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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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Purpose of these (potential) pawn breaks in Gukesh - Ding Liren (Tata Steel 2024)

I'm watching an old stream of this year's Tata Steel round 3. In the game Gukesh - Ding Liren, at the following position r1b2rk1/1pp1qp2/1bnp3p/pN2p1pn/P1B1P3/1QPP1NB1/1P3PPP/2KR3R w - - 4 14 the ...
antonro's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
95 views

How common are tripled pawns in chess games?

Recently I played a nice OTB game where I sacked a pawn to triple my enemy's pawns, and won convincingly. Having played thousands of games online and dozens OTB, I somehow fail to remember any other ...
Hank's back rank's user avatar
0 votes
5 answers
329 views

Can't understand where is my fault in this game

I played with white. I suspect that not having control in the center might be the problem. Is that true or is there something else? The game GIF: https://lichess1.org/game/export/gif/qtKvS9zz.gif The ...
Gamal Othman's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
59 views

Ruy Lopez exchange variable [duplicate]

In the exchange variation of Ruy Lopez, why doesn't black capture using the B-pawn? As per good strategy shouldn't we capture towards the center of the board?
codaddict's user avatar
  • 101
2 votes
1 answer
99 views

How to determine the right plan in a Carlsbad structure on the queenside for examples similar to this one

Let's say that I'm play from the Black side this position: [FEN ""] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. f4 Nf6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. h3 Bxf3 7. Qxf3 e6 8. c3 Nc6 9. Bd3 Be7 10. Be3 a6 11. Nd2 b5 12. ...
Guess601's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
7k views

Can a pawn move 2 spaces if doing so would cause en passant mate?

You cannot place your King in check, the en passant could be refused and because you are not placing your King in check directly it seems you can move your pawn 2 spaces. However, just like castling, ...
TheNewProcess's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
162 views

What's the point of 4.a4 in this Czech Benoni?

In the following Benoni position (White to move): rnbqkbnr/pp3ppp/3p4/2pPp3/8/2N5/PPP1PPPP/R1BQKBNR w KQkq e6 0 4 The engine's (Lichess' Stockfish) first move, and also the one with best results (...
antonro's user avatar
  • 629
1 vote
2 answers
213 views

Achieving e4 pawn push after 1.d4 opening

Is there a reasonable way for me to start with 1.d4 and be able to push (without gambitting) the e-pawn to e4. I am happy to do this without playing c4 first, and also it is ok if I get this pawn ...
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3 votes
1 answer
118 views

Opposite side castling, pawn storm vs piece play

I used to play Sicilian Najdorf a couple of years ago and I used to get positions like this one: [FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 Be7 9.Qd2 ...
Guess601's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
146 views

why f4 for white in this position

I was playing a rapid game with the white pieces the other day and I reached this position [FEN ""] 1. b3 d6 2. Bb2 e5 3. e3 Nc6 4. c4 f5 5. g3 Nf6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. Nc3 Bd7 8. Nge2 O-O 9. d3 ...
Guess601's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
688 views

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 ...
Hauptideal's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
175 views

Why is two pawns defending a outpost regarded as a strong outpost?

Quoting Irving Chernev: A brilliant sacrifice which must be accepted. Refusing the Pawn means that Black could never free himself by … d5. It would also enable White to play 16 ♘c3 next move (...
miniHessel's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
306 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 ...
Shreyash Talpade's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
111 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 ...
Matt's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
828 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 ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 992
3 votes
1 answer
120 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 ...
Pawel Dubiel's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Discrete lizard's user avatar
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 ...
Fanny Raymond's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
maxmitz's user avatar
  • 675
6 votes
2 answers
798 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 ...
James Ko's user avatar
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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/...
Steve Bennett's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
324 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 ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 992
1 vote
1 answer
276 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 ...
Lynt's user avatar
  • 113
4 votes
2 answers
868 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 ...
Sam S.'s user avatar
  • 51
2 votes
4 answers
639 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?
bretlee's user avatar
  • 2,515
2 votes
3 answers
359 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 ...
randomlad's user avatar
  • 423
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 ...
John Doe's user avatar
  • 193
3 votes
4 answers
583 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 ...
shashank shekhar singh's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
254 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/...
AlwaysLearningNewStuff's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
127 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 ...
Noah Snyder's user avatar
  • 1,028
6 votes
1 answer
298 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 ...
BigMac47's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
582 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 ...
AKP2002's user avatar
  • 1,088
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 ...
Guess601's user avatar
  • 1,200
5 votes
1 answer
429 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?
bretlee's user avatar
  • 2,515
1 vote
1 answer
250 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".)
David Fabian's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
496 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 ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 27.7k
3 votes
2 answers
551 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 ...
Alien's user avatar
  • 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 ...
AKP2002's user avatar
  • 1,088
3 votes
1 answer
177 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 ...
Ian Bush's user avatar
  • 4,387
8 votes
4 answers
4k 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?
Marvin's user avatar
  • 1,088
4 votes
2 answers
611 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.
Marcelo's user avatar
  • 296
1 vote
1 answer
116 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,...
Josue Rojas's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
177 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?
Marcelo's user avatar
  • 296
6 votes
1 answer
306 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?
edwina oliver's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
824 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. ...
lukehod's user avatar
  • 205
3 votes
2 answers
169 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....
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
182 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 ...
cobberboy's user avatar
  • 113
2 votes
1 answer
272 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 ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 27.7k
7 votes
3 answers
3k 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?
Neo1009's user avatar
  • 179
6 votes
7 answers
3k 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 ...
A. N. Other's user avatar
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