World Champions and the Panov-Botvinnik Attack (I)
As we had mentioned last week, today we will be taking a look into the Panov-Botvinnik attack against the Caro-Kann defense. We will discuss some of the important positions and the different main variations of the opening like the previous week. We thought about some suggestions last week on flipping the board, We think it is important for a player to understand the ideas of both sides of an opening in order to gain the right perspective. Hence, we have decided to show some example games that display the strengths and weaknesses of both sides. For this purpose we will stick to the convention of having the winning side on the bottom always.
Before we go into any of the opening moves, we would like to talk about one of most important aspect in chess, Pawn Structures. It is also referred to as Pawn Skeleton, not without a proper reason. Pawn structures mostly form the basis of all strategies and ideas on a chess board. We can think of the simple analogy of the human body. There can be no proper movement in our body without the bones or the skeleton. If we try to flex our body in a direction that is not supported by our skeleton, then our bones will simply crack! This is what happens on a chess board too, if one tries to ignore the pawn structure and play with random ideas, one's position will crack too.
Anyways, the reason we are talking about pawn structure today is because the opening that we are going to study is based one one of the most important pawn formations called the Isolated Queen Pawn, which we will continue to refer to in the article as IQP. Moreover, IQP has been a very popular topic for study as it arises out of many top level openings such as Queens Gambit Accepted, Queens Gambit Declined, Sicilian Alapin, Nimzo Indian and many more. So, let us take a look at this pawn formation first to get some ideas about the opening.