There are eight pawns situated on each side of the board. They are the least powerful piece on the chess board, but have the potential to become equal to the most powerful.
Pawns cannot move backward or sideways, but must move straight ahead unless they are taking another piece.
Generally pawns move only one square at a time. The exception is the first time a pawn is moved, it may move forward two squares as long as there are no obstructing pieces. A pawn cannot take a piece directly in front of him but only one at a forward angle.
Should a pawn get all the way across the board to reach the opponent's edge of the table, it will be promoted. The pawn may now become any piece that the moving player desires (except a king or pawn). Thus a player may end up having more than one queen on the board. Under normal circumstances a player will want to promote his pawn to be a queen since that piece is the most powerful and flexible. The new piece is placed where the pawn ended its movement.
From the Open Pawn Project:
How often have you felt that your computer could be smarter? Aren't you tired of the old drag and drop style desktop and the horribly command prompts. Well Open Pawn Projekt (OPP) is about to change all that. The Pawn shall make it possibly for you to command your computer exactly what you would like it to do. Order it in plain and simple English or whatever your natural language is. Pawn is written in Perl, TCL TK and C++. Just to make it so portable as possible. Currently it will run on any Unix/Linux system.
Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and Moby are among the artists speaking out against President Bush in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. "I don't trust George Bush. I think he's a pawn," Levine opined. "The people who are running this country are extremely intelligent; I think George Bush is just as much in the dark as I am, and it scares the shit out of me. He's about as far from a regular guy as possible.
From a soldier's letter found on michaelmoore.com:
As a soldier in the US Army I feel like a pawn in Bush's game of global imperialism.
I joined the Army willingly and am not scared to fight or give my life for my country, I just want it to be for the right reasons.
And from The Oxford Student:
Whether the President of the United States is a knowing or unknowing pawn, he is still essentially a pawn. We should be forensic here, because this was a standard argument until glib humour overtook outrage and then 9/11 ensured any criticism incendiary and inappropriate. It is only from within America that I have become aware that all those cartoons of Bush as the lazy, pretzel-choking cowboy-monkey are not a joke. That power is concentrated in this man is dizzying enough. Still more alarming is that power is exercised through this man on behalf of a plutocratic mafia.
In the military iconography of chess, pawns are infantry, or, more specifically, pikemen. Their function was to disrupt cavalry assaults by stabbing horses with long, sharpened poles. In the parlance, they were seen as dispensable, as cannon fodder. The pawn in today's image has certainly lost his head.
But a pawn is also a dupe -- someone who is bamboozled into making a sacrifice that only serves to benefit others. This situation is not unlike casting a vote for someone who consistently acts against your best interests. They've convinced you to stand on the front lines -- and persuaded you to wave banners bearing wedge issues like "gay marriage" or "flag burning" -- but you've been used. Without warning, those you heeded run over your backs with their horses while your pikes are pointed ahead of you -- and against imaginary enemies.
But if you can break through the blitz of spun talking points allowing the current administration to openly catapult the propaganda, then, finally, you can become empowered -- like a pawn who reaches the far side of the chessboard to be crowned a queen.
Isn't the endgame clear enough for you yet? Can't you see how many pieces you can clear off the board with the power of your vote? Elections will come. Turn your pikes around. It's your move.