Rolling, Rolling, Rolling: Pawn Power

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling: Pawn Power

GM vbhat
Nov 10, 2009, 12:00 AM |
25 | Amazing Games

In July at the World Open, Ray Robson beat me in a very complicated Poison Pawn Winawer. I got my second crack at the new US hope at the SPICE Cup in the 3rd round. As at the World Open, I had the black pieces, and while the opening was a very different one, the game followed some similar countours.

In both games, Ray got a tangible advantage by outpreparing me in the opening. However, after the opening phase, he let his advantages slip and I developed counterplay. And just like in July, both of us got into massive time trouble. The only difference is that this time, I was a little more accurate in time pressure and didn't let my initiative slip away.

To a large extent, my counterplay in this game was based on the potential of my c- and d-pawns. Once those pawns started moving forward, I had ready-made counterplay. As they continued to advance up the board, they became a very powerful combination. This wasn't my best game of the tournament, but it was the most complicated fight I had.

Question 1: What would you play for Black after 19.f4?

Question 2: What would you play for Black after 24.Kg2?

Question 3: What would you play for Black after 31.Re2?

Question 4: What would you play for Black after 37.Be4?

Question 5: What would you play for Black after 47.f5?

And here's the entire game in one viewer:

As a supplement, here's a game from last year where Magnus Carlsen underestimates the power of passed pawns:

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