Pawn Structure 101 Videos

In my attempt to continue to learn, and as I've decided pawn structure is the next thing I'd like to study, and because the Videos section lacks organization, and insomuch as this sentence completely lacks structure, I've decided to compile and organize a list of Pawn Structure 101 videos by IM Danny "double-exclamaviatch" Rensch (@ACEChess, with occasional substitutes).  This is essentially so that I can have an easy place to go to find the next video in the lineup.  

Each link will take you to a particular video in each series.  I will denote them with the B/I/A (beginner/intermediate/advanced) designation, as given in the videos themselves.

Additional note: Danny recommends a book I've heard recommended elsewhere (e.g. by IM Jeremy Silman, @Silman). It is Pawn Structure Chess by GM Andrew Soltis, and touches on many of the same ideas presented here.  According to Amazon, a new edition is due out in February of 2013 (Edit: Boom).

Without further ado:

Pawn Structure 101 Summary:

This is 40 different openings and their accompanying pawn structures in one 45-minute cram session.  Put on your hard hats.  Or skip down for more in-depth analysis of structural ideas to a more specific setup.

PS101 Crash Course (B/I/A)

Isolated Queen Pawns (IQP):

This series isn't a part of the 101 heading, but it seems relevant anyway.  A series page already exists here.

Part 1 (B/I)

Part 2 (B/I)

Part 3 (I/A)

Part 4 (I/A)

Part 5 (I/A)

Part 6 (I/A)

Part 7 (I/A)

Part 8 (A)

Part 9 (A)

Part 10 (A)

Bonus! (I/A)

King's Indian Complex/Spanish Complex:

A pawn structure reached in, among other things, classical Kings Indian and Ruy Lopez openings (shocking, I know).  This video also contains Danny's introduction to the ideas and benefits of studying pawn structure, and is the proper start of the PS101 sequence.

PS101 Video 1 (I)









Orthodox/Minority Attack:

This structure and ones like it come from Queen's Gambit Declined and Caro-Kann openings. Often the roles are reversed, simply by switching the files of the c- and e-pawns.

PS101 Video 2 (I)











Panov - Botvinnik:

Another structure that comes from QG and CK openings, as well as occasional English Opening games.

PS101 Video 3 (A)












The Stonewall:

In this structure, the Black pawns are intentionally left unmoved.  The video discusses possible approaches for White and Black with the White pawns in the Stonewall arrangement, so that both sides know the other's options going into it.

PS101 Video 4 (I)











Now for something meaty.  Here is a 7-video series on the pawn structure arising from the usual Caro-Kann.  I would imagine this is an excellent place to start if you're trying to develop an opening repertoire.  Hey, that's me!

PS101 Video 5.1 (I)

PS101 Video 5.2 (I)

PS101 Video 5.3 (I)

PS101 Video 5.4 (I)

PS101 Video 5.5 (I)

PS101 Video 5.6 (I)

PS101 Video 5.7 (A)

PS101 Video 5.8 - Anand's Brilliance (I/A)




Next we have a series of videos by substitute teacher IM David Pruess (@dpruess) on the closed chains and wedges that come from openings like the French Opening (Advance Variation).  Nary an exclamaviatch to be found.

PS101 Video 6.1 (I/A)

PS101 Video 6.2 (I/A)

PS101 Video 6.3 (Quiz!) (I/A)









Whelp, time to get heavy into it.  Here's a long difficult series on one of the common structures in Open Sicilian games.  Most of the videos are rated Advanced.  Helmet and pads suggested, but optional.

PS101 Video 7.1 - Intro (A)

PS101 Video 7.2 - White g4 (I/A)

PS101 Video 7.3 - Modern Ideas (A)

PS101 Video 7.4 - Knightmares (A)

PS101 Video 7.5 - Black's Ideas (A)

PS101 Video 7.6 - e4 Central Pressure (A)

PS101 Video 7.7 - White's Slow Play (I/A)

PS101 Video 7.8 - Tactical Finale (A)




Yugoslav/English Attack:

More Open Sicilian.  This structure can arise from many Black open defenses to the Sicilian, usually the Dragon.  It is defined by White's e4-f3-g2 pawn chain.

PS101 Video 8.1 - Intro (I/A)

PS101 Video 8.2.1 - Yugoslav Evolution I (A)


  • 2 years ago


    I'm glad people continue to find value in this collection of links; I wish the video pages would be improved to make my efforts obsolete, but that doesn't seem to have yet happened.

    Life has been interfering with my ability to study chess of late, but I would be happy to renew my commitment to maintaining this one blog post if new videos do in fact begin to crop up.

  • 2 years ago


    First off, thanks so much for writing this. It's simply brilliant.

    Second, according to Danny's last article, he's going to eventually add more videos to the Pawn Structure 101 series. I don't know if you still update this thing but I thought you might like to know.

    Have a great day :)

  • 3 years ago


    thanks so much for posting this!  the categories are what I was looking for so your organization of the videos really helps!

  • 4 years ago


    Thanks for your effort, I to am trying to grasp pawn structures.

  • 4 years ago


    Great idea! This is the most helpful blog I've seen in a long time!

  • 4 years ago


    brilliant, I have read Soltis book and if these videos illustrate the concepts then they will be awesome.  Thanks so much for taking the time to organise and post these links.

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