Pawn Formation: e4 d4 c3
The pawn formations are known to be the key to winning in chess since the times of Philidor. Philidor advises us that we must think about the formation we're going into, because a pawn formation mistake would be irreversible. And after 300 years, grandmasters of modern chess spent much effort to decide the most effective formations. I've been studying their historical games as well as today's games to uncover the work Philidor began: the pros and cons of these pawn formations, how to place our cute, innocent peons to make them feared by the enemy...
"e4 d4 c3" is a pawn formation often employed by white. It's roots go back to the games of Greco and then 19th century Evans Gambit. However, I don't think "e4 d4 c3" at those games were intentional, they were played for their mere attack potential, not for their strategic value.
The strategic importance of "e4 d4 c3" pawn formation is discovered by the first World Champion Steinitz. He believed that this formation is achieves the following:
- These lowly pawns invade the center as an impenetrable wall.
- The formation prevents the enemy bishop from taking advantage of the whole a1-h8 diagonal by fianchettoing to Bg7. It also prevents Bc5 and Bb4 moves, therefore "e4 d4 c3" ultimately throws the black King's Bishop out of the game.
- This formation also allows white to develop their pieces easily.
Let's see these infantry at work:
- Pc3 usually becomes weak while white is trying to achieve the position(happened in my game). It is usually exploited by Bg7 like Gruenfeld Defense, but my "b4" also exploited it very well.
- Pe4 is weak because white can't play Nc3. Nd2 is not good because it restricts the bishop. White must first play Be3, then Nd2 like Steinitz, which spends two tempo. You can immediately attack e4 by any means necessary(you can give a tempo too like French Defense).
- If you take Pd4, enemy replies with cxd4, which gives the powerful e1 a5 diagonal to black like the Straightforward System.