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Disclaimer: the question's basic, the game was not. Taken from a 5-minute blitz game between Korchnoi and Fischer. Oh, and the annotations are Fischer's, not mine.
On move 13, why doesn't white opt for a pawn break? Black's knights are about as undeveloped as white's, and black's kingside seems a bit more exposed relative to white's.
im only about a 1400 but from what I see at move 13 if you he would have did a pawn break on f5 then blacks white squared bishop comes into play with tempo the attack on the Rook on b2. It also opens whites king up to a possible rook queen attack later on and white loses a little bit of his foothold in the center. Just and observation
Without getting into the extensive analysis avalaible on the position you are questioning, one of the basic reasons that White doesn't opt for a pawn break on move 13 is that it hands Black control of the half-open f file. Secondly, but more important, the center is blocked(the pawn structure in the center is locked up). A basic rule in chess is that a flank attack, such as the one being initiated by Black, is best nullified by a counterattack in the center. That is not available in this position for White. In fact, the locked up center is what gives Black's flank attack against White's castled king position the best chance of succeeding.
Pawn structure is almost always the most important factor in a chess position. Pawn structures are the mountains and valleys of the war theatre. They determine what plans of attack will succeed and which plans will fail.
I've heard the adage before, but never realized what it looked like in practice. Thanks for the explanation.
I assume by "pawn break" you mean the move 13 ef. That actually is a reasonable idea in similar positions, with the idea of 13... gf (recapturing with a piece usually has the woeful side effect of keeping the g7-bishop locked in) 14 f4. Here though White's pieces are not set up to play that move; also, Black having a pawn at c5 (instead of c7) tends to give him more play (he can use the d4-square for his pieces, whereas White can't).
Something along these lines?
I've run into positions in the KID vaguely like this, with the idea of white doing a break before the position became sealed. When this happens, I'm not quite sure how to react.
Off to the side, is Fischer's "logical move" as he put it, 9. ...c5, theoretically sound? The reason I ask is because it was a short blitz game, so refutations for regularly unsound moves would be difficult to find.
Well, presumably any move that Fischer calls "logical" will be theoretically sound. I believe that it's probably not so good against 9 Ne1 due to the possibility of 10 f4 right away, when the d6-pawn can be weak and e5 will also create a passed pawn; but against 9 Nd2 Black doesn't have to worry about that idea so much. It's best of course to check an opening book for more information.
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