Lessons

Every Pawn Structure Explained

Every Pawn Structure Explained

How does a master quickly know the key plans in a position?

He or she can examine the pawn structure and quickly know the essential ideas for both sides. GM Johan Hellsten begins his series, explaining every important structure, by examining four key structures that are most common in 1.d4 openings.

  • How do you play with and against the isolated d-pawn?
  • How should you evaluate hanging pawn positions?
  • What are the ideas behind the popular Carlsbad structure?
  • How can you handle the big center in the Grunfeld and Semi-Tarrasch?
  • What are the ideas in the trendy Open Catalan?
  • How can you fight for a win in the symmetrical Exchange Slav structure?
  • What should you look for in sharp Scheveningen, Dragon, and other Sicilian structures?
The Isolated d-Pawn: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Isolated d-Pawn: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The isolated d-pawn might be the most famous structural imbalance in all of chess. GM Johan Hellsten explains the key ideas for both sides.
21 min
5 Challenges
Hanging Pawns: Every Pawn Structure Explained

Hanging Pawns: Every Pawn Structure Explained

Hanging pawns, usually two pawns connected on the d- and c-files, are some of the trickiest structures to play. GM Johan Hellsten lets you know what to look for with or against the hanging pawns.
19 min
5 Challenges
The Carlsbad: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Carlsbad: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Queen's Gambit, The Caro-Kann, and even the London System can lead to the famous Carlsbad pawn structure. GM Johan Hellsten demonstrates the key plans and tactics.
20 min
5 Challenges
The Semi-Tarrasch Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Semi-Tarrasch Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

In the Grunfeld and Semi-Tarrasch Defenses White often builds a big center and Black tries to undermine it. GM Johan Hellsten explains what both sides are aiming for.
20 min
5 Challenges
The Open Catalan Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Open Catalan Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Catalan is one of the most popular openings at the top level today. GM Johan Hellsten demonstrates the key ideas for both sides in this tricky structure.
21 min
5 Challenges
The Exchange Slav Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Exchange Slav Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Exchange Slav has a reputation as a boring opening, but despite the symmetry, both sides have chances to play for a win. GM Johan Hellsten demonstrates the key ideas.
23 min
5 Challenges
The Scheveningen Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Scheveningen Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

GM Johan Hellsten begins his overview of Sicilian structures with the Scheveningen, a favorite of Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov!
27 min
5 Challenges
The Dragon Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Dragon Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Dragon structure often leads to sharp play in both the Sicilian and the English Opening. GM Johan Hellsten demonstrates the key plans and tactics for both sides.
25 min
5 Challenges
The Maroczy Bind: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Maroczy Bind: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Maroczy Bind allows one side to build a clamp on the center with the c- and e-pawns. However, there's still room for counterplay and the opponent won't always get squeezed to death. GM Johan Hellsten brings you the key ideas for both sides.
27 min
5 Challenges
The Botvinnik Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Botvinnik Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

Mikhail Botvinnik was world champion several times and popularized a setup with pawns on c4, d3, and e4 or the reverse for Black. GM Johan Hellsten explains the key ideas in this popular structure.
23 min
5 Challenges
The Sveshnikov Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Sveshnikov Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Sveshnikov Variation of the Sicilian Defense used to be considered unplayable because Black accepts a risky-looking backward pawn. However, Black's dynamic chances usually offer great counterplay. GM Johan Hellsten brings the details.
22 min
5 Challenges
The Hedgehog Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Hedgehog Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Hedgehog looks quiet, but it can unfurl a world of complications. GM Johan Hellsten explains.
23 min
5 Challenges
The Advanced French Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Advanced French Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

When White's pawn chain reaches from b2 to e5, it could lead to a kingside attack, but Black also can target the pawns and achieve counterplay. GM Johan Hellsten brings you the key ideas for both sides.
28 min
5 Challenges
The Rossolimo Structures: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Rossolimo Structures: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Rossolimo Variation of the Sicilian has become the dominant Anti-Sicilian today. The same structure occurs frequently in the English Opening as well. GM Johan Hellsten explains the key ideas for both sides.
29 min
5 Challenges
The Competing Majorities Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Competing Majorities Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

In many openings, one side has more pawns on the kingside and the other has more on the queenside. GM Johan Hellsten demonstrates how to play these tricky positions.
23 min
5 Challenges
The Closed Sicilian Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Closed Sicilian Structure: Every Pawn Structure Explained

The Closed Sicilian is a tricky weapon against the Sicilian Defense and frequently occurs with reversed colors in the English Opening. GM Johan Hellsten shows the key plans and tactics for both sides.
24 min
5 Challenges

Every Pawn Structure Explained

Strategy
16 Lessons
375 Minutes
80 Challenges
Released November 30, 2021
235,956 Students