The pawn majority is an important concept in chess and it refers to the side of the board where you have more pawns than your opponent. The main plan in this type of structure is to find the right moment to advance the pawns, gain more space and cramp your opponent’s position. However, as it often happens in chess, this cannot be applied automatically. You have to analyze well the position and take into account all the factors that are present on the chess board.
A good player is always lucky. This famous quote attributed to the third World Champion Jose Raul Capablanca means that one way or another, the stronger player will always find a way to escape and get a good result. We see it all the time in tournament practice or even casual play against experienced players. One of the main qualities of a strong player is the resistance they put when they are under pressure.
“I don’t believe in fortresses.” – Magnus Carlsen
I understand Carlsen’s famous quote, not at face value, but rather as an understanding of chess’s nearly infinite possibilities. Carlsen himself has shown in a lot of his games and how seemingly easily drawn games can be won by finding hidden resources in the position.
Still, fortresses do exist in chess. Even Carlsen himself has stumbled upon one or two in his career. Perhaps the costliest one was in the fourth game of the match with Karjakin, when in a relatively easily won position he allowed Karjakin to build one. Later in the match, the missed chances of an early lead could have cost Carlsen dearly.
The hanging pawns structure is a very common one in the chess game. By definition, we call hanging pawns when there are two pawns joined together but isolated from the rest of the pawn chain. They are usually on the fourth rank; if found already beyond they are no longer hanging, but two very dangerous passed pawns! Just like the Isolated Queens Pawn structure, the hanging pawns have a similar character. They can be very strong or they can be a target for the opponent. It all depends on the dynamic factors of the position.
Typical maneuvers that every chess player must know. The Isolated Central Pawn or IQP (isolated queen’s pawn) is one of the classic structures in that every player must learn how to play with both sides. It is a unique structure with established characteristics and plans of playing with it or against it. Part of chess mastery is to know what to do in both situations and how to asses correctly these types of positions.
Mastering positional play should be one of every chess player’s goals in their journey to improvement. It is highly important to know how to react in different types of positions and how to select the right plan. Not only this, but you will find it easier to do so during the game if you have studied beforehand the typical plans according to the pawn structure or if you have solved many positional exercises, for example.
It will help you make good moves in a shorter amount of time and it will help you save time for the more complicated moments. But how to get there? The key is always to study and here are some things we suggest you include in your training routine.
It is not easy to achieve positional mastery.
The reason is that in order to do so one must follow the path of the development of chess since Morphy up until today.
To give you a better idea here is a very brief description of what you would learn.
Here is an (in)complete list of what’s covered in the following article – to a various extent of depth 🙂
Studying middlegames and understanding the most important positional motifs is one of the keys to improvement for every club player. While many young players put a great accent on the opening preparation nowadays, the difference between an experienced chess player and an aficionado is most of the time felt during the middlegame and endgame.
It is usually more difficult to get away with a positional mistake when facing stronger opposition and, in order to avoid this, we advise you to take into account a few things during your game.
Today, I have decided to come up with a few examples on the topic that are very challenging for any chess player – even of the highest level. This is primarily because it’s totally counterintuitive, namely using your king in the middlegame while the battle is in full swing.
It’s difficult because the first thing we learn about chess is that the king should be kept safe. Then, as we mature and improve our game, we learn that, in the endgame, the role of the king increases: it can be an active piece, even one of the most active. So, how to use the king in the middlegame?
Today, I would like to discuss a topic, which in my opinion, is an important and interesting one, yet hasn’t been covered extensively in chess literature. How can sacrifices be used for a successful defense? Often, we cannot hope to survive an opponent’s attack by means of normal defensive moves that improve our pieces slowly or deal with their threats convincingly enough.