One the main elements that a player needs to pay more attention during the game is the pawn structure. The pawn structure defines the way of play and the direction and focus of attacks. This is th building blocks of the position which keep position solid. In previous articles we have discussed about basic pawn structures as bellow. If you would also like to learn about those structures please click the link provided.
- Connected pawns
- Passed pawns
- Backward pawns
- Isolated pawns
- Doubled pawns
- Hanging pawns
- Pawn majority
In this article we will e discussing about some middlegame pawn structures which determines the result of the game. It is extremely difficult to defend in such situations.
Example 01: Kasimdhzhanov, R – Vallejo, F in 2009
White to play
Since the light squares of white is slightly weaker, black is desperately try to e the control of those in the center. If it was black’s turn then undoubtedly black will maneuver his knight to c4 square via b6. But white has played interesting c4!? trying to undermine the 5 pawn. After inaccurate play of lack white has gained a clear advantage.
Please see bellow diagram to see the position after move 20.
It is obvious that something has already gone wrong for black. See the full game in bellow.
Example 02: Dominguez, L – Moradiabadi, Elshan in 2011
The pawn structure is very important in determination of the result even the slight pawn weakness would be enough to make the position difficult to play.
White to Play
Sacrificed a pawn (white) to seize the initiative along the C file and put pressure on black’s central pawn. White has played 13.Bf4! in order to exchange the black's d6 which protect c7 pawn and clearing the c1 square for the a1 rook. If black capture f4 bishop then knight would make more pressure on d5 pawn. So the doubling pawns on d6/d5 are unavoidable.
Please see bellow diagram to see the position after making several moves.
The minor pieces have been traded off yet black’s defensive task is still very difficult due to the weak d6 pawn. See the full game in bellow.
Example 03: Nimzowitsch, A - Hermann, J in 1934
The pawn weakness is not only lies with his pawn but also the square in front of it as well. The square in front of weak pawn becomes a great inter post or a blockade point for the attacker.
The Pawn weakness are inevitable in some situations but in most cases it occur due to the inaccurate decisions we make over the board.
Black to play
Black reacted badly to the move 16…a6? And the damage to his pawn structure cannot be undone. It was better to stay quiet with a move like 16…Be4 or 16…Rcb8. See the full game here:
Finally, we hope that this article has made you realize that your pawn structure is one of the top elements to consider during your games. If you feel this article is useful please comment and share with your chess friends. Thank you for reading!