Modern Chess 1

I am glad to present a new chess product, made of my good friends!
“Modern chess” is a magazine of educational type, publishing Grandmaster’s lectures concerning all the stages of the chess game – opening, middlegame and endgame. The articles are interrelated, each one of them being a part of a comprehensive course on a specific topic. Besides the opportunity to read the magazine in PDF, you are offered an interactive version, accessible from the web site.
Therefore, “Modern chess” is a digital educational platform, suitable for anyone who has the ambition to improve his knowledge on the chess game. For more information about Modern Chess Magazine, please visit: http://www.modern-chess.com/en/modern-chess-magazine
I am happy to publish a complete article by GM Gavrikov about the isolated pawn in four parts. Here are the first two games:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "URS-ch sf"]
[Site "Sverdlovsk"]
[Date "1957.??.??"]
[Round "15"]
[White "Polugaevsky, Lev"]
[Black "Lutikov, Anatoly S"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D37"]
[Annotator "GM Viktor Gavrikov"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "1957.??.??"]
[EventRounds "19"]
[EventCountry "URS"]

{The attack with an isolated pawn - GM Viktor Gavrikov Dear chess friends,
this article marks the beginning of a training course designed to acquaint the
readers of the magazine "Modern Chess" with one of the most important type of
positions in middlegame - isolated pawn. The importance of this topic is
related to the fact that it can arise from a huge number of openings. Several
examples are Queen’s Gambit, Slav Defense, Tarrasch Defense, New Indian
Defense, Nimzowitsch Defense, Sicilian Defense and many other openings.
Therefore, good knowledge of these positions is necessary for any chess player,
regardless of his repertoire. Our magazine provides a full course of study on
the isolated pawn, which contains three logically linked articles. The first
two published materials focus on the methods of playing with an isolator. This
article will explain in depth the three most important attacking ideas for the
side playing with an isolator, which are - the transfer of the rook on third
horizontal, the movement of the isolated pawn and the sacrifice of the knight
on “f7”. No less important are the techniques, which will we discussed in
the second article of our series - the switch to a symmetric pawn structure
after the exchange on “d5”, the movement of “f” pawn and the movement
of “h” pawn. Once our readers are familiar with the offensive potential of
the isolated pawn, they can move forward to the closing article of the course,
which stresses the methods of playing against such a pawn. 1) The transfer of
the rook on third horizontal For a better understanding of this maneuver, it
is necessary to make some general clarifications. The main advantage of the
isolated pawn is that it provides spatial advantage. While the isolator
controls the “e5” and “c5” squares (respectively “e4” and “c4”)
, they can be perfect outpost for the knights. Another essential advantage is
the possession of the semi-opened line “e” which is often used as a
springboard for the development of an attack against the enemy’s king.
Taking into consideration the above-mentioned advantages, the side playing
with an isolated pawn should seek for attack on the kingside and avoid pieces
exchange. The readers should know that in endgame such a pawn is a weakness
rather than a strength. One of the classic methods of attack is the transfer
of the rook on the kingside. This is maneuver is possible, due to the spatial
advantage, provided by the isolated pawn. We can say that quite often the
isolator acts as a “screen”, behind which the regrouping of the pieces is
performed, aiming to play offensive against the king. A relevant example,
which fully illustrates the idea of the transfer of the rook on the third
horizontal, is the classical game between the two Russian Grandmasters, Lev
Polugaevsky and Anatoli Lutikov, played back in 1957.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3.
Nf3 c5 4. e3 Be7 5. Nc3 O-O 6. Bd3 ({Deserves attention move d4-d5, which
leads to Benoni’s pawn structure, favorable for white:} 6. d5 exd5 7. cxd5 d6
8. e4 $14 {The White’s advantage is due to the fact that the “e7” square
is not suitable for the bishop - in this types of structures the best place is
on the big diagonal.}) 6... d5 7. O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4 Nbd7 {[%cal Ga7a6,Gb7b5,
Gc8b7,Gd8b6,Ga8c8,Gf8d8] Diagram [#] Diagram [#] Very crucial moment! When
Black develops the knight on “d7”, they seek for harmonious development of
the queenside. Their plan includes moves а7-а6, b7-b5, Bb7, Qb6, Rac8 и
Rfd8. However, the early development of the knight on “d7” is premature,
because White can oppose a7-a6 with a2-a4. In that situation, the black knight
will be far from the weakened square “b4”.} ({Therefore, the modern theory
recommends starting with} 8... a6 {[%cal Gb7b5] which aims to cause a2-a4 and
thus weaken the square “b4”. The difference here is that the black knight
is still on “b8” and may move easily to “b4”, from where it does not
only control the “d5” square, but also prevents offensive ideas of white
queen - bishop battery on the “b1- h7” diagonal and the transfer of the
rook on the third line through “d3”.} 9. a4 Nc6 {[%csl Rb4][%cal Gc5d4,
Ge3d4,Gc6b4] Diagram [#] Diagram [#]}) 9. Qe2 {A typical move for queen’s
structure It is obvious that soon enough this will lead to a position with an
isolated pawn and White will start to place its pieces on the best places. The
queen occupied the “e” line, which will become semi-opened after the pawn
exchange, while the rook should be placed on “d1”, where it will create a
dangerous confrontation against black queen.} a6 10. a4 cxd4 11. exd4 Nb6 12.
Bb3 {the best place for the bishop in this kind of positions. The control of
the “d5” square is crucial, when the black knight is on “b6”.} Bd7 13.
Ne5 {Diagram [#]} Be8 $2 {[%csl Ye8,Rf8][%cal Rf8e8] Diagram [#] Very
instructive mistake. The bishop on “e8” disturbs the coordination between
the heavy black pieces and limits the movement of the rook from “f8”.} ({
Black should prefer the following option:} 13... Bc6 14. Nxc6 bxc6 {Diagram [#]
The position that occurred is very interesting and popular, but very often was
incorrectly evaluated. The “c6” + “e6” structure, against “d4” is
called “saw”. It is important to know that this type of structure is
favorable for Black, only if the light-squared bishop is not on “c8”,
otherwise it will become the prisoner of his own pawns. Black also possess the
semi-opened line “b”, which fully compensates white’s couple of bishops.
A very interesting and difficult game to follow.}) 14. Rd1 Nbd5 {Diagram [#]}
15. Rd3 $1 {[%cal Gd3g3,Gg3h3] Diagram [#] White chose the best moment to
transfer the rook on the kingside. It depends on the position where the rook
should be placed, on “g3” or “h3”.} Rc8 16. Rg3 $1 {An important
moment from a practical point of view. When we transfer the rook on the third
horizontal in positions with isolated pawn, it is necessary to choose the
square from which the rook confronts the black king. White threatens Bh6.} Kh8
17. Bg5 Nb4 18. Rd1 {After this move all white pieces are in play. Now it is
time to trigger an attack on the kingside.} Rc7 19. Rh3 $1 {Diagram [#] It is
good to pay attention that the white took is seeking for confrontation against
black king. A real storm will start soon on the kingside!} g6 {With his last
move, Black caused irreparable weaknesses around his king. However, it should
be noticed that it is not easy to find a better move.} ({Obviously,} 19... Kg8
{stumbles across a typical move for this type of position} 20. Ne4 {Diagram [#]
White’s idea is more than logical. He seeks for the exchange of Nf6, which
is the only defender on the kingside. Here is how it could develop:} Nbd5 21.
Nxf6+ Nxf6 22. Qd3 h6 $140 ({After} 22... g6 23. Bh6 {Black rook is blocked.})
23. Bxh6 $1 gxh6 24. Qe3 $18 {Diagram [#] Checkmate is inevitable.}) 20. Qf3 $1
{[%csl Rf6] Diagram [#] Diagram [#] White not only highlights the unstable
position of the knight on “f6”, but also prepares the breakthrough d4-d5.}
Rg8 $2 {A serious mistake in a very hard position.} ({Did not save} 20... Bc6 {
because of} 21. Qe3 {[%cal Gg5f6,Ge3h6] After the exchange on “f6”, the
white queen moves to the “h6” square.}) 21. Ne4 {Undoubtedly the most
natural move. White, however, miss the more elegant and quick win.} ({White
could choose also} 21. d5 $1 {Diagram [#]} exd5 22. Nxd5 Nbxd5 23. Rxd5 $1 Nxd5
$140 24. Rxh7+ $1 Kxh7 25. Qh3+ Kg7 26. Qh6# {Diagram [#] Diagram [#]
Picturesque position!}) 21... Nh5 {Black tries to close the “h” line, but
now the “f7” became exclusively weak.} (21... Nxe4 $2 22. Rxh7+ $1 Kxh7 23.
Qh3+ Kg7 24. Qh6#) 22. Qxf7 $1 {[%csl Rh8] Diagram [#] Diagram [#] The last
shot! Black’s position is falling apart. The rest does not need any comments.
} Bc6 (22... Bxf7 23. Nxf7+ Kg7 24. Nxd8 Rxd8 25. g4 Nf6 26. Bh6+ Kh8 27. Ng5
$18) (22... Bxg5 23. Nxg5 $18) 23. Qxe6 Rg7 24. d5 Bd7 25. Bxe7 Rxe7 26. Qd6
Qe8 27. Nf6 Nxf6 28. Qxf6+ Rg7 29. d6 {Diagram [#]} 1-0

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "Biel Interzonal"]
[Site "Biel"]
[Date "1976.08.04"]
[Round "18"]
[White "Portisch, Lajos"]
[Black "Sosonko, Gennadi"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E57"]
[WhiteElo "2625"]
[BlackElo "2505"]
[Annotator "GM Viktor Gavrikov"]
[PlyCount "49"]
[EventDate "1976.07.??"]
[EventRounds "19"]
[EventCountry "SUI"]
[EventCategory "12"]

{2) The movement of the isolated pawn Considering the spatial advantage and
the reference squares, the isolated pawn provides many other dynamic
possibilities, linked to the movement of the isolator. Here is crucial to ask
a basic question, the answer to which confuses even the experienced chess
players: In which circumstances is necessary to push the isolated pawn?
Although the answer to this question is not obvious, we will try to give a
general rule, easy to understand for everybody: The isolated pawn should be
moved forward, when the side playing with it has development advantage. This
rule is based on the fact that the player, whose pieces are better developed,
seeks to open the position and seize the initiative. Despite this, there are
positions in which the isolated pawn is a weakness and the side playing with
it tries to get rid of it, while pushing. This is usually happening in the
endgame. Now, we would like to give you an example of a game, played by one of
the greatest Hungarian theoretician Lajos Portish.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3
Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 7. O-O cxd4 8. exd4 dxc4 9. Bxc4 b6 10. Bg5
Bb7 11. Re1 Nc6 {Diagram [#] Diagram [#] This is one of the most popular
position in Rubinstein system in Nimzo-Indian defense. By placing the knight
on “c6”, Black seeks to place pressure on the isolated pawn. However, the
knight is not very well placed on “c6”, because the black’s
light-squared bishop cannot control the “d5” square. All these facts
contribute to the movement of the isolator.} ({Safer is to play:} 11... Bxc3
12. bxc3 Nbd7 {[%cal Gd8c7] followed by £c7. This is a different type of
middlegame position - a pair of isolated pawns “c3”+”d4”. We would
like to notice that this specific pawn structure will be subject to a separate
topic in our magazine.}) 12. a3 {A key move! White prepares to play Bd3, while
preventing Nb4. One the queen is on “d3”, White intends to play Rаd1, in
order to prepare the d4-d5 move or to build a battery on the diagonal
“b1-h7”, using Bа2 - b1 maneuver.} Be7 13. Qd3 {[%cal Ga1d1] Diagram [#]
Diagram [#]} Nh5 $6 {Black made a typical mistake for these positions. With
his last move, Black seeks to exchange the dark-squared bishops, as such 14.
Bxe7 14...Nxe7. As a result, the knight from “h5”, goes to “f6” and
Black totally controls the square “d5”. It should be also noted that the
exchange of the dark-squared bishops diminishes the white’s offensive
potential - as we know, the side playing against the isolated pawn seeks for
the exchange in order to get to the endgame. However, the move 13...Nh5 is
premature, because White is not obliged to the exchange the bishop, he can put
it on “d2”!} ({It was better to choose this order:} 13... h6 14. Bh4 Nh5
15. Bxe7 Nxe7 {[%cal Gh5f6,Ge7d5] followed by Nf6. Black has a full game ahead.
}) 14. Bd2 $1 {Here is the difference! Black not only failed to exchange the
dark-squared bishops, but also removed his horse from the center. “d4-d5”
threat begins to take real shape.} Nf6 ({The gain of the pawn also looked
attractive:} 14... Na5 15. Ba2 Bxf3 $2 16. Qxf3 $1 {[%cal Gf3h5,Gb2b4]} Qxd4 {
Diagram [#] The knight on “h5” is under attack, but black’s position is
still kept together by the unprotected bishop on “d2”. No matter how
strange this looks, but Black loses because of the limited mobility of the
other knight (Nа5).} 17. Rad1 {[%cal Gf3h5] Diagram [#]} Nf6 18. b4 $1 $18 {
Black is defenseless. The knight has nowhere to go - 18...Nс4 is followed by
19.Bf4}) 15. Rad1 Na5 $6 {The beginning of a wrong plan - Black neglects the
development of the heavy pieces, while helping White to implement his idea
(Ba2-b1). It is necessary to point out that by putting the horse on “a5”,
grandmaster Sosonko intended to strengthen the control over the strategically
important square “d5”. However, as we will see later, White has a very
convincing answer.} ({Better was} 15... Rc8) 16. Ba2 Nd5 $2 {Diagram [#] Black
continues to follow his wrong plan - in pursuing his strategical goals, he
forgets about the tactical resources of his opponent. The problem is that we
cannot block an isolated pawn with a piece.} ({Again it was better to play}
16... Rc8) 17. b4 $1 {This specific move escaped Sosonko’s attention.} Nxc3
$2 {Diagram [#] The third and last mistake. Now, the only passive white piece
(Bd2) reaches the big diagonal. White has a huge advantage in development and
he is ready to push d4-d5.} ({It was necessary to choose:} 17... Nc6 18. Nxd5
exd5 {The position has changed again form the structural point of view. On the
board we have the so-called “symmetrical pawn structure”, which will be
discussed in details in the next issue of our magazine. For now, we will say
that in this type of middlegames, the side that has a better development of
the pieces has also the advantage. In the position from the diagram, White has
a very typical attacking idea:} 19. h4 $5 {[%cal Ga2b1,Gg7g6,Gh4h5] Diagram [#]
White intends to play Bb1 and to confront g7-g6 with h4-h5. Of course, before
pushing the “h” pawn, it is advisable to point the weaknesses on the dark
squares on the kingside with ¥h6. Interesting is that the pawn cannot be
gained:} Bxh4 20. b5 Na5 21. Bb4 {Diagram [#]}) 18. Bxc3 Nc6 19. d5 $1 {
[%csl Rd5][%cal Gd1d8,Ge1e8,Gc3h8,Ga2g8] Diagram [#] Diagram [#] When there
are no better places to put your pieces, it is a sign that this is the moment
to push the isolated pawn! The Black’s position is falling apart.} exd5 20.
Bxd5 Qc7 (20... Bf6 21. Qc4 $18 {[%cal Gd5f7,Gd5c6]}) 21. b5 $1 Na5 22. Be5 $1
{Diagram [#] Last accurate move - now the black material losses are inevitable.
} Qc5 (22... Qc8 23. Bxg7 $18) (22... Qd8 23. Bxb7 Nxb7 (23... Qxd3 24. Rxd3
Nxb7 25. Rd7 $18) 24. Qd7 Nd6 25. Qg4 g6 26. Qf4 $18) 23. Bxb7 Nxb7 24. Qd7 Na5
25. Bd4 {Diagram [#]} 1-0

Part 2 of the article will follow soon. I am also happy to announce that you can use the promo code dbojkov for 15 % discount on any of the products of "Modern Chess".

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