Pawn islands

What makes pawn islands a weakness?

A pawn island is a group of connected pawns. For example, in the following position:

White has two pawn islands:

  • b2 c3 d4
  • f2 g2 h3

Black has three:

  • b6 c7
  • e7 f6
  • h7

Even though the pawn on h7 is more commonly known as “isolated pawn”, it’s still considered it a pawn island, after all it presents the same challenges as any other pawn island.

A group of connected pawns, often referred as pawns chain, is best attacked at its base. As the base of the pawns chain represents a weakness, each pawn island in your position gives targets to your opponent.

See Also