Doubled pawns

Doubled pawns are a common weakness in pawn structures

Doubled paws are two pawns of the same color on the same file. Here’s an example:

In this position, white as doubled pawns on the F file (on f2 and f3) and black has doubled paws on the B file (on b7 and b6). Doubled pawns are often a weakness because:

  • The pawns do not defend each other, rendering them both more vulnerable
  • the front pawn (in the example position, f3 for white and b6 for black) are easy targets, especially because a rook can’t defend them since there’s another pawn before them.
  • The back pawn cannot move.

On the other hand, especially in the opening and in the middlegame phases of the game doubled pawns can create the advantage of an open file for the possessor of doubled pawns.