Breaking Down Closed Positions

Breaking Down Closed Positions

| 2 | Strategy

Do you ever find yourself confused in closed positions?

GM Jon Ludvig Hammer knows just what to do. Check out how he closed positions stop them from winning good positions.

  • See how Vishy Anand ground out a beautiful win against Hammer.
  • Check out how Hammer finds the right moments to break open closed positions.
  • Learn when you can sacrifice to open the game and attack.

Not what you're looking for? Go back to the video guide.

Breaking Down a Locked Kingside: Jon Ludvig Hammer doesn't let closed positions slow down his attacking ideas. In this game against Sebastian Mihajlov, a locked kingside structure wasn't an obstacle as Hammer targeted the opponent's weaknesses and won the game.

Breaking Down a Position With Patience:  Against Ruslan Kashtanov Jon Ludvig gained a space advantage but had to take his time and bring every piece to its best square before breaking open the position and winning material.

Breaking Down A Position With Brute Force:  Against GM Nicolai Getz, Jon Ludvig couldn't convert his space advantage by normal means and had to resort to sacrifices. Fortunately, some well-placed pawns can be stronger than a piece!

Vishy Anand Breaks Black's Defenses: Jon Ludvig has competed with many of the world's best. In this game with Vishy Anand, he nearly secured a draw, but Anand brilliantly forced a zugzwang and won an instructive ending.

What are your experiences in closed positions? Let us know in the comments.

NM Jeremy Kane

Jeremy Kane is a National Master and three-time Wisconsin state champion. He is the Curriculum Director for He has been teaching chess in person and online for over 15 years and has designed hundreds of lessons, available on He is the author of Starting Out The Trompowsky on Chessble and The Next To Last Mistake, a book on defensive ideas in chess.

He is the developer of the Caro-Kane Variation of the Caro-Kann Defense.


Twitter/X: @chessmensch

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