Norway Chess R2: Picking pawn-problems apart
Jun 8, 2017, 5:16 AM 0
The second round of the Altibox Norway Chess had the potential to turn out far more bloody than it eventually did. Kramnik, Giri and Aronian were all fighting for a win, and even though the Russian was the only one to take home the whole point - the positions of the latter ones were promising for a long time. As the overall theme was vulnerable pawns, we will in the following diagrams examine the importance of a strong pawn structure - and the best way to try exploit a weak one.
Karjakin seemed relieved for seizing a draw after six hours of struggling. Photo: Maria Emelianova
Despite the fact that Anish Giri didn't manage to convert his egde into a win, he did cause quite some long lasting problems to his opponent. Let us see how Levon Aronian did the same.
Hikaru Nakamura was on shaky ground after he allowed his poor e3-pawn to become a backward one. Photo: Maria Emelianova
Our own games might more often be decides by blunders, tactical traps and a weak king, than won on small inaccuracies and positional details like this. That does however not mean that we at any level should neglect the importance of keeping our pawn structure sound. To know about the idea of building up a battery against an isolated pawn or place a knight in front of it, to be aware of the sometimes necessity of creating more than one weakness in your opponents position, or simply trying to avoid causing yourself doubled pawns, will do a great deal for your ability to avoid weaknesses of your own, and exploit weaknesses of your opponent.