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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Weak Pawns.

Pin It The pawn, wrote Philidor, is the soul of chess Although he wrote it some two hundred years ago, and although it remains valid today, many amateurs do not realize just what it means and how they can profit by understanding it.
The pawn formation that results from the opening is the Principle determinant of the further


course of the game. The position of the pawns largely indicates where the other forces are best disposed, and it is the clash of unbalanced pawn structures that makes chess a fight. that is why symmetrical pawn structures usually lead to drawish positions.

Furthermore, given the sophisticated technique of today's masters, weak pawns are excellent targets, and the loss of a single pawn can mean the loss of game. Therefore, good players avoid weak pawns assiduously.

What is a weak pawn? A pawn that is exposed to attack and also difficult to defend is weak. there are several varieties : Isolated, doubled, too advanced, retarded. An isolated pawn, because it is separated from the neighboring pawns and cannot be supported by them, requires defense by pieces. these pieces are called passive since they must function below their full potential. A doubled pawn is limited in mobility; its weakness is usually felt in the endgame because a group of pawns that includes a doubled pawn is less likely than a healthy group to produce a passed pawn. a pawn that is advanced too far runs the risk of being cut off from the rest of its army and becoming isolated. A pawn not advanced far enough can get in the way of the other pieces and may become backward and vulnerable.

Weak pawns can be tolerated in certain cases, particularly when you have, or are sure to get, equivalent compesation, like a strong attack or at least the creation of an equally weak pawn in the opponent's camp. Best, of course, is to avoid them.

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