Pawn Triangle: 5 Things to Keep in Mind

Yury Markushin
Category: Endgame

Pawn Triangle and its basics are going to be learned in this lesson. Today we will start covering some of the very important pawn structures. This is a very common structure that occurs in many different middlegames. All competitive chess players need to know what they can and cannot do in this pawn structure.

Take a look at the position below.

The f-g-h pawns are a normal king’s side pawn structure. The green pawns (b2-b3-c2) are the topic of today’s discussion – the pawn triangle. The experts define the pawn triangle as 2 or 3 pawns with a doubled pawn in-front of the structure.

pawn triangle

Special characteristics of the Pawn Triangle

Let’s take a look at the special characteristics of a pawn triangle:

1. The pawn triangle is a solid structure. It is more defended against the rook attack than a normal pawn structure. Take a look at the position below. The white rook cannot capture the pawns from the front, since they all defend each other. The b5 pawn shields the only weak pawn which is b7.

pawn triangle
2. It is not easy to blockade the Triangle Pawn structure. The white’s f-g-h pawns are immobilized. They cannot move because both black’s pawns and the rook control the g4 square. However, black’s pawn tringle can move forward via c7-c6 and then b6-b5:
3. Pawn triangle controls the central pawns better than a normal pawn structure. In the position below it is hard for white to make progress. However, black has full control of the center and can play for the break via d6-d5.
d6 d5

A deep understanding of fundamental endgame positions is a key for winning games. Most under 2200 rated players do not pay enough attention to this part of the game.

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4. Pawn triangle is a stable structure, but in order to fully benefit from it, you need to know the right of how to advance it forward. Always move the front doubled pawn first. The correct pawn move is e4-e5:

pawn triangle
5. Let’s take a look at what happens if the incorrect pawn is moved. If d4-d5 pawn is advanced a knight can blockade the triangle, because of the newly created weakness on e5.

d4 d5


The majority of chess players think that a pawn triangle is a weakness since it has doubled pawn. That is not always the case, as we have seen in today’s lesson the pawn triangle can be superior to a normal pawn structure since it can control more central squares and also is better defended against the rook assault.

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Updated 12.16.2023


ravi shet:
learnt something new ...
Gokula Anand:
Simple but nice and useful.
Jun Fuderanan:
Nice techniques. I have learned something.