Pawn Breaks, part 2

Pawn Breaks, part 2‎

GM thamizhan
17 | Opening Theory

Continuing our study of important pawn breaks, we will take a look at some important ideas in the Sicilian Defense. We did have some comments about studying pawn breaks in other openings, and we can guarantee our viewers that we are definitely going to cover other openings as well in this theme, but we decided that the Sicilian being the most commonly played and the most dynamic opening in Chess, deserved our attention to start this series.

Last week we saw an important pawn break in g5 for black, which by the way white should try to avoid at all cost. Today we will take a look at some ideas relating to the f5 breakthrough that white does to open black's king side. While opening your opponent's king side is always a good thing, there always exists a problem of over-extension. In the case of the f5 breakthrough the e5 square becomes extremely weak. Hence, the basic idea is do not push f5 if you do not have a concrete idea of how to proceed. We will take a look at some important positions where this idea would come in handy.

Our first game is a very exciting attacking game from Grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly against a compatriot from India, Grandmaster Abhijit Kunte. Ganguly used the f5 idea with tremendous ease and looked completely in control of the game. Sometimes, that is all that is required, play the right idea and just sit and watch how victory sails right to your door.

This one obviously did not go Kunte's way, but the game showed all of us a thing or two about the f5 pawn break and also about the beautiful finishing attack from Ganguly. The rooks lining up to checkmate on h8 was just unstoppable and a queen sacrifice to achieve this was just icing on the cake.

Our second game is where I(Magesh) played against then International Master Anton Korobov in the World Junior Championship in 2001.

As one can see white did not do anything extraordinary there, just playing f5 at the right time was good enough to secure a comfortable win. Our last game of the day is again my game against Grandmaster Amon Simutowe from Zambia in the New Jersey futurity tournament in 2007.

Again, not a very complicated game, simple development followed by f5 at the right time just let the flow of pieces happen with ease. Some correct technique to continue the attack was of course required to finish off the game. Hopefully our readers enjoyed the pawn break-through ideas at f5, we will have more on different squares arising from different openings.

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