Beating a Pawn pusher


Doesnt it drive you crazy to play guys who are pawn pushers? They violate every opening principle and somehow are still tough to beat. My opponent is more than an adequate player (approximately 1400) and will beat most casual players with no trouble and holds his own against tournament players.

This was a tournament game we played recently that I believe is instructive on how to beat a pawn pusher through principled play.


Sorry on the last comment, I meant 1-0 not 0-1


Good game, but I didn't really like your 4th move (since it allowed him to push pawns repeatedly with gain of time to chase it back). In the game, I thought your natural target would be the Queenside (11. Na3 perhaps comes to mind)since his pawns look to be inadequately supported, and he has a greater concentration of pieces on the Kingside anyway. Another way to deal with him would be to simply crack the position open and blow his King out of the water. The way you dealt with him was still very good though, and entailed little risk :D


Nice game!


i would have preferred 22.Bxf5 instead of Nxf5 but it worked out well enough i would have done it for several reasons your bishophad little scope after he blockaded e6, not everyone will make that mistake he did so dont take risks and finally the knight is the best blockader it would sit on g6 with 2 rooks protecting e6 and queen protecting g6 via g3 and giving chances on the queenside via h2 b8 diagonal


Nice game. you really held down the fort against all those pawns! seige warfare


Pushing pawns can be hazardous to a Chess player's health ! Cool


Nice game! It seems that the common pawn pusher thinks he has everything figured out for a solid defense - except for the well-timed sacrifice. I played a weak computer today that also kept pushing pawns towards a stonewall structure, and the key was to sacrifice a knight to expose the king for an eventual checkmate.


Fun game.  Almost to bad he blundered 28...Kc5 although he was in trouble, so it is excuseable.

I have a friend who plays a "modified hippopotamus".  I believe --(hippopotamus supporters may correct me) -- that a true hippopotamus is moving all pawns only to the 3rd rank before moving a piece.  It keeps the game more closed.  It can be surprisingly difficult to crack, but there is a point where it mysteriously falls apart.

Styles differ, and i may be missing something, but I would have grabbed an immediate 16 e5.

16...Nd5 or ...Ng4

17exd6 Nxe3

18 QxN a3

19b3 cxb3

20 Bxb3 and I think his position is semi busted with a semi vulnerable king and an odd backwards pawn.  Several small edges.


No, a 'true hippopotamus opening' is the one such as below:

etc. The system used may be employed against most moves, whether playing as Black or White. The definitive features are the double fianchetto, and the e3,d3/e6,d6 pawns. Occasionally, it is possible for a position to arise afterwards with all the pawns of one side being on the third rank, but such positions are rare, and the 'true' Hippo is a far more universal system.


Very instructive post. I've had advantageous positions against similar play but could not convert them to victories -  a pawn sacrifice at the right time will do the trick I guess.


Nice article. Pawn pushers and similar automatic system players abound during bullet and even blitz play on You know they are betting that it takes you longer to think and move than it will take them to pre-move their supposedly universal repertoire. In many cases, strategies like your opponent's come down to the hope that their adversary will lurch forward and commit an error by over-attacking. I wish I could say I always get the better of these folks, but, alas, I cannot. Thanks, Erik, for serving up some vicarious justice. 


Cool game, liked the tactic after he played Kc5.


Pawn pushers destroy chess in its beauty and intelligence. I don't want to meet any of those people because their overall thinking disgusts me.

Good game you played there anyways, the tactics were damn on point on the positional play worked very well, +1!


The way you annotated your game was so cringey


You lost me at 6. d3. Why not d4?. You played passively which let him get away with his rubbish defense

monk56 wrote:

The way you annotated your game was so cringey

I applaud how he/she annotated.  not the usual boring malarkey, to borrow a phrase from sleepy joe.


on 16. a3 I would have preferred just d5 immediately, it's a temporary sacrifice of a pawn but it looks very poisonous and after exd5, exd5, nxd5, you go Be4 and pin the knight to the rook, and it's impossible to defend the knight properly, and in that line, you'll just win material, sorry for being 10 years late but that's my analysis