15 votes
Accepted

Was this “caterpillar” strategy a good way to advance my pawns?

tl;dr: "Yes." Discussion: Technically, this position is governed by the basic concept of the "Outside Passed Pawn" and the winning method is to use that pawn to restrict the opposing king's ability ...
  • 5,174
15 votes
Accepted

What should be the value change if pawns are doubled?

Start with whatever and tune it. That's how chess engine programming works - you start with some number, and then tune it. For example you start with -5, then create another version with -10. You get ...
  • 22.6k
14 votes

In Bb5 systems against the Sicilian, why does White exchange their b5 bishop without playing a6?

Some things that are probably part of the answer, but probably not complete and concrete enough: 1...a6 won't come. There is no threat to a pawn on e5, the knight isn't pinned, the only point of 3....
  • 26.4k
14 votes
Accepted

Why is e5 the strongest move here for white?

You've given some good, very long-term reasons not to play e5. But in this position, dynamic considerations outweigh these long-term reasons. Look again at the position: you have developed (if you ...
  • 22.6k
11 votes

Was this “caterpillar” strategy a good way to advance my pawns?

Overall, that is totally fine, and it worked great. That said, without a detailed calculation of any promotion and stalemate possibilities on the k-side, the easiest win will be running to b2 and just ...
  • 32.1k
9 votes

Was this “caterpillar” strategy a good way to advance my pawns?

White is in zugzwang so the basic idea of forcing white back using the pawns for extra tempos is perfectly correct. You still need to figure out how to queen without stalemating but you have the ...
  • 4,210
9 votes
Accepted

Capture towards the center vs. undoubling

In this particular position both ...ab6 and ...cb6 are reasonable. Generally speaking I would prefer to take toward the center because the doubled pawns are not weak at all when they have neighbours ...
  • 13.1k
8 votes

Beginners question: The double pawn

Bad: They can't defend each other like adjacent pawns can. Good: They give you an extra open file for your rooks. Usually the bad outweighs the good, but there are a zillion exceptions. Most ...
  • 14.6k
7 votes

In Bb5 systems against the Sicilian, why does White exchange their b5 bishop without playing a6?

A few things: 1) White's actually not wasting any tempi. He has to move his bishop out anyway (in order to castle). Then, once on b5, taking on c6 doesn't waste a tempo since Black has to spend a ...
7 votes

What should be the value change if pawns are doubled?

There's no real rule for how much do doubled pawns (or any other kind of weakness on the pawn structure) worse your position. There's not even a rule for piece value, specially if you'll add bonuses ...
  • 13.2k
6 votes

Was this “caterpillar” strategy a good way to advance my pawns?

It was OK, but unnecessary. You could have left your "back" pawn on the starting square to make your opponent lose more time while going to capture it. Then you are free to go into the queenside to ...
  • 13.2k
6 votes

Why are doubled pawns in this case particularly devastating?

I first need to note that there is a fairly large difference between the structure in your first diagram and the one reached in the Nimzo-Indian line: in the first diagram, white has not yet played d4....
  • 7,458
6 votes
Accepted

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

It is a solid structure indeed, avoiding one of the most important weaknesses of doubled pawns, which is that they're generally hard to protect. Also, they're less easy to block than just a c- and d-...
  • 24.1k
5 votes

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

The structure itself isn't weak, since as you mentioned all of the pawns are solid and protecting each other. The problem is that you can't do much offensively with these pawns. Take the following ...
5 votes

What should be the value change if pawns are doubled?

Doubled pawns aren't necessarily bad. They typically mean an open file and often can improve control of the center. There's really no way to answer unless I know how you value the mobility of the ...
  • 4,210
4 votes

In Bb5 systems against the Sicilian, why does White exchange their b5 bishop without playing a6?

The main reason is that White does not want to face Nd4in many lines. They want to make sure they will "hurt" Black's pawn structure with Bxc6. Compare this line with others where the Black knight is ...
  • 13.2k
4 votes

In Bb5 systems against the Sicilian, why does White exchange their b5 bishop without playing a6?

A lot of it is simply to create an imbalance. Nakamura has mentioned this before about a different opening B-for-N trade, and sometimes it is done without even getting doubled pawns in return, like an ...
  • 32.1k
4 votes
Accepted

Why are doubled pawns in this case particularly devastating?

In order to answer your question, pros and cons of the doubled pawns must be listed. I shall start with pros: You get additional open file; You get additional diagonal; you get addition protective ...
4 votes

Beginners question: The double pawn

Isolated double pawns are considered as weakness in general except rare occasions where they play a crucial role in defending important squares. There is no general rule of pawn islands with double ...
  • 187
3 votes

When to (and when not to) play Bxc6 (i.e. BxN) as White in Ruy Lopez?

It is just a matter of taste. There are pluses and minuses to the move, but the strategic idea is gaining a better pawn structure. I have played the Exchange 4.Bxc6; the Deferred Exchange 4.Ba4 Nf6 5....
  • 6,081
3 votes

What are the reasons why I should not try to take a Knight with my Bishop if it'll result in doubled pawns?

There are a few disadvantages: You trade your light-squared bishop, your best attacking piece. You give Black the bishop pair. The likely followup is an exchange of queens and an early endgame. If ...
  • 12.3k
3 votes
Accepted

Structure-better structure or bishop pair in the endgame?

More often than not, the Bishop pair will compensate for doubled pawns in an endgame. Your unopposed bishop would have to be pretty bad (and therefore your overall position) if it's influence did not ...
  • 6,081
3 votes

Why is e5 the strongest move here for white?

I think the (already good) answer left out a very concrete important point. White has a scary lead in development. Standard plan: rip open a few lines and massacre the king who is a sitting duck in ...
2 votes

What's up with the doubled pawns?

One important aspect of doubled pawns is, that pawn majorities, which encompass doubled pawns, usually aren't able to create passed pawns on their own, i.e. without help from another piece: So in ...
2 votes

What are the reasons why I should not try to take a Knight with my Bishop if it'll result in doubled pawns?

Let's see, what is the original question? The poster thinks that taking a knight with a bishop should be good if it results in the opponent getting doubled pawns. And the poster also specifically asks ...
  • 111
2 votes

Beginners question: The double pawn

Excellent discussion of doubled pawns by Gserper on chess.com Nov 2012. Botvinnik was first World-class player who liked doubled pawns. Kasparov noted Botvinnik loved to grab the center and was not ...
  • 681
2 votes

Beginners question: The double pawn

There are two important things to note about doubled pawns. 1: They are good at defense. 2: They are bad at moving forward. [fen "8/5p2/6p1/ppp5/5PP1/1P4P1/1P6/8 w - - 0 1"] In this diagram from ...
2 votes
Accepted

How do I play against this kind of position with double c pawn?

This reminds me of this article by Jeremy Silman. The position you discuss is difficult to evaluate, as both parties have assets and drawbacks. The first thing to notice is that the position is ...
2 votes

How do I play against this kind of position with double c pawn?

ad 1: Partially, yes. Ng6 is a good move but it will get surely met by white's g3. That's natural. Still u want to move your knight from f8, this square is for your rook. ad 2: Of course c5 was a ...
  • 1,062
2 votes

Capture towards the center vs. undoubling

Here all is about whether white a-pawn will be strong passed pawn or weakness on semi open file. Possible undoubling is just a side effect of more important consideration. If you can blow the kingside,...
  • 3,266

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