Sports & Gaming

Chess 101: What Is a Poisoned Pawn? Learn What Makes the Poisoned Pawn So Tricky in Chess and a Step-by-Step Guide to Using Poisoned Pawn in the Najdorf Variation

Written by the MasterClass staff

Last updated: Sep 29, 2021 • 4 min read

A favorite tactic of many grandmasters, the poisoned pawn is one of the trickiest moves in chess, with potential peril on both sides of the bargain. While not recommended for beginners, it can be a fascinating and entertaining situation to watch players grapple with, as many of the best chess players in the world have done.