Corner Pawn Attack in Chess – Part 2

Corner Pawn Attack in Chess – Part 2

Another example: This is an example from the
Sutovsky’s game. Sutovsky, a well-known Grandmaster. And here, there is different side castles.
Both sides try to attack. Mainly, Black tries to have some control over the d-file. So,
how Sutovsky continues here to create pressure? He plays b5. First of all, Sutovsky avoids
any kind of this exchange, complications, pressure, tension and now after b5, there
is this fiancheto structure. He plans to push a4-a5 and attack here. Okay, if he would play
immediately a4, of course there is a problem because b4-pawn would be hanging. So, Rhd8,
a4, was very simple plan for White. Actually, we have to mention that the c4-knight is perfectly
placed…..Black tries to exchange as many pieces as possible to limit attacking potential
of White….And this is the move that I would like to show and talk about a little bit – a6.
I think in our previous lessons, we already mentioned this matter of far away-advanced
pawn. So again, we see this case. Potentially, this is a passed pawn. Because, if something
happens, for example I would be able to exchange those bishops. There is always a tactical
strike of Nxb6, axb6, and a7-a8 that should worry my opponent all the time. Or king has
to stay there to avoid the tactical strike or queen or something. So in truth, I did
not fix and close the structure. In truth, I created a potentially passed pawn, very
far away advanced a6-pawn. This is another purpose of the corner pawn attack. Not always,
destroying like opening the file here. So, Rxd8, Kxd8 and Qd1+. As White already created
enough advantage and pressure of the queenside , and now he plans to go to the kingside…Okay,
Ke7 was also possible but it doesn’t change the case too much. Qh5, Bxc3, Qxh7, and now
potentially, White will have another passed pawn very soon. Qd8, Qg8+, Ke7, Qxg5+, Bf6,
Qf4. Stronger continuation was just Qh5 with the idea to play e5 and Black bishop has some
problems. Maybe Bd4, but now e5 because, I really need to exchange these White-squared
bishops in order to create Nxb6-sacrifice/threats. Okay, also I will need to exchange the queens
too. For example now after Bxg2, I’m giving this intermediate check (Qg5+), exchanging
queens, now take Kxg2 and game is simply lost for Black because there are these kind of
threats (Nxb6) and simply h-pawn advancing ideas. But anyway, I want to follow to this
Sutovsky’s game because what he did in this game was also very familiar to our subject.
So, Qd1+, Bf1, e5, Nxe5, Qd6, Black tries to exchange as many pieces as possible….And
now, Nxb6! Also it was possible to first exchange these bishops and then Nxb6. It makes no difference.
So Nxb6 and now we see that after axb6, Bg2, we’re exchanging the White-squared bishops
and this a-pawn will go to get promotion. So, that’s another typical purpose of the
corner pawn attack – creating potentially passed pawn. Another example. Kramnik against
Nicolich. And I think you already understood how White continued here. Just the same style
as Sutovsky did. Okay, I don’t want to play yet a4 because, there is a tension here – Black
could exchange this closed pawns, then get access for the knight to the beautiful c5-square.
So first, Kramnik is fixing here the pawn chain. And now, a4-a5 will come here. Nh7,
a4, f6. I think slightly better was to play Ng5. Nicolich decided to create a blocking
structure against this bishop. But matter is that now Kramnik simply exchanged these
queens and it’s a one-sided game here. Maybe Ng5-Nh3+ would give some hope or counter-play
for the Black player. Without queens, there is nothing. Rb8, Kramnik decided to exchange
the queens. And this beautiful knight on c4….protecting the b5-pawn. Okay, this time Kramnik did not
create this far away advanced passed pawn because, more benefits is getting exchange
and then enter on with Ra7. So this could be another idea/purpose of the corner pawn
attack. Just simply opening the file to get access to the seventh rank. So now, Re7 was
played in the game. In some books, it was recommended to play Ne6. But even after Ne6,
Nd6-Nf5 – White is just simply dominating! So Re7, f4, exf4, gxf4. Together with this
queenside domination, White also got beautiful and flexible pawn chain and potentially open
position for the pair of bishops. Kf8, and we could finish here, of course, this exercise
because White has got almost winning position. But our previous video lesson was about the
“Piece coordination and Maneuvering”, to improve the position every time. And this also, a
very good example of that topic. Now, this b1-rook is protecting the b5-pawn. Unfortunately,
this rook is busy. a7-rook is doing fine. Also the c4-knight that pressure b6-pawn.
So what we could improve is the king, f1-bishop and c3-bishop. So f1-bishop, so far, unfortunately
doesn’t have a good diagonal where I could place it. So it could be c3-bishop or the
king. Okay, what could we do with the king? Maybe to bring the king into this center,
not e3, because there is Nd5+. Maybe Kf2-Kf3, it’s useful but not something like”WOW, because
of this, I’m gonna win in a few moves!”. And c3-bishop is left so let’s think about this
bishop. What we could do? It is under the blocking structure – it does nothing in this
diagonal. And Kramnik realizes that this is piece actually, that could be improved seriously.
And he plays Be1 – fantastic continuation! Brining the bishop to g3 and after f5, getting
access to this diagonal, actually finishing this game with the little manuever of the
bishop. Black played f5, stopping f4-f5 and Bg3. And now Kramnik, I think, he played a
little bit weak move. Simply Ne5 was the best continuation and it was enough to quickly
win the game. Let’s go to the next examples and finally we arrived to the endgames. Well,
in the endgames mainly corner pawn attack is connected with this potentially passed
pawn idea – creating a potentially passed pawn or fixing the weaknesses on the flank.
So this is the example about this topic. And White immediately uses this advantage of this
far away passed pawns. He just plays e5. And there is a concrete threat – I want to take
here (g6) with the bishop. Black’s position is, obviously, lost after this move. If it
is Black’s turn, maybe he could try e5. But it was White’s turn. If for example Ne4, trying
to close my bishop, maybe Nxd6, Bxd6, exd6, Kxd6 and simply a5. One passed pawn that requires
your attention and another hanging problem on this diagonal – it’s just too much for
Black. In the game, he played Bxb5+. Also dxe5 is possible but after Bxc5+, Bxc5, Bxg6
– we already know what happens here. So that’s why he decided to exchange this knight. And
now Bc3. Black wants to block this diagonal and avoid any kind of bishop sacrifices. But
okay, we can win in another way. Just exd6, it is much stronger than what happened in
the game…..and simply b6 again. Black needs to wait here because he can’t play Kc6 to
Bxg6, hxg6, Bxc5, and if Kxc5, b7 – it’s already tough to block two passed pawns with one bishop.
And if Black just keeps waiting, we will improve our position step by step. For example, Bf4+,
e5, Be3, now this bishop is closed. After Bf4+, if he would play Kc6, then Ba4+ also
winning the piece. So, it’s domination of the pair of bishops. And now after Bb2, Be4,
fixing this e-pawn. Black is waiting…and again…Bxg6 – this is the move that finishes
everything. Because, now king goes to e4, blocking this e-pawn and we’re going to get
the queen. Even after first look, it looks like Nf8 stops it but simply Bc5+ and after
Kxc5, b7 – game is over! Let’s see another example of this famous game of Smyslov. Obviously,
White has a better position. Black has the control of the open d-file but anyway, we
can clearly see that White’s coordination of the pieces and development is higher more
importantly, here. As you already understood, Smyslov played, here, started the corner pawn
attack. Of course, not h4-h5. He plays a5, using the moment that if Black will take bxa5,
after Ra1, everything will fall on this a-file. And Smyslov wants to create at least…entering
open file for his own rook. Or maybe, he will play a6. That was actually played in the game
and we already know this. This time, the purpose is creating far away advanced pawn AND also
fixing the weakness on a7. However, the idea of axb6 was also very good. Let’s say Ra1,
Rd6, axb6, axb6, Ra8 – entering with the rook and Black will not survive in this position.
Step by step, I’m winning this pawn. I can play something like Rc6, probably. And coming
closer with the king. So that should be winning. Well anyway, Smyslov decided to go for a6.
Black is waiting. And g4. I was thinking when preparing this material, maybe Nc6 and c5
could work too. And when I checked it, yes, it also wins the game. Using the point of
this, finally, our potentially passed pawn on a6. Nxc5, Rxc5, bxc5, b6, axb6, a7 and
Black is forced to sacrifice the rook for this pawn and this is enough to win the game.
More importantly, Black pawns are blocked, actually, by the knight. But Smyslov didn’t
want to sacrifice here. He just played g4. This is a well-known classical “Soviet School
Rule”. On the queenside, White fixed his advantage and now he wants to push it and improve his
position on another flank. This is called “Principal of two weaknesses”. There is no
rush, no hurry. So Kf6, g5+, Kg7, Nc6, Rd7, Rg2. Rg2 prepares h4-h5 and this is why I
like this example. Smyslov uses ANOTHER corner pawn attack – this time, I think, it will
be definitely for getting access and to enter with the rook there. Not to play just h6 – or
maybe, it could also be possible. And before he will play this h4, he wants to make sure
that knight doesn’t reach h5. Anyway, this would not be a serious problem. Kf8, h4, Ke8
and now Smyslov plays Rh2, finally preparing h5. And Kf8. If Black would play Ng3, then
Smyslov forces this knight to go to this corner and finally c5 is winning – we already saw
this idea. bxc5, b6, axb6, a7, and game is over. So Black decided to play Kf8. But Smyslov
finally pushes this pawn…and gets access to this h6 and then potentially, f6-square.
If Black ignores it and just plays Kg7, White could play something like hxg6, hxg6, Rh6
and after Ne5 – this g6-pawn is going to be lost. But now, there are other huge problems.
Kg8, Rh1…Rd8 and now again back to the h6-square, to enter into f6 after Nc5. So, the game still
continued for a few moves but it doesn’t matter to us. White has a HUGE advantage here – the
game is decided. So once again, we saw that even TWICE, this corner pawn attack, for various
purposes – fixing the weakness, creating potentially passed pawn, and trying to get access to open
file in order to activate our rook. And let’s go to see the last example. This is a very
good example, by the way. Let’s take a look from the Black’s side. Rook and one pawn for
two minor pieces. At first look, it looks like an advantage for White, in the material
aspect. But the matter is that, the knight is little bit far away and it’s Black’s turn.
So if we could create some quick threats here, using our pawn majority and the rook, maybe
we will be doing just fine. But HOW to do this? First idea is that, maybe I have to
create far away passed pawn, fix the weakness and then somehow, go to enter there. We already
know this idea. But now after Nf4, unfortunately, there is no entrance for the rook. And White
wants to do is to regroup his pieces and start pressuring the targets here. If c4, Bxc4,
Rc8 – there is a little trick. The idea is to sacrifice here and then b3 and then a2.
But Nd5, and nothing is working here. If Rxc4, bxc4, b3 and Nc3 is losing. So what else we
could do? Maybe, we could play axb3….but then just Bc4 and nothing happens. The last
logical option looks like it’s Rh8. Okay, it’s possible to win the h2-pawn but once
again, White fixed the pawn structure, bishop goes to c4 and I doubt if Black will survive
here. And finally, we simply know, the perfect solution – before playing a3, we should not
lose the time and immediately start with this c4-sacrifice. The matter is that I want to
create a passed pawn. And if, for example, he would take with the pawn, after Rb8, supporting
b3, immediately, White is in trouble. In the game he played Bc4, but after Rc8, we already
created this threat of Rxc4, then b3 and then a3. Of course, we’re going to play a3 and
not axb3 because, as far away as located, our passed pawn, it will be better for us.
Now for example if Nf4…this is just end of the game. So White decided to play Bd3
here and what now? I think we all know what now – a3! Again, far away passed pawn and
creating/fixing weakness. So now, there are a lot of threats like Rc1-Ra1, taking the
pawn or Rc3 – pinning the bishop, first of all. And if bishop, for example, will leave
this diagonal somehow…..yes, that does NOT work. Okay let’s say that Black has two ideas
– 1. To enter with Rc1 2. At some point, to enter with Rc3 and immediately sacrificed
for this b3-pawn because after axb3, there is a2-a1 idea. So obviously, now White is
in a huge trouble. And Black was able to win this game, also with some mistakes, but he
won the game. So let’s make a conclusion/summary. The corner pawn attack is very famous and
really a very powerful idea with different purposes. It’s destroying the opponent’s king-defense,
opening the file for the rook. For example, it was that h4-h5 attack in the Dragon or
Pirc, I wanted to open the h1-rook. Also, it could be like “I want to push my pawn until
h6-square”, to create control over the g7/g2 or somewhere, those squares next to the opponent’s
king, checkmating threats. Also, it could be used for creating potentially passed pawn,
creating advanced pawn and there are always these sacrificing ideas, somehow with the
knight, the rook and the a-pawn goes to the promotion. And in the Smyslov’s game, we saw
another purpose – it was also, together with the creating potentially passed pawn, creating/fixing
the weakness because, there was the knight which could enter this c3-square and, permanently,
was attacking the pawn. So, USE the corner pawn attack in YOUR games. Generally, it’s
a game with the fianchetto structure and sometimes, even without the fianchetto, pushing the h4
can create problems. But when you see the fianchetto of the opponent, immediately, mechanically,
corner pawn attack should appear in your candidate move possibilities. And well, I hope you will
win your games using these ideas. Thank you for your attention, I hope you liked the video.
See you next time, bye-bye!

4 thoughts on “Corner Pawn Attack in Chess – Part 2

  1. ♟♞♝♜♛♚
    I have liked your video and I have subscribed to your channel.
    If you subscribe to David Cortese, the author of Manga Chess, he will subscribe back.

  2. I really like your videos and the way you present material. Adding subtitles is generally a good thing, but your English is perfectly understandable to me, a native speaker of American English. Remote Chess Academy videos are in general excellent for providing useful, practical information, not just game analysis for the sake of analyzing. Thanks!

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