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|Isolated Pawn Endgames: 4 Things to Keep in Mind|
|Written by WGM Raluca Sgîrcea, IM Renier Castellanos|
|Monday, 12 December 2016 00:19|
It is probably one of the most common and studied pawn formations; however, it’s not always easy to handle structures with an isolated pawn, no matter if you’re playing with or against it. As we have previously stated, the isolated pawn can be either a weakness or an advantage, depending on the position. You can find more details and ideas on how to play with both sides in our previous articles on this topic.
Just as a quick reminder, it can be an advantage in the middlegame, when it can help the side who has it gain space and build an attack behind it. It can provide great outposts for the knights and there are always tactical ideas that one needs to pay attention to, generated by the thematic advance of the pawn.
In conclusion, when playing with an isolated pawn we should focus on attacks against the rival king and avoid exchanging pieces.
The side playing against the isolated pawn usually tries to stop it from advancing and seeks piece trades. It is common knowledge that the pawn becomes a target in the endgames when its weakness is greatly felt by the side that has it. However, that sounds easier in theory than in practice and sometimes, even if you had reached an endgame where your opponent has an isolated pawn and you know you have a slight advantage, you just cannot find the winning plan.
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Before moving on to the example and seeing how Grandmasters turn this slight advantage into a full point, here are a few ideas that you should keep in mind in such positions:
First of all, let’s take a look at a knight versus bishop endgame where white employs the previously mentioned plans in order to win the game. He first brings his king and knight to ideal squares and then moves on to creating a second target of attack.
Winning a rook endgame where your opponent has an isolated pawn is not easy if your opponent finds the best moves. In the following game black could have held the draw with correct play. However, he cracked up under the pressure and eventually lost the game.
The following game transitioned into a four rook endgame where white had more activity and, thanks to the control over the c-file, he easily won the game.
Finally, we chose a recent game between top Grandmasters Anish Giri and Leinier Dominguez where white elegantly won a heavy pieces endgame against the isolated pawn. The principle he applied was basically the same: create new weaknesses and combine attacks on all of them.
If you want to improve your chess level, you need to have a clear study plan. If you aim for a dramatic improvement at chess you need to work on all of the elements of the game in a systematic way:
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|Last Updated on Monday, 12 December 2016 11:49|