The dreaded Isolated Queen Pawn

The dreaded Isolated Queen Pawn

Mar 20, 2018, 6:30 AM |

Chess masters of old held differing opinions of the merits or otherwise of The Isolated Queen Pawn or the IQP as its affectionately known as in chess circles.  Nimzowitsch said that it casts gloom all over the chess board, Tarrasch said that if you cannot play with an IQP you are a Wussy and would be as well taking up Tiddlywinks or Poohsticks as chess.  Ok not those exact words but in effect the same thing.  What are we gentle reader to make of it?  I think that the general consensus is that in modern times the Isolated Queen Pawn is held to be a strength in the middle game but may become a weakness in the endgame and this has a profound effect on the approach for the side possessing the Isolated Queen Pawn and the side attacking it. 


Nimzowitsch with  a rather gloomy face!

The following games played at Arco 2004 illustrates admirably that the IQP can provide a sound basis for attack if handled correctly and that even if it falls there may be counter chances elsewhere on the chessboard.  White essentially wants to avoid the exchange of pieces and to use the extra space created by the IQP to launch a well orchestrated Kingside attack, utilising all of the chess pieces.  Black by contrast wants to unduce white to exchange his active pieces knowing that as the game progresses the pawn may become a serious liability in the endgame.  Whoever handles the position with greater skill and dexterity will usually prevail.


You cannot play with an IQP then take up tiddlywinks instead.

The game itself is played between two Grandmasters, GM Jacob Aagaard and GM Spyridon Skembris, both well seasoned and very capable Grandmasters.  I provide the game and some annotations and a video lecture, take a look if you have a mind to.





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