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Pawn Forks: the David vs. Goliath of Chess

  • IM Silman
  • | Feb 9, 2013
  • | 15789 views
  • | 24 comments

The pawn fork: fun, often game changing, sadistic. In fact the David vs. Goliath feel of a lowly pawn simultaneously hitting two far more valuable enemy pieces is one of the game’s great pleasures. 

But, is the pawn fork really some rare nuclear option, or can it be a part of various scenarios ranging from violent to run-of-the-mill? Let’s take a look...

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PAWN FORK IN THE OPENING

At times the fork is used early in the game, but just because you can fork pieces doesn’t mean it leads to anything.

BASIC MATERIAL GAIN

Often the pawn fork is all about winning material.

THE PAWN FORK AS AN ATTACKING THEME

Sometimes the fork is more attack-based than material-based. 

BEAUTY ALERT! You are about to see some really nice stuff!

THE PAWN FORK AS RUBBISH

Sometimes the fork, as tempting as it may be, isn’t the way to go.

PROBLEMS

There are some really hard problems here. Few will solve them all, but the idea is not to stroke your ego. Instead, learn from the examples and also revel in the sheer artistic beauty that some of these problems offer. As always, make sure to look at the hidden prose and variations embedded in the puzzles!

The answers to the "Yes" or "No" puzzles will appear at the end of the article.

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Assess the position after 31.g5+. Is it good for White? If not, did White have something better?
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Is d3-d4, forking black's Rook and Knight, a good idea?
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Is 18.Nxc5 a good move?
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YES and NO PUZZLE ANSWERS

Assess the position after 31.g5+. Is it good for White? If not, did White have something better?
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Is d3-d4, forking back’s Rook and Knight, a good idea?
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Is 18.Nxc5 a good move?
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Comments


  • 22 months ago

    davensan

    nice article.

  • 22 months ago

    Martin0

    Good article! Cool

  • 22 months ago

    Martin0

    [COMMENT DELETED]
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