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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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2 votes
2 answers
343 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
134 views

Why do some common openings move a pawn in front a bishop prior to moving the king's or queen's pawn?

I've seen several people do this and assumed it was a beginner's mistake (since I'm a beginner myself and I play on the chess.com app usually only against other players within 25 points of my rating), ...
3 votes
2 answers
123 views

As a beginner, should I concern myself with pawn structure during opening, or just focus on developing my knights and bishops and winning time?

If a makes a difference, I usually open with the King's pawn (or, if I'm playing black and my opponent starts with the Queen's pawn, I'll usually counter with the Queen's pawn as well, since I don't ...
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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
72 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
101 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 ...
0 votes
5 answers
331 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 ...
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Pawn theory / exercises

I am not a very strong positional player and I thought I could work on my pawn theory a bit. Are there common exercises or internet resources I could look into for how to play better pawn structures ...
0 votes
1 answer
61 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?
2 votes
1 answer
103 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. ...
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, ...
9 votes
3 answers
4k views

"Pawn Power in Chess" by Hans Kmoch vs "Pawn Structure Chess" by Andrew Soltis

I have Pawn Power in Chess by Hans Kmoch, but I can hardly understand what he is trying to convey in the book. Maybe this has to do with my level of play or maybe it has to do with the way Kmoch ...
4 votes
1 answer
163 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 (...
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Quintuple pawns / Interesting pawn structures

I played a game with an amateur that resulted in my opponent having tripled pawns right beside my doubled pawns. I'm wondered if there were any games with quadruple pawns. After finding such games, I ...
1 vote
2 answers
215 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 ...
25 votes
4 answers
21k views

What is a pawn break?

I did some research (Google), but it still unclear to me on exactly what a pawn break is. I was reading this question: The theory of pawn breaks It is about the theory of pawn breaks, but before I ...
3 votes
1 answer
120 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 ...
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 ...
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 (...
5 votes
2 answers
694 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
112 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 ...
2 votes
3 answers
365 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
316 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 ...
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 ...
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?
2 votes
1 answer
273 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
804 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
767 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 ...
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/...
-4 votes
2 answers
828 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 ...
5 votes
8 answers
1k views

Is this a good idea for starting the game?

Usually I am a defensive player. Because of this, a few years ago, I created an opening set of moves, where I moved every other pawn forward 1 space, starting with pawn a2. To be more specific, I ...
6 votes
3 answers
1k 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"] ...
1 vote
2 answers
502 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,...
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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
331 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 ...
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

What's up with the doubled pawns?

There's another question on this SE, which asks the question in reverse: What are the reasons why I should not try to take a Knight with my Bishop if it'll result in doubled pawns? The answers do ...
4 votes
2 answers
869 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 ...
7 votes
4 answers
4k views

How to break through their "Great Wall of China"

It's my move as White. I have no idea what to do. I feel like I'm going to get squashed to death. What would be my best move or strategy in situations like these? [FEN "r2q1rk1/4b3/p1n1p1b1/...
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why isn't Bird's Opening at least as popular as the Dutch Defence?

The Dutch Defence is a fairly popular response to 1. d4. So shouldn't 1. f4 (Bird's opening), viewed as a Dutch plus a tempo, be at least as popular?
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/...
5 votes
1 answer
130 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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
302 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 ...
2 votes
3 answers
587 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 ...
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 ...
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?