Pawn Structure 101: Introduction
Caro-Slav Pawn Structure

Pawn Structure 101: Introduction

FlohrAttack
FlohrAttack
Apr 12, 2018, 10:21 PM |
2

One of the most important aspects of chess strategy is pawn structure. Alas, it is not an easy task to set about learning the many structures that can result from the vast multitude of opening systems; however, with a little time, some patience and determination and, of course, a reliable source of information, one can grasp the concepts and learn what the pawn formation on the board in front of you is telling you.

Philidor's idiom, that "Pawns are the soul of chess," is known by masters to hold true. For class players - all the way up to experts in some cases - Philidor's maxim is both an obvious statement and a mystery. These players think they understand what the maxim means while, in reality, most really don't understand at all. 

Over the next few weeks, I hope to shed some light on what the typical plans are in given pawn structures. These plans are what facilitate correct thought, judgement and planning in a game of chess. The gaining of small advantages over time - the philosophy of Steinitz - combined with the knowledge of known ideas for given positions based on pawn structures is what chess strategy revolves around. Here, we will try to unify Philidor's vision of the pawn with the scientific approach of players like Steinitz and Lasker as well as take a look at modern masters.. All with the goal of demystifying pawn structures and giving you a firm foundation of knowledge from which you can begin to play in a more cohesive manner when it comes to judgement, assessment and planning. I hope you all enjoy it, and more than that I truly hope this series will help some of you understand this game we all love just a little bit more.