promotion square, but - especially in the case of Diagram 1 - is merely a sacrificial unit, deployed to drag the (White) King furthest away from the blocked Pawns (g4:g5), in order to give Black's King enough time to capture the blocking (g4) Pawn, then advance his g5-Pawn down to Queening - albeit, after having dealt with White's c4-Pawn.

Further Reading

Point Count Chess (Horowitz & Mott-Smith, 1960)
  • The Outside Passed Pawn, (p251)
  • The Passed Pawn SUMMARY, (p254)

Return to the Index of Advantages
Return to the Chess Strategies Guide,
Studying the Pawns (Passed Pawns)
← Back to the Chess Glossary (Outside Passed Pawn)
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