En Passant Choice

by Raoul Watson
(Queens, NY)

If two pawns can make an en passant move, is there a rule as to which one is allowed to do the en passant or is this the player's choice?

For example, two white pawns are at a5 and c5 and black pawn moves b7 - b5.

Hi Raoul,

If there are two possibilities to capture en passant then the player decides which one to take.

See example below:
Black moves
en passant move

If Black moves his b-pawn to b5 it can be captured en passant as this pawn moves from its original square. (this is a bad move, by the way, as it loses a pawn for Black)
See left position below.

en passant moveen passant move
LEFT: Black has played 1...b5
RIGHT: White captured en passant with his c-pawn.

en passant moveen passant move
LEFT: White captured en passant with his a-pawn
RIGHT: White did not capture en passant but decided to make a different move and moved his c-pawn ahead playing 2.c6 to reach the last rank to promote the pawn into a queen.
By the way, this is a silly move because the black king will catch the white pawn on time playing 2...Ke7 3.c7 Kd7 and will kill it eventually.

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