The sacrifice of a pawn is very common in chess games. The player making the sacrifice is giving up 1 pawn worth of “material” usually in return for some other compensation such as an advantage in “time” (rapid development of pieces), “space” (extra territory), or “mobility” (free space in which to move your pieces).
Many openings called “Gambits” involve the intentional sacrifice of a pawn. Usually the aim of a gambit is to develop pieces more rapidly than your opponent, in order to get a more attacking position. The opponent, if they accept the gambit, will usually have a more defensive position, but they do have an extra pawn as compensation (and they will win in the endgame if they can survive the attack in the middlegame). Gambits are good openings for beginners, and even for intermediate players, as defensive technique is one of the more difficult aspects of chess to master.
Related Chess Tactics
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