Feel free to share more than one book. I'm very interested in understanding better those preparatory moves.

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    You probably mean breaks or breakthroughs. Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 8:43
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    @BlindKungFuMaster Breaks and breakthroughs are two different things, and I believe he used the correct term for what he is asking. Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 10:16
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    @PhishMaster: He used the term "rupture". I don't know what "rupture" is supposed to mean in this context, but I guessed it to be either pawn breaks or breakthroughs. Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 10:35
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    Does this answer your question? How can I improve my knowledge of pawn structure theory?
    – user929304
    Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 10:46
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    @Universal_learner Indeed, I don't know where that tag came from, rupture is not part of the common English chess terminology. I have updated the post tags now. Introducing arbitrary tags goes against the whole premise of tagging, which is supposed to provide a meaningful classification of posts based on established concepts and commonly accepted terminology.
    – Ellie
    Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 11:14

2 Answers 2


@Marcelo, it really depends on what you mean by "preparing".

If you mean that VERY specifically "what specific moves" in every case, that is too general, and there are no such books. If you mean that as "how do I play for a pawn break", in general, then you are really just asking about pawn play, and pawn structures.

Here is a fairly complete list of books about opening pawn structures and pawn play, in general.

  1. "Chess Structures: A Grandmaster Guide" by GM Mauricio Flores Rios is the single best book on OPENING pawn structures currently out there, but it misses some.
  2. "Pawn Structure Chess" by GM Andy Soltis is VERY weak in the analysis, but the general ideas still hold up.
  3. "The Ideas Behind the Chess Openings, Algebraic Edition" by GM Reuben Fine
  4. "Chess Opening Essentials" by New in Chess Four Volumes cover every opening, but each one is done fairly lightly, so this is a true beginner's guide.

Here is a list of books on general pawn play.

  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. "Winning Pawn Structures" by GM Alexander Baburin
  3. "Understanding Pawn Play" in Chess by GM Drazen Marovic
  4. "Dynamic Pawn Play in Chess" by GM Drazen Marovic
  5. "Winning Chess Middlegames: An Essential Guide to Pawn Structure" by GM Ivan Sokolov
  6. "Chess Middlegame Strategies Volume 2" by GM Ivan Sokolov
  7. "The Power of Pawns: Chess Structure Fundamentals for Post-beginners" by GM Jörg Hickl
  8. "Isolani Strategy: Strengths and Weaknesses of the Isolated Queen's Pawn" by GMs Adrian Mikhalchishin, Alexander Beliavsky, Oleg Stetsko
  9. "Understanding Maroczy Structures" by GMs Adrian Mikhalchishin and Georg Mohr
  10. And the original book on the subject, but it uses some weird terms: "Pawn Power" by IM Hans Kmoch
  • Thanks. But it is hard to believe there is no chess book just about preparatory moves, especially with the pawns. This is the very soul of chess in my opinion.
    – Marcelo
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 2:07

But it is hard to believe there is no chess book just about preparatory moves, especially with the pawns. This is the very soul of chess in my opinion

The reason is that it is a small subject. That is not to say that there are not several excellent chapters in different books dealing with this subject.

Far away the best such is the very first chapter of Axel Smith's excellent "Pump up your Rating" titled "No Pawn Lever - No Plan". The book is aimed at strong intermediate level players (roughly 2000 rating) for whom developing effective plans is the next step up. Smith starts his book with pawn levers because it is often one of the main areas which weaker players often actively avoid. They try and resolve tension rather than try and create tension to their advantage.

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