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Typical Patterns Everyone Should Know : That vulnerable f7 pawn...

  • GM Gserper
  • | Jun 27, 2009
  • | 35417 views
  • | 61 comments

If you ask a chess player what opening is the most dangerous one in the sense that you can lose quickly if you don't know exact moves you are supposed to play, then most probably you'll hear the King's Gambit, the Sicilian Defense or some other notoriously sharp opening.  My personal choice would be the Hanham variation of the Philidor defense (1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nd7).  If you read 'My system' by Nimzowitch then you might be surprised by my choice, since the Hanham variation was Nimzowitch's favorite weapon to reach the positions where a long positional struggle ensued.  Yet, this variation is a real minefield.  We all learn pretty quickly that the f7 pawn is Black's weakest spot in the initial position.  I don't know any chess player who hasn't succumbed to the Fool's Mate (Bc4, Qh5 and Qxf7 checkmate) or the Fried Liver Attack.  But if you really want to see how the attacks against the f7 square go in the open games, look no further then the Hanham variation! So, today's typical pattern we are going to learn is "combinations and traps on the f7 square".

The first combination/trap happens as early as move four!

 

So, the natural looking 4...Ngf6 move was a mistake.  Let's try 4...Be7 instead, defending against possible Ng5 threats.
OK, it turns out that 4...Be7 is not good either.  So how about 4...h6 then, preparing Ngf6 development?
Even if Black plays the best theoretical move 4...c6, he is not completely out of the woods yet as the next game demonstrates.
Now you can see why in the modern tournaments Black frequently uses a different move order to reach the Hanham and also to set up a nasty trap.
In the next position you should decide if you want to start an attack by 6.Bxf7 followed by 7.Ng5+
But even this modern, sophisticated move order doesn't guarantee against surprises.
As you could see, the fight in the games that we have analysed today revolved around the 'magical' f7 square.  We witnessed different methods White can use to assault this weakest spot in the Black position.  Even if you don't play the Philidor defense but answer 1.e4 with 1...e5 you must know these typical ideas in order to avoid potential disaster in your own games!
Good luck!

Comments


  • 4 weeks ago

    danno1800

    Those were amazing! Thank you

  • 7 weeks ago

    Ciscobabe

    It is great F7 Introduction :) Thanks alot.

  • 4 months ago

    Ferrin123

    i havnt ever lost to fools mate.

  • 9 months ago

    TexanCanadian

    When you were discussing 4...Be7?, I went through the line 5...dxe7? 6.Qd5! and when you got to the end you said "Black has no way to defend f7". Now, that's true, but can't black play 6...Nb6 (or something similar) and get out of the jam? I mean, obviously black is in trouble at that point, but black isn't helpless at move 6, right?

  • 13 months ago

    Jerome_Kyo

    Nice article!

  • 15 months ago

    Ricardoruben

    Article 18! :) thx!

  • 23 months ago

    TheChessJuker

    Ow, I cannot understand some of the moves shown. I cannot decipher what they are for. Despite of that, I at least got an idea how to play aggressively on f7 square, Thanks a lot.

  • 2 years ago

    Beginnerkhan

    Great

  • 2 years ago

    whirlwind2011

    @Bollweg: Even without analyzing the move 15. Qxh8, one can see that taking the Rook would be too risky, because it moves the Queen to the corner behind a row of enemy Pawns, where it will be out of play and unable to help defend. Allowing the Queen to be out of play for even one move while Black's Queen is rampaging for the White King would result in disaster. In the actual game, White declined the capture in order to maintain some scope for the Queen, and Black still checkmated White. One can imagine, without analyzing, how much faster checkmate would have come if the Rook had been taken. Analysis should confirm that White would fare no better after taking the Rook (15. Qxh8).

  • 2 years ago

    Bollweg

    on the fifth game on move 14, why not Qxh8? Is this a blunder?

  • 2 years ago

    phydeaux

    thank you for so many examples.  if i cant learn this one it's my own fault

  • 2 years ago

    kaka2222

    l like this article is very helpful!

  • 2 years ago

    maxwell__

    Nice material. And now to the members: We all see some things, like that what horvathliviu says,but those supose to be a beginners patterns and some    beginners mistakes...and thats good for us to see where they (mistakes) are and to sure our selfs that something like that not hapennig when we are playing! 

  • 3 years ago

    hopsplace

    Interesting.. Thank you

  • 3 years ago

    fischer70

    great stuff, but it also cuts out an opening i had hoped might give me something to surprise an opponent with. well, back to the drawing board.

  • 3 years ago

    jerseyjack

    Great tutorial. Thanks a bunch.

    Now I have to play these on a regulation board so my eyes do not play tricks on me.

  • 3 years ago

    omid2010

    thanks

  • 3 years ago

    MBClevenger

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 3 years ago

    horvathliviu

    At first puzzle the king is not obliged to take the white bishop, he can refuges at e7, he attacks the bishop, and defend his queen,no?

  • 3 years ago

    jerseyjack

    I "learned"  LeGal's mate a long time ago. Playing it has been another thing. It seems to fall into this subject area; sacraficing the queen only to checkmate on the next move utilizing the F7 square. Great stuff. Thanks a bunch.  

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