Questions tagged [pawn-structure]

Questions concerning the overall configuration of pawns in a game, e.g. what pawn structure features should be sought or avoided, when to alter the structure, how to work with one's pieces in a given structure, etc.

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Sicilian endgames - favourable for which side and why?

I often come across statements like this: Generally speaking, Sicilian endgames tend to favour Black for structural reasons. The extra center pawn and the half-open c-file are both advantageous for ...
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5 votes
2 answers
126 views

When to do minority attack and majority attack?

So I learnt about minority attack few months ago where you push pawns on minority side to create weaknesses on opponents pawn structure but recently I have also been seeing some masters casually ...
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6 votes
1 answer
93 views

When should white prefer a Maroczy structure vs. a Kings Indian structure?

In two games quite different games that I played recently, I was playing white and had a very nice centre, but according to the engine I misjudged pushing (or not pushing) my d-pawn both times. From ...
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9 votes
1 answer
751 views

Does this pawn structure arising from the Caro-Kann Advance Variation have a name?

I was looking at some positions arising from the Caro-Kann Advance variation with an early c5 by black, and was wondering if this was a common structure that I could easily find model games for, or ...
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  • 960
3 votes
1 answer
102 views

Where to put rooks when many pawns breaks are possible ( example position )

I think the white plan is to move the king to d3, knight to d2 (to protect f1/f3 from black bishop) put the bishop an a3 and open position c4-c5. I think the white position is much better. Is it the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
750 views

What is the idea behind a d4 e3 f4 pawn setup?

I have seen this particular d4 e3 f4 pawn-setup played a few times, sometimes arising from the Bird opening (as below), sometimes from 1.d4: [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w ...
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13 votes
5 answers
3k views

Why are side pawns better than center pawns in this position?

So center pawns are usually regarded as more powerful than side pawns, which is why I have a question about this position. After 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 c5 the engine and theory recommend playing 3. e3 to ...
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15 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is a pawn hook?

On my question (Why is 11. .. h6 such a bad move?) someone commented that I should read about the concepts of hooks. One definition that I found was: A hook is an advanced pawn which can be exploited ...
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6 votes
2 answers
664 views

What do the c5 and e5 breaks do in the Caro-Kann / Scandi pawn structures?

Here's what I understand about the point of c5 in the French / Advance Caro-Kann pawn structures: if White takes you are very happy, because his e-pawn becomes weak and you get to develop your bishop ...
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  • 1,837
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to quickly calculate two pawns facing two pawns

A situation that often seems to confuse me is when I push a pawn alongside two pawns that are head-to-head and my opponent pushes the opposing pawn, such as when Black plays c5 to my c4. rnbqkbnr/...
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3 votes
2 answers
211 views

Why is black playing ...f6 to attack the e5 pawn a bad move in the King's Indian Attack?

I have been studying the King's Indian Attack a bit recently, and have started reading through Neil McDonald's Move by Move book on it. Earlier today I played a game against a 2100 on Lichess (I am ...
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1 vote
1 answer
225 views

How can pawns win a whole game without any strong pieces?

How can a pawn or two or three win a entire chess game on it's own? I am playing as white pawns on the chessboard against my opponent. I tried moving to the end of the other and trading it for a ...
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  • 113
4 votes
2 answers
853 views

Positional chess understanding in the early game

As Black, when given a choice of taking the White's pawn, for what reason should I consider taking d5 pawn with e6 pawn? Wouldn't this open up the king's file and put it at risk of being attacked in ...
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  • 51
2 votes
4 answers
617 views

How does b4 fix pawns in this rook endgame?

Here, it is said that after 1.Re7 Rb8 2.Kd3 a6, white plays b4 to fix the enemy pawns. But I don't understand: how does it fix pawns? How is b3 any different? What does it mean to fix enemy pawns?
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  • 2,485
2 votes
3 answers
199 views

When and where is it a good idea to make a pawn break in a closed centre position?

I've read that you want to make pawn breaks by advancing your pawn on the file next to your most advanced pawn in these closed centre positions. What exactly is the reason behind this. Is it just to ...
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  • 413
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is e5 the strongest move here for white?

[FEN "rnb1kb1r/pp1pp2p/2p2ppn/q7/2BPP3/5N1P/PPPN1PP1/R1BQ1RK1 w kq - 3 8"] I'm a noob at chess, as I just started playing a week back. I played as White here, and Stockfish recommended e5 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
384 views

How many unique pawn structures are possible?

In an effort to classify chess games, I thought it would be useful to identify a set of positions by their unique pawn structure that would form a family of positions. There are indeed many positions ...
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2 votes
1 answer
247 views

Seeking GM-level coverage of a typical pawn structure

I was wondering if there is a top level coverage of plans for Black in the below pawn structure: [fen "8/pp3ppp/2p2p2/8/3P4/8/PPP2PPP/8 w - - 0 1"] Or this one: [fen "8/pp3ppp/2p2p2/8/...
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5 votes
1 answer
105 views

Plan against pawn formation of c4, d5, e4, e3 in the Nimzowitsch defense (or similar positions in the Dunst opening)

I'm a 1700-ish player who plays opening systems starting with 1.Nc3 as white and 1. ... Nc6 as black, and generally I'm pretty happy with my results. But there's one type of setup that I struggle ...
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  • 1,048
6 votes
1 answer
213 views

What should my plans be in a Carlsbad pawn structure?

I often find myself in positions with the Carlsbad pawn structure, and I really struggle to come up with a plan. I am usually the one with the pawn chain pointing toward the queenside, so I assume ...
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2 votes
3 answers
454 views

Looking for openings by pawn structure

Sometimes when playing Alekhine defense Scandinavian Variation, I get this kind of pawn structure : 8/p6p/6p1/2p1p3/2PpP1P1/Pp1P4/1P6/8 w - - 1 29 I am very comfortable playing as black with this ...
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  • 1,048
13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Pawn storm, should I start with h4 or g4?

If Black has castled kingside and White castled queenside or kingside, and White wants to launch an attack by a pawn storm. How do you know that you should start with h4 first or g4 first? I know that ...
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  • 950
5 votes
1 answer
375 views

How to proceed with the book "Pawn Structure Chess" by Andrew Soltis?

Should I memorize everything in the book, or use it in some other way?
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1 vote
1 answer
198 views

Value of a Thorn Pawn?

When did chess engines first assign a high value to a pawn on the sixth rank, with an opposing pawn in front of it? (This pawn is called a "thorn pawn", "fawn pawn", or "nail pawn".)
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3 votes
2 answers
302 views

Why is 15.cxd6 better than 15.cxb6 here?

In Radjabov vs. Gelfand (2013): [FEN ""] 1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.g3 Qb6 7.Nb3 Ne5 8.e4 Bb4 9.Qe2 d6 10.f4 Nc6 11.Be3 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 Qc7 13.Bg2 e5 14.c5 b6 15.cxd6 Qxd6 16.O-O ...
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3 votes
2 answers
376 views

Confused about timing of cxd5 and dxc4 in the Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD)

Recently I've been playing the Queen's Gambit Declined as my primary response to a d4 opening by white. While analyzing past games with engines, I've realized that as the game progresses, there's a ...
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  • 205
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to proceed in this endgame position?

[FEN "3k4/ppp3pp/1b6/8/PP6/4BpP1/5P1P/6K1 b - - 1 24"] This position is evaluated -4 but i cant find any plans for Black and lost. What should have been my strategy from this position ? This is the ...
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  • 1,048
3 votes
1 answer
125 views

Pawn Structure Change in the Pirc - dxe5 or Nxe5?

As black I reached this position in a recent game [White "Somebody"] [Black "Ian Bush"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B07"] [FEN ""] [StartPly "23"] 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 c6 5.f3 b5 6.a3 Nbd7 7.Bd3 ...
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  • 4,031
8 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is it called when opposite colored pawns up against each other?

When a white pawn and a black pawn are touching on a file, what is it called?
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  • 1,068
4 votes
2 answers
321 views

Can anyone recommend a positional book focused on preparing pawn breaks?

Feel free to share more than one book. I'm very interested in understanding better those preparatory moves.
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  • 296
1 vote
1 answer
99 views

Advanced Pawn Structure books [duplicate]

Hello fellow chess players. I've recently returned to the learning of this game, and as I forgot several ideas on deep mechanics, I read (again) "My System", from Nimzowitsch, and found it very useful,...
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2 votes
2 answers
157 views

Structure-better structure or bishop pair in the endgame?

Does the bishop pair compensate for doubled pawns if there are no rooks to attack with the bishops in the endgame?
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  • 296
6 votes
1 answer
270 views

What are good resources to use to learn how to best use pawns and pawn structures?

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?
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5 votes
1 answer
584 views

How do I decide what color squares to place my pawns on?

I often hear people say "I have my pawns on the dark/light squares like I'm supposed to" or something similar. I have no idea what actually dictates which squares to try to place your pawns though. ...
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  • 195
3 votes
2 answers
153 views

Why did Fischer play 17.c4 here?

Why did Fischer play 17...c4 here? [fen "r4rk1/1q1n1pp1/4b2p/p1pp4/8/Q2NP3/PP2BPPP/R4RK1 b - - 0 1"] Doesn’t it make the bishop e6 a lot worse? I would have played rfb8 instead, but I am not Fischer....
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1 vote
2 answers
167 views

Why doesn't the computer take my knight?

[FEN "3r4/p1p1kp2/1pn1b2p/4P1p1/P3pN2/2P1P1B1/2P2PPP/R5K1 b - - 0 1"] 1...Nxe5 {This was the original question with black to move.} (1...gxf4) (1...Rd2) NB: Black's knight was on C6 and has just ...
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  • 113
2 votes
1 answer
168 views

Can engines use the current pawn structure to refine its search/eval?

As I understand it, engines use so-called "bitboards" to generate the current position & possible moves. I'm wondering if any engine uses the pawn bitboard to refine its search and eval. To ...
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7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Opening Moves: Pawn Chains and Countering Attacks

What is it called when your opponent opens with their pawns in a zigzag formation, leaving the front line defended by the back? (Pawn Chain) Also what is the best way to counter this move?
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  • 179
6 votes
7 answers
2k views

Why not 1.d4 Nf6 2.d5?

Why isn't 1.d4 Nf6 2.d5 a good move? It gains space in the center. As beginners we are told that after 1.d4, 1...d5 directly opposes White's ambitions in the center, stopping d4-d5 (similarly, in some ...
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  • 6,690
1 vote
3 answers
245 views

How would you make a queenside pawn storm opening idea work?

I played a Lichess bullet game as Black in which I disregarded any opening theory because I just wanted to mount up a pawn storm on the queenside. Has anybody come across this idea? It seems to me ...
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  • 305
4 votes
5 answers
269 views

Who has the advantage here?

Who has the advantage here? In general whar will perform better in this scenario- 3 pawns vs. 3 pawns, or 4 pawns vs. 2 pawns?
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  • 149
3 votes
1 answer
131 views

How to detect invalid pawn structures (not based on opponent material) for FEN valdation?

I'm going to further expand a FEN validation function I have been working on for some time to include illegal pawn formations such that: ... for example white pawns could never be on a2, a3, and ...
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  • 3,108
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to improve king safety

I really wish to improve my chess skills a bit, albeit I am pretty sure that I do not want to become a grandmaster. One of my problem is my king's safety. Chess is very different from some other ...
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  • 657
2 votes
2 answers
644 views

Defensive strategy relying on a wall of pawns

I have been playing chess again for two or three months, after a period of about twenty years of interruption. In a game against a human adversary, I noticed that my opponent was taking the time to ...
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1 vote
2 answers
466 views

Looking for a single, good opening that revolves around a “crab” pawn structure [closed]

I have often heard (or this one video just got it stuck in my head) Youtube videos (the timestamp is 2:37, nothing else relevant) refer to this kind of pawn structure as a “crab” pawn structure (below,...
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6 votes
3 answers
960 views

What professional game has the quickest sequence, starting from move one, to quadrupled pawns?

In the blog "AJEDREZ, SIN DUDA", I came across a page that gives a game featuring quadrupled pawns. [Title "Zheliandinov-T. Sereteli, 35th Championship of the USSR, Kharkov, 1967"] ...
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2 votes
3 answers
239 views

Are there ever scenarios where more pawn islands are preferred?

In chess, it is usually advisable to have fewer pawn islands than your opponent. However, while I was watching a youtube video by someone called agadmator chess, he mentioned that multiple pawn ...
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the record for the most pawns, of both sides, on a file in a professional chess game?

Some of us have heard about the famous game Kovacs-Barth, Balatonbereny 1994, which has the longest known surviving quadrupled pawn structure . It is one of many games with quadrupled pawns for one ...
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is c4 a better move in this position?

The computer analysis on a game I played tells me that in the following position, White should have played c4 instead of e5: [fen "r3qrk1/pppb1ppp/1nn1p3/6B1/3PP3/P1P2N2/4BPPP/R2Q1RK1 w - - 0 1"] ...
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  • 675
-4 votes
2 answers
612 views

Is 6 the limit for the most pawns possible on a single file?

As far as I can calculate, 6 is the limit for the most number of pawns on a single file possible. Is 7 possible at all, ignoring promotion? I only took into account using the edge of the board, not ...
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