Being loyal to our choice of pedagogical approach, in the 5th issue of the Modern Chess Magazine, we continue with the explanation of the already initiated topics, but also we begin new courses. As always, we provide you an overview of the articles of this issue:
Methods Of Playing In Positions With Hanging Pawns
GM Grigor Grigorov
This article, by the GM Grigor Grigorov, represents a new course that is fully dedicated to the analysis of the positions with hanging pawns. The fact that this type of pawn structure is extremely common for the modern practice makes it mandatory to know. Grunfeld defense, Nimzo-Indian Defense, Queens Indian Defense and Queens Gambit are just some of the openings in which the structure with hanging pawns can appear. Grandmaster Grigor Grigorov provides you with detailed explanations which make this article appropriate for the chess players of different levels.
Beat 1.e4 With The Dragon
GM Nikolai Ninov
With this article, GM Nikolai Ninov ends the series on the Dragon variation. This time, he concentrates on the variations, in which White develops his light-squared bishop on “g2”. The article ends with an example where White develops his bishop on the usual square “c4”, but this move is followed by a short castle. With his common opening erudition and systematic approach, GM Ninov found an antidote against every single White’s idea.
Late Benoni Against 1.d4
GM Boris Chatalbashev
Everyone that studies chess seriously knows that building a reliable repertoire against 1.d4 is a long-term process. Unfortunately, the majority of the chess lovers do not have enough time to dedicate to this meticulous and hard work. Here, comes to help GM Chatalbashev.
In the following three issues, he will share with our readers his main weapon that served him loyally during his long chess career – the so-called Late Benoni. The good news is that in this opening, the plans and strategical nuances are much more important than the concrete moves. The articles on this opening are structured in the following way: Theoretical part that includes the explanation of the main ideas, move orders and plans; and model games that illustrate in practice the theoretical part.
How To Play Positions With Small Advantage
GM Kiril Georgiev
This article of the legendary GM Kiril Georgiev presents the beginning of the series of lectures dedicated to the way of thinking of the Grandmasters in practical games. In his introduction to the article, GM Kiril Georgiev focuses on the role of the engines in the development of the chess theory, pointing that the modern computer programs managed almost to equalize the difference between the opening knowledge among chess players. As he writes: “All the chess players (especially the young ones) invest great effort in the preparation for the games, which is why it became very difficult to gain advantage from the opening. Strong chess players more often outplay their opponents in equal positions, by creating them problems from the practical perspective that are harder to solve during the game. This is why the right playing of the positions with small advantage (or even equal) became one of the priorities. In this article, I would like to share with you some of the practical details, typical for this type of positions.”
Endgame series - Part 5
GM Davorin Kuljasevic
In this issue, GM Davorin Kuljasevic continues his journey through the depths of the endgame. After looking into the most important theoretical aspects of the play against and with connected passed pawns, in the article of the 4th issue, now GM Kuljasevic focuses on the practical application of the theoretical concepts. The fact that the article is full of examples took from the modern Grandmasters’ practice, gives it a great value. In addition, the readers have the chance to test their learned lessons, when they try to solve the applied exercises.
SAMPLE FROM THE ARTICLE "METHODS OF PLAYING IN POSITIONS WITH HANGING PAWNS"
The present article marks the beginning of a series of lectures on positions with hanging pawns. Before we get into the topic, we should make clear which pawns are hanging. Generally speaking, this is a pawn couple situated on "d" and "c" files ( "c4" and "d4" for White and "c5" and "d5" for Black ). Pawns are called "hanging" because there are no pawns on "e" and "b" files which can protect them. As this pawn structure arises quite often in modern chess practice, every chess player must be familiar with it. Grunfeld Defense, Nimzo-Indian Defense, Queen's Indian Defense and Queen's gambit constitute only a little part of the openings from which positions with hanging pawns could arise.
Depending on the concrete situation, hanging pawns could be a strength or a weakness. In the middlegame, when there are a lot of pieces on the board, the side playing with hanging pawns enjoys a considerable spatial advantage. In such kind of positions, hanging pawns play the role of a shield behind which we can prepare for an attack against the opponent's king. Sometimes, hanging pawns could go forward and create dangerous threats. That's why we should always take into consideration their dynamic potential. Despite the numerous advantages they offer, in some cases, the hanging pawns could be weak. In order to understand their weak points, we should clarify some basic concepts related to positions with a spatial advantage. The side which has a spatial advantage avoids the exchanges because every exchange reduces dramatically the importance of space. That's why we try to exchange pieces when playing against hanging pawns.
In the endgame, the dynamic potential of hanging pawns decreases and they need a constant protection. Our course on hanging pawns is divided into two logically interlinked articles. While the present material concerns the methods of playing against such pawns, in the next issue, I am going to present some ideas which might help us exploit their attacking potential.
In practice, we fight against hanging pawns by using three main methods:
1) Piece pressure
2) Attack from the side by b2-b4 advance
3) Central attack by e3-e4 advance.
1) Piece pressure - This is the most frequently applied strategy when playing against hanging pawns. It's highly effective when some minor pieces are already exchanged and hanging pawns are under the fire of our major pieces. In such kind of positions, queen and rooks exercise a considerable pressure against the opponent's pawn center. The attacker has the following plan at his disposal: Rooks are placed in front of the pawns ( on "c" and "d" files ) while the queen should be situated in a way which allows it to attack at least one of the pawns. - as the pressure generated by major pieces is rarely sufficient, minor pieces should enter the attack too. Let's see how the above-mentioned plan was practically applied by the living legend Viktor Korchnoi (on the photo below) in his game against Efim Geler.
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