Deep understanding of pawn structures is something that separates masters from amateurs. Therefore in this article series we will explore the most fundamental pawn structures and learn about its properties. If you missed the first and second articles related to connected pawns and passed pawns please click bellow links.
This is the third article of Introduction to pawn structures article series. In previous two article, we discussed about connected pawns and passed pawns. Now lets look at next type: backward pawns. Go through each of the position, and you will be able to identify them in your own games. Get the understanding of which pawn structures are favorable and which aren’t. Lets look at characteristics of backward pawns and how to handle them in order to get the advantage.
3. Backward Pawn
Advancing pawns may leave one of them behind. A backward pawn is called one that cannot take its place beside another on the neighboring file. Here some examples:
A backward pawn has two basic defects,
- It can not be protected by another pawn
- Its mobility has been restricted
Usually the side possessing such a pawn has a lot of problems with it. If your opponent has a backward pawn, try to attack it as soon as possible. This will make your pieces more active and restrict the pieces of your opponent. If a backward pawn is on the semi open file try to attack to it using major pieces such as doubling the rook and queen.
A square in front of a backward pawn is frequently weak, thus giving you the opportunity to occupy it with one of your pieces. It will help to minimize opponent’s mobility. It is not easy to protect as well. Week in front of the backward pawn is less vulnerable to attack as there is no pawns to attack it (Such square is named as weak square). Above diagram shows how such weak square is occupied by Rook. Bellow you will see some examples where the weak squares are occupied by light pieces.
If you get a backward pawn then first try to get rid of it, for example to advance it forward or to exchange it for any opponent’s pawn. If you decide to protect it, try to do it in such a way that your pieces do not turn to passive defenders. Some times it is better to sacrifice a backward pawn to keep your pieces active than to protect it.
Best way to deal with backward pawn of your own is of course to avoid it in the first place. Therefore careful when you move your pawns. Now lets consider following three games for further clarification.
Rest of the types will be discussed in upcoming articles. So stay in touched. If you find this article useful, please do comment and share. Thanks for reading.