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"The Pawns Are The Soul Of Chess". Memorial Philidor

Start Time: Sep 18, 2011

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The pawns are the soul of chess”. With this sentence, Danican André Philidor (1726-1795), put the basics of chess strategy. Although a century would pass until the theory was revised and consolidated by Stenitz (founder of positional school), leading to how to understand chess as we know it today. 





  Fragment of original book "Analyse du jeu des échecs" by Philidor

An example of Philidor philosophy can be seen in the Philidor opening  (topic of this tournament) on the black after 1. e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 trying to build a solid  pawns structure and a strong center.

Philidor was an advanced of his time. He introduced this concept in full Romantic chess period, which were based on chess tactics, combinations in the short term, when more spectacular more better. The importance of pawns, the creation of a solid structure that would eventually lead to the consolidation of the center ... strategic concepts were non existent at XVII century.

In 1749 Philidor published the book "Analyse du jeu des échecs", an advance in chess knowledge.

 Download PDF of ’Analysis of the game of chess, 2nd edition. London, MDCCLXXVII (1777)

Some good examples (taken from the book) of this strategic conception, ahead of its time, found in the following statements: 

 The pawns are the soul of chess. For his good or bad disposal depends win or lose the game. 

 When you have two pawns united in line, should leave them well, without advancing any pawn until the opponent intends to change one of them, which should be avoided, advancing the pawn attacked. 

 Must be generally rule unite pawns and bring them to center. 

 A doubled pawn, when it’s linked with other pawns, is not a disadvantage if it approach to center. 

 How more advanced are the pawns, more are exposed to being captured. 

 Generally, should not rush to make an attack with pawns until they are all well protected by themselves or other pieces, otherwise, these attacks lead to failure. 

 It is always an advantage to attack an isolated pawn, although to distract the enemy pieces. 

...Thanks Philidor, and good luck to all!



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