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The Pawn Poke

  • IM Spinaltap
  • | Aug 6, 2014
  • | 4336 views
  • | 9 comments

Be it annoying, mildly painful, or downright inappropriate, the pawn poke is a key theme in understanding pawn structures and color complexes. Once mastered, your opponents will feel like they are locked in a room with a deranged 5 year old waving a stick around.

The pawn poke is characterized by the exposure of an underlying weak square(s). We create pawn tension that can only be resolved by the opposing pawn relinquishing these key square(s) in the position. The poke is most effective when the poked pawn is unable to garner support from a neighboring pawn. Here's an example:

Now for the real stuff. This guy almost drew Capablanca, but alas he got poked...

Here's another example where, white voluntarily weakens his structure. It's important to recognize when you push a pawn that it weakens a certain set of squares. There's a famous phrase, something along the lines of "Be careful with pawn moves, because they can't go backwards".

Now we will look at 2 examples from a true master of poking people. (with pawns) Mr Tigran Petrosian.

tigran%20petrosyan%20%D5%B6%D5%B6.jpg

Note the Shape of Petrosians right hand...



Comments


  • 3 months ago

    gcpin

    nice article,very useful...!!!Smile

  • 3 months ago

    Mafe-h

    Nice article, never heard of pawn pokes, then I realize I'm using it on my gamea.

  • 4 months ago

    Kingdom_Hearts

    I hate pawn pokes, my friend always plays them in the worst moment for me!

  • 4 months ago

    elo123

    Interesting, not a concept I've ever thought of.

  • 4 months ago

    Cavatine

    In comments for the second live-diagram, forgive me for noticing, the apostrophe in "it's" made me try to read the sentence with "it is"or "it has" there. It made no sense to me that way so I had to read backwards and then have another run at it. Is it too late to fix it?

  • 4 months ago

    B1J2

    very goodWink

  • 4 months ago

    savantz

    very, very, very interesting article!

    rarely if ever discussed as a stand alone subject, but ohhh so important for one's arsenal

  • 4 months ago

    Martib11

    Very interesting!

  • 4 months ago

    titust

    Nice!

  • 4 months ago

    danufane

    First?

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