I am not asking for analysis, just want to know what are the plans that white should go for (long term / short term) given that black pawn structure is not so great.

[Title "Black to move"]
[StartFlipped "0"]
[fen "2r1k2r/p4p2/p1pqbp1p/3p4/3P4/P3P3/1PQ2PPP/2R1K1NR b - - 0 1"]

5 Answers 5


Strategically speaking, white stands well for several reasons.

  • Black pawn structure is bad( 2 double pawns(isolated), d6 is backward)
  • Black has bad bishop(his bishop and pawns stands light squares mostly)
  • Black has less control on dark squares.

For that reason white should do these following steps;

  1. Change the most active Black piece (Queen)
  2. Put the knight a dark square to control light squares(most probably f4 or c5)
  3. Put his king a center square,
  4. Pressure on c or b file.
  5. White also can exchange 1 or 2 rooks, because black has many weaknesses staticly.
  6. If white will manage to pass endgame stage, he has strong initiave.
  • Also, Black's king is not safe. Indeed, after exchanging queens there wouldn't be so many threats against the monarch, but it's still a valid point imo. Aug 19, 2015 at 12:25

It's not so clear cut. White is behind in development and has weak pawns, which can be attacked immediately, on b2 and g2. I think the game is still finely balanced with everything still to play for.

Given a free hand black is going to play moves like Rg8, attacking the g pawn, Kd7, connecting the rooks and overprotecting c6 and at some stage Rb8 attacking the weak b pawn. If white reacts to the threat to the g pawn with g3 then this simply improves black's bishop leaving many white squared weaknesses in white's position.

I'm not sure an immediate Qc5 is the answer either. Black will look to moves like Qc7 (keeping queens on), Kd7 (protecting the weak c6 pawn and covering the white queen's entrance squares), Qb6 (pressuring the weak b pawn and offering an exchange of queens which improves his pawn structure).

Can white afford to play Qa4 going for the a6 pawn? It can't be defended but white is behind in development and black is going to take advantage with moves like Bf5 (bringing his bishop to life on the much better b1-h7 diagonal), Rc7, connecting the rooks with either O-O or Kd7 and then Rb8. I'm not sure the a6 pawn is worth all that extra coordination that black's pieces get in exchange.

Maybe white needs a more conservative approach with moves like f3, Kf2, Ne2 completing his development, protecting the weak g2 and eyeing up f4 for his knight. Black's long term weaknesses aren't going away.

  • With a knight on f4 the weakness g2 is very hard to attack. b2 is a much more meaningful weakness, which also means that after f3, Kf2 the king is actually more vulnerable than after castling because an intrusion over the queenside is a more realistic scenario. Maybe you are right and black can develop enough play to keep drawing chances, but that would need to happen within the next few moves and black isn't completely developed yet either. Aug 21, 2015 at 8:59

Putting a knight on f4 seems very strong for white. If he achieves this, black will be unable to create any counterplay.

Next, white can castle and bring his rooks into play. For instance, with Qa4, Rc5 and Rfc1. In the long run, black's weak pawns will fall quite easily.


Finish developing, plonk the Queen on c5 swop queens, control c5 don't get checkmated and play knight against bishop and 1-0.


Thinking schematically:

White wants the Knight on either f4 or c5 (I might prefer c5, but a lot of that will depend on what the board looks like when it gets there. Hence the route the Knight takes should probably go through d3 (after all b4 might end up being useful, too).

Swap the queens and at least one rook. I know it looks tempting because the Black c-pawn is very vulnerable to a vertical attack, but the Rook's mobility could help Black hold the four pawn islands, so my gut feeling would be to swap everything down to a N vs B endgame, with all White's pawns on dark squares, but I'm not so sure I could force all of that, so I might have to keep one set of rooks on the board.

An alternative plan might be to plant the knight on b3 behind a b4-pawn. Plan on using the c5 and f4 squares as 'transit points' to move the knight through.

But my first priority would be to send the heavy pieces packing; their job is done, from White's point of view.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.