Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Chess Middle Game - Pawn Play

I have started reading again, Paul Keres and Alexander Kotov's chess book - The Art of the Middle Game. As you all know, 'Pawn Play' ie. your handling of the Pawns, is one of the keys to success in the middle game. To supplement my study, I studied this excellent game between Peter Potemkin (white) and Alexander Alekhine (black) played in St. Petersburg 1912.

[Event "St Petersburg"]
[Site "St Petersburg"]
[Date "1912.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Potemkin, Peter"]
[Black "Alekhine, Alexander"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B20"]

1. e4 c5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. Ne2 Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 6. Na3 d5
7. exd5 Nxd5 8. Nc2 O-O 9. d4 cxd4 10. cxd4 Bg4 11. f3 Bf5
12. Ne3 Qa5+ 13. Kf2 Ndb4 14. Nxf5 Qxf5 15. g4 Nd3+
16. Kg3 Nxd4 17. gxf5 Nxf5+ 18. Kg4 h5+ 19. Kh3 Nf2# 0-1

  • After Potemkin's 8th move, his Queen Pawn is backward. Alekhine decides to take advantage of this.
  • After Potemkin's 10th move, his Queen Pawn is isolated and Alekhine starts putting pressure on the weak pawn.
  • After Alekhine's 16th move, the weak pawn falls.
"For want of protection, a Pawn was lost; for want of a Pawn, the center was lost; for want of the center, the position was lost; for want of position, the game was lost." - Richard Roberts.

Do you have any old games that highlights the importance of 'Pawn Play'?
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