Today I will show a typical Isolani-game, when there is no real compensation for the Isolani. It will go slowly downwards with the position.
Compensation is the keyword when playing with the Isolani. Otherwise the opponent, as Lasker in the following example, will probably go for simplification to reach a better endgame cause of the weak Isolani. So, never become too passive playing with an Isolani!
1. Black went for a better endgame by simplification, White cooperated and missed even drawish 25. Nc5!
Lasker followed the main strategy against the Isolani. He went for simplification and reduced the material to reach a better endgame. Rubinstein played this game strangely tame and passive. He didn`t search for real compensation, but instead cooperated with Black`s exchange strategy. And doing so, he even missed 25. Nc5 (good outpost) with a probably drawish endgame. Later Rubinstein said: "I was too fixed on a draw by exchanging pieces!"
2. Active white king versus (extra) outside passer. The passer was too strong
Realizing that the second weakness on a3 would be deadly, Rubinstein gave it up and activated his king. Although he also got rid of the Isolani it was not enough compensation. The outside passer became the decisive factor and the reason for the domination of Black pieces.