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Doubled pawn can be useful if they are protected.
On the Rd5 point, a rook on d5 doesn't really do anything that it doesn't do on d1 anyway, as far as I can see. Nd5 is a monster.
I appreciate the initally sensible discussion on one of my favourite coaching positions (although I'm still not convinced keeping the rooks on is best), so I'll be better equipped to explain this position next time I set it up. Thanks.
I didn't expect my first post on this thread to eventually start a row, though...
Yes, you are definitely right, though the idea of creating a battery on the d-file seemed pretty promising at first glance :( . Thanks for your response.
The following position took place after Black's 19th move in Botvinnik v Panov, 1939. I came across this game as I was searching for chess related videos on Youtube, and noticed that the pawn structure is pretty similar to the structure featured in the position givenby Madhacker.
What's interesting about this position in the game is that white can play Nd5, which forces black to "repair" white's fractured pawn structure by capturing the d5 knight (black loses material otherwise). In addition to this, white will have a protected passed pawn. Despite all of these factors, white chooses not to plant his knight on d5, opting instead to simply move his Queen off of the d-file. This decision probably had to do with potential of white's doubled pawns as well as the open d-file which Botvinnik recognized would prove to be much greater assets than what I mentioned above. White's bishop pair eventually wins him the game, but that was only possible because he kept the position open instead of blindly following the "doubled pawns = bad" principle.
I thought that this was a neat example of illustrating that not all doubled pawns are bad (or at least that repairing them is sometimes not ideal).
The complete game can be found here: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1031980
Also, if anyone is interested in the Youtube video I was referring to, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPBEjvQD9vI
The author does a much better job of explaining the game than what I've attempted here (though I think he uses the term "Winning the exchange" incorrectly in this vid, nothing big).
What "row" are you talking about? There have been many very useful contributions, with interruptions from a troll.
The evaluations of an interesting position are bound to conflict, that's what makes chess such a deep and fascinating game. Nearly all the posts here have been productive, most have contributed to the discussion.
I am curious as to why you question keeping the Rooks on as the best hope for winning. This isn't something unusual - typically in endgames with Rooks and minor pieces it is better for the stronger side, or the side trying for a win, to keep Rooks on, in my experience.
In fact, I don't see any winning chances at all for White by trading down the Rooks. If anything, he has weak pawns to defend, although that should not be too difficult since they are all together and he has no other weaknesses. But Black has no weaknesses at all! He cannot lose without a serious blunder after trading off the Rooks.
Agreed, Estragon, I am no endgame expert but I wondered also why the rooks were to come off. And regarding the useful contributions you referred to, that point was certainly backed up by the last one from Kens Mom: another very nice angle to approach the subject from. Admittedly that Botvinnik position is a little bit more complicated than the one we were looking at, with knights to blockade efficiently at the d6 square.
Estragon, yes I was annoyed by the trolling, but there you go.
I just can't see any useful function for the rooks. But there you go, that might just be a reflection on my endgame play...
I assume this is the position we are talking about. White is better based on a few factors.
Doubled pawns are a weakness IF they can be attacked. In the above case they are not easily attacked. Endgames are another problem area for doubled pawns because they are unable to create a passed pawn as in a typical 2 vs 1 position (undoubled). In the middlegame or almost endgames where multiple pieces are on the board activity is critical (think of positions where you happily sac a pawn for piece activity) more so than static features such as doubled pawns. Doubled pawns give greater control of squares AND open (or semiopen) files! so as long as rooks are on the board the files are annoying. black cannt fight for control of the d-file due to the knight d-idea.
In this case whites activity easily compensates for the weakened pawns infact the doubled pawns help control good squares. Black has problems that he has no easy plan to improve his position while white's plans are easy. improve the position of the pieces and see what happens!
I would also pick a plan to keep rooks on the board. improve my knight and king position and attack the queenside pawns and see what happens. Put a rook on the 3rd rank so I can shuffle from king to queenside quickly. play a4-a5 to weaken the black b-pawn and see what cracks. Right now black's safety issue is that he has really only 1 weakness and black can defend it. create two weaknesses and black should crumble.
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