A pawn wedge can arise out of many opening systems e.g. The French advance, the Caro-Kann advance and the Kings Indian defence etc etc For the possessor of the wedge it usually means extra space in a particular quadrant of the chess board and in theory good squares for his or her pieces. It may also cramp or inhibit ones opponents pieces from finding good squares. Its important to realise that when one creates a pawn wedge one must be certain that it is of some benefit, otherwise one may end up inhibiting ones own pieces.
above: The first diagram is an example of a defunct wedge which inhibits the possessors own pieces and the latter a successful wedge which inhibits ones opponents pieces.
There are certain methods for playing against the the pawn wedge. One can attack directly on the head, i.e. the most advanced pawn and one can attack it from the flank. The idea is not only to weaken the structure but to find squares and files for our pieces which may be restricted by the wedge. Check out the following.
Below is an annotated game, played in the Soviet Union in 1943. With the white pieces is Vladimir Makogonov and with the black pieces Vasily Smyslov. White creates a pawn wedge and in excellent fashion manages to preserve its functionality throughout the game, eventually transforming it into a protected passed pawn which as it is pushed forward inhibits the mobility of his opponents pieces.
My thanks go to those artists and musicians whose work I have utilised to make an otherwise dry subject palatable and I provide accreditation links below where possible - many thanks Robbie (MSK chess)
Video edited with Ubuntu Studio and Gimp 2.6.
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