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Backward Pawn - Pro and Contra (1)

You know what is a backward pawn? It is a pawn standing behind his neighbour pawn, but without defending support by other pawns


Here in this example d6 is such a backward pawn. Putting a white pawn on e4 you may understand that it could become a weakness



A.Strategy playing against the backward pawn

One main strategy is to blockade and attack that pawn, f.e by his heavy pieces

As you see  the weak backward pawn can often be defended , but the pieces are bound. So a typical method is to create a second weakness elsewhere - and win!
Another white strategy is to reach an endgame with Knight/dark-coloured Bishop

Obviously White has the better endgame. So let´s see how the both strategies can work in practise.



Comments


  • 18 months ago

    Heinrich_24

    "In chess, a backward pawn is a pawn that is behind a pawn of the same color on an adjacent file and that cannot be advanced without loss of material, usually the backward pawn itself. "

    Indeed, you are right, but - in my view this official definition is not necessarily logical. So, a doubled pawn is a doubled pawn by its own structure. A passer is defined by opponent`s pawn structure.

    So, I accept the official definition, but keep  my own definition and that of GM Pachmann in his strategy book

  • 18 months ago

    tmkroll

    I'm sorry but you should look it up in a reference or check with the GM again. I know it's bad form to use wiki but it's the best I've got on short notice: "In chess, a backward pawn is a pawn that is behind a pawn of the same color on an adjacent file and that cannot be advanced without loss of material, usually the backward pawn itself. " A pawn is only backward if the opponent controls the squares in front of it. In your example game on move 6 b7 is not a backward pawn because Black controls b6. On the next move d6 is a backward pawn because White controls e5. If the White pawn were not on e4 Black could simply push d5. If a backward pawn were simply any pawn undefinsible by other pawns why didn't you mention b6 first in the example? Some pawns structures are defined by your pawns and your opponent's pawns and pieces, locked pawns for instance. This is one of those structures.

    Also I didn't say "permanant," I said "fixed." We're talking pawn structure here, something that exists for more than one move. No, it's not permanent, but it is a structure that you can play stratagy around, not tactics... you don't have to think move by move what if it changes. Again the first example is not a fixed structure, Black can just push d5 anytime. 

  • 18 months ago

    Heinrich_24

    "Good but the first example isn't a backward pawn because it can be advanced, Black is able to play d5. A backward pawn is a weakness because it's fixed."

    No, a backward pawn is exactly- per definition (according to GM Pachmann) this what I showed in diagram 1. It can become a weakness, when it is fixed and attacked.

    A double pawn is a double pawn, an isolated pawn an isolated pawn and a backward pawn a backward pawn. So they are defined only by their own structure, not by opponent`s pieces

  • 18 months ago

    tmkroll

    Good but the first example isn't a backward pawn because it can be advanced, Black is able to play d5. A backward pawn is a weakness because it's fixed. In the first example the pawn is free to move, it's not backward. The rest of the article explains well why a backward is a weakness, so my only beef with this is symantics, but it's not unimportant. Assuming first example is a backward pawn people could go calling every pawn at the base a pawn chain backward... saying a fianchetto is always a bad move because it makes the H or a A pawn backward, maybe the f or c pawn as well if you've pushed in the center, which is obviously not the case. GMs aren't constantly filling their position full of holes when they push their pawns in most openings. There are a few openings, Sveshnikov, etc... where backward pawns are accepted and that's a very different story than if every fianchetto made a backward pawn. It is important to keep the meaning of the term clear, esp in a teaching article like this.

  • 18 months ago

    Jamalov

    really great explanation of why the backward pawn is a weakness. thank you. i am motivated to read other articles you may have written. 

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