Winning Pawn Structures: The Rook Lift with the IQP: Part 1
As promised, I am continuing my coverage of the IQP from Baburin's Winning Pawn Structures; this time dealing with Rook lifts as a key Kingside attacking theme. If you don't own this book you really should! These games and Baburin's prose merit revisiting many times.
The Rook lift commonly features in IQP positions due to the extra space afforded by the pawn on d4/d5. As there is no supporting pawn on c3 or e3, the third rank is cleared from a-h giving the Rook freedom to jump across to the Kingside will minimal effort.
Typically, as you will see in the games, there are some key features which help White decide on a Kingside attack versus the other plans we have discussed up to this point. Often, White is looking for a lack of defenders on the Kingside. Maybe the DSB is missing from E7 or a Knight has strayed too far from the Kingside. Sometimes White finds that he already has a piece of his own on the Kingside which ordinarily would not be there.
In short, the attacking side notices that he will be able to create a situation where he has a greater number of attackers than the defending side can match. When such conditions exist, a Rook lift can completely tip the material balance in White's favor.
Let's see some examples:
Benko was able to use his extra space to bring his Queen's Rook into the Kingside, essentially allowing to attack with an entire extra Rook as Black's second Rook could no route into the defense.
Tukmakov was able to justify his attacking decision as Korchnoi missed place his bishop badly on a5 which again was unable to find a way back to the Kingside.
Amazingly even after sacing two of his attacking pieces, Miles was still unable to match Keene's attacking force on the Kingside.
That wrap up Part 1 of Rook lifts with an IQP. Be on the lookout for Part 2 coming soon featuring more examples of devastating Rook lifts. For you eager beavers out there, I am ahead of my blog on YouTube so you can pop over to MY CHANNEL to get the jump on your opponents by watching the videos now instead of waiting for my next blog.
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