20

First of all, the isolated pawn is a dynamic strength, and a static weakness. But what does this mean? This means that he represents a pawn weakness, but compensates this weakness in some other way. In short, Black should strive towards endgame, while White must obtain some sort of pressure/attack in order to compensate for his weak d-pawn. Why is this ...


17

White intends to play c5, which will gain space on the queenside and severely cramp black's position (The b6 knight has no good square). On the other hand, e5 weakens white's control over d5 and f5 (e.g. Black can then go ...Ne7-f5). Black could also take advantage of the weak c4 and d5 squares with ...Na5 and ...Bc6. Keeping the pawn on e4 seems better. ...


14

A pawn break is a pawn move designed to free the player's position. Generally speaking, a pawn move is only called a pawn break when the moving pawn is on a file adjacent to two enemy pawns facing each other, and the pawn moves forward to the same rank as the player's other pawn. Since a picture is worth a thousand words... White can play either 1. c3 or ...


14

Black usually reaches the Stonewall formation from the Dutch Defense (though QGD is an option as well, if he/she postpones Nf6) and involves putting pawns on c6, d5, e6 and f5. These pawns guarantee a strong grip on the light squares in the center (especially e4, which is often occupied by a knight later on), but weaken the dark squares. Another problem for ...


13

It's a mistake to view the pawns themselves as overextended targets that you might get to "pick off" as you say in your post. After all, Black's main objective with the pawn storm is probably to open up lines to attack your king, and so your snapping up such overextended pawns really only furthers Black's goal. As already pointed out in comments in this ...


13

Here are a very few principles which are key: Centralize/activate/use your king. In the endgame he is one of your strongest pieces, and needs to be utilized. When you have the advantage, exchange pieces, and don't exchange pawns. Every exchange of pawns means one less potential promotion for the side with the advantage. Passed pawns must be pushed, and ...


13

The question is extremely open, as these pawns may be moved for many reasons depending on the position you are facing. In a general sketch, you may consider five kind of a and h pawn moves: To create some luft for the king, that is, avoid once and for all the back rank threats. [FEN "r5k1/5ppp/8/8/8/8/5PPP/1R4K1 w - - 0 1"] In this position, neither rook ...


11

It seems like there are really 3 parts to your question: When and how should pawn breaks be made? How should rooks be placed to support pawn pushes? How should plans be made around pawn breaks? As a disclaimer, these questions are incredibly complicated, so take this answer as a starting point. Entire books have been written about pawn play. ...


11

It's definitely not a good idea. If it were one, there would be a real opening for it. One problem with moving all your white-squared pawns 1 space forward, is that you lose so many moves developing your pieces. However, this is the 'small' disadvantage. The big one is, that all of your white squares are very weak. Look at this position: [fen ""] 1. a3 e5 ...


11

According to Tim Krabbé, Kovacs - Barth, Balatonbereny 1994 was the game with the longest living quadrupled pawns (23 moves). That would imply that he (an authority when it comes to chess records) doesn't know of any games with quintupled pawns.


10

Wikipedia mentions Alekhine-Nenarokov 1907 and van der Wiel-Hort 1981 as two (and by no means the only) games with quadrupled pawns. I can find no mention of quintupled pawns.


9

What is the idea behind 4... c5? Basically the same ideas as behind playing c4 in the Queen's gambit: challenging the center, potentially exchanging the c-pawn for a valuable central pawn, opening the c file for a rook, giving the knight a square on c6 (which is often a better square for the knight if the pawn has moved to c5 already) potentially ...


8

The issue with your opening strategy is that you neglect the development of your pieces. While you are pushing your pawns, your opponent will bring their pieces into the game. In general, the three most important guidelines of the opening are: Controlling the center. The closer a piece is to the center, the more influential it becomes. Developing your ...


8

Isolated double pawns like in your example are considered to be both a static and a dynamic weakness. It is a static weakness since the pawns can no longer defend each other or be defended by other pawns. It is a dynamic weakness since the front pawn is blocking the advance of the pawn behind. It is strategically important for the opposing player to control ...


8

EDITED IN RESPONSE TO COMMENT MADE BY MEMBER DagOskarMadsen: Endgame remains a draw, but there was a mistake in my analysis-I hereby thank member DagOskarMadsen for pointing it out. I have updated my answer with the proper drawing move, and have left the bad variation as a sideline and marked it with ?? so it can be noticed more easily. I have also more ...


8

This is a dead draw. There are no sensible piece sacrifices for either side. There is no plan that isn't easily parried (Black could gang up on the a5-pawn with Qd8 and Bc7, but white just doubles the rooks on a1 and a2. White could try to invade with the knight to b6 and d5, but black would just go Bxa4 when the knight turns up on a4.) Black isn't ...


7

Let me start from top to bottom: It is important to play e4 or d4 to 'control the center'. Myth or reality? Myth. Well, there are two premises in the question itself: 1) That e4 or d4 'controls the center'. When you play 1.e4/d4 you do not control the center, you physically occupy it. To control the center, you will need more than a single pawn ...


7

Here's a somewhat cheap answer: the Nimzowitsch Variation of the Caro-Kann Defense, given by 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ exf6. In the resulting position, if we were to remove all the pieces and leave a pure king-and-pawns endgame, then White would have a winning advantage, because he has a healthy pawn majority on the queenside which ...


7

In one sense, I would simply say, "Yes, the pawn structure would be the first indicator that one has entered/transposed into a given opening." But since there's no other answer here as of yet, I'm going to take the liberty to say a bit more, pushing a little further than the question as you asked it. Not to put too fine a point on it, but here's one way to ...


7

There isn't that much difference in strength between having a pawn on e4 or one on e3 (usually accompanied by one on d4); there are pros and cons to both (and a pawn on e3 can still go to e4, but not the other way around). The difference is between putting them there on move 1. Let's take a look at the effects of 1.e4 and 1.e3, concentrating on the actual ...


7

In order to make progress, one or both of you need to break through that wall. Each of you seem to have the best chances on the side near the opponent's King--you have a passer on the kingside; your opponent has a lot of pressure on your queenside. First, look at his threats. ...b5-b4 seems to force the issue on the queenside by kicking your Knight and ...


7

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 materially equal but I have an isolated passed pawn on the 4th or 5th rank. I have heard that isolated pawns are bad (because they cannot be supported by other ...


7

You would like an answer that does not "go into deep variations", but if all such questions could be answered just on general principles, chess would not be as interesting as it is. In this particular case 5.c5 is definitely premature and BOTH methods of undermining the center work well, transferring the initiative (but no more) to Black. The tactics are ...


7

It is, indeed, called a "pawn chain". It does not have any other special designation. There is no single best way to counter any specific pawn chain, as it is much more complex than that. Here is a bit on that. Pawn chains, and where you attack them, is the basis for all opening play. Where the pawns on both sides clash is called a pawn break. Knowing where ...


6

To address this issue: "A big trouble my central pawn breaks are repeatedly causing me is that, when I push the pawn, it tends to leave you not me the choice of which of the two files in question to open." A player that is in a position to push for a pawn break is often stronger on BOTH files, leaving his opponent with a choice of evils. Another time to ...


6

It's always a matter of tradeoff. You an find plenty of IM & GM games where a player accepts doubled pawns because they feel it's worth it in that position. In this position, the doubled pawn is lending support to the center, is not making the king weak, and provides an open file for the rook. The black d pawn is restricted, and trading on d5 would ...


6

Since, you're already familiar with the King's Indian Attack and are looking for a solid line, I recommend playing the Nimzowitsch Larsen Attack, by first playing 1. Nf3. Normally, the Larsen Attack starts directly with 1. b3, but after 1...e5, I wouldn't describe the resulting positions as "solid" for White, but rather more "dynamic". [FEN "rnbqkbnr/...


6

White cannot break this Great Wall of China in this position. In fact, White is slightly worse and here's why - 1. Pawn chain Black's pawn structure is better than White's. The pawn on e6 is the base of Black's pawn chain and it is almost impossible for White to have any attack on that. True, White could possibly bring a knight to f4, but that's not ...


6

The two books by John Watson about strategy. These themes are considered from a historical viewpoint usually in contrast to the way they are presented in textbooks. Even if you find a favorite textbook then later you should verify everything against John Watson's books because he always gives counterarguments and counterexamples to what is established as the ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible