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Introduction of the pawn and their structure

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #1


    This forum is an introduction to pawns and their structure. Before we can move forward one has to look to the past and see where it began. So this day you yes, you the reader will embark on a journey for it is you where the past, present and future all reside and get a glimpse of a modest chess piece the pawn, and bestow honor upon it as those that came before you have done.

      ( The below exerts are taken from Drazen Marovic book Understanding pawn play in chess.)  

    " Pawns are the very life of this Game: They alone form the Attack and the Defence. This solemn statement by Philidor, bestowing such honours on the modest pawns. Philidor's small booklet was published in London in 1749 and is remembered under the title of its first addition-"L'analyze des echecs". A long time was to pass before the ideas expressed by Philidor were understood properly, but the famous French musician and chess-player saw the role of pawns from and unconventional angle and much ahead of his time. Insisting on harmonious relations between pawns and pieces, Philidor cast new light on development and the centre. He understood those deeply-hidden relations between pawns and pieces that condition any serious plan on the board.  .... the game took on new traits- of balance and restraint.

     Howard Staunton, exploring such niceties as the restrained engagement of pawns, play against double pawns or blockade. He broadened Philidor's views of pawn formations, formulating ideas that Aron Nimzowitsch and Richard Reti were to extend over half a century later.

     Adolf Andersen and Paul Morphy nourished some other convictions. Putting it most concisely, theirs was an age marked by a strong movement from the intellectual to a new, emotional culture, in which the aim of art in general was not to teach but to excite, which preferred freedom to discipline, personal taste to stereotypes. The leading chess players, sharing the spiritual climate, did not try to formulate a frame of general maxims in the good tradition of common sense like Philidor. They relied on their feeling, their intuition. A game of chess was primarily a fruit of personal taste, and individual creation.  ..  Pawns  lost their meaning and important in the construction of the game. It was no longer the pawns that shaped attack and defence. The centre often disintegrated, games became an open battle, with pawns cannon-fodder, and the build -up of the central formations was gone.

     However, the end of the 19th century, not surprisingly, brought a new turn. In the foundations of the 19th century there was a stressed tendency to formulate systematically the mass of existing knowledge and thus to express general laws of development. It was not by chance that Wilhelm Steinitz belongs to that epoch. He came as a lawgiver and the core of this teaching was the law of balance. According to Steinitz, a game of chess runs equal until some blunder, or a series of small errors, disturbs the balance and tips the scale to one or the other side. This general law took the form of practical advise and various maxims. Steinitz insisted on the building of positions, and therefore on the elements on which positional advantages are built. Together with weak squares, open files, the bishop-pair, ect, ect., there was again talk of pawns. Pawns were resurrected. In order to keep the balance one had to fight for the centre, to occupy it, to share it. 1 d4  was met by 1 ...d5, the strong points in the centre were held as long as normal development was possible behind the central pawn structure, which became significant. It was firm, symmetrical. sharing influence on the vital central squares. The Queen's Gambit and related systems became the fashion of the day and pawns got a new lease of life.

    However, changes started to take place characterizing the play of a group of great players and theoreticians in the first decades of the 20th century. They called themselves 'hypermoderns' and revolted against the dominant dry and somewhat dogmatic style of Steinitnz's followers. Aron Nimzowitsch and Richard Reti. [T]he hypermoderns warned. "there are no general, constantly valid rules". "We are interested in exceptions, not rules", declares the motto of the movement.

    Looking behind the mass of notions and assertions expressed by Nimzowitsch, we find that the core of the new teaching lies in the new concept of the centre and pawn-structures. While the classical chess insisted on pawn symmetry, the hypermoderns introduced the concept of control by pieces. The restricted engagement of pawns in the early phase of the game led to a number of new opening systems. Simultaneously, for the first time in the history of chess, all sorts of pawn-formations were studied in all the phases of the game. What we know today we owe in great part to Aron Nimzowitsch.  The new teaching about the centre focused on them and their subtle interrelation with pieces. After the Second World War, this tendency manifested itself in modern opening systems like the Sicilian and Benoni. [A]s early as the 1940's and 1950's David Bronstein and Isaak Boleslavsky went further than Nimzowitsch, expressing the conviction that Black should neither seek symmetry in the centre nor try to control it. One should cede the centre, they proclaimed, finish development as soon as possible, and then try to fix and undermined the opponent's centre by side-blows. The key was to fix the centre, which meant to provoke a blockade, and sap the centre of its dynamic potential. They relied on the simple, universal truth that whatever is fixed, immobile, has a tendency to grow weaker. It was exactly on these new propositions that new, modern opening systems were introduced, with the King's Indian Defence conspicuous among them.

     The destiny of pawns in chess, there rise and fall, is interwoven into the patterns of change. The period that discarded them were followed by those in which rational play was based on them. Our time has finally absorbed the experience of previous centuries, understood fully the pawns' intrinsic values and the varied roles they can play in a game of chess. Today we are aware indeed that they form the backbone of opening systems, that it really is the pawns that shape in a unique way attack and defence. The intention of this and the following forums is to explore the nature of pawns and the basic forms in which they appear.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #2


    great article Pk-3!

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #3


    Good article, I have to read it better later. Congratulations!

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #4


    I would say that this was an excellent post, but that would NOT do it justice!!  So as soon as I find a superlative for excellent I will let you know! Looking forward to reading more from you in the future if possible. Vin.

  • 24 months ago · Quote · #5



  • 23 months ago · Quote · #6


    Thanks it's really Great article. I've a problem with a battle of pawn at the beguining play... Really cool for me. Regards.

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #7


    WOW thanks i needed this!

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #8


    good article indeed!

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #9


    nice.. instructional, especially that of reti and nimzovitchSmile. lol my favorie players!

  • 17 months ago · Quote · #10


    A very nice article.

  • 15 months ago · Quote · #11


    thankyou thankyou. just what coach blue has said i need to work on.

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