Home * Evaluation * Pawn Structure * Hanging pawns

Hanging pawns are an open, half-isolated duo. It means that they are standing next to each other on the adjacent half-open files, usually on the fourth rank, mutually protecting their stop squares. They share a number of characteristics of weak pawns - they are not directly protected by other pawns and may become targets of attack - but unlike them they have dynamic potential of executing a pawn breakthrough and thus creating a passed pawn (admittedly being an isolated pawn at the same time). The side with hanging pawns also tends to enjoy a space advantage.

The term "hanging" in chess otherwise refers attacked to undefended pieces en prise.

The Hanging Pawns formation

8/pp3ppp/4p3/8/2PP4/8/P4PPP/8 w - -
8/pp3ppp/4p3/8/2PP4/8/P4PPP/8 w - -

Most of the programs do not have a special evaluation of hanging pawns, relying on search to decide if they are an asset or a liability in a given position.

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