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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23
votes
15answers
11k views

Is Colle-Zukertort a good way to improve beginner play?

I'm still trying to improve my repertoire and building more towards aggressive openings which I find to better fit my playing style. Colle-Zukertort seems like a popular one and I've seen it ...
19
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3answers
6k views

How to deal with an opposing pawn storm?

During some recent games I played, I have lost because my opponent advanced their pawns very far, attacking my pieces and forcing them to retreat. In some cases the pieces became trapped as well. ...
17
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3answers
3k views

What is the “stonewall formation”?

I use PyChess to play. It talks sometimes about how White or Black moved their pawns into "stonewall formation." How do they do that, and what are the position's advantages/disadvantages?
16
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3answers
11k 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 about the theory of pawn breaks, but before I could ...
14
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2answers
5k views

The theory of pawn breaks

Does there exist a theory of pawn breaks? Of course, there exists a theory of static pawn structure and good bishops; but I was thinking of rooks rather than bishops, and of aggressive pawns that ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Understanding the Tarrasch defence to the Queen's gambit

I do not understand the diagrammed position. Do you? [fen ""] [title "A. Grischuk vs. V. Kramnik, FIDE Candidates 2018"] [startply "8"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nf3 c5 5. e3 dxc4 6. Bxc4 a6 7....
13
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6answers
2k views

Are isolated passed pawns good or bad?

I frequently face situations in the late middle game (perhaps only a one minor piece and a rook or two on each side, no queens) where I can force a position (via exchanges) where both players are ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Strategy in Isolated Queen Pawn Positions

What should Black's plan be in Isolated Queen Pawn Openings like this one arising from the Caro-Kann Panov attack? [fen ""] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 e6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.cxd5 Nxd5
13
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5answers
812 views

Is this endgame winnable for white? (Knight vs two connected passed queenside pawns)

I would like to know if this endgame is winnable for white. Black to play. Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
12
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3answers
9k views

What are the advantages of the Stonewall attack?

I stumbled upon the Stonewall attack, and it looks pretty strong, and I especially like the fact that it is strong against computer programs. I would like feedback on this attack, and if this is a ...
12
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3answers
1k 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 ...
11
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3answers
1k 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 ...
11
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5answers
3k views

Which openings give a winning pawn-structure in the endgame?

For example in the Exchange Variation of the Spanish 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6, White gives Black the Bishop pair, but gains a potentially winning pawns-only endgame. Are there other ...
11
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4answers
1k 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?
10
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2answers
1k views

Improving the endgame: Principles

I find I am weakest in the endgame, which is arguably the most important part of chess. Usually when I reach the endgame I have an advantage, often a pawn or a "winning" pawn formation, but I am not ...
10
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4answers
2k views

What's the goal of a minority attack?

I understand the definition of a minority pawn attack, is when one side has less pawns than other in a flank of the board (or any sector) and advances them to trade them with the oponent. The question ...
9
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2answers
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"] ...
9
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3answers
3k views

What are the motivations behind pawn moves on a and h files?

Sometimes when there are no clearly optimal moves, a computer or a human master player would push their pawns on a and h files (the edges of the board), for no clear reasons. What would be the ...
9
votes
3answers
894 views

How can one determine the opening or transposed opening from the existing pawn formation/structure?

I was once told that you can determine an opening or transposed opening just by how the pawns are structured on the board. Is this the method normally used to determine if an opening was transposed ...
9
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3answers
342 views

How to improve on the early endgame?

The late middlegame/early endgame is by far my weakest point. I often get some kind of advantage in the opening, but then struggle to convert. I do study endgames, for example I am currently reading ...
8
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4answers
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?
8
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3answers
1k 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 ...
8
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1answer
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'm played as White here, and Stockfish recommended e5 ...
8
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3answers
3k 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 ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Pawn structure books

Which book is better for a 1700-1800 player? Pawn Power in Chess by Hans Kmoch (originally Die Kunst der Bauernführung, 1956) Pawn Structure Chess by Andrew Soltis Chess Structures: A Grandmaster ...
8
votes
1answer
728 views

Pawn Structure database

I wonder if there is any existing or a way to create a chess database organised only according to pawn structures, where the notion of a pawn structures is crudely defined by GM Andrew Soltis in his ...
7
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4answers
2k views

How to Break Through His “Great Wall of China”?

It's my move (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/p1n1p1b1/1p1pPpPp/...
7
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4answers
1k views

When to push centrals pawns?

Lets consider you have e4 d4 pawns with white or e5,d5 with black. When your opponent challenge your center with e5 or d5 with black, or with e4 or d4 with white of course his pawns are protected. How ...
7
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3answers
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?
7
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3answers
341 views

What does “knights have no long-lasting support points” mean in this game?

In this article on pawn structure, the author uses this game as example: [Event "Prague 2008"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "David Navara"] [Black "Vladimir Kramnik"] [Result "0-...
7
votes
2answers
687 views

Can't find long term plan for Black

I am working on multiple lines from Scandinavian defense, with the goal to resurrect them. One line I'm working on is 3...Qd8, and I have managed to achieve quite playable positions ( the results are ...
6
votes
6answers
724 views

Why does the computer want to undermine this pawn chain at the tip instead of at its root?

I had the following position with black in a game I recently played: [FEN "r1bqkbnr/pp1n1ppp/2p1p3/2Pp4/3P4/4PN2/PP3PPP/RNBQKB1R b KQkq - 9 5"] and proceeded with 5... e5 However, after the game ...
6
votes
7answers
798 views

I don't understand the central-control difference between 1. e4 and 1. e3

The books/articles tell me that the center is d4, d5, e4, and e5. 1. e4 controls d5, but 1. e3 controls d4. Both control one square in the center, no? Yet 1. e4 is apparently a vast improvement ...
6
votes
7answers
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
307 views

How can I improve my knowledge of pawn structure theory?

What resources (books, videos, websites) are there to help me improve my understanding of pawn structures?
6
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5answers
3k views

Best books on middlegame strategy?

What are the best works trying to systematically summarize all middlegame themes and strategies: e.g. space advantage, pawn structures, exposed king, minority attack, isolated pawn, hanging pawns, etc....
6
votes
4answers
419 views

Understanding The Isolani Pawn

After reading Chess structures of Mauricio Flores Rios, I have some initial questions on the Isolani (or isolated queen pawn). The author shows this diagram: Later, he proceeds to giving White and ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
607 views

In the Pirc, bringing a dragon pawn structure fails

[FEN ""] 1. d4 d6 2. e4 g6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 c5 5. dxc5 Qa5 6. cxd6 Above you can see the first moves of a Pirc Defense game. To study this opening, I learn with the book "Pirc Alert!" by Lev Alburt ...
6
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1answer
201 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?
6
votes
1answer
396 views

Why does White play 13. f3 and not 13. f4 in the Modern Benoni, Classical Line?

In the classical line, the book Starting Out: Modern Benoni by Endre Vegh recommends 13. f3: [FEN ""] [StartPly "26"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. Nf3 g6 7. e4 Bg7 8. Be2 O-...
6
votes
1answer
131 views

How can Black free his game?

What are Black's long term plans in below pawn structure? How can Black free his game? The position arose from the Rubinstein variation of the French defense: [Title "White to move"] [fen "r2rb1k1/...
5
votes
2answers
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
447 views

Are connected doubled (4 pawns on 2 files) a weak structure?

It seems to me to be a very solid structure that can play very good in the endgame. Example: pawns on c2, c3, d2, d3.
5
votes
3answers
671 views

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

From what I’ve found, on this website, the shortest sequence, starting from move one in a professional chess game, to quadrupled pawns is 18 moves. The game mentioned is this: [Title "Zheliandinov-T. ...
5
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3answers
1k views

Pawns in the center: strength or weakness?

In most openings, pawns typically end up at some of the centre squares. There is really no other way to open up the long diagonals(c1-h6,a6-f1) for the bishops. However, how desirable is this? ...
5
votes
2answers
891 views

It is important to play e4 or d4 to 'control the center'. Myth or reality?

Well, there are two premises in the question itself: 1) That e4 or d4 'controls the center'. 2) That 'Controlling the center'is something important. It appears to me that 'controlling the center' is ...
5
votes
4answers
389 views

What is the name of this pawn structure for black, with doubled c and f pawns?

Is there any name for this pawn structure?
5
votes
1answer
333 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?
5
votes
3answers
865 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 ...