Pawn storm

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A pawn storm is a chess strategy in which several pawns are moved in rapid succession toward the opponent's defenses.[1] A pawn storm usually involves adjacent pawns on one side of the board—the queenside (a-, b-, and c-files) or the kingside (f-, g-, and h-files).


Often, a pawn storm will be directed toward the opponent's king after it has castled toward one side (e.g. Fischer vs. Larsen, 1958[2]). Successive advances of the pawns on that side might rapidly cramp and overwhelm the opponent's position.

FischerPetrosian, Yugoslavia 1959
a b c d e f g h
a7 black king
b7 black pawn
d7 black queen
f7 black pawn
a6 black pawn
c5 black knight
e5 white pawn
c4 white queen
d3 black rook
f3 white bishop
g3 white pawn
d2 black pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white king
b1 white rook
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 43.Qc4[3]

A pawn storm might also be directed at queening a passed pawn; the diagram is taken from a game in which Tigran Petrosian was playing the black pieces against Bobby Fischer. Over the next fourteen moves, Petrosian storms his twin pawns down the a- and b- files, forcing Fischer to resign.