January 13, 2015

Hanging Pawn Structures

Recently, we published the lesson “Power of Pawn Storm” for you, and I hope you enjoyed it and won a few games by implementing those ideas. If that’s the case, then accept my congratulations – way to go! :)
As the great Philidor quotes, Pawns are the soul of CHESS! Pawns play a major role in chess. They are the skeleton of a chess game. If one bone is broken, the entire game will collapse.
Now let us discuss the Hanging Pawn Structure” (HPS). Before you start thinking about that, let me ask you a question: What is a HPS?
couple of pawns with no support from their own pawn-mates either left or right are known as a HPS.
The plan of playing with a HPS is almost similar to isolated pawns. The major principles are:
  • To coordinate your pieces behind the pawns and try to advance the d-pawn, which may be converted to a passed pawn and can cramp the opponent’s pieces.
  • Maintain pieces and try to attack on the kingside.
  • Rook shift to join the kingside attack.
Note: I’ve covered, in some detail, the same pawns structure in the course “Your Winning Plan” (LINK). With HPS, you can follow the rules of a static centre as well.
There are still many plans – we will continue them in our next lesson. :)
Now let’s enjoy a famous game played between Kasparov and Portisch. This game was played in 1983 at Niksic. In those days, with the lack of computers, one depended purely on homework and positional understanding.
None other than Kasparov, the exponent of HPS, can explain how to handle HPS positions. Kasparov, with his creative and imaginative skills, demonstrated abrilliant kingside attack.
Let’s go to the game now.
Kasparov, Garry (2690) – Portisch, Lajos (2600)
Niksic (4), 1983
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 – Portisch chose to play the Queen’s Indian Defence.
White to play
4.Nc3 Bb7 5.a3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5
White to play
7.e3 Nxc3 8.bxc3 Be7 9.Bb5+ c6 10.Bd3 c5 11.0–0 Nc6 12.Bb2
Black to play
White is aiming at a HPS position in advance.
12…Rc8 13.Qe2 completes his development – a natural move in this kind of position.
13…0–0 14.Rad1 White maintains his rook on f1, in order to play f4 if it is required.14…Qc7 Natural looking move:
  • releasing the pin
  • connecting the rooks and
  • completing the development
Black to play
This must be home preparation, inviting Portisch to play against a HPS. 15…cxd4 Portisch accepts the challenge of irresistible force (Kasparov). A fine attitude from Portisch! 16.exd4 16…Na5
Let’s not ‘dump’ too much at a time. We’ll discuss the rest of the game in the next part. :)
Meanwhile, as I said before, I’ve already covered the above topic in the course “Your Winning Plan”.
Therefore, you can get that course and master the most important skills in chess and become a PRO!
your winning plan

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