Pawn structure seems to be one of the key areas that a player needs to know well to be able to have a high rating.

What are the best ways to learn how to best use pawns and pawn structure?


1 Answer 1


A lot of chess is “what pawn break am I looking for, and how do I accomplish it?” These answer that in depth.

  1. “Complete Chess Strategy” volumes 1,2 and 3 by Ludek Pachman. (This teaches about many basic plans, and what you are striving for with your pieces and pawns, especially. This made a light go off in my head, and THIS is what made me a master.)

  2. “Pawn Structure Chess” by Andy Soltis. (This extends the above to specific opening structures.)

  3. “Chess Structures: A Grandmaster Guide” by Mauricio Flores Rios (This is an extension of “Pawn Structure Chess”, and is deeper, and covers more structures. It is outstanding especially if you have already covered “Complete Chess Strategy”.)

I have not read this yet, but another book that seems to be right up that alley by a renowned player is "Winning Chess Middlegames: An Essential Guide to Pawn Structures" by GM Ivan Sokolov (2706 peak rating and #16 in the world in 2004).

Of course, the original book in this genre was "Pawn Power" by Hans Kmoch, but he used a lot of funky terms.

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    good answer as always. are there any other resources other than books that would help a club player improve their use of pawns ? Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 15:30
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    @edwinaoliver On chess.com, Silman does a lot of excellent articles, and they are worth reading (I do myself still), but you only get smatterings rather than a labor that someone worked on for a long time to put things together in a very cohesive manner. I think that books are much better for this topic. Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 15:36
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    a really good book is usually best. i do not like most videos. web sites are often good and tend to be in the middle of the choices. Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 16:02

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