Mastery: Strategy

The Carlsbad Pawn Structure

The Carlsbad Pawn Structure

The Carlsbad Pawn Structure is one of the most important structures in all of chess. You can reach it out of the Queen's Gambit, the Caro-Kann or a variety of other openings. White can aim for a minority attack or kingside play. Black can attack or focus on equality. Learn a structure that was a favorite of many world champions.

  • The Carlsbad Pawn Structure: Part 1

    GM Bojkov is back! Today he begins a well-researched series on a pawn structure that will surely occur in your games sooner or later. Make sure you're good with the Carlsbad. In today's part 1, he focuses on the infamous minority attack. How can two pawns defeat three? With the help of an open c-file, that's how. Bojkov shows all the permutations of the attack on the c6-pawn, including a World Champion preemptively attacking the pawn even before it gets there!

    • 22 min
    • 5 challenges
  • The Carlsbad Pawn Structure: Part 2

    "Just keep your pieces active and everything is going to be fine," Coach and GM Dejan Bojkov says. In the imbalanced Carlsbad structure, it seems White will just methodically press the minority attack, but Black has enough resources based on the dark-squared bishop and the open a- or b-file. Today he brings you two games, with three World Champions! Watch and see how these players react to White's plan and how you can hold the balance.

    • 20 min
    • 5 challenges
  • The Carlsbad Pawn Structure: Part 3

    We know by now what White's minority attack looks like in the Carlsbad pawn formation, but let's have some fun with Black today. GM Bojkov shows a variety of games and positions where Black invades the light squares around White's king, long before the queenside crumbles. You'll get a chance to put all four attacking units en prise at various stages! Dismantling White's castle sometimes takes creativity, and today you'll need it!

    • 17 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Harry Nelson Pillsbury's Carlsbad Pawn Structure Plan

    How did the great Henry Nelson Pillsbury handle the Carlsbad pawn structure? GM Dejan Bojkov demonstrates an educational win in this pawn structure by Pillsbury from more than 100 years ago. Do you know the “Pillsbury circle” in this opening? Find out in this video how to use the circle to gain space.

    • 16 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Mikhail Botvinnik's Carlsbad Pawn Structure Plan

    Are you looking for a plan as White in the Carlsbad pawn structure? Look no further than the work of Mikhail Botvinnik, one of the greatest chess theoreticians of all time. GM Dejan Bojkov reviews Botvinnik’s plan in this structure, and shows you an instructive game against Botvinnik’s main rival, Paul Keres, who was himself an inventive super-grandmaster.

    • 17 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Garry Kasparov's Carlsbad Pawn Structure Plan

    How did one of the greatest chess players ever handle the Carlsbad pawn structure? Garry Kasparov is universally considered one of the three best players of all time, so whenever you have a chance to learn an opening approach from him, pay attention! GM Dejan Bojkov reviews a unique game in this structure from nearly 30 years ago, and Kasparov’s ideas remain relevant to this day.

    • 17 min
    • 5 challenges
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