Isolated Pawn. Strength or weakness?

Isolated Pawn. Strength or weakness?

IM MatBobula

One of the most typical of all pawn structures is the isolated pawn. This is the pawn that has got no friendly pawns on the sides. It can appear after a lot of openings f.e. The Tarrasch Defense, Queens Gambit Accepted or Caro-Kann Panov's Attack.

Usually, it is considered as a weakness because it cannot be defended by another pawn. But is that always true? Does it give any possibility to attack?

The pawn at the d5-square is the isolated pawn.

There are a couple of principles that you have to remember when it comes to that pawn structure when you play:

with an isolated pawn

  • push it forward
  • create the attack with your minor pieces

against the isolated pawn

  • exchange pieces (especially minor pieces)
  • block that pawn from moving forward

I made a Webinar on my Twitch channel about that topic, you can watch it here:

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