Isolated Queen Pawn Strategy

Table of contents :
CopyRight Information......Page 3
Introduction......Page 4
Contents......Page 6
IQP from Various Openings......Page 7
Elisabeth - DDT3000......Page 2
Direct Attack Against the King......Page 15
Keene, Raymond - Miles, Anthony J......Page 19
Jiganchine, Roman - Chan, James......Page 30
Melkumyan, H. - Krysztofiak, M.......Page 46
Kosteniuk, A. - Ju Wenjun......Page 48
Structural transformations......Page 50
Jiganchine, Roman - Kim, Phillip......Page 56
Zhao Xue - Bela Khotenashvili......Page 71
Jiganchine, Roman - Miller, B.......Page 93
Jiganchine, Roman - Zhadanov, Vasili B......Page 115
Plans for the side with the Isolated Queen Pawn......Page 118
Pressure on d5 square......Page 119
Advancing d4-d5......Page 122
Kasparov, Garry - Short, Nigel......Page 129
Kramnik, Vladimir - Anand, Viswanathan......Page 133
Kramnik, Vladimir - Anand, Viswanathan......Page 142
Botvinnik, Mikhail - Tolush, Alexander V......Page 156
Pressure along the 'c' file......Page 159
Ideas for the Side Playing against an Isolated Pawn......Page 163
Svidler, P. - Samhouri, B.......Page 164
Bykov - Jiganchine, Roman......Page 166
Sokolov, Andrei - Schlosser, Philipp......Page 169
Jiganchine, Roman - Huber, Greg......Page 175
Aronian, Levon - Kramnik, Vladimir......Page 180
Malaniuk, Vladimir P - Yakovich, Yuri......Page 184
Exchanging Dark Squared bishops with Bg5......Page 187
Salcedo, Daniel - Jiganchine, Roman......Page 195
Endgames with Isolated Pawns......Page 209
Combinations in the Middlegame......Page 216
Horvath, Imre - Berenyi, Gabor......Page 218
Cordy, Steven - Csomos, Roland......Page 220
Proehl, Holger - Kleschtschow, Juri......Page 222
Tupy Martin - Rehorek, Martin......Page 224
Langner, David - Bollenbach, Brad......Page 226
Tamm Ulrich Dr - Kistella, Roman......Page 228
Penttinen, Jarkko - Pessi, Juha......Page 230
Turov, Maxim - Sakovich, Igor......Page 232
Lezcano, Jaen Pedro - Gonzalez, Perez Lutgarda......Page 234
Mohr Georg - Gollain, Marc......Page 236
Knazovcik, Ladislav - Voboril, Pavel......Page 238
Moen Ole Christian - Rolvag, Mikael......Page 240
Reichmann, Egon - Scheck, Rudolf......Page 242
Avrukh, Boris - Gheorghiu, Florin......Page 244
Bojkovic, Natasa - Khurtsidze, Nino......Page 246
Nurkic, Sahbaz - Bresciani, Nicola......Page 248
Jeric, Simon - Bukic, Enver......Page 250
Schmedders, Hans-Gerd - Wittmann, Rainer......Page 252
Cortes, Moyano Julio - Zapata, Ferrada Marco......Page 254
Hadzimanolis, Antonios - Sands, David A......Page 256
Tactics from Blitz......Page 258
TonAmour - Tzouve......Page 260
TonAmour - flytox......Page 262
TonAmour - ultrahunter......Page 264
Garryncha - Manopesada......Page 266
Garryncha - tapsatal......Page 268
Garryncha - lkd......Page 272
Garryncha - WoodyWoodPushed......Page 276
DDT3000 - Chanchar......Page 278
About the Author......Page 280
Symbols and Abbreviations Used in the Book......Page 281

Citation preview

Isolated Queen Pawn - Strategy and Tactics By Roman Jiganchine

CopyRig ht Information

The right of Roman Jiganchine to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without prior permission from the author. Jiganchine, Roman. Isolated Queen Pawn - Strategy and Tactics. Electronic Edition. For questions, comments, or more information on this book, contact: Roman Jiganchine at [email protected] Copyright © 2015 by Roman Jiganchine.

Introduction Opening preparation in chess is always difficult and a lot of books have been written about this topic. The goal of this book is to illustrate how specific pawn structures should be studied for typical themes even if they arise from different openings. The pawn structure with (typically) White's isolated queen pawn on the 'd' file has been known for over a hundred years, and different players have shown best plans for both sides over the years. Historically, Mikhail Botvinnik popularized White's play, and positional players such as Karpov have performed well on the Black side of the same structure in several modern openings. At the same time, all strong modern grandmasters are well familiar with the principles of this pawn formation for both sides, and the goal of the book is to translate that knowledge on to the readers.

Isolated Queen Pawn (IQP from here on) is a pawn formation that has attracted my attention for nearly two decades, since I started to play it mostly from the White side in my early teens and this book is an overview of typical ideas that can occur in this structure. The range of openings which this structure can stem from is very wide and even though it is typically associated with Queen Pawn openings and Semi-Open Openings, as this book shows, related structure also happen in 1.e4 e5 openings, so the knowledge acquired from these examples will be applicable for most chess players.

There have been several books on the subject of IQP structure, the "Winning Pawn Structures" by Alexander Baburin being a classic one. Ivan Sokolov's "Winning Chess Middlegames" is also covering isolated pawn structure quite extensively. The idea behind this book is to build on the instruction by Baburin and others with fresher examples, some newer opening ideas from latest tournaments and include more up to date analysis and plans. I've also included my own games to illustrate how abstract knowledge of a pawn structure can fit into a practical opening repertoire of a given chessplayer. The selection of games shows that I've had roughly similar experience from both sides of an IQP structure.

Positions with isolated pawn test both positional and tactical skills of both sides. Despite the dynamic balance often present in these structures, whoever is more familiar with their ideas usually comes out on top. Given the wide prevalence of positions with isolated pawns, developing a skill for handling them is nearly guaranteed to improve your results, and the goal of this book is to guide an unfamiliar player through the basic ideas, as well as to explain the subtler points to those already familiar with the common plans in IQP structures. Tactical exercises throughout the book should reinforce the acquired knowledge.

At the end of studying the material presented here, the reader should be able to not only find correct plans once the IQP structure appears on the board, but also correctly assess various transformations to and from the IQP positions and therefore be much more confident in a wide range of openings or structures that can lead to IQP or emerge from it. The publication is a follow up to the book The Break - Learn From Schlechter, Botvinnik and Kramnik, which also looks at various themes related to pawn structure.

Contents Isolated Pawn from Various Openings Direct Attack Against the King Structural Transformations White exchanges on d5 Black exchanges on c3 Black exchanges on e3 Black exchanges on e5 Black exchanges on c5 Plans for the side with the Isolated Queen Pawn Pressure on d5 square Advancing d4-d5 Advancing f4-f5 Pressure along 'c' file Plans for the side playing against the Isolated Queen Pawn Directly Attacking the isolated pawn in the middlegame Isolated Pawn as a Weakness in the Endgame f7-f5 as defensive idea Exchanging Dark Squared bishops with Bg5 Transferring the knight to f4 combined with pressure along a8-h1 diagonal Endgames with isolated pawns Middlegame Combinations Tactics from Blitz

IQP from Various Openings Isolated queen pawns can appear from many openings, but here we will consider the three most common ones where White has an IQP, with a brief preview of the games that will be later analyzed more deeply based on their middlegame and strategic themes: The Panov attack in the Caro-Kann yields the most well studied positions with IQP, and the versions of IQP that arise are typically quite favourable for White. Panov Attack - Caro-Kann 2015.12.13 B13 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 ( Exchanging on d5 prematurely allows Black extra options and is not to be recommended: 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Nc3 e6 7. Nf3 Bb4 8. Qc2 O-O 9. Bd3 h6 10. O-O Nc6 11. Bd2 Qb6 with good play for Black:Bykov - Jiganchine, 1997 ) 5. ... e6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5

8. Bd3 ( Another major line is 8. Bc4 O-O 9. O-O Nc6 10. Re1 Nxc3 11. bxc3 b6 12. Bd3 Bb7 13. h4 Rc8 14. Ng5 and White has some kingside initiative, Moskvitch - Jiganchine, Roman, 2002 ) 8. ... Nc6 ( Black can also try to delay developing the b8 knight, as in the following games: 8. ... O-O 9. O-O Nf6 ( 9. ... b6 10. Qe2 Nxc3 11. bxc3 Bb7 12. c4 Bf6 13. Bb2 Qc7 14. Rfd1 Nd7 15. Rac1 Rfe8 16. Nd2 Rac8 17. Be4 Be7 18. Qf3 Bxe4 19. Nxe4 Nf6 20. d5 Nxe4 21. Qxe4 exd5 22. cxd5 Bc5 23. Qg4 g6 24. d6 f5 25. Qc4+ Qf7 26. Qxf7+ Kxf7 27. d7 1-0 Jiganchine -

Sadoway, BC Junior 1999 ) 10. Re1 Bd7 11. Bg5 Bc6 12. Qe2 Nbd7 13. Rad1 Re8 14. Bb1 Nd5 15. h4 Rc8 16. Ne4 Nf8 17. Ne5 Ba4 18. b3 Bc6 19. Qh5 f6 20. Nxf6+ with a decisive attack in Lerner, Konstantin Z - Rausis, Igors: ) 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 ( Another setup starting with 10. a3 Bf6 11. Qc2 h6 12. Rd1 is examined in: Smyslov, Vassily - Ribli, Zoltan, Candidates 1983 ) 10. ... Nf6 ( 10. ... Qa5 11. Bd2 Rd8 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. Rxe5 Qb6 14. Nxd5 Rxd5 15. Bc3 g6 16. Be4 Rxe5 17. dxe5 Rb8 18. Qa4 += 1-0 (23) Glinert - Jiganchine, Czt 2002 ) ( 10. ... g6 11. Bh6 Re8 12. Bc4 Ncb4 13. Qe2 Nxc3 14. bxc3 Nd5 15. Ne5 += and White had initiative in Jiganchine, Roman - Hardy, Justin, 2002 ) 11. a3 ( 11. Bg5 Nb4 12. Bb1 b6 13. Ne5 Bb7 14. Re3 g6 15. Rg3 Rc8 16. Bh6 Re8 17. a3 Nc6 18. Nxg6 hxg6 19. Bxg6 fxg6 20. Qb1 Ne5 21. dxe5 Ne4 22. Nxe4 Kh7 23. Nf6+ Bxf6 24. Qxg6+ Kh8 25. Bg7+ Bxg7 26. Qxg7# Keene, Raymond - Miles, Anthony J, Hastings 1976 ) 11. ... b6 12. Bc2 Bb7 ( 12. ... Ba6 13. Bg5 Rc8 14. Qd2 Qd6 15. Rad1 Rfd8 16. Bb1 Qb8 17. Qc2 g6 18. Ba2 h6 19. Bxe6 hxg5 20. Qxg6+ Kh8 21. Qh6+ Kg8 22. Nxg5 Rf8 23. Re4 1-0 Tal, Mikhail Chikovani, Iuri, 1968 ) 13. Qd3

White has made his intentions clear by setting up the queen +bishop battery, and the attack against the black king has already started. 13. ... g6

( 13. ... Rc8 14. Bg5 g6 15. Rad1 Nd5 16. Bh6 Re8 17. Ba4 a6 18. Nxd5 Qxd5 19. Qe3 Bf6 20. Bb3 Qh5 21. d5 Nd8 22. d6 Rc5 23. d7 Re7 24. Qf4 Bg7 25. Qb8 Qxh6 26. Qxd8+ Bf8 27. Re3 Bc6 28. Qxf8+ Qxf8 29. d8=Q 1-0 Smyslov, Vassily - Karpov, Anatoly, 1971 ) 14. Bh6 Re8 15. Rad1 Rc8 16. Bb3 Na5 17. Ba2 Nd5 18. Ne5 with White pressing on as in Garryncha - lkd

In the 2.c3 Sicilian, also known as the Alapin variation, Black has a bit more flexibility in terms of when to give White an IQP, and the positions that arise are typically less theoretical, so the key to playing them well is familiarity with the general ideas of IQP positions, and being ready to adapt to various structural changes. Alapin - Sicilian 2015.12.13 B22 1. e4 c5 2. c3 d5 ( 2. ... Nf6 is another major line, and also often leads to IQP structures: 3. e5 Nd5 4. d4 ( 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bc4 Nb6 6. Bb3 d5 7. exd6 Bxd6 8. d4 O-O 9. O-O Nc6 ( 9. ... Bd7 10. Be3 Qc7 11. Nbd2 cxd4 12. cxd4 Nc6 13. Rc1 Rac8 14. Ne4 Nd5 15. Nxd6 Nxe3 16. fxe3 Qxd6

was roughly equal in Jiganchine, Roman - Miller, B., 1999 ) 10. Qe2 cxd4 11. cxd4 Nd5 12. Nc3 Nxc3 13. bxc3 b6 14. Qe4 Qc7 15. Ng5 allows White a dangerous kingside attack as in Jiganchine, Roman Chan, James, 2015 ) 4. ... cxd4 5. Nf3 e6 6. cxd4 b6 7. Nc3 Nxc3 8. bxc3 Ba6 9. Bxa6 Nxa6 10. O-O Be7 11. Qd3 Nc7 12. c4 d5 13. exd6 Bxd6 # leaves White with hanging pawns and some initiative as will be analyzed in Jiganchine, Roman - Huber, Greg.

)

3. exd5 Qxd5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 e6 6. Bd3

By placing the bishop on d3, White offers Black to exchange on d4 and create an isolated pawn. Typically the sooner Black does that, the more freely can White develop his b1 knight and the initiative in general. 6. ... Nc6 ( Exchanging on d4 gives White typical initiative, for example: 6. ... cxd4 7. cxd4 Be7 8. Nc3 Qd6 9. O-O O-O 10. Qe2 Nc6 11. Rd1 b6 12. Nb5 Qd8 13. Ne5 Bb7 14. Bg5 g6 15. Rac1 Nb4 16. Bc4 Nbd5 17. Re1 a6 18. Nc3 b5 19. Bb3 Rc8 20. Bh6 Re8 21. Nxf7 Bb4 22. Nxd8 1-0 Kosteniuk, A. - Ju Wenjun, Blitz 2014 ) 7. O-O Be7 8. Be3 cxd4 9. cxd4 O-O 10. Nc3 Qd8 11. Re1

and we arrived at the typical IQP position. A possible continuation is: 11. ... b6 12. a3 Bb7 13. Qe2 Rc8 14. Rad1 Nb8 15. Nb5 a6 16. Nc3 b5 17. Bb1 Nbd7 18. Bg5 Nb6 19. Qd3 g6 20. Bh6 Re8 21. Ne5 Nbd5 22. Ne4 Nxe4 23. Qxe4 Bg5 with a successful blockade as in Jiganchine, Roman - Zuk, Robert, 1999

*

In Queen's Gambit Accepted Black typically solves the problem of his light squared bishop with b7b5 and Bb7, so White has to act very aggressively to take advantage of his lead in development, or else he risks allowing Black to reach a comfortable piece setup. Queen's Gambit Accepted - 2015.12.13 D20 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. Bb3 This is the new main line. The IQP in Queen's Gambit Accepted is characterized by Black's expanded fianchetto with a7-a6 and b7-b5, so White preemptively retreats with the bishop, while keeping an eye on the d5 square. As a result - these lines often involve White advancing d4-d5 also taking advantage of the time expenditure that Black undertook on the queenside. ( 7. a4 Instead focuses on restricting Black on the queenside. 7. ... Nc6 8. Qe2 ( 8. Nc3 cxd4 9. exd4 Be7 10. Bf4 O-O 11. h3 Nb4 12. Ne5 maintained some pressure for White:Ristovic, Nenad - Jiganchine, Roman, Czt 2002 ) 8. ... cxd4 9. Rd1 Be7 10. exd4 O-O 11. Nc3 Nb4 ( 11. ... Nd5 12. Bd3 Ncb4 ( 12. ... Re8 13. Ne5 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Qa5 15. Ne4 += Lai, Peter Jiganchine, Roman, Langley Open 2012 ) 13. Bb1 b6 14. Ne5 Bb7 15. Ne4 f5! 0-1 (25) Malaniuk, Vladimir P - Yakovich, Yuri ) 12. Bg5 Bd7 13. d5 exd5 14. Nxd5 Nbxd5 15. Bxd5 Nxd5 16. Rxd5 Bxg5 17. Nxg5 h6 18. Qd2 hxg5 19. Rxd7 += Botvinnik, Mikhail - Petrosian, Tigran V, 1963 ) ( 7. Qe2 b5 8. Bb3 Bb7 9. Rd1 Nbd7 10. Bc2 cxd4 11. exd4 Be7 12. Ne5 O-O 13. Bf4 Rc8 14. Nc3 Nb6 15. Bg5 Nbd5 was fine for Black in: Salcedo, Daniel - Jiganchine, Roman, Keres Memorial 2002 ) 7. ... cxd4 8. exd4 Nc6 9. Nc3 Be7 10. Bg5 ( 10. Re1 O-O 11. a3 Na5 12. Bc2 b5 13. d5 ( 13. Qd3 Bb7 14. Bg5 g6 15. Rad1 Nc4 16. Bc1 Rc8 17. Bb3 Qc7 18. Qe2 Rfd8 19. Bg5 Nh5 20. Bh6 Bf8 21. Bxf8 Nf4 -/+ Tang, Edward Jiganchine, Roman, Keres memorial 2014 ) 13. ... Re8 14. Bg5 h6 15. Bh4 Nxd5 16. Nxd5 exd5 17. Qd3 g6 18. Qe3 Be6 19. Qxh6 Bxh4 20. Bxg6 Qf6 21. Bh7+ Kh8 22. Bg6+ Kg8 23. Qh7+ Kf8 24. Nxh4 Qg7 25. Qxg7+ Kxg7 26. Bd3 += and White eventually converted the extra pawn in: Kramnik, Vladimir - Anand, Viswanathan, 1999 ) 10. ... O-O 11. Qd2 Na5 12. Bc2 b5

Here White has a plan of transferring the queen to f4, either immediately, or after first playing Rd1. In both cases, d4-d5 is a major threat that Black always has to take into account. 13. Rad1 ( 13. Qf4 Ra7 14. Rad1 Bb7 15. d5 Bxd5 16. Nxd5 exd5 17. Qh4 h5 18. Rfe1 Nc6 19. g4! Qd6 20. gxh5 Qb4 21. h6 Qxh4 22. Nxh4 Ne4 23. hxg7 Rc8 24. Bxe7 Nxe7 25. Bxe4 dxe4 26. Rxe4 Kxg7 27. Rd6 +/- 1-0 (39) Kramnik, Vladimir - Anand, Viswanathan, 2001 ) 13. ... Nc4 14. Qf4 Ra7 15. Ne5 Rc7 16. Nxc4 bxc4 17. Bxf6 Bxf6 18. d5 e5 19. Qf3 Rb7 20. Qe4 g6 21. Qxc4 Rxb2 22. Bb3 Bg5 23. d6 Be6 24. Qa4 Bxb3 25. axb3 Qb6 26. Qg4 Bf4 27. Nd5 Qd8 28. Nxf4 exf4 29. d7 Rxb3 30. Qxf4 Rb8 31. Rfe1 Qb6 32. h4 h5 33. Rd6 Qc5 34. Qf6 Qf5 35. Qxf5 gxf5 36. Rxa6 Rfd8 37. Rd6 1-0 Kramnik, Vladimir - Anand, Viswanathan, 2002

Direct Attack Against the King In isolated queen pawn positions, first and foremost White sets his eyes on attacking the opponent's king, while utilizing his lead in development and extra space that the central pawn offers. Therefore before reviewing any other plans, we will consider several typical attacking games. Mikhail Tal was a brilliant attacker who came up with unexpected plans and tactical ideas that shocked his opponents, but in the following game he followed a more or less standard plan of attack. The battery along b1-h7 diagonal imposed some difficulties upon Black - and after his inaccuracy - Tal displayed his brilliance by leaving two of his pieces under attack at the same time, with the game being a good illustration of the quote "they can only take one at a time". Tal, Mikhail - Chikovani, Iuri Karseladze mem 1968 , D42 1. c4 c6 2. e4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bd3 Nc6 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 Nf6 11. a3 b6 12. Bc2

12. ... Ba6 ( Another theoretical line is 12. ... Bb7 13. Qd3 g6 ( 13. ... Rc8? 14. d5 exd5 15. Bg5 Ne4 ( 15. ... g6 16. Rxe7 Qxe7 17. Nxd5 +- ) 16. Nxe4 dxe4 17. Qxe4 g6 18. Qh4 +/- ) 14. Bh6 Re8 15. Rad1 += ) 13. Bg5 ( In order to take advantage of the placement of the bishop on a6 White can try the following line 13. b4 Bc4 14. b5 Na5 15. Ne5 Rc8 16. Re3 g6 ~ Buturin,V-Savon,V, Lvov 1981 ) 13. ... Rc8 14. Qd2

( 14. Rc1 Nd5 15. Bxe7 Ncxe7 16. Qd2 Qd6 17. Ne5 Nxc3 18. bxc3 f6 19. Bd3! Bxd3 20. Nxd3 += Brinck Claussen,B-Danielsen,H, Copenhagen, 1991 ) 14. ... Qd6 ( 14. ... Na5!? 15. Rad1 Nc4 16. Qc1 Qc7 17. d5! Nxa3 18. d6 += ! Novik M-Vasiukov,E, Leningrad, 1991 ) 15. Rad1 Rfd8

16. Bb1 ( 16. Bb3 Na5 17. Ba2 Bc4 ( 17. ... Nc4 18. Qe2 Nd5 19. Bxe7 Nxc3 20. bxc3 Qxe7 ~ ) 18. Bb1 Nd5 = ) 16. ... Qb8 ( If Black tries to transfer the knight to c4 immediately with 16. ... Na5!? then White can respond with a typical pawn breakthrough 17. d5!? Interestingly Black's pieces are too uncoordinated, with Na5, Qd6 and Ba6 being oddly placed. 17. ... exd5 18. Bf5 Rc6 ( 18. ... Ra8 19. Bf4 and the queen has no good square to retreat to. 19. ... Qc5 ( 19. ... Qc6 20. Rxe7 ) 20. b4 ) 19. Bxf6 Bxf6 20. Nxd5 Nc4 21. Nxf6+ gxf6 22. Qh6 with mate ) 17. Qc2

Threatening Bxf6 and Qxh7. 17. ... g6 18. Ba2 As typically done in IQP positions, after forcing g7-g6, the bishop transfers to the a2-g8 diagonal. 18. ... h6? This is weakening g6 and Tal does not need to be asked twice to sacrifice material for an obvious attack. ( Better is 18. ... Na5 19. Ne5 Bc4 20. Nxc4 Nxc4 21. Qe2 b5 += ) ( 18. ... Nd5? 19. Bxd5 Rxd5 20. Nxd5 +- ) ( 18. ... Qb7!? 19. Qc1 Nd5 20. Nxd5 exd5 21. Qf4 += Black's pieces are placed worse than the white ones, and his kingside is weakened by g6. ) 19. Bxe6!

( 19. Bxh6 was playable too. ) 19. ... hxg5 ( 19. ... fxe6 20. Qxg6+ Kh8 21. Bxf6+ +- ) ( 19. ... Kg7 20. Bxf7 hxg5 ( 20. ... Kxf7 21. Ne5+ +- ) 21. Qxg6+ Kf8 22. Nxg5 +- ) 20. Qxg6+ Kh8 21. Qh6+ Kg8

22. Nxg5 Rf8 ( 22. ... fxe6 23. Qg6+ Kf8 ( 23. ... Kh8 24. Nf7# ) 24. Nxe6# ) 23. Re4 ( 23. Qg6+ Kh8 24. Bxf7 +- ) ( After 23. Re4 Black resigned as he is unable to defend against the devastating attack: 23. ... Qd6 24. Qg6+ Kh8 25. Rh4+ Nh7 26. Qxh7# ) 1-0

Keene, Raymond - Miles, Anthony J Hastings 7576 1976.01.12 , D42 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. e3 e6 5. d4 d5 6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. Bd3 cxd4 8. exd4 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1

This is an important theoretical position because it can be reached via other openings such as Semi Tarrasch variation of QGD. 10. ... Nf6 ( 10. ... Bf6 is more popular and scores a little bit better here. The idea is to put pressure on the d4 pawn, so now Ndb4 is a threat. 11. Be4 White in return puts more pressure on d5. 11. ... Nce7 This move supports d5, but also prepares development of Bc8 (either to d7 and c6, or via b7) 12. Ne5 White takes advantage of Black reducing control over e5 12. ... g6 Since White will attack on b1-h7 diagonal, this move is sooner or later. This now also makes Nf5 a feasible idea. ( 12. ... Bd7 13. Qd3 forces g6 anyway 13. ... g6 14. Bh6 ) 13. Bh6 Bg7 14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15. Qf3 += White has finished development, prepared to attack dark squares on the kingside, and Black is still struggling with his Bc8. ) ( Justin Hardy played 10. ... g6 against me. The game went along the lines of: 11. Bh6 Re8 12. Bc4 Ncb4 13. Qe2 Nxc3 14. bxc3 Nd5 15. Ne5 and White has an initiative (JiganchineHardy, 2002). ) 11. Bg5 ( 11. a3 is the main line, it prepares to setup the battery Bc2, Qd3. White does not make a commitment about where Bc1 will be going. ) 11. ... Nb4 ( The main line is 11. ... b6 12. a3 ( Here is an example of how a typical game might go in the other variation 12. Qe2 Bb7 13. Rad1 Nb4 14. Bb1 Rc8 15. Ne5 Nbd5 16. Qd3 Nxc3 17.

bxc3 Qd5 18. Qh3 Rxc3 19. f3 h6 20. Bxf6 Bxf6 21. Be4 Qxe4 22. Rxe4 Bxe4 23. Nd7 Bc2 24. Nxf6+ gxf6 25. Rc1 Kg7 26. d5 exd5 27. Qg4+ Kh8 28. Qd4 Rfc8 29. Qxf6+ Kg8 30. Qxh6 d4 31. h4 d3 32. h5 R3c5 33. Re1 Rd8 34. Qf6 1-0 Polugaevsky,L-Khasin,A/Moscow 1961/URS-ch (34) ) 12. ... Bb7 13. Bc2 Rc8 14. Qd3 g6 is a typical position in this variation. 15. Rad1 Nd5 16. Bh6 and White maintains pressure while exchanges of pieces. ) ( 11. ... h6 12. Be3 Nb4 13. Bb1 b6 14. Qd2 Re8 ( 14. ... Bb7? 15. Bxh6! gxh6? ( 15. ... Bxf3 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Qg5+ Kh8 18. Qh6+ Kg8 19. Re5 +- Karpov ) 16. Qxh6 threatening Re5 16. ... Nc6 17. Re3 +- and the rook swing decides the game. ) 15. a3! Nc6 ( 15. ... Nbd5? 16. Nxd5 exd5 ( 16. ... Nxd5 17. Bxh6 gxh6 18. Qxh6 f5 19. Qg6+ Kh8 20. Bxf5 exf5 21. Ng5 +- ) ( 16. ... Qxd5 17. Bxh6 gxh6 18. Re5 +- ) 17. Bxh6 gxh6 18. Qxh6 and White has a winning attack according to Karpov. ) 16. Qd3 Bb7 17. Ne4 Kf8 18. Bd2 a5 19. Bf4 Nd5 20. Bg3 Ba6 21. Qd2 Rc8 22. Ba2 Kg8 23. Rac1 Nf6 24. Nc3 Bf8 Karpov-Beliavsky, Linares 1995 25. Bh4 g5 26. Bg3 g4 27. Ne5 Qxd4 28. Qc2 += is given by Karpov. ) 12. Bb1 b6 13. Ne5 White is exploiting the drawback behind Nb4 - from c6 the knight was covering both e5 and d4, making Ne5 impossible. 13. ... Bb7 14. Re3! This rook lift is now possible because none of Black's knights is on d5, and White's pieces are in their ideal spots to attack the kingside. 14. ... g6 ( The rook interferes with the Bg5's retreat diagonal, so what happens if Black attacks it? The answer suggests itself, since exposing the black king is consistent with the rook lift idea in general. 14. ... h6 15. Bxh6!! gxh6 16. Rg3+ Kh8 17. Qd2 Ng8 18. Rxg8+! Kxg8 19. Qxh6 White's attack decides the game. 19. ... f5 20. Qxe6+ Kg7 21. Qg6+ Kh8 22. Bxf5 Rxf5 23. Qxf5 +- ) 15. Rg3

15. ... Rc8 Baburin gives this move '??' Indeed, it looks like Black is unable to stop White's sacrifices after this move. ( 15. ... Nc6!? was recommended by Baburin. This seems to be a natural idea. By sending all pieces towards the kingside attack, White's central pawn became quite vulnerable, so Black should have counter-attacked it immediately. 16. Bh6 Qxd4 17. Qxd4 Nxd4 18. Bxf8 Bxf8 is playable for Black according to Keene. ) 16. Bh6 This opens up the g file for the rook. 16. ... Re8 17. a3 White drives the black knight away so that he can later bring the queen to attack g6, and so that Black would not have defense based on Be4. 17. ... Nc6 ( 17. ... Nbd5 18. Nxg6 hxg6 19. Bxg6 Bf8 20. Bd3+ Kh8 21. Bxf8 Rxf8 22. Qd2 Ng8 23. Nxd5 Qxd5 24. Qf4 +- ) 18. Nxg6!! hxg6 19. Bxg6! fxg6

( 19. ... Bf8 20. Bd3+ Kh8 21. Bxf8 Rxf8 22. Qc1 Ng8 23. Rh3+ Kg7 24. Qf4 threatening Rh7# 24. ... f5 25. Qg3+ Kf6 26. Rh7! and there is no good defense against mate. 26. ... Rf7 27. Qh4+ Kg6 28. Qh5+ Kf6 29. Rxf7# ) 20. Qb1 This precise move wraps up the game.

( 20. Qc2 Ne5 21. dxe5 Ne4 ~ was Black's last hope, so White very cleverly avoids this trap. ) 20. ... Ne5 21. dxe5 Ne4 22. Nxe4

22. ... Kh7 23. Nf6+ Bxf6 24. Qxg6+ Kh8 25. Bg7+ Bxg7 26. Qxg7# 1-0

Typically when Black is exchanging on c3 and White recaptures with a pawn, the d4 pawn gets extra support and that increases White's chances of attack as we will see in the next three games. Next is a highly instructive, but not very well-known training game, where Botvinnik conducted a great attack in IQP position (after it slightly transformed with Black exchanging on c3). His style in this game may have not been as sparkling as Tal's attack, but the resistance was tougher and Botvinnik's persistent pressure was what brought victory in this case. Botvinnik, Mikhail - Ragozin, Viacheslav Moscow training m 1947.11 , D41 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 c5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e3 cxd4 7. exd4 Nc6 8. Bc4 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 Nxc3 ( 10. ... b6 is well known to be a mistake due to 11. Nxd5 exd5 12. Bb5 +/- Botvinnik Alekhine, 1938. ) 11. bxc3 b6 12. Bd3 Bb7

13. Qc2 g6 14. Bh6 Re8 15. Qd2 Rc8

16. Rab1 The idea of this move is to meet Qd5 with Rb5. ( 16. Rac1 has been played more often. ) 16. ... Bf6 17. h4 Qd6 ( After 17. ... Bxh4? 18. Nxh4 Qxh4 Botvinnik gives 19. Bg5 Qh5 ( 19. ... Qg4 20. Re4 Qf5 White is now winning with 21. Rh4!? ( Botvinnik recommended 21. Re5 but he must have overlooked 21. ... Nxe5! ( 21. ... Qg4 22. Be2 Botvinnik ) 22. Bxf5 Nc4 ~ ! ) 21. ... Qd5 22. Be4 Qd6 23. Bf6 Qf8 24. Qd3 +- ) 20. Re4 h6 21. Bf6 g5 22. Re3 Ne7 23. Rh3 Qg4 24. f3 Qf4 25. Qxf4 gxf4 26. Rxh6 Ng6 27. Kf2 Kf8 28. Rbh1 with checkmate ) 18. Bf4 Qa3 As Botvinnik points out and the course of the game illustrates - counter attack of c3 comes a bit too late, and Black does not quite have enough time to follow through on this idea. ( 18. ... e5?! 19. Bg3 += ) 19. h5 Na5 The knight is aiming for c4 and also opens up the c file for attacking c3 pawn - consistent with Qa3. 20. Be5

20. ... Qe7 ( Black could try and win the pawn with 20. ... Bxe5 Even though things are not very simple, in the end Botvinnik's assessment that grabbing the c3 pawn was too dangerous - appears correct! Weakness of dark squares does play a long term role in most variations. 21. Nxe5 Rxc3!? ( 21. ... Qxc3 22. Qf4 is given by Botvinnik with a comment that it would be difficult for Black to defend - and computer agrees but suggests Qg5 instead as completely crushing. ) 22. Bb5! This does a couple of things: 1) maintaining the pressure on c3 for one more move, so Black can't play Qe7 just yet 2) White bishop is no longer under attack, so Qf4 and Ng4 becomes possible. ( 22. Qf4 Qe7 23. hxg6 fxg6 ~ ! ) 22. ... Rec8 ( 22. ... Nc6? 23. Ng4 Rd8 24. d5 exd5 25. Nf6+ Kg7 26. h6+ Kxf6 27. Qf4# The last move reveals the point behind d5, which was to open up the e file and cut off the escape route for the black king. ) 23. Qf4 Qe7 24. Ng4 d5 now is the threat! 24. ... f5 ( 24. ... Rc2 25. d5!! Bxd5? 26. Nf6+ Kh8 27. Nxd5 +- ) 25. Bd7!! Bd5 26. Rb5! fxg4 27. Bxc8 Bxa2 28. Bxe6+! Bxe6 29. hxg6 hxg6 30. d5 This move decides matters yet again! 30. ... Qf7 31. Qd2 Bd7 32. Rxa5 +- ) 21. Bxf6 Qxf6 22. Ne5 Red8

23. Ng4

White repelled Black's pressure against c3 pawn and now continues his kingside pressure against the weakened dark squares. 23. ... Qg7 ( 23. ... Qh4 24. Qf4 is given by Botvinnik. ) 24. hxg6 hxg6 25. Qg5 Kf8 ( 25. ... Rxc3 26. Qxd8+ ) 26. Rb5 Nc6 27. Nf6 Ne7

28. Re3 The rook is lifted to the third rank to be later transferred to the h file where the invasion on h7 would be particularly deadly. 28. ... Ng8 ( In his annotations Botvinnik does not consider 28. ... Rxc3!? which leads to great complications: 29. Rh3 Rxd4! ( 29. ... Rxd3 30. Rxd3 +- The dark squares are still weak, but forced play is not over yet. 30. ... Ba6 31. Rh3 Bxb5 32. Rh7 Rd5 33. Qf4 e5 34. dxe5 +- ) ( 29. ... Ng8? 30. Nxg8 Qxg8 31. Qxd8+ ) 30. Rh7 Rg4!!

31. Nd7+ ( 31. Qxg4 Qxf6 ) 31. ... Ke8 32. Qxg4! Rc1+! ( 32. ... Qxh7?? 33. Nf6+ ) 33. Bf1 Qa1! 34. Qe2 Nd5! Black is down a full rook for only a couple of pawns!! ( 34. ... Kxd7 35. Rb4 can be played too ) 35. Ne5 Nc3 36. Rh8+ Ke7 Now White has to scramble for a draw 37. Nxg6+! fxg6 38. Rh7+ Kf8 39. Rh8+ Ke7 40. Rh7+ = ) 29. Nxg8 Kxg8 30. Qe7 Bc6

31. Rbe5 The game is entering the decisive phase as White begins the direct assault against the e6-f7g6 pawn skeleton. 31. ... Rd7 32. Qh4 In his annotations Botvinnik explains that although the white queen had to retreat, the upside is that Black had to temporarily block the c file! 32. ... Qh8 33. Qf4 Qg7 ( 33. ... Bd5!? 34. Rg5 Rxc3 35. Reg3!? ( 35. Bxg6? Rc1+ 36. Re1 Rxe1# ) 35. ... Rdc7 36.

Rxg6+! fxg6 37. Rxg6+ Qg7! ( 37. ... Rg7? 38. Qb8+ Kf7 39. Qxh8 +- ) 38. Rxg7+ Rxg7 39. Be4 +/- !? ) 34. Rg3 Bd5 ( 34. ... Rdc7 35. Rxe6! ( 35. Reg5 Be8 ) ( 35. Bxg6 fxg6 36. Rxe6 Be8 ) 35. ... Be8? 36. Rxe8+ Rxe8 37. Qxc7 Re1+ 38. Bf1 +- ) 35. Reg5 Rxc3

36. Bxg6 Just as David Bronstein described this phenomena - exploiting the weakness of dark squares is needed so that you can attack opponent's pawns and pieces that are placed on the light squares. 36. ... Rxg3 37. Bxf7+ Kf8 ( 37. ... Rxf7 38. Qxg3! Bxa2 39. f3 Bd5 40. Kf2 Qxg5 41. Qxg5+ Kh7 +- but this was probably relatively resilient ) 38. Rxg7 ( Also good was 38. Bxe6+! Rf7 39. Qd6+ Ke8 40. Bxf7+ +- ) 38. ... Rxg7

39. Bxe6+ White crushed through and Black loses a lot of material so he resigned. The game is explained well by Botvinnik in terms of strategy, but there is a lot going on under the surface in terms of specific variations. 1-0

Jiganchine, Roman - Chan, James Vancouver May Active 2015.05.09 , B22 1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bc4 Nb6 ( Perhaps the best move here is 5. ... b6! 6. Bxd5 exd5 7. d4 Ba6 8. dxc5 Bxc5 9. b4 Be7 10. Qxd5 Qc7 11. Qxa8 Bb7 12. Qxa7 Nc6 13. Qa3 Nxe5 14. Nxe5 Qxe5+ 15. Be3 Bxg2 16. Rg1 Qxh2 17. Rxg2 Qxg2 18. Nd2 h5 19. O-O-O h4 20. Qa7 O-O 21. Qxd7 Bf6 22. Qf5 Bxc3 23. Ne4 Bxb4 24. Rd4 Ba3+ 25. Kd2 h3 26. Nf6+ 1-0 (26) Rublevsky,S (2688)-Smirin,I (2652) ) 6. Bb3 d5 N ( 6. ... d6 7. exd6 transposes to the game ) 7. exd6 This is the most popular move, so I am improving on the game I had played the month before this match. ( 7. d4 Actually scores better, but I did not like the course of the following game: 7. ... Nc6 8. O-O Be7 9. Be3 Nd7 10. Nbd2 b6 11. h3 Ba6 12. Re1 Bd3 13. Nf1 c4 14. Ba4 Qc7 15. b4 a6 16. Qd2 b5 = 1-0 (47) Jiganchine,R-Roback,J Chigorin-Kingchops 2015 ) 7. ... Bxd6 8. d4 O-O 9. O-O Nc6

10. Qe2 ( Slightly more popular is 10. Re1 Be7 11. dxc5 Qxd1 12. Rxd1 Bxc5 13. Bf4 Rd8 14. Rxd8+ Nxd8 15. Nbd2 Bd7 16. Rd1 Be8 17. h3 += and White converted his slight endgame plus in Morozevich,A - Lautier,J, Wijk aan Zee 2002 ) 10. ... cxd4 11. cxd4 Nd5

( 11. ... Be7 12. Rd1 a5 13. a3 a4 14. Ba2 Nd5 15. Nc3 Nxc3 16. bxc3 Na5 17. c4 Nb3 18. Bxb3 axb3 19. Bb2 Bd7 20. d5!? allowed White to develop initiative in Collins,S (2471)Ilincic,Z (2437) ) 12. Nc3

12. ... Nxc3?! The knight's movements from f6 to b6 via d5 and then back to d5 do not impress, but at this moment he still should not bolster my center so voluntarily as that would allow White to develop kingside attack without being concerned about protecting the d4 pawn. Black had a couple of other options at his disposal. ( 12. ... Na5 13. Bc2 b6 14. Qe4 g6 ( 14. ... f5 15. Qe2 += ) 15. Bh6 ( 15. Bg5!? f6 16. Bh6 Re8 17. Nxd5 exd5 18. Qxd5+ Kh8 19. Qxa8 +- ) 15. ... Re8 with typical IQP play for both sides. ) ( 12. ... Nce7 13. Bg5 h6 14. Bh4 Nf4 15. Qe4 Nfg6 16. Bg3 Nf5 17. Rad1 Nxg3 18. hxg3 Qa5 19. Rfe1 Rd8 20. Ne5 Bxe5 21. dxe5 Rxd1 22. Bxd1 Rb8 23. Qd4 += 1-0 (69) Marcelin,C (2455) -Taimanov,M (2439), 2002 ) 13. bxc3 b6?! The attempt to finish queenside development is understandable, but this gives White time to develop a full blown attack. ( 13. ... Qa5!? 14. Bb2 ( 14. Ng5 Qxc3 15. Ne4 ( 15. Bb2 Qa5 ) 15. ... Qxa1 16. Bb2 Nxd4 17. Bxd4 Qxd4 -+ ) 14. ... Qh5 15. Rfe1 Bd7 16. Rad1 Na5 17. Ne5?! Qxe2 18. Rxe2 Bb5 19. c4 Ba6 20. Rc2 Rfd8 21. d5 Rac8 22. Rcd2 Bxe5 23. Bxe5 Nxc4 =+ 0-1 (50) Wedding,R (1856) Zaric,S (2144) Adelaide 2007 ) 14. Qe4 ( Another option was 14. Ng5 h6 ( 14. ... Bb7 15. Qe4 g6 could transpose 16. Qh4 ) 15. Qe4 hxg5 16. Qxc6 Ba6 17. Re1 )

14. ... Qc7?! By getting the queen further from the kingside, Black make his defensive tasks increasingly more difficult. ( I expected 14. ... Bb7 15. Ng5 g6 16. Qh4 h5 with similar play as in the game, but at least here Black queen has an opportunity to prevent immediate disaster on the kingside, although at the cost of a pawn: 17. g4!? Qf6 18. gxh5 Ne7 and Black gets some counter chances while not being mated right away. ) 15. Ng5 g6 ( There is no time for 15. ... Bxh2+?? 16. Kh1 g6 17. Qh4 +- ) 16. Qh4 h5

17. g4! The most direct way of trying to break through on the h file and was inspired by KramnikAnand QGA games that I had studied shortly before this encounter. 17. ... Kg7?! ( More resilient was again to try and bring some forces to the kingside: 17. ... Ne7!? 18. Bd2 +/- ( 18. gxh5 Nf5 ~ ) ) 18. gxh5 gxh5

A desperate attempt in what is now a clearly losing position for Black. The main challenge for White is purely to pick the most precise of many tempting options. ( 18. ... Rh8 19. h6+ Kg8 was what I expected. ( 19. ... Rxh6? fails directly to 20. Nxe6+! Bxe6 21. Qxh6+ Kg8 22. d5 +- ) 20. h7+ Kg7 21. Nxe6+?! Bxe6? 22. Qh6+ Kf6 23. Bg5+ Kf5 24. Bc2+ Kg4 25. f3# ) 19. Ne4 ( I could not calculate to the end or to anything definitive after 19. Nxe6+ Indeed, Black is able to defend. 19. ... fxe6 20. Qg5+ ( 20. Kh1 Bb7! ( 20. ... Rf5 21. Rg1+ Kh8 22. Bc2 Qf7 23. Bxf5 Qxf5 24. Rg5 Qf3+ 25. Kg1 Qd1+ 26. Kg2 ) 21. d5 Rf5 ~ ) 20. ... Kh8 21. Qxh5+ Qh7 /+ ) ( The most precise and simple was 19. Kh1! Bb7 20. d5 Ne5 21. Rg1 Ng6 22. Qxh5 Rh8 23. Nxe6+ fxe6 24. Rxg6+ Kf7 25. Rh6+ Ke7 26. Bg5+ Kd7 27. Qf7+ with mate ) ( 19. Nh7!? was also possible, but unnecessarily complicated. 19. ... Kxh7 ( 19. ... Be7 20. Qxh5 Rh8 21. Bh6+ Kxh7 22. Bf4+ Kg8 23. Qg4+ Kf8 24. Bxc7 Rg8 25. Qxg8+ +- ) ( 19. ... Ne7 ) ( 19. ... Bb7 20. Nxf8 ) ( 19. ... Rh8 20. Qf6+ Kxh7 21. Bc2+ Kg8 22. Kh1 Ne7 23. Rg1+ Ng6 24. Bxg6 fxg6 25. Rxg6+ Kh7 26. Rh6+ Kg8 27. Rxh8# ) 20. Qxh5+ Kg8 21. Kh1 +- ) 19. ... Be7

The critical moment of the game where White had a chance to elegantly bring home the full point. 20. Bg5? ( Although unable to calculate in a rapid game, during the game I was thinking of ideas like this: 20. Nf6!! This sacrifice in fact leads to a forced mate. 20. ... Bxf6 ( 20. ... Rh8!? 21. Qg5+ Kf8 22. Qh6+!! ) 21. Bh6+!! Kxh6 ( 21. ... Kg6 22. Bc2+ Kxh6 23. Qxf6# ) 22. Qxf6+ Kh7 23. Bc2+ Kg8 24. Qg5+ Kh8 25. Qh6+ Kg8 26. Qh7# ) 20. ... f6 21. Bf4 Qd8 22. Kh1 Rh8 23. Rg1+ Kf7

24. Rae1 White missed a chance to checkmate the black king with 20. Nf6, but the natural centralizing moves still leave him with a position that is still completely winning from the objective point of view. ( Also quite good was 24. d5 exd5 25. Qg3 Rg8 ( 25. ... Bg4 26. Rad1! +- ( 26. Nd6+ Bxd6 27. Bxd6 Ne7 28. h3 Nf5 29. Bxd5+ Ke8 30. Rae1+ Kd7 31. Be6+ +- ) 26. ... Bxd1 27. Qg6+ Ke6 28. Ng5+ Kd7 29. Rxd1 fxg5 30. Rxd5+ Kc8 31. Qxc6+ Qc7 32. Qxc7# ) 26. Qxg8+

Qxg8 27. Rxg8 Kxg8 28. Bxd5+ +- ) 24. ... Na5

25. Bc2? This retreat makes the win much more difficult. ( It was too late to play 25. d5 because of 25. ... Nxb3! ( 25. ... exd5? 26. Nd6+ Bxd6 27. Bxd5+ +- ) ) ( White still had a good way to take advantage of the insecure position of the Black king, although here the mating pattern involves some quiet moves that are hard to discover over the board with limited time: 25. Qg3 ! Rg8 ( 25. ... Qg8 ) 26. Qh3! The key to winning is to use the queen for attacking the weak pawns on e6 and h5, as well as the other light squares around the black king. 26. ... Rh8 27. Qf5!! ( Also good is the forcing 27. Nd6+ Bxd6 28. Bxe6+ Bxe6 29. Qxe6+ Kf8 30. Bh6+ Rxh6 31. Rg8# ) 27. ... Nxb3 28. Qg6+ Kf8 29. Bh6+ Rxh6 30. Qg8# ) ( Another worthy alternative was still attacking h5 with 25. Bd1 Qd5 26. Bd6! Bxd6 ( 26. ... Qf5 27. Qg3 Ke8 28. Qg7 +- ) 27. Qxf6+ +- ) 25. ... Bb7 26. f3 Qd5 White is still technically winning here, but the position has sharpened quite a bit and after a few moves that could not be fully recovered from scoresheet or memory, White won after further adventures. 1-0

In the following game, after a bad mistake on my part, White conducts a nice attack in the Panov attack of the Caro-Kann. With a rook and 3 pawns for two pieces, my opponent was cruising to victory, but was a bit imprecise and allowed me to get outposts for my pieces. However I return the favour and make a huge blunder, so White wins. Moskvitch, Andrei - Jiganchine, Roman Cdn Junior 2002.01.06 , D41 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bc4 O-O 9. O-O Nc6 10. Re1

10. ... Nxc3 This was the main line at the time when the game was played - Black wants to play b7-b6 to develop the light squared bishop, but first exchanges on c3 so that White does not take on d5 himself. ( 10. ... Bf6 11. Ne4 b6 is the latest approach to Black's opening problems. 12. Nxf6+ Nxf6 13. Bg5 Bb7

14. a3 ( 14. Rc1 Rc8 15. Bd3 h6 16. Be3 ( 16. Bh4? Nxd4! 0-1 (56) Sokolov,A-Schlosser,P ) 16. ... Qd5 17. Bc4 Qf5 18. Bd3 Qd5 19. Bc4 Qf5 = Onischuk,A - Schlosser,P ) 14. ... Rc8 surprisingly Black is not too inconvenienced by the pin, while White has some troubles drumming up the attack. 15. Ba2 h6 16. Bh4 Ne7! 17. Bxf6 gxf6 18. Re3 ~ ) ( 10. ... a6 11. Bb3 ( 11. a4 Nf6 in fact would transpose into a fairly popular QGA position ) 11. ... Nxc3 12. bxc3 b5 13. Bc2! White scores really well from this position, and Podgaetz considers this plan with Bc2 and Qd3 to be leading to White's edge. 13. ... Bb7 14. h4 Bf6 15. Ng5 g6 16. Qg4 Rc8

17. h5 this is the culmination of Sokolov's plan of pressure on the f7-g6-h7 chain. 17. ... Nxd4 18. hxg6 fxg6 ( 18. ... hxg6 19. Qh4 Bxg5 20. Bxg5 Qxg5 21. Qxg5 Nxc2 was Black's only other chance .. . 22. Qf6 +/- ) 19. Nxh7! +- Nxc2 20. Qxg6+ Kh8 21. Bg5 Bxg5 22. Nxg5 Qd7 23. Rxe6 Rc6 24. Qh5+ Kg8 25. Rd1 Qg7 26. Rdd6 Rxd6 27. Rxd6 Rf6 28. Rd8+ 1-0 Sokolov,A-Kharitonov,A, 1990 ) ( 10. ... Nf6 opens another pathway to transpositions to a whole set of various openings, e.g. QGA where Black plays 6...cxd4 instead of 6...a6; outside of this line - some other positions can arise that are just like in QGA, but the black knight is on d5 instead of f6. ) ( 10. ... b6?! 11. Nxd5 exd5 12. Bb5 Bd7 13. Qa4 += has been known to be to White's advantage since Botvinnik,M-Alekhine,A, 1938. ) 11. bxc3 b6 12. Bd3 Bb7

13. h4 This attacking idea was first introduced by Yuri Razuvaev in the end of the 1970s. It is surprisingly difficult to defend against: White just wants to put the knight on g5, followed by Qh5, and playing h7-h6 either before that, or afterwards is not really solving all the problems. It becomes clear that Black's exchange of the d5 knight on c3 has another downside, in addition to strengthening the white center (which frees up Nf3 from the need to defend d4) - now Black is missing a key defensive piece on the kingside. 13. ... Rc8 ( Accepting the pawn sacrifice is the most critical and at the same time - dangerous option. 13. ... Bxh4 14. Nxh4 Qxh4 15. Re3 g6 16. Rh3 Qf6 ( 16. ... Qe7 17. Qg4 Rfd8 18. Bg5 f6 19. Bf4 Qf7 20. Bc4 f5 21. Qh4 Rd7 22. Re1 Nd8 23. Bg5 Bd5 24. Bb5 Bc6 25. Bd3 Nb7 26. Rhe3 Re8 27. c4 Nd6 28. Re5 ~= TonAmour-stevesand/ICC 2002/1-0 (54) ) 17. Bh6 Rfe8 18. Qg4 Rac8 19. Bg5 Qg7 20. Qh4 f5 21. Re1 Na5 22. Rhe3 Qf7 23. Bb5 ~= 1-0 (38) Kasparov,G-Gonda,G, 1988. ) ( 13. ... Qd5 14. Rb1 Rac8 15. Rb5 Qd6 16. d5 Ba6 17. dxc6 Rfd8 18. Qa4 Qxd3 19. Qxa6 Rxc6 20. Be3 Bf6 21. Bd4 Bxd4 22. cxd4 Rc3 23. a4 Ra3 24. Qxa7 Qxb5 25. Qe7 1-0 (25) Anand,V-Timman,J ) ( 13. ... Na5 14. Ng5 h6 15. Qh5 Bd5 16. Nh7 Re8 17. Bxh6 gxh6 18. Qxh6 f5 19. Re3 Bxh4 20. Rg3+ Bxg3 21. Qg6+ Kh8 22. Nf6 Bh2+ 23. Kh1 Qxf6 24. Qxf6+ Kg8 25. Kxh2 Rac8 26. Rh1 Rc7 27. Qg6+ Kf8 28. Kg1 Rf7 29. Qg5 Rg7 30. Rh8+ Kf7 31. Qh5+ 1-0 (31) Razuvaev,Y-Farago,I ) ( 13. ... h6 would play into White's hands after 14. Bb1 followed by Qd3 or Qc2: 14. ... Qd7 15. Qd3 f5 16. a4 += and now Black is greatly inconvenienced by threats of Rxe6 and/or Ba2, and White has an advantage based on the play against the e6 weakness. ) 14. Ng5 White scores really well from this position, indicating the practical difficulties in defending

against the onslaught of his pieces. 14. ... Bxg5 15. Bxg5

15. ... f6? This loses on the spot. I must have confused the position with some other line where I thought it is acceptable for Black to play f6, and failed to apply common sense - which would suggest that weakening the light squares - both h7 and e6 is not compensated by gaining a tempo which I had thought f7-f6 achieves. ( 15. ... Qd5! 16. Qg4 f5 17. Qg3 Na5 18. Re5 Qd7 19. Bb5 would have allowed White to maintain some pressure, but nothing catastrophic is happening yet. ) ( 15. ... Ne7!? was also interesting. ) 16. Qh5! g6 ( 16. ... fxg5?? 17. Bxh7+ Kh8 18. Bg6+ Kg8 19. Qh7# ) 17. Bxg6 Qd7 ( 17. ... hxg6? 18. Qxg6+ Kh8 19. Qh5+ Kg8 20. Rxe6 +- is much worse for Black than what happens in the game. ) 18. Bh6 hxg6 19. Qxg6+ Kh8 20. Bxf8 Rxf8

After the sacrifice, White has emerged with roughly equal material, but the attack is still deadly. 21. Re3 ( 21. Qh6+! Kg8 22. Re3 Rf7 23. Rg3+ Rg7 24. Qxf6 Rxg3 25. fxg3 was arguably even slightly more accurate. ) 21. ... Qg7 22. Qh5+ Qh7 23. Qxh7+ Kxh7 24. Rxe6

24. ... Kg6 In the resulting endgame White has a big advantage because his center restricts the black pieces, and the kingside pawns are ready to get rolling. 25. Rae1 Rd8 26. Re8 Rd5 ( After the exchange of one pair of rooks - White would play for the strength of the passed 'h' pawn, and try to create another passed pawn in the center: 26. ... Rxe8 27. Rxe8 Kf7

28. Re3! The rook is well placed on the third rank, along which it will swing between the kingside and the queenside depending on which defensive setup Black adopts. 28. ... Na5 ( 28. ... Ne7 29. c4 Nf5 30. Ra3! a6 ) 29. h5 Nc4 30. Rg3 Be4 31. f3 Bb1 32. h6 Bg6 33. f4 Nd6 34. c4 Nf5 35. Ra3 a5 36. Rh3 Bh7 37. c5 with good winning chances for White. ) 27. g4 Rd7 28. f4 Kf7

29. R8e3?! This gives Black a chance to take a breath and consolidate his pieces. ( Passed pawns must be pushed, so White should have trusted that the tactics would workout in his favour after 29. h5! which they do! 29. ... Ne7? ( 29. ... Ne5 also fails: 30. dxe5 Kxe8 31. exf6+ Kf7 32. g5 +- and the 4 passed pawns on the kingside are unstoppable. ) 30. h6! Kxe8 31. h7 +- ) 29. ... Ne7 The isolated pawn and the queens are long gone, but the structural features of the position still remain - if Black can establish a piece on d5, he has reasonable chances.

30. c4?! ( Better was 30. g5! and again the passed pawns are strong enough, for example in the following curious line: 30. ... Bd5 31. h5 Nf5 32. Re8 Rc7 33. Rd8 Be6 34. Rh8 Kg7 35. Rxe6 Kxh8 36. Rxf6 Ne3 37. h6 Nd5 38. Rf8+ Kh7 39. c4 Rxc4 40. Rf7+ Kg6 41. Rg7+ Kf5 42. h7 Rc1+ 43. Kh2 Kg4 44. h8=Q Rc2+ 45. Kg1

45. ... Kg3 and now the only way to avoid draw is: 46. Rc7!! Nxc7 ( 46. ... Rxc7 47. Qh2+ ) 47. Kf1 Nd5 48. Qe5 +- ) 30. ... Ba6 31. h5? This is highly inconsistent with c3-c4 - as if the pawn merely advanced to c4 to be captured. ( 31. c5! still left White with objectively somewhat better chances. ) 31. ... Bxc4 Suddenly Black gets the d5 square for the knight and his position is not that bad. 32. h6 Nd5 33. h7 Kg7 34. Rh3 Rd8 35. g5

35. ... Nxf4?? A miscalculation in time trouble costs Black the game in the end. ( 35. ... Rh8 would have lead to a messy position with probably equal chances 36. gxf6+ Kxf6 37. Kf2 ) ( 35. ... fxg5 36. fxg5 Rh8 37. Ra3 Kxh7 38. Rxa7+ Kg6 39. Re5 Rh5 40. Ra4 Bb5 41. Rxd5 Bxa4 42. Rd6+ Kxg5 43. Rxb6 = is objectively drawn, but gave Black hopes of even playing for a win in the B+R vs. R endgame. ) 36. h8=Q+! ( I must have only expected 36. gxf6+ Kh8 ) 36. ... Rxh8 37. gxf6+ Kxf6 ( 37. ... Kg8 38. Re8+ Kf7 39. Rhxh8 Ng6 was slightly more resilient, but still hopeless for Black. ) 38. Rxh8 Ne2+ 39. Kf2 Black resigned as the tables have turned yet again. The opening of this game seemed so one sided that it discouraged me from playing main lines of Panov attack for many years, but of course it was the 15... f6 move that was to be blamed for most of the suffering that Black endured in this game. 1-0

Here are a few more short examples of White's attacking ideas in IQP positions: Lerner, Konstantin Z - Rausis, Igors 1999 , B14 1. c4 c6 2. e4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O Nf6 10. Re1 Bd7 11. Bg5 Bc6 12. Qe2 Nbd7 13. Rad1 Re8 14. Bb1 Nd5 15. h4 Rc8 16. Ne4 Nf8 17. Ne5 Ba4 18. b3 Bc6 19. Qh5 f6

White to move

Solution: 20. Nxf6+ Nxf6 21. Bxf6 g6 ( 21. ... Bxf6 22. Bxh7+ Nxh7 23. Qf7+ Kh8 24. Ng6# ) 22. Bxe7 Qxe7 23. Qg4 Bd5 24. Re3 Qf6 25. Rg3 Re7 26. h5 Rg7 27. hxg6 hxg6 28. Rh3 Rcc7 29. Qg3 Nh7 30. Rh6 Ng5 31. Ng4 Qf8 32. Qe5 Nh7 33. Bxg6 1-0

Melkumyan, H. - Krysztofiak, M. Najdorf Mem Open A 2014 2014.07.15 , E57 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 O-O 5. e3 d5 6. Bd3 c5 7. O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4 cxd4 9. exd4 b6 10. Bg5 Bb7 11. Re1 Nc6 12. a3 Be7 13. Qd3 h6 14. Bh4 Nh5 15. Bg3 Nxg3 16. hxg3 Bf6 17. Rad1 Ne7 18. Ba2 g6 19. Ne5 Bxe5 20. Rxe5 Qd6 21. Rde1 Rad8

White to move

Solution: 22. Rxe6 fxe6 23. Rxe6 Qxe6 ( 23. ... Qd7 24. Rxg6+ Kh8 25. Rxh6+ Kg7 26. Qh7# ) 24. Bxe6+ Kh7 25. Qc4 +- Bc6 26. d5 Bd7 27. Qc7 Bxe6 28. Qxe7+ Bf7 29. Ne4 a5 30. d6 1-0

Kosteniuk, A. - Ju Wenjun SportAccord Blitz w 2014 2014.12.14 , B22 1. e4 c5 2. c3 d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 e6 6. Bd3 cxd4 7. cxd4 Be7 8. Nc3 Qd6 9. O-O O-O 10. Qe2 Nc6 11. Rd1 b6 12. Nb5 Qd8 13. Ne5 Bb7 14. Bg5 g6 15. Rac1 Nb4 16. Bc4 Nbd5 17. Re1 a6 18. Nc3 b5 19. Bb3 Rc8 20. Bh6 Re8

White to move

Solution: 21. Nxf7 Bb4 ( 21. ... Kxf7 22. Qxe6# ) 22. Nxd8 1-0

Structural transformations While the kingside attack is a common way for White to play for advantage in IQP positions, in order to succeed against experienced opponents - it is important to be aware of all possible transformations of the pawn structure and adapt one's plans to the changed landscape. We will consider several rather common exchanges that lead to a change of a pawn structure and metamorphosis of the IQP.

White exchanges on d5 This is a very common transformation and both sides always have to keep an eye on this possibility, although of course it is White who pulls the trigger by trading on d5. Typically this is done when Black is unable to recapture with a piece. After White exchanges on d5, and Black recaptures with a pawn, the pawn structure becomes symmetric; Black regains some space in the center, and an open diagonal for developing his c8 bishop, but no longer has a chance to exert direct pressure against the white 'd' pawn because the 'd' file becomes closed. White then has the following plans: Attack the 'd5' pawn Invade on the 'c' file Use e5 as outpost

In the following two games (interestingly enough - played within a span of two weeks) Black was struggling to keep the d5 pawn alive: Jiganchine, Roman - Poitras, Luc training 2001.01.26 , E48 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Ne2 c5 7. O-O cxd4 8. exd4 Nc6 ( 8. ... dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nc6 10. a3 Bd6 11. Bb3 b6 12. Qd3 Bb7 13. Bc2 g6 14. Qh3 Be7 15. Rd1 Na5 16. Bh6 Re8 17. b4 Nc6 18. Bb3 Nd5 19. Nxd5 exd5 20. Qf3 Bf6 21. Be3 Re4 22. Rac1 Rc8 23. h3 Jiganchine,R-Kim,P/Fraser Valley 2001/ 1-0 (33) ) 9. a3 Be7 10. Bf4 dxc4 11. Bxc4

11. ... Nd5? This move fails to address the development of the queenside and falls into immediate tactical problems. ( 11. ... Bd6 12. Qd2 Bxf4 13. Qxf4 b6 14. Rad1 Ne7 15. Qf3 1/2-1/2 Balashov, YShamkovich,L, Baku, 1972 ) ( 11. ... a6 12. Rc1 = ) 12. Bxd5 My opponent had overlooked this capture - White now wins a pawn. It is perhaps psychologically difficult to consider an exchange of a bishop for a knight, but in this structure and in this game in particular the knights proved more powerful than the bishops. 12. ... exd5 13. Qb3 Black is unable to keep both b7 and d5 pawns defended. 13. ... Bd6 N ( 13. ... b6 14. Qxd5 Bb7 15. Rfd1 ( 15. Qxd8?! Rfxd8 16. Rfd1 Rd7 17. Rd2 Rad8 18. Rad1 Na5 19. b4 Nc4 20. Ra2 g5 21. Bc1 h6 22. Rc2 Bf6 23. Be3 1/ 2-1/2 Kunze, CKeitlinghaus,L, 1997 ) 15. ... Qxd5 16. Nxd5 Rad8 17. Nxe7+ Nxe7 += also allows White to hold on to the extra pawn. ) 14. Rad1 ( I am not sure why I rejected the most natural 14. Bxd6 Qxd6 15. Qxd5 Qxd5 16. Nxd5 Rd8 17. Nc7 Rb8 18. Rfd1 +/- and White is simply a pawn up. ) 14. ... Bg4 15. f3 Be6 16. Qxb7 +/-

16. ... Na5 17. Qa6 Bc7 18. Rfe1 Bb6 19. Qd3 Qd7 20. Ng3 Nc4 21. Re2 Bc7 22. Bxc7 Qxc7 23. Na4 Rab8 24. Qc3 Bd7 25. Nc5

In addition to extra material, White also has a positional advantage since Black's bishop is a bad one being restricted by his own central pawn. 25. ... Qd6 26. Rde1 White also controls the 'e' file - an important factor in positions with this symmetrical pawn structure in the center. 26. ... g6 27. Qc1 White prepares to play b2-b3 to expel the c4 knight, but the queen is also eyeing the weakened dark squares on the kingside. 27. ... Rfe8 28. b3 Na5

29. Qh6?

( We both overlooked the immediate tactical solution that the computer is quick to spot: 29. Nxd7! Giving up the strong knight on c5 for the passive bishop on d7 is not natural, but here White can take advantage of the awkward placement of all black pieces. 29. ... Qxd7 30. Nh5!!

30. ... gxh5 ( 30. ... Rxe2 31. Nf6+ +- ) 31. Qg5+ Kh8 32. Qf6+ Kg8 33. Re7 +- ) 29. ... Rxe2 30. Rxe2 The threat of Nh5 is really hard to meet without losing material; in the game my opponent overlooked it altogether. 30. ... Nb7 ( 30. ... Qf8 31. Qxf8+ Kxf8 32. Nxd7+ +- ) 31. Nxb7 ( 31. Nxd7 Qxd7 32. Nh5 was apparently more decisive 32. ... gxh5 33. Qg5+ Kf8 34. Qf6 Kg8 35. Re7 +- ) 31. ... Rxb7

( More resilient was 31. ... Qxa3 32. Nc5 Qa1+ 33. Nf1 Qxd4+ 34. Qe3 Qxe3+ 35. Nxe3 +- ) 32. Nh5! The game illustrates the importance of playing on all sides of the board - after starting to put central pressure on e5 White ended up winning the b7 pawn on the queenside, while the outcome was decided by kingside threats. 1-0

Jiganchine, Roman - Kim, Phillip Fraser Valley 2001.02.06 , E48 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 c5 6. Ne2 cxd4 7. exd4 d5 8. O-O dxc4 ( 8. ... Nc6 9. a3 Be7 10. Bf4 dxc4 11. Bxc4 Nd5 12. Bxd5 exd5 13. Qb3 Bd6 14. Rad1 Bg4 15. f3 Be6 16. Qxb7 Na5 17. Qa6 Bc7 18. Rfe1 Bb6 19. Qd3 Qd7 20. Ng3 Nc4 21. Re2 Bc7 22. Bxc7 Qxc7 23. Na4 Jiganchine,R-Poitras,L/ training 2001/1-0 (32) ) 9. Bxc4 Nc6 10. a3 Bd6 11. Bb3 b6 12. Qd3 Bb7

13. Bc2 Here White has a rather typical IQP initiative with threats along b1-h7 diagonal, with the slight nuance being the placement of the knight on e2 instead of f3. This knight then has the potential to come out to f4 and attack a slightly different set of squares than it would if it started out on f3. 13. ... g6 14. Qh3 Be7 15. Rd1 The placement of the knight on e2 also affects the direction of the other white pieces - the queen swung to h3 along the clear third rank and the f1 rook went to d1 instead of e1 since the e file is blocked at the moment. 15. ... Na5 ( Better was 15. ... Rc8 16. Bh6 Re8 ) 16. Bh6 Re8 17. b4 Nc6 ( 17. ... Nc4 18. Ba4 Nd7 19. d5 Bd6 20. dxe6 Rxe6 21. Nf4 +- )

18. Bb3 White now is clearly threatening Bxe6, so Black's next move is forced. 18. ... Nd5 19. Nxd5 exd5

20. Qf3 ( Also strong was 20. Nf4! Bf6 21. Bxd5 with an extra pawn. ) 20. ... Bf6 Since Black has no good way to defend the d5 pawn, he counterattacks White's own central pawn. 21. Be3 Unable to calculate the complications after mutual pawn captures I decided to settle for a more solid approach. ( 21. Bxd5! Nxd4 ( 21. ... Rxe2 22. Bxc6 Bxc6 23. Qxe2 +- ) 22. Rxd4! was the way to refute the counterattack. 22. ... Bxd5 ( 22. ... Rxe2 23. Bxf7+ Kxf7 24. Qb3+ Re6 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Rc1 += ) 23. Rxd5 Qe7 24. Rf1 +- ) 21. ... Re4 22. Rac1 Rc8?

23. h3? Another missed opportunity where White could have taken the central pawn. ( 23. Bxd5! would have won immediately because the e4 rook is hanging and cannot retreat. 23. ... Qxd5 24. Nc3 Nxd4 25. Nxd5 Nxf3+ 26. gxf3 Rxc1

27. Nxf6+ Kg7 28. Rxc1 +- ) 23. ... Bg7! 24. Bxd5 With the bishop no longer being on f6 this shot is no longer effective. 24. ... Qxd5 25. Nc3 Nxd4 26. Nxd5? ( 26. Bxd4 Qxd4 ( 26. ... Rxc3 27. Bxc3 Qg5 28. Bd2 +- ) 27. Rxd4 Bxd4 28. Kh2 Re7 ( 28. ... Kg7 29. Nxe4 Rxc1 30. Qf4 Re1 31. Ng3 Be5 32. Qd2 Ra1 33. Qd7 ) 29. Nd5 ! ) 26. ... Nxf3+ 27. gxf3 Rxc1 28. Rxc1 Re8! 29. Nf4 Bxf3 White is now worse, and the rest of the game was a time trouble scramble in which Black

lost. 30. Rc7 Be5?! ( 30. ... Rd8 ) 31. Rxa7 Bxf4? ( 31. ... Rd8 -+ ) 32. Bxf4 Re1+ 33. Kh2 Kg7 += And White won eventually. The game clearly illustrates that precise calculation is required to reap the benefits of even the most sound positional play. 1-0

The next game is interesting for historic reasons as the first game between third and fourth World Champions, but it also featured several instructive ideas with respect to the structure with Isolated Queen Pawn. White combined pressure on the kingside with the ideas of invasion along the 'c' file: Jose Raul Capablanca - Alexander Alekhine Savorin Cup 1913.12.14 , D30 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. e3 Nf6 4. Nf3 e6 5. Nbd2 Nbd7 6. Bd3 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. Qc2 dxc4 9. Nxc4 c5 10. Nce5 cxd4 11. exd4 Nb6

White to move

Solution: 12. Ng5 Forcing Black to advance the pawn to g6 to weaken his kingside is a common strategy in these positions. 12. ... g6 ( 12. ... h6?? 13. Bh7+ Kh8 ( 13. ... Nxh7 14. Qxh7# ) 14. Nexf7+ Rxf7 15. Nxf7# ) 13. Ngf3 Kg7 14. Bg5 Nbd5 15. Rac1 Bd7 ( 15. ... Nb4 16. Qd2 Nxd3 17. Bh6+ Kg8 18. Bxf8 Nxc1 19. Bxe7 Qxe7 20. Rxc1

still left Black struggling to defend against Nf3-g5xf7. ) 16. Qd2 Ng8 17. Bxe7 Qxe7 18. Be4

White is threatening Bxd5 and Rc7. 18. ... Bb5 19. Rfe1 Qd6 20. Bxd5 exd5 ( 20. ... Qxd5 21. Rc7 Qxa2 22. Ng5 with decisive threats. ) 21. Qa5

Despite Black's best efforts, White still succeeds at invading c7. 21. ... a6 22. Qc7 Qxc7 23. Rxc7 h6 24. Rxb7 +/-

Capablanca now has both a material and a positional advantage, so the end is near. 24. ... Rac8 25. b3 Rc2 26. a4 Be2 27. Nh4 h5 28. Nhxg6 Re8 29. Rxf7+ Kh6 30. f4 a5 31. Nh4 Rxe5 32. fxe5 Kg5 33. g3 Kg4 34. Rg7+ Kh3 35. Ng2 1-0

The last two games dedicated to exchanging on d5 illustrate the idea of using the e5 square combined with general positional pressure across the board due to more active piece placement. As both games also illustrate, even though by recapturing on d5 with the pawn Black opens up a diagonal for his c8 bishop, that piece can still remain a problem one for the second player, because with the black pawn on d5, the bishop is still restricted in the center, and if White is careful enough, f5 and g4 squares are not easily available for it either. Ristovic, Nenad - Jiganchine, Roman Czt 2002.03.27 , D27 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e3 Nf6 4. Bxc4 e6 5. Nf3 c5 6. O-O a6 7. a4 Nc6 8. Nc3 This is a slightly inaccurate move order and it gives Black an option to avoid an isolated pawn structure and exchange all central pawns as described in the note to the next move. ( The main line is 8. Qe2 cxd4 9. Rd1 Be7 10. exd4 O-O 11. Nc3 Nd5 12. Qe4 Nf6 ) 8. ... cxd4 ( More precise is 8. ... Be7 and in case of 9. Qe2 (White is running short on useful waiting moves.) 9. ... cxd4 10. Rd1 Black has the option to play 10. ... e5 with a likely transition to an equal endgame. 11. exd4 exd4 12. Nxd4 Nxd4 13. Qe5 Qd6 = ) 9. exd4 Be7

10. Bf4 This is not the most popular move, in fact it came to me as a surprise during the game. However the bishop just gets developed without being subject to exchanges as it can be after Bg5. Black gets a bit more freedom with manoeuvring too though. ( The main line is 10. Bg5 O-O 11. Re1 Bd7 12. Qe2 )

10. ... O-O 11. h3 ( The main move is the natural 11. Re1 Qa5 12. Ne5 Rd8 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14. Qd2 Ra7 15. Rad1 Rad7

This is a typical situation - Black's pawns on e6 and c6 allow him to build up against d4 without having to block the IQP 16. Be5 At least now the bishop can come to a good outpost. 16. ... Bb7 17. h3 c5 18. Nd5 Qxd2 19. Nxe7+ Kf8 20. Rxd2 Kxe7 21. Rd3 Ne8 22. Rg3 cxd4 23. Bxg7 Nxg7 24. Rxg7 d3 and Black won in great instructive style in Marshall, F-Rubinstein,A/ 1908 (48) ) 11. ... Nb4 ( Inaccurate 11. ... b6?! allows White to gain some initiative with 12. d5! exd5 13. Nxd5 Nxd5 14. Bxd5 Bb7 15. Ne5 Nxe5 16. Bxb7 += ) 12. Ne5 Still being over-concerned about d4-d5, I played 12. ... Nfd5 ( Given that White played slow moves like 11.h3, Black should not fear the opening of the game and finish queenside development in the optimal way with 12. ... b6 13. Qf3 Ra7 14. Rfd1 ( 14. Nc6?! Nxc6 15. Qxc6 Bb7 16. Qc7 Qxc7 17. Bxc7 Bxg2 =+ ) 14. ... Bb7 = Black managed to control the a8-h1 diagonal and the key d5 square just on time, so this position is equal, although White won in Larsen,B-Ricardi,P, 1991. ) 13. Bg3 Bf6

By putting the knight on d5 I created some difficulties for myself with developing the c8 bishop. ( Now 13. ... b6 is not so good because of 14. Nxd5 Nxd5 15. Nc6 Qd7 16. Bxd5! exd5 and now 17. Rc1 gives White some pressure ( more aggressive is 17. Nxe7+ Qxe7 18. Qb3 for example: 18. ... Qb7 19. Rac1 Be6 20. Rc7 Qb8 21. Rxf7 ) ) ( But 13. ... Bd7 deserved attention: 14. Nxd5 exd5! ( 14. ... Nxd5 15. Bxd5 exd5 16. Qb3 += ) 15. Bb3 Rc8 = ) 14. Qb3 White is trying to exploit the fact that the bishop stopped protecting the b4 knight from e7. 14. ... Qa5 15. Ne4 Be7 16. f4 Nc6 Black has been going back and forth with his pieces; and while this strategy can be sometimes justified as both sides negotiate exchanges of key pieces, here this does not get me any closer to developing the c8 bishop. 17. Rad1 Qb4 18. Rf3

( I was quite concerned about 18. Bxd5 exd5 19. Qxd5 but then my bishop finally gets out! 19. ... Be6 20. Nxc6 bxc6 21. Qe5 ( 21. Qxc6? Rfc8 -+ 22. Be1 Rxc6 23. Bxb4 Bxb4 24. d5 Rc4 25. dxe6 Rxe4 -+ ) 21. ... Bb3! 22. Rc1 ( 22. Be1!? ) 22. ... Bxa4 Black seems to be fine here: my pieces do gain coordination ) 18. ... Qxb3 19. Bxb3 Happy that I could trade off the queen's, I make a strategic mistake: 19. ... h6? I intended to prevent the knight from coming to g5, but it weakens the g6 square, so I later cannot play f7-f6 to expel the Ne5 from its outpost. ( Better was 19. ... f6 20. Nxc6 bxc6 = with a roughly balanced position. ) 20. Bxd5!? White is immediately reacting to my inaccuracy. 20. ... exd5 21. Nc3

21. ... Rd8 ( Unfortunately 21. ... Be6 runs into 22. f5 ) 22. f5! Typically an exchange on d5 allows Black to free up the diagonal for c8 bishop. However now my bishop is still stuck on c8, and in the fixed pawn structure the white knights are at least as strong as Black's two bishops, which don't have open diagonals for them to show their strength. 22. ... Bf6

( 22. ... f6?! (allowing the knight to come to g6) 23. Ng6 Bb4 24. Bc7 Rd7 25. Bb6 would completely tie up the black pieces. ) ( 22. ... Nxe5 23. dxe5 d4 24. Ne4 would have left the d pawn rather vulnerable. ) 23. Nxc6 bxc6

24. a5! Another transformation took place where the d5 pawn no longer needs protection, but instead White is hoping to use the weakened dark squares on the queenside to serve as outposts for his knight. Thematically the pawn on a5 restricts the black bishop by preventing a6-a5. Note that the same bishop's path to the kingside had already been shut off by the f5 pawn. 24. ... Re8 25. Na4 Ra7 26. Bd6 Re4

27. Nb6?!

( 27. Bc5! would have deprived me of tactics with capturing on d4, but I am not sure if Black is in such a bad shape as it seemed to me during the game. 27. ... Rd7 28. Nb6 Rd8 Controlling the 'e' file seems to be a really great asset here - something I hoped for at the board, but was not sure if my play will be sufficient to compensate for queenside weaknesses. 29. Kf2 ( 29. Nxc8 Rxc8 30. Rb3 Re2 also with counterplay. ) 29. ... Rde8 and maybe White has to bail out with 30. Nxc8 Rxc8 31. Rb3 Rf4+ 32. Kg3?! leads to complications ( 32. Rf3 would keep things safe ) 32. ... Rxf5 33. Rb6 Bd8! ( but not the natural 33. ... Re8 34. Rxa6 Re2 35. Kh2 Rff2 36. Rg1 Rxb2 37. Rxc6 Rfd2 38. Rc8+ Kh7 39. a6 +- ) 34. Rxa6 Bc7+ 35. Kh4 Rf4+! -+ 36. g4 ( 36. Kh5 g6+ 37. Kxh6 Rh4+ 38. Kg5 Bd8+ 39. Be7 Bxe7# ) 36. ... Rf3! ) 27. ... Rxd4! 28. Rc1 Bd7 29. Bc5 Re4 ( 29. ... Rd2! was better, but I had been afraid of 30. Nc4 even though Black is ok after 30. ... Bd4+ 31. Bxd4 Rxd4 32. Nb6 = ) 30. Nxd5 Bxb2 From a slow fight for weak squares and restricting opponent's pieces - the game turned into a tactical skirmish. ( 30. ... Rb7 31. Nxf6+ gxf6 +/- seemed to be a nightmare for me during the game ) 31. Rd1 Rb7 32. Nb6 Be8 33. Rd8

After the first wave of complications, for a pawn White tied up most of my pieces 33. ... Re5 ( 33. ... Bf6 34. Ra8 Kh7 intending Re5 now ( 34. ... Re5 35. Bd4 ) 35. Rxa6 Bd4+ 36. Bxd4 Rxd4 37. Kh2 c5! 38. Ra8 Bb5 39. Rb3 ( 39. a6? Rxb6 40. a7 Bc6 ) 39. ... Rb4 40. Rxb4 cxb4 41. Nd5 b3 42. a6 Bxa6 43. Rxa6 b2 44. Nc3 b1=Q 45. Nxb1 Rxb1 = ) 34. Rb3! Ba1?

A losing move that was played in time trouble. ( was not too late to play 34. ... Re1+! 35. Kf2 Bf6! was obviously too much to see for me in the time trouble 36. Ra8 ) 35. Nc4!

35. ... Rxc5 36. Rxb7 Rxc4 37. Rxe8+ Ironically the light squared bishop never came out from his cage, and it is the loss of this bishop that costs Black the game. 37. ... Kh7 38. Rxf7 Rc5 ?? Even though the game was decided in time trouble complications, the strategic difficulties that Black encountered with development of his queenside was what set the tone for the rest of the battle. ( Black resigned without awaiting 38. ... Rc5 39. Rff8 +- ) ( 38. ... h5 was the only move to avoid mate threats, but Black was still losing in this case. ) 1-0

Zhao Xue - Bela Khotenashvili FIDE Women's World Chess Championship 2015.03.23 , D37 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Qc2 c5 8. Rd1 cxd4 9. exd4 dxc4 10. Bxc4 Nb6 11. Bb3 Nbd5 12. Be5 h6 13. O-O b6 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. Nxd5 exd5 16. Ne5 Qd6 17. Rfe1 Be6 18. Qd3

18. ... Bxe5 ( Delaying the exchange on e5 was too dangerous: 18. ... Rac8 19. Bc2 g6 20. Nxg6 fxg6 21. Qxg6+ Bg7 22. Rxe6 ) 19. Rxe5 Rfe8 20. Ba4 Bd7 21. Bc2 g6 22. Qe3

22. ... Rxe5 23. dxe5 Qe6 24. h3 Rc8 25. Bb3 Rc5 26. Qd4

After further transformations, White has strong pressure against the d5 pawn, as now it is Black who has an isolated pawn, but now active piece play to compensate for it. However White still needs to create other targets in order to convert the advantage. 26. ... Bc6 27. a3 a5 28. Ba2 a4 29. Kh2 Qf5 30. Bb1 Qe6 31. Re1 Bb5 32. Qd2 Kg7 33. f4 Rc4 34. Qf2 Bd7 35. Bd3 Rc5 36. Qg3 Kf8 37. Qh4 Kg7 38. Re3 d4

39. f5 After some manoeuvres, just as Black tried to free himself up with d5-d4, White executes a well prepared breakthrough. 39. ... gxf5 40. Qxd4 Rd5 41. Qf4 Rc5 42. Rg3+ Kh7 43. Qg4

43. ... Qg6 The only way to defend against mate on g7 or g8, but that also falls short. 44. Qd4 Qe6 45. Bxf5+ Qxf5 46. e6 Qe5

The final is near as White will pick up the d7 bishop and promote the passed pawn. 47. Qd3+ 1-0

Black exchanges on c3 If Black exchanges on c3, this bolsters the white center and in addition to the attack against the king, White also has the plan of advancing the c pawn to c4, resulting in a structure known as "hanging pawns". In that situation the plan of advancing d4-d5 is not necessarily associated with giving up the d pawn, and in the next game the d pawn played the decisive role. Jiganchine, Roman - Sadoway, S. BC Junior 1999.10.30 , D41 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bd3 ( 8. Bc4 O-O 9. O-O Nc6 10. Re1 Nxc3 11. bxc3 b6 12. Bd3 Bb7 13. h4 Rc8 14. Ng5 Bxg5 15. Bxg5 f6 16. Qh5 g6 17. Bxg6 Qd7 18. Bh6 hxg6 19. Qxg6+ Kh8 20. Bxf8 Rxf8 21. Re3 Qg7 22. Qh5+ Qh7 23. Qxh7+ Kxh7 24. Rxe6 +/- 1-0 Moskvitch, A-Jiganchine,R/Cdn Junior 2002 (38) ) 8. ... O-O ( 8. ... Nc6 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 Qa5 ( 10. ... g6 11. Bh6 Re8 12. Bc4 Ncb4 13. Qe2 Nxc3 14. bxc3 Nd5 15. Ne5 Bf8 16. Bd2 Bg7 17. Qf3 Rf8 18. Rad1 Qc7 19. Bb3 Bd7 20. c4 Nf6 21. Bg5 Nh5 22. Nxd7 Qxd7 23. d5 e5 24. c5 Rac8 25. c6 bxc6 26. dxc6 Qxc6 27. Qxc6 Rxc6 28. Rd7 Nf6 29. Rxa7 h6 30. Bd2 Rb6 31. Ba5 +/- 1-0 Jiganchine,R-Hardy,J/Fraser Valley Championship 2002 (40) ) 11. Bd2 Rd8 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. Rxe5 Qb6 14. Nxd5 Rxd5 15. Bc3 g6 16. Be4 Rxe5 17. dxe5 Rb8 18. Qa4 Bc5 19. Qe8+ Kg7 20. Rd1 Bxf2+ 21. Kh1 Bh4 22. Rf1 Qc7 23. Bb4 1-0 Glinert,S-Jiganchine,R/Richmond 2002 ) 9. O-O b6?! This is premature in these structures because White now has the option of capturing on d5 and b7-b6 is an unhelpful move after either recapture. ( Best is the normal 9. ... Nc6! ) 10. Qe2?! ( Best was 10. Nxd5! Qxd5 ( 10. ... exd5 Here White has two promising options that both scored nearly 90% for him: 11. Ne5!? ( 11. Qc2! g6 ( 11. ... h6 12. Bf4 Bd6 13. Bxd6 Qxd6 14. Rac1 += ) 12. Bh6 Re8 13. Rfe1 += White has all the pieces out to idea squares, and Black is still struggling to finish development. ) 11. ... Bb7?! ( 11. ... Ba6!? ) 12. Qc2 g6 13. Bh6 Re8 14. Bb5 +- ) 11. Re1 ( 11. Qc2 f5 12. Bc4 Qd6 13. Re1 +/- ) 11. ... Bb7 12. Qc2 2012 ( 12. Be4 Qd7 13. Ne5 Qc7 14. Qf3 ( 14. d5 exd5 15. Bxd5 Bb4 ) 14. ... Bxe4 15. Qxe4 Nd7

( 15. ... Bd6 16. Bh6!? ( 16. Qxa8 Bxe5 17. dxe5 Nc6 18. Qxf8+ Kxf8 19. Bf4 += ) 16. ... gxh6 ( 16. ... Na6 17. Rac1 Qe7 18. Qg4 f5 19. Qg3 Rfc8 20. Bf4 += ) 17. Rac1 ) 16. Nxf7! Nf6 17. Qe5 +/- ) 12. ... h6 13. Bh7+ Kh8 14. Be4 Qd7 15. Ne5 Bxe4 16. Qxe4 Qd5 17. Qxd5 exd5 18. Bf4 +/- it is important that h7-h6 has been played, so f7-f6 is not really playable. ) 10. ... Nxc3 Without White exerting extra pressure on d5, voluntarily exchanging on c3 is not common. ( 10. ... Bb7 was much more logical. 11. Qe4 g6 12. Bh6 Re8 13. Bb5 Bc6 = ) 11. bxc3 Bb7

12. c4 N There was no need to advance the pawn just yet. This allows Black to immediately begin putting pressure on the hanging pawns. ( It made more sense to finish development first: 12. Bf4 g6 13. Rfe1 Bd6 14. Ne5 Qc7 15. Rac1 Nd7 16. h4 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Be7 18. h5 Qc6 19. Qg4 += f5? 20. exf6 Rxf6 21. Be5 +- Rf5

22. Bxf5 ( 22. hxg6! +- ) 22. ... exf5 23. Qg3 Bh4 24. Qh2 Bg5 25. Rcd1 Re8 26. hxg6 h6 27. g7 ( 27. f4 +- ) 27. ... Rxe5 28. Rxe5 Bf4 29. Re8+ Qxe8 30. Qxf4 Qg6 31. Qb8+ Kxg7 32. Qxb7+ 1-0 (32) Doster,P-Maier,H, 1993 ) 12. ... Bf6 13. Bb2 Qc7 14. Rfd1 Nd7 15. Rac1 Rfe8 =

16. Nd2 Black has two very active bishops on the long diagonals, so White tries to neutralize at least one of them. However all exchanges are generally in Black's favour in this structure, so this indicates that White no longer has any advantage in this position. ( 16. h4 does not promise much because of 16. ... Qf4 ) ( 16. Qe3?! runs into 16. ... e5! ) ( 16. Ne5 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Be7 left White with misplaced pieces as far as the kingside attack is concerned, especially the bishop on b2. ) 16. ... Rac8 17. Be4

17. ... Be7 18. Qf3 Bxe4 19. Nxe4 Nf6

20. d5!? White grabs on the first chance he got to advance the central pawns. At the very least now the bishop on b2 comes back to life. 20. ... Nxe4 21. Qxe4

21. ... exd5?! A natural but objectively not the best response. ( The calm move 21. ... Bf8 defending g7 would have highlighted that White's breakthrough does not contain any particular immediate threats. 22. Qg4 ) 22. cxd5 Now White has a dangerous pawn in the center that is supported by his active pieces. 22. ... Bc5? A rather odd self pin; from here the bishop can neither defend g7, nor prevent the advance the 'd' pawn. ( It was best to block the 'd' pawn with. 22. ... Qd7 23. Rxc8 Rxc8 24. h3 += ) 23. Qg4 Threatening mate on g7, but also controlling an important d7 square. 23. ... g6? The decisive mistake, as now the 'd' pawn can advance all the way to d7. ( It was crucial to give up a pawn but defend g7 with a tempo just so that White has no time to push the d pawn. 23. ... f5 24. Qxf5 Qd6 2012 ( 24. ... Re2 25. d6 Qc6 26. Qg5 Rxb2 27. d7 Rxf2 28. Rxc5 bxc5 29. Qd5+ +- ) 25. Qg4 Rc7 +/- ) 24. d6! +-

24. ... f5 ( 24. ... Qd8 25. d7 +- ) 25. Qc4+ Perhaps my opponent overlooked this check. 25. ... Qf7 26. Qxf7+ Kxf7 27. d7 Black got punished for neglecting the danger of the advancing 'd' pawn and White's ideas materialized in their pure form. 1-0

Next is the game where the opening is the Panov attack in the Caro-Kann defense, and Black plays a sideline. I get nice pressure in the opening with an isolated pawn structure but miss some subtle opportunities. In the endgame White ends up with an active rook on the 7th rank, supported by two bishops as compensation for a pawn. When Black's 'a' pawn falls, the fate of the game is sealed. Jiganchine, Roman - Hardy, Justin Fraser Valley Championship 2002.12.10 , D42 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bd3 Nc6 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1

10. ... g6 This gives White some advantage over the main lines because now Bc1 can develop with tempo. ( The main line is 10. ... Bf6 11. Be4 Nce7 12. Ne5 and only now Black plays g6 to secure the retreat for Bf6. 12. ... g6 ( 12. ... b6?! 13. Ng4 ! Ng6 14. Nxf6+ gxf6 15. Bh6 Re8 16. Nxd5 exd5

17. Bxd5! Rb8 18. Qb3 Rxe1+ 19. Rxe1 +- DDT3000-ultrahunter/ Internet Chess Club 2001 ) 13. Bh6

Bg7 14. Qd2 += ) ( 10. ... Qa5 11. Bd2 Rd8 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. Rxe5 Qb6 14. Nxd5 Rxd5 15. Bc3 g6 16. Be4 Rxe5 17. dxe5 Rb8 18. Qa4 Bc5 19. Qe8+ Kg7 20. Rd1 Bxf2+ 21. Kh1 Bh4 22. Rf1 Qc7 23. Bb4 1-0 Glinert,S-Jiganchine,R/Richmond 2002 ) 11. Bh6 Re8 12. Bc4 It is logical to transfer the bishop to a2-g8 diagonal after Black setup the block with g6-h7 pawns. 12. ... Ncb4 13. Qe2 Nxc3 14. bxc3

Now Black is still underdeveloped and White has a strong center that secures him a stable advantage. 14. ... Nd5 Seemingly attacking the c3 pawn, but White finds a way to ignore this temporarily. 15. Ne5!? Bf8 ( I pretty much overlooked that Black can play 15. ... f6 but it should not be a problem for White, he try many things including 16. Nf3 Nxc3 17. Bxe6+ Kh8 18. Qb2 += ) ( Remembering my game against Bob Zuk from 1999, I was worried about 15. ... Bg5 This would be ok to play if say Bc8 was on b7 already...It is in lines like this one where Black starts to feel the lack of time that he wasted on... strengthening my center. 16. Qf3! Bxh6 17. Nxf7 Qh4 18. g3 Qh3 19. Bf1 Qh5 20. Qxh5 gxh5 21. Nxh6+ Kg7 22. Nf5+ +- Black again suffers from his rooks being disconnected. ) ( 15. ... Nxc3 16. Qf3 +- Attackihg c3 and f7 was the tactical idea behind Ne5. Digging deeper, the variation that tries to save the piece for Black has a beautiful point: 16. ... f6 17. Qxb7!! Bxb7 18. Bxe6+ Kh8 19. Nf7+ +- ) 16. Bd2

White is avoiding exchanges and defending the c3 pawn at the same time. 16. ... Bg7 17. Qf3 Rf8 18. Rad1 Qc7

19. Bb3 White has held back Black's development somewhat, and is well placed to begin advancing the central pawns. ( 19. Bxd5?! exd5 20. Qxd5 Be6 would have passed the initiative to Black. ) 19. ... Bd7 ( Here I did consider Black's 19. ... b5 but this version of the sacrifice should not be as good. 20. Bxd5 exd5 21. Qxd5 Be6 22. Qxb5 Bxa2 leaves White a healthy pawn up. ) 20. c4! The hanging pawns begin to advance as they are supposed to according to classic guidelines for such positions. 20. ... Nf6 21. Bg5 Nh5 22. Nxd7 ( 22. g4!? did not appeal to me because of 22. ... Bxe5! ( 22. ... h6 23. gxh5 hxg5 24. hxg6 +- ) 23. dxe5 Bc6 24. Qe3 Ng7 25. Bf6 +- Ne8 26. Qh6 Bf3 27. Rd3 Bxg4 ( 27. ... Qc6 28. Ree3 Bxg4 29. Rh3! +- ) 28. Re4 and one of the rooks will make it to the h file! ) 22. ... Qxd7

23. d5!? It is most logical to advance in the center while the white rooks are mobilized and the black knight is on h5. ( 23. g4 h6 24. gxh5 hxg5 25. hxg6 fxg6 is good for White but both sides would then have weaknesses, so this felt not very comfortable to decide upon during the game. ) 23. ... e5

( 23. ... exd5 24. cxd5 would have resulted in an immediate disaster for Black as White has too many threats: d5-d6, g2-g4, and Re7 just to mention a few. For example: 24. ... Rae8 25. Rxe8 Rxe8 26. d6 h6

27. Qxf7+!! Qxf7 28. d7 +- ) 24. c5 Black tried to keep the center closed with e6-e5, but now the second central pawn also advances. 24. ... Rac8 25. c6!? Once the hanging pawns are rolling, pausing their advance would slow down the initiative and may allow the defender to block them. Opening up files and diagonals here is particularly natural because White has two bishops. ( Interestingly, also quite strong was 25. d6!? simply playing for the strength of the d pawn, and the power of two bishops. ) 25. ... bxc6

26. dxc6?

( I completely overlooked 26. Ba4! +/- which would have been a logical conclusion to preceding play. ) ( Even stronger was playing for the strength of the light squared bishop which does not have an opponent on the a2-g8 diagonal. 26. d6 Facing threats like g4 and Be7, Black is truly struggling here. The pawn on d6 now is also very hard to stop. 26. ... Kh8 ( 26. ... Nf4 27. Bxf4 exf4 28. Re7 Qf5 29. d7 Rcd8 30. Qxc6 +- ) 27. Be7 f5 28. Bxf8 Rxf8 29. Ba4 +- ) 26. ... Qxc6 27. Qxc6 Rxc6 28. Rd7! This is the point of the pawn sacrifice. All of my pieces are potentially joining the attack against f7, and Black's pieces are uncoordinated. Here Justin sank into thought and spent almost a half of his remaining 15 minutes (SD), but did not find any good way to hold this inferior ending. 28. ... Nf6? While the knight tries to get back into play via the natural f6 square, it still fails to find a good outpost via this route, and also blocks the bishop on g7. ( With 28. ... a6! Black would have forced me to spend some time on winning the 'a' pawn. 29. Rc1!? Trading off opponent's most active piece is probably best, but who knows how I would be playing in view of coming up time trouble. Here is a possible sharp continuation: 29. ... Rxc1+ 30. Bxc1 += e4 31. Ba3 Rb8 32. Bxf7+ Kh8 33. g3 Nf6 34. Ra7 Ng4 35. Rxa6 Bd4 36. Ra4 turns out nicely for White, but he has to play precisely 36. ... e3!? 37. fxe3 Bxe3+ 38. Kg2 +- ) ( Best was 28. ... Nf4! From here the knight both shuts off the c1-h6 diagonal for my dark squared bishop, while also having the potential to reduce the scope of my light squared bishop by coming back with Ne6. 29. Rxa7 h6 30. Be7 Rfc8 and Black has potential to create counterplay: 31. g3 Nd3 32. Re3 Nc1 33. Bd5 R6c7 += ) 29. Rxa7 h6 30. Bd2 +/-

With two bishops and a passed 'a' pawn, White has a very comfortable edge and soon won.

30. ... Rb6 31. Ba5 Rbb8 32. h3 Ne8 33. Rd1 The second rook comes to the 'd' file, and potentially to the 7th rank and Black's pieces still don't have good squares for themselves. 33. ... Nf6 34. Bc7 Ra8

35. Rb7!? An interesting practical decision - to play for active pieces and not hurry with regaining material - surely made defense more difficult for the opponent who was approaching time trouble. 35. ... Ne4 36. Bb6 Rfb8 37. Rdd7?! A slight inaccuracy that however does not let the win out. ( I miscalculated in this line: 37. Rxf7! Rxb6 38. Ra7+ Rxb3 39. Rxa8+ It seemed to me that the king would already be on h7(I forgot that he would never retreat from the check on move. ) 37. ... Rxb7 38. Rxb7 Nc3 39. Rxf7 Kh8

40. Ra7! Now the exchange of rooks is desirable for White because he already has a material advantage, and with the black king on 'h8', the a pawn will run unstoppable. 40. ... Rxa7 41. Bxa7 +- 1-0

Black exchanges on e3 Exchanging on e3, with White typically recapturing f2xe3 (similarly to exchanging on c3), also has the effect of strengthening the white center. In addition White can occasionally generate play along the f file: Kostin, Andrey - Jiganchine, Roman Keres 2008 2008.05.18 , B30 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 e6 4. O-O Nge7 5. c3 a6 6. Ba4 b5 7. Bc2 Bb7 8. Re1 Rc8 9. a3 d5 10. d4 cxd4

11. Nxd4? Given that an isolated pawn structure will emerge, exchanging an extra pair of knights (and later - bishops) is not in White's favour. ( During the game I was of course fearing 11. cxd4! and after Nc3, the pressure on d5 will intensify. In most lines White will be able to break through with d4-d5. For example: 11. ... dxe4 ( I did not consider 11. ... Na5!? but that fundamentally does not solve the key problem for Black - difficulties with getting the king out of the center: 12. Nc3 dxe4 13. Nxe4 Nd5 14. Nc5 Bxc5 15. dxc5 Rxc5 16. b4 Rxc2 17. Qxc2 Nc4 ~ ) 12. Bxe4 It turns out there was already a game played in this line: 12. ... Na5 ( 12. ... Nd5 13. Bxd5 Qxd5 14. Nc3 Qh5 15. d5 +/- ) 13. Bxb7 Nxb7 14. Nc3 Ng6

15. d5 Be7 16. dxe6 O-O 17. exf7+ Rxf7 18. Qxd8+ Rxd8 19. Bg5 +/- 1-0 Pyhala, A-Hokkanen,P/ Jyvaskyla 1994/ (49) ) 11. ... Nxd4 12. cxd4 dxe4 13. Bxe4 ( The last chance to avoid further exchanges was 13. Nc3!? but then Black would put further pressure on the isolated pawn with 13. ... Rc4 14. Nxe4 Rxd4 15. Qf3 and compensation for the pawn is likely not fully sufficient, but at least White would have his chances. ) 13. ... Bxe4 14. Rxe4 Nd5 =+

Black could have only dreamt of a position like this out of the opening, since White has very little chances for an attack here, and the d4 pawn is more of a liability than a strength. 15. Re2 g6 It was very tempting to put direct pressure on the isolated pawn on d4, but decreased control over c5 later allowed White to get some counterplay. ( More accurate was 15. ... Bd6! 16. Nd2 Qc7 17. Nf3 O-O 18. Bg5 h6 19. Rc1 Qd7 20. Be3 Rxc1 21. Bxc1 Rc8 =+ )

16. Be3 Bg7 17. Nd2 O-O 18. Ne4 Qb6 19. Nc5

19. ... Nxe3 ( 19. ... Rfd8 20. Bg5 Rd6 seemed a bit uncomfortable to me at the time. ) 20. fxe3 Rfd8 21. b4

21. ... Rd5 Black attempts to prepare e6-e5 in the most comfortable play, but underestimates White's play along the 'f' file. ( The exchange on e3 would have been justified if Black continued with the energetic 21. ... e5!? 22. Rd2 ( 22. d5 Bf8 23. Ne4 f5 24. Ng5 Bh6 25. Ne6 Bxe3+ 26. Kh1 Rd6 -/+ ) 22. ... exd4 23. exd4 Qf6 24. Nb3 Rc3 with strong pressure on d4 and all over the entire board in general. ) 22. Rd2 Rcd8 23. Qf3 e5

I realized that I was nearly forced to give up f7 pawn, but saw no better solution 24. Rf1 Qa7 ( 24. ... f5!? 25. Rdf2 exd4 26. e4!? Re5 27. exf5 Rxf5 28. Qb3+ Kh8 29. Rxf5 gxf5 30. Ne6 Re8 31. Nxg7 Kxg7 32. Rxf5 = ) 25. Rdf2 exd4 26. e4 Re5 27. Qxf7+ Qxf7 28. Rxf7 d3 29. R7f3 d2 30. Rd1 Ree8?! The rook was actually well placed here, putting pressure on c5 ( 30. ... Bh6 31. Kf2 ) ( Best was 30. ... Bf8!? 31. Rf2 Bh6 32. Rf3 Black gained a tempo - it is his turn and bishop now on h6, not on g7 32. ... a5! 33. Kf2 axb4 34. axb4 Rd4 35. Rb3 Bf8 36. Nd3 Rexe4 37. Rxd2 Bxb4 38. Rxb4 Rxd3 39. Rxd3 Rxb4 40. Rd8+ Kg7 41. Rd7+ Kh6 =+ with some winning chances in the rook endgame. ) 31. Kf1 Bh6 32. Ke2 Rd4 33. Rh3 Bg5 ( after 33. ... Kg7 I was worried about 34. Rd3 Rc4 35. Rd7+ ( or 35. Rd5 and White is prepared to meet a6-a5 ) 35. ... Kg8 ) 34. Rg3 Bh6 35. Rh3 Bf8

36. Rxd2 With the capture of the 'd' pawn, the worst for White is behind him, and the game peters out to a draw. 36. ... Bxc5 37. bxc5 Rdxe4+ ( 37. ... Rexe4+ 38. Kd1 Rxd2+ 39. Kxd2 Rc4? 40. Rc3 +/- is actually good for White )

38. Kd1 Rc4 39. Rd7 h5 40. Rd6 Kh7 41. Rxa6 Rxc5 White's opening mistakes gave me a nearly optimal position against an IQP, but I played imprecisely and allowed too much counterplay - first by allowing the White knight to establish an outpost on c5, and then by underestimating threats along the 'f' file. ( 41. ... Rxc5 42. Rg3 Rd8+ 43. Ke2 g5 44. Rd3 Rc2+ 45. Kd1 = ) 1/2-1/2

Jiganchine, Roman - Miller, B. Canadian Open 1999.07.10 , B22 1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. d4 e6 5. Nf3 d6 6. exd6 Bxd6 7. Bc4 O-O 8. O-O

8. ... Nb6?! The knight has little to do on b6 in IQP positions, so this retreat is an inaccuracy, and Black will admit to it in a few moves by moving the knight back to d5 in a few moves. ( 8. ... cxd4 9. cxd4 Nc6 is a more common setup. ) 9. Bb3 Bd7 10. Be3 ( 10. Bc2!? Nc6 11. Qd3 f5! ~ ) 10. ... Qc7 11. Nbd2 cxd4 12. cxd4 Nc6 13. Rc1 Rac8 14. Ne4 Nd5

15. Nxd6 Nxe3 16. fxe3 Qxd6 The resulting position is objectively roughly equal, but White has some potential to drum up initiative on the kingside. 17. Ng5 h6 18. Ne4 Qe7 19. Qh5 Nb4 20. Rxc8 Bxc8?

( 20. ... Rxc8 = ) 21. h3? ( Computer points out an unexpected tactical shot that is based on pressure along the f file and the unstable position of the b4 knight: 21. Nf6+! Kh8 ( 21. ... gxf6 22. Rf3 +- ) 22. a3 Nd5 23. Bxd5 exd5 24. Nxd5 +/- with an extra pawn ) 21. ... b6 22. a3 ( Again strong was 22. Nf6+! Kh8 ( 22. ... gxf6? 23. Qxh6 is deadly for Black ) 23. Ng4 ( 23. a3? here was a mistake because compared to the lines after 21.Nf6 - now Black has 23. ... Ba6! ) 23. ... f6 and White achieved some weakening of the black kingside. ) 22. ... Nd5 23. Qe5 ( 23. Bxd5 exd5 24. Nf6+ was not working due to ( 24. Qxd5 Bb7? ) 24. ... gxf6 25. Rf3 Kh7 ) 23. ... Nc7 24. Qg3 ( 24. Nd6!? ) 24. ... Kh8 25. Nf2 Bb7 26. Rc1 Unable to generate enough play on the kingside, White tries his chances on the c file. 26. ... Ne8 27. Nd3 Nd6 28. Ne5

On e5 the knight still generates some threats and Black overlooked one of them: 28. ... Ne4? 29. Qf4? ( Both players are missing the unexpected 29. Rc7!! ) 29. ... Nf6? 30. Rc7!

30. ... Qxc7 31. Ng6+ fxg6 32. Qxc7

White now is winning rather easily with an extra queen. 32. ... Bd5 33. Bxd5 Nxd5 34. Qxa7 Nxe3 35. Qa6 Nd5 36. Qe2 Rf6 37. b4 Kg8 38. Qe1 Kf7 39. Qd2 Ke7 40. a4 Kd6 41. a5 bxa5 42. bxa5 Kc6 43. Qb2 Rf7 44. Qb8 Re7 45. a6 Nb6 46. a7 Rb7 47. a8=Q Nxa8 48. Qxa8 g5 49. Kf2 Kc7 50. Qa5+ Kd7 51. Qe5 Ke8 52. Qxe6+ Re7 53. Qc6+ Kf8 54. d5 Rf7+ 55. Ke3 1-0

Black exchanges on e5 When White has a piece on e5 (typically a knight), it exerts pressure on the black pieces, so it is logical for Black to exchange that attacker. Problems can happen for Black however, if he is behind in development, in which case he can have difficulties dealing with the open d file (after dxe5), as the next game illustrates: Glinert, Stephen - Jiganchine, Roman Czt 2002.03.24 , D42 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bd3 Nc6 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 Since I preferred this position from the White side, for this game I decided to deviate but my prepared setup backfired very quickly, showing that I had underestimated the challenges Black faces when delaying the queenside development. 10. ... Qa5

11. Bd2 The most natural move, defending c3 and setting up attack against the black queen. 11. ... Rd8 This puts pressure on d4, but weakens f7, so White may then play Ne5 and attack it. 12. Ne5 ( 12. Qe2 Nf6 same idea with putting pressure on d4 13. Ne4 Qh5 14. Bc3 b6 15. Ng3 Qd5 16. Bc4 Qd6 17. Ne5 Nxd4?! 18. Bxd4 Qxd4 19. Nc6 +/- )

12. ... Nxe5 ( Also possible is 12. ... Nf6 as in the Korchnoi game that I had used to prepare this rare line. However once I was at the board I just somehow forgot everything I saw before the game. 13. Ne4 Qc7 ( 13. ... Qb6?! 14. Nxf6+ Bxf6 15. Bxh7+! ) 14. Rc1 Rxd4 15. Nxc6 bxc6 16. Bc3 Rd5 17. Nxf6+ Bxf6 18. Bxf6 gxf6 19. Qg4+ Rg5 20. Qh4 h5 21. f4 Qb6+ 22. Kh1 Rg7 23. Qxf6 +/- Bb7 24. Be4 c5 25. Rcd1 Bxe4 26. Rxe4 Rg6 += 27. Qc3 Rd8 28. Rd2 Rxd2 29. Qxd2 Qa6 = 1/2-1/2 Krogius,N-Kortschnoj,V/Tbilisi 1966 ) 13. Rxe5 Qb6 14. Nxd5 Rxd5

15. Bc3! White reinforces the isolated pawn, while Black still needs to somehow finish development. ( 15. Rxd5 exd5 16. Qh5 g6 17. Qxd5 Qxb2 was obviously not what White wants here. ) 15. ... g6 16. Be4

16. ... Rxe5 ( Best was probably 16. ... Rd6!? 17. Qf3 and White has great pressure, but Black's position remained rather solid. 17. ... Rb8 18. Rd1 ( 18. Re1 ) 18. ... Bd7 19. a3 Bc6 20. Bb4 ( 20. d5 Bd7 ( 20. ... exd5? 21. Rxe7 dxe4 22. Qxf7# ) 21. dxe6 Rxd1+ 22. Qxd1 Bxe6 23. Bd5 Bxd5 24. Rxe7 Bc6 ( 24. ... Be6 ) ) 20. ... Rd7 21. Bxe7 Rxe7 22. Bxc6 Qxc6 23. Qxc6 bxc6 24. b4 Rd7 = ) ( another try was 16. ... Bd6 17. Bxd5 ( 17. Rxd5? exd5 18. Bxd5 Bxh2+ 19. Kxh2 Qd6+ and Black is OK ) 17. ... Bxe5 18. dxe5 exd5 19. Qxd5 +/- was almost completely hopeless for Black ) 17. dxe5

This transformation is clearly to White's advantage because the e4 bishop is dominating his c8 counterpart. 17. ... Rb8 ( 17. ... Qc7 18. Rc1 Bd7 19. Bb4 Qd8 20. Bxe7 Qxe7 21. Bxb7! ( 21. Rc7? Rc8 22. Rxb7 ( 22. Qd6 Rxc7 23. Qxc7 Qb4 ! = ) 22. ... Qg5 23. h4 Qf4 24. g3 Qxe4 25. Rxd7 Rc2 with some chances ) 21. ... Ba4 22. Qxa4 Qxb7 +/- ) 18. Qa4 Bc5? Despite the obvious challenges in Black's position, only this move loses almost by force, as counter attack here is not appropriate and the bishop was needed on e7 to cover the crucial dark squares around the black king. ( 18. ... Kg7!? 19. Rd1 +/- ( 19. Qe8?! Qd8 ) ) ( Most resilient was 18. ... Qc7 19. Qxa7 ( 19. Qe8+ Kg7 20. Rd1 b6 and Black is very near equalizing. ) 19. ... Bc5 20. Qa5 b6 21. Qb5 Bd7 22. Qd3 +/- with an extra pawn for White. ) 19. Qe8+ Kg7 20. Rd1

With the black queenside undeveloped, the rook invasion to the 8th rank is impossible to defend against. 20. ... Bxf2+ 21. Kh1 Bh4 Covering d8, but the rook instead joins the attack the 'f' file. ( 21. ... Qe3 22. Bb4 Kh6 23. Qf8+ Kg5 24. Bf3 +- ) 22. Rf1 Qc7

23. Bb4 Black resigned as he is unable to defend the king with only two pieces playing against four of White's. The game illustrates the difficulty of developing the queenside pieces for Black in IQP positions; the transformation of the pawn structure in this game only highlighted the issue. 1-0

By taking dxe5, the white pawn also takes away the f6 square from the black knight, a key defending piece; retreating with the knight may allow White to unleash a deadly attack as the next game demonstrates: Jiganchine, Roman - Davies, Lucas BC Junior 2001 2001.11.11 , E11 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Nbd2 O-O 5. e3 c5 6. Bd3 d5 7. O-O cxd4 8. exd4 dxc4 9. Nxc4 Nc6 10. Nce5

10. ... Nxe5? Here the exchange on e5 is a decisive mistake as it allows White to launch a typical attack against h7. 11. dxe5 With the pawn advanced into 'c5'whites attacking chances against the black king increase dramatically. 11. ... Ng4 ( 11. ... Nd7 12. Bxh7+ Kxh7 13. Ng5+ Kg8 14. Qh5

was also rather devastating since the e5 pawn prevents the Nf6 move. ) 12. Bxh7+ Kxh7 13. Ng5+ Kg8 14. Qxg4

With an extra pawn and strong attack White win rather quickly. 14. ... Be7 15. Qh5 Bxg5 16. Bxg5 Qd4 17. Rae1 Qxb2 18. Re3

Instead of holding to his material, White goes for the attack against king as he effectively has an extra bishop in the attack and the black queenside pieces are still at home. 18. ... Qc2 19. Rh3 f6 20. exf6 gxf6 21. Qh8+ Kf7 22. Qxf6+ 1-0

The next game is an example of e5 pawn becoming more of a liability in White's position especially after transition to an ending. Lai, Peter - Jiganchine, Roman Langley Open 2012.09.03 , D27 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. a4 Nc6 8. Nc3 Be7 9. Qe2 cxd4 10. Rd1

10. ... O-O 11. exd4 Nd5 12. Bd3 Re8

13. Ne5 Nxe5 I barely considered anything other than this and Nxc3, but maybe it was an inaccuracy as the e5 pawn becomes strong. ( 13. ... g6!? 14. Bc4 Nxc3 15. bxc3 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Qc7 = )

14. dxe5

14. ... Qa5 15. Ne4 Bd7 16. Bg5 Bxg5 17. Nxg5 h6

18. Bh7+ Kf8! ( 18. ... Kh8? 19. Nxf7+! Kxh7 20. Qe4+ Kg8 21. Nxh6+! gxh6 22. Qg6+ Kf8 23. Qxh6+ Ke7 24. Qg5+ Kf7 25. Ra3 was along the lines of what made me reject Kh8; the e5 pawn cuts the board in two halves, and the extra pieces that Black has are unable to help him rescue the king. ) 19. Nf3?! ( 19. Ne4!? ) 19. ... Bc6 My position suddenly improved to the point where I can play for strategic advantages. 20. Be4 Rad8 21. Qe1?

During the game it felt like a concession for sure, and it surely was one. ( was expecting 21. Nd4!? Ne7 22. Nxc6 Nxc6 23. Bxc6 bxc6 with what I thought was roughly equal ) 21. ... Qxe1+ 22. Nxe1 Nb4 23. Bxc6 Nxc6 24. f4

White offered a draw here, but I felt like my pieces were better placed and White's pawns are weak. However a lot of accuracy is required to extract a full point out of this slight advantage. 24. ... Rd4?! I continued with the words "I'd like to play on". ( 24. ... g5! was the strongest. 25. g3 ( 25. fxg5 hxg5 26. Nf3 g4 27. Ng5 Rxd1+ 28. Rxd1 Nxe5 -/+ ) 25. ... gxf4 26. gxf4 Rd4 -/+ Now Black can play against both the central white weak pawns, as well as the a4-b2 pawns. 27. Rxd4 Nxd4 28. Kf2 Rc8 29. Ra3 Rc4 and here compared to the game the f4 pawn is weakened. ) 25. Rxd4 Nxd4 26. Kf2 Rc8 27. Ra3! ( 27. Rd1 Rc4 -/+ was my idea ) 27. ... Ke7 Black here has some play against the far advanced and weakened f4 and e5 pawns, in addition his rook is well placed on the c file. ( 27. ... g5 is no longer effective here because White is not obliged to defend the 'f' pawn. 28. Rc3! = ) 28. Rc3 White agrees to further compromise his pawns but at least trade off the active black rook.

( It was also possible to just wait with 28. Ke3!? Nc2+ ( 28. ... Rc4 29. Kd3 Rb4 30. Kc3 Nc6 31. Nd3 = ) 29. Nxc2 Rxc2 30. Rb3! = ) 28. ... Rxc3 It felt a bit disappointing to trade rooks, but I felt that this still kept some advantage. 29. bxc3 Nb3 30. Nd3 Kd7 31. Ke3 Kc6

32. Ke4?? ( 32. Nb2!? would not give me the opportunity to go into pawn endgame ) 32. ... g6?? with 3-4 minutes on the clock I was afraid of losing the advantage in the pawn endgame ( 32. ... Nc5+! 33. Nxc5 Kxc5 34. Kd3 a5 35. Kd2 b5 36. axb5 Kxb5 37. Kd3 Kc5 -+

) 33. Nb2

Suddenly I realized that I no longer have the option of going to a pawn endgame ... 33. ... Kc5 ( 33. ... b5! would still keep it very difficult for White to hold this. 34. axb5+ Kxb5! with a distant passed a pawn. ) 34. Kd3 Na5 35. g3 h5 36. h3

36. ... Nc6? ( 36. ... b5! was still the best way to take advantage of White's compromised pawn structure. 37. axb5 ( 37. g4 h4 ) 37. ... Kxb5 38. Nd1 Nb3 39. Ne3 a5 40. Nc2 a4 41. Na3+ Kc5 42. Nc2 Kb5 ( 42. ... Na5 43. Na3 ) 43. Na3+ Kc6 44. Nc2 ( 44. Kc4? Nc1 same idea - attack White's pawns with the knight 45. Kb4 Ne2 46. c4 Nxg3 47. Kxa4 Ne2 ) 44. ... h4 45. gxh4 Kc5 46. Na3 Na5 Zug 47. Nc2 Nc4 48. Nb4 a3 49. Kc2 Na5 ) 37. Nc4 = b5 38. axb5 axb5 39. Nd6 Nd8 40. Ne4+ Kd5 41. Ng5 Kc5 42. g4 hxg4 43. hxg4 Kd5 44. Ne4 1/2-1/2

Black exchanges on c5 The d4 pawn provides two outposts for the white knights - on e5 and c5. Since the knight can jump on e5 directly from f3, and occupying this square is more aligned with White's goals of a kingside attack, e5 is utilized more frequently than c5. Nonetheless, c5 is still a good outpost for one of White's knights, especially if he wants to create play on the queenside. Kramnik, Vladimir - Korobov, Anton FIDE World Cup 2013 2013.08.23 , D16 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 e6 6. e3 c5

By taking two moves to get the pawn to c5 Black achieves a QGA variation with his pawn still on a7 instead of a6 - an omission he can live with. However Kramnik modifies his strategy in this game to factor this nuance into his plans. 7. Bxc4 Nc6 8. O-O cxd4 9. exd4 Be7 10. Qe2 O-O ( Accepting the sacrificed pawn with 10. ... Nxd4 11. Nxd4 Qxd4 was too dangerous due to 12. Nb5 taking advantage of the black pawn not being on a6 - for the first but not the last time in this game. ) 11. Rd1 Nd5 12. Bd2 Ncb4 13. a5

Instead of a kingside attack White aims for long term pressure in the center and on the queenside. 13. ... Bd7 ( 13. ... b6 left White with a pleasant choice between 14. axb6 ( and 14. a6 ) 14. ... Nxb6 ( 14. ... Qxb6?? 15. Nxd5 Nxd5 16. Bxd5 exd5 17. Qxe7 ) 15. Bb3 += ) 14. Nxd5 Nxd5 15. Ne5 Be8 16. Qf3 f6 17. Nd3 Bf7 18. Qg4 Kh8

19. Nc5 White provoked some weakness in Black's position and now forces further transformation of the position. 19. ... Bxc5 The knight could not be tolerated on c5 for too long. 20. dxc5 Qc7 21. a6 bxa6 22. b4 Rfd8 23. Rxa6 +=

White has the advantage of two bishops and now it is Black who is left with an isolated pawn - which in this case he has little activity to compensate for. The 'e6' pawn is also an additional weakness Black would wish he did not have. 23. ... h5 24. Qf3 Rab8 25. Be1 Nxb4 26. Rxd8+ Qxd8 27. Rxa7 Kg8 28. c6

Another transformation took place and White still maintains an advantage now due to the strong passed c pawn. 28. ... Nd5 29. Rb7 Rc8 30. Bb5 Qd6 31. Qe4 Qc5 32. h3 g6 33. Bd2

33. ... Rxc6 The pressure is too hard to bear so Korobov gives up the exchange but that only delays the loss. 34. Bxc6 Qxc6 35. Qb1 g5 36. h4 gxh4 37. Bh6 Nc7 38. Ra7 Nb5 39. Qb4 Nd6 ( 39. ... Nxa7 40. Qf8+ Kh7 41. Qg7# ) 40. Qb8+ Ne8 41. Re7 e5 42. Kh2 h3 43. gxh3 Kh7 44. Be3 Kg8 45. Qb1 Qd6 46. Qg1+ Kf8 47. Ra7 Nc7

48. Qc1 White's strategy is to combine threats by alternating between the kingside and queenside. Black's pieces are too passive to compete against this approach. 48. ... Ne6 49. Qc8+ Kg7 50. Qe8 Nc7 51. Qb8 An instructive game that shows the importance of being flexible in one's approach, while

also taking note of the subtle differences between the current position and the more known main lines as illustrated by the advance of the 'a' pawn as one example. 1-0

Jiganchine, Roman - Zhadanov, Vasili B Petrosyan's memorial 1998 1998.01.07 , B01 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 Bf5 6. Bd3 e6 7. O-O Bxd3 8. Qxd3 c6 9. Ne5 Qc7 10. Re1 Bd6 11. h3 O-O 12. Bg5 Nbd7 13. Nxd7 Qxd7 14. Rad1 Be7 15. a3 Rfd8 16. Ne2 h6 17. Bh4 Nd5 18. Bxe7 Qxe7 19. Qf3 Rd7 20. Ng3 Rad8 21. Rd3 Nb6 22. c3 c5 23. Red1 Nc4 24. Qe2 cxd4 25. Rxd4 Rxd4 26. Rxd4 Rxd4 27. cxd4

Black gave White an isolated pawn and is somewhat better. He now had to decide how to build up the pressure against it. 27. ... b5 ( 27. ... Na5 28. Qe4 Nc6 29. Ne2 Qd6

also made sense, tying up the White pieces to the defense of the pawn. ) 28. Qc2 Qg5 29. a4 Qd5 30. Ne2 b4 31. Qb3 a5 32. Qc2 Nb6 33. b3 Qd6?

( 33. ... Nd7! =+ ) 34. Qc5

Forcing the exchange of queens, which would allow White to turn the isolated pawn into a passed one. 34. ... Qxc5 35. dxc5 Nd5 36. Nd4 += Ne7 37. Nb5 Kf8 38. Kf1 Nc6 39. Ke2 Ke7 40. Kd3 Kd7 41. Nd6 Ne5+ 42. Kd4 f6 43. f4 Ng6 44. g3 Kc6? ( 2010 44. ... Ne7!? 45. Nb7 ( 45. Nc4? Nf5+! 46. Kd3 Nxg3 ) 45. ... Nf5+ 46. Kc4 Nxg3 47. Nxa5 Ne2 48. Kxb4 Nxf4 +/- and both sides have 3 passed pawns, White's pawns are further advanced. ) 45. Nc4

It turns out that the a5 pawn is the biggest liability in this position and Black is unable to hold this. 45. ... e5+ 46. fxe5 fxe5+ 47. Ke4! ( 47. Nxe5+? Nxe5 48. Kxe5 Kxc5 49. Ke4 ( 49. g4 g5 50. Ke4 Kc6 51. Kf5 Kd5 52. Kg6 Kd4 53. Kxh6 Kc3 54. Kxg5 Kxb3 55. h4 Kxa4 56. h5 b3 57. h6 b2 58. h7 b1=Q 59. h8=Q = ) 49. ... Kc6 = ) 47. ... Kxc5 48. Nxa5 Kd6 49. Nc4+ Ke6 50. a5 Ne7 51. Nxe5 +- Nd5 52. a6 Nc3+ 53. Kd4 Nb5+ 54. Kc5 Nc7 55. Kb6 Nxa6 56. Kxa6 Kxe5 57. Kb5

The pawn endgame is winning for White. 57. ... h5 58. Kxb4 g5 59. Kc4 h4 60. gxh4 gxh4 61. b4 Kf4 62. b5 Kg3 63. b6 Kxh3 64. b7 Kg2 65. b8=Q h3 66. Qb2+ 1-0

Plans for the side with the Isolated Queen Pawn Of course the structural transformations don't happen in a vacuum, they are typically the result of both sides trying to implement their plans, so we'll first explore the ideas for White:

Pressure on d5 square Next comes a good example of White's play in Queen's Gambit Accepted with an isolated pawn. This is one of the games that made 7.Bb3 the most popular line against QGA. Kasparov, Garry - Spangenberg, Hugo Buenos Aires sim 1997.09.06 , B22 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 dxc4 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. Bb3 Nc6 8. Nc3 Be7 9. Qe2 O-O ( Black has better chances for equality in the following line: 9. ... cxd4 10. Rd1 e5 11. exd4 exd4 12. Nxd4 Nxd4 13. Qe5 Qd6 14. Qxd4 Qxd4 15. Rxd4 = ) 10. Rd1 cxd4

11. Nxd4! Typically it is not in the interest of the side with an IQP to exchange pieces, however in this particular position this makes sense because it makes easier for White to advance d4-d5. 11. ... Nxd4 ( 11. ... Qc7 12. Nxc6 Qxc6 13. e4 is also unpleasant for Black because White intends to finish development with Bg5 and Rac1 with possible threats of e5 and/or Nd5. ) 12. exd4 Nd5 ( 12. ... Qc7 13. Bg5 h6 14. Bh4 ) 13. Qf3 Nxc3 14. bxc3 Qc7

15. c4 After the transformation of the structure, central pawn advances are still looming over Black's position. 15. ... Bd6 ( 15. ... Bd7 16. Bf4 += ) 16. c5! Be7 ( 16. ... Bxh2+ 17. Kh1 would have likely cost Black his bishop. ) 17. Bf4 Qd7 18. Rac1 Qc6 19. d5!

19. ... exd5 20. Bxd5 Qg6 21. h3 Ra7 22. Qe3 Bf6 23. c6 bxc6 24. Be4 Bf5 25. Bxf5 Qxf5 26. g4

White will pick up the free rook on a7, so Black resigned. 1-0

Advancing d4-d5 The 7th world champion Vassily Smyslov was known as a positional player, but in the match against Zoltan Ribli in 1983 he showed his skills as an attacking player as well: Smyslov, Vassily - Ribli, Zoltan Candidates sf2 1983 , D42 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 d5 4. Nc3 c5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e3 Nc6 7. Bd3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. a3 cxd4 10. exd4 Bf6 Putting pressure on the d4 pawn. 11. Qc2

White is creating pressure on the kingside and prompting Black to create weaknesses around his king. 11. ... h6 ( Another option is 11. ... g6 12. Bh6 Re8 ) 12. Rd1 Qb6 13. Bc4

13. ... Rd8 ( Taking the pawn lead to complications that were in White's favour: 13. ... Nxd4 14. Nxd4 Bxd4 15. Na4 Qc7 16. Rxd4 b5 17. Bxh6 gxh6 18. Rg4+ Kh8 19. Qd2 +- ) 14. Ne2 Bd7 Black finished development of his minor pieces and is ready to begin play along 'c' and 'd' files. 15. Qe4 Nce7 16. Bd3

In typical fashion White finished regrouping his queen and bishop and threatens a direct attack. 16. ... Ba4? Black underestimated the dangers of allowing White to invade on h7, which he had more than one way to prevent. ( There was still time for Black to defend with 16. ... Ng6 17. h4 Bb5 18. Bc2 Rac8 19. h5

Nf8 =+ ) 17. Qh7+ Kf8 18. Re1 Bb5 19. Bxb5 Qxb5 Black succeeds at exchanging light squared bishops, but here this is no longer solving all problems because the white queen already invaded on h7. 20. Ng3 Ng6 21. Ne5 Nde7 ( Capturing on e5 gave White too many attacking possibilities: 21. ... Nxe5 22. dxe5 Bg5 ( 22. ... Be7 23. Bxh6 gxh6 24. Qh8# ) 23. Bxg5 hxg5 24. Qh8+ Ke7 25. Qxg7 Rg8 26. Qh6 Qxb2 27. Nf5+ exf5 28. Qd6+ +- ) 22. Bxh6

This idea appears in many variations in this game and illustrates the drawbacks of having the pawn on h6 in these structures. 22. ... Nxe5 ( 22. ... gxh6 23. Qxf7# ) 23. Nh5 Nf3+ ( 23. ... gxh6 24. Qxh6+ Ke8 25. Nxf6# ) 24. gxf3 Nf5 25. Nxf6 Nxh6

26. d5!! A thematic but still unexpected breakthrough adds decisive force to Smyslov's attack. ( Black must have hoped for 26. Qh8+ Ke7 27. Qxg7 Rg8 28. Nxg8+ Rxg8 -+ ) 26. ... Qxb2 ( 26. ... exd5 27. Qh8+ Ng8 28. Nh7# ) 27. Qh8+ Ke7 28. Rxe6+!!

28. ... fxe6 29. Qxg7+ Nf7 30. d6+!! Freeing up the d5 square for the decisive check that wins the queen and the game. 30. ... Rxd6 31. Nd5+ Rxd5 32. Qxb2

White has a decisive material advantage and converted the game into a full point. 32. ... b6 33. Qb4+ Kf6 34. Re1 Rh8 35. h4 Rhd8 36. Re4 Nd6 37. Qc3+ e5 38. Rxe5 Rxe5 39. f4 Nf7 40. fxe5+ Ke6 41. Qc4+ One of the classic games in IQP structures, this also illustrates the dangers of weakening the b1-h7 diagonal. 1-0

The following games by Smyslov and Kasparov illustrates what happens if Black does not exchange on d5 after the breakthrough: Smyslov, Vassily - Karpov, Anatoly URS-ch39 1971 , D42 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 e6 6. d4 cxd4 7. exd4 Be7 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O Nc6 10. Re1 Nf6 ( 10. ... Bf6!? ) ( 10. ... Nxc3 ) 11. a3 b6 12. Bc2 Bb7 13. Qd3 White has setup a typical batter against h7 and is ready to create threats against the black king. 13. ... Rc8 ( 13. ... g6 ) 14. Bg5 ( Black allowed and White overlooked a typical method for amplifying the attack. 14. d5! exd5 ( 14. ... Na5 15. Bg5 g6 16. d6 +- ! ) 15. Bg5 g6 16. Rxe7! revealing the reason for opening up the e file. 16. ... Qxe7 17. Nxd5 Nxd5 18. Bxe7 +/- ) 14. ... g6 15. Rad1 Nd5 Now Black sets up the blockade on d5 but the pressure, of course, continues. 16. Bh6 Re8 17. Ba4 a6 18. Nxd5 Qxd5 ( 18. ... exd5 ) 19. Qe3 Bf6 ( 19. ... Qh5? 20. d5! ) ( 19. ... Red8! was a better way to deal with the idea that White executed in the game. ) 20. Bb3 Qh5

21. d5 Taking advantage of the pin along the e file. 21. ... Nd8 ( 21. ... exd5? 22. Qxe8+ Rxe8 23. Rxe8# ) 22. d6 Rc5 23. d7

The far advanced passed pawn on d7 is disrupting the coordination of the black pieces. 23. ... Re7 24. Qf4 Bg7 25. Qb8 Qxh6 26. Qxd8+ Bf8 27. Re3 ( 27. Qxf8+ +- ) 27. ... Bc6 28. Qxf8+ Qxf8 29. d8=Q 1-0

Kasparov, Garry - Short, Nigel Brussels 1986 , D55 1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Bxf6 7. e3 O-O 8. Rc1 c6 9. Bd3 Nd7 10. O-O dxc4 11. Bxc4 e5 12. h3 exd4 13. exd4 Nb6 14. Bb3 Bf5 15. Re1 Bg5 16. Ra1 Nd7

17. d5! Rc8 ( 17. ... cxd5 18. Qxd5 would cost Black at least a pawn. ) 18. Nd4 Bg6

White to move

Solution: 19. Ne6! fxe6 20. dxe6 Kh7 ( 20. ... Nf6 21. e7+ +- ) 21. Qxd7 Qb6 22. e7 +-

The isolated pawn has made a great career and White has both a material and positional advantage. 22. ... Rfe8 23. Qg4 Qc5 24. Ne4 Qxe7 25. Bc2 Rf8 26. g3 Qd8 27. Rad1 Qa5 28. h4 Be7 29. Nc3 Bxc2 30. Rxe7 Rg8 31. Rdd7 Bf5 32. Rxg7+ Kh8 33. Qd4 1-0

While being a middlegame idea, if played at an early stage - d4-d5 break is often part of well known theoretical lines, some of which had been known for more than half a century: Botvinnik, Mikhail - Petrosian, Tigran V World Championship 25th 1963.04.15 , D27 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. a4 Nc6 8. Qe2 cxd4 9. Rd1 Be7 10. exd4 O-O 11. Nc3 Nb4 12. Bg5 Bd7

White to move

Solution: 13. d5! White wins a pawn almost by force here and retains some advantage. 13. ... exd5 14. Nxd5 Nbxd5 15. Bxd5 Nxd5 16. Rxd5 Bxg5 17. Nxg5

17. ... h6 ( 17. ... Qc7 18. Qd3! +- ) 18. Qd2 hxg5 19. Rxd7 Qf6 20. Rxb7 += Rad8 21. Qa5 Rd6 22. Qb4 Rfd8 23. Rf1 Rd4 24. Qb3 Rd3 25. Qc2 Rd2 26. Qc7 Qf4 27. Qxf4 gxf4 28. h4 Rc8 29. Rb4 f3 30. gxf3 Rcc2 31. b3 Rb2 32. Kg2 Rd3 33. Rb8+ Kh7 34. Rb7 f6 35. Re1 Rdxb3 36. Rxb3 Rxb3 37. Re6 Rb4 38. Rxa6 Rxh4 39. Kg3 g5 40. Kg2 Kg6 41. Ra8 Rf4 42. a5 Ra4 43. a6 Kf5 1/2-1/2

Kramnik, Vladimir - Anand, Viswanathan 1999 , D27 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 e6 4. e3 Nf6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. Bb3 cxd4 8. exd4 Nc6 9. Nc3 Be7

10. Re1 White occupies the open file, which could have a benefit of extra pressure on the bishop on e7. In subsequent games Kramnik switched to 10. Bg5. 10. ... O-O 11. a3 Na5 12. Bc2 b5

White to move

Solution: 13. d5! White's best chance to get an attack; he must play it quickly, before Black has a chance to defend the diagonal with Bb7. 13. ... Re8 Black defends the bishop in preparation of the opening of the 'e' file. ( 13. ... exd5 14. Bg5 Contains the deadly threat of Qd3, with ideas of Bxf6 or Rxe7 and Nd5. ) 14. Bg5 h6 15. Bh4 Nxd5 16. Nxd5 exd5 17. Qd3 g6

18. Qe3! Be6 19. Qxh6 Bxh4

20. Bxg6! Qf6! 21. Bh7+ Kh8 22. Bg6+ Kg8 23. Qh7+ Kf8 24. Nxh4

The bishop on g6 is immune, and White threatens to continue the attack. 24. ... Qg7 25. Qxg7+ Kxg7 26. Bd3 +=

White has an extra pawn in the endgame, and he eventually prevailed. 26. ... Nc4 27. b4 Nb2 28. Bf1 d4 29. Nf3 Rad8 30. Reb1 Nc4 31. Rd1 Bg4 32. Rd3 Nb2 33. Rxd4 Bxf3 34. Rxd8 Rxd8 35. gxf3 Rc8 36. Ra2 Na4 37. Rd2 Rc6 38. f4 Nb6 39. Kg2 Nc4 40. Rd3 Nb2 41. Rg3+ Kh8 42. Be2 Rc2 43. Bh5 Rc7 44. f5 Kh7 45. Be2 Kh6 46. h4 Rc2 47. Bf3 Nc4 48. Bd5 Nd6 49. Rd3 Kg7 50. Bf3 Nxf5 51. Bb7 Nxh4+ 52. Kg1 Re2 53. Bxa6 Re5 54. Rc3 Nf5 55. Rc5 Rxc5 56. bxc5 Nd4 57. c6 Nxc6 58. Bxb5 Na5 59. Kg2 Kf6 60. Kf3 Ke5 61. Ke3 Nb7 62. Bc4 f6 63. a4 Na5 64. Bf7 Nc6 65. Kd3 Kd6 66. Ke4 Ne7 67. a5 Kc5 68. a6 Nc8 69. Bh5 Kd6 70. Bf3 1-0

As we will see the following game has similar ideas (transferring queen to the kingside, and responding to h7-h5 with g2-g4) to what I played in the game against James Chan. Kramnik, Vladimir - Anand, Viswanathan 2001 , D27 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 e6 4. e3 Nf6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. Bb3 cxd4 8. exd4 Nc6 9. Nc3 Be7

10. Bg5 This is a more forceful approach compared to Re1 that Kramnik played in the earlier game against Anand in 1999. 10. ... O-O 11. Qd2 Na5 12. Bc2 b5 13. Qf4 Threatening Bxf6, and Qe4, with double attack against a8 and h7. 13. ... Ra7 ( 13. ... Bb7 14. Qh4 g6 15. d5 Bxd5 16. Ne4 Bxe4 17. Bxe4 also allows White to develop some serious initiative: 17. ... Rc8? 18. Rad1 +- ) 14. Rad1 Bb7

White to move

Solution: 15. d5! With the white rook already on d1, this breakthrough is particularly dangerous. 15. ... Bxd5 ( 15. ... Nxd5? 16. Bxh7+! Kxh7 17. Rxd5! Bxd5 18. Qh4+ Kg8 19. Bxe7 Qxe7 20. Ng5 +forces Black to give up his queen to avoid getting mated. ) 16. Nxd5 exd5 17. Qh4

17. ... h5 ( 17. ... h6? 18. Bxh6 gxh6 19. Qxh6 gives White a crushing attack, as he threatens Ng5, as well as Rd1-d4-g4. ) 18. Rfe1

Bringing the last piece into the game is essential for developing the initiative. In an open position, the pawn does not count for much yet. 18. ... Nc6 19. g4! White is regaining the pawn, and continues to attack using the g pawn. 19. ... Qd6 20. gxh5 Qb4

21. h6! Another pawn move that breaks down Black's pawn structure on the kingside and creates more outposts for the white pieces. 21. ... Qxh4 22. Nxh4 Ne4 23. hxg7! Rc8 ( 23. ... Kxg7? 24. Nf5+ +- ) 24. Bxe7 Nxe7 25. Bxe4 dxe4 26. Rxe4 Kxg7 27. Rd6

White is up a pawn and has a dominating position, winning the game from here rather easily.

27. ... Rc5 28. Rg4+ Kh7 29. Nf3 Ng6 30. Ng5+ Kg7 31. Nxf7 Rxf7 32. Rdxg6+ Kh7 33. R6g5 Rxg5 34. Rxg5 Rc7 35. a3 b4 36. axb4 Rc1+ 37. Kg2 Rb1 38. Ra5 Rxb2 39. Ra4 1-0

Kramnik, Vladimir - Anand, Viswanathan 2002 , D27 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 e6 3. c4 dxc4 4. e3 c5 5. Bxc4 Nf6 6. O-O a6 7. Bb3 cxd4 8. exd4 Nc6 9. Nc3 Be7 10. Bg5 O-O 11. Qd2 Na5 12. Bc2 b5 13. Rad1 Nc4 14. Qf4 Ra7 15. Ne5 Rc7 16. Nxc4 bxc4 17. Bxf6 Bxf6

18. d5 As usual in these lines, the opening of the 'd' file is very dangerous for Black's position. 18. ... e5 Black tries to keep the center closed, but now White keeps a powerful passed pawn. 19. Qf3 Rb7 20. Qe4 g6 21. Qxc4 Rxb2 22. Bb3 Bg5 23. d6 Be6 24. Qa4 Bxb3 25. axb3 Qb6 26. Qg4 Bf4 27. Nd5

27. ... Qd8 28. Nxf4 exf4 29. d7 Rxb3 30. Qxf4

The powerful pawn on d7 ties up Black completely, and the game soon ended in White's favour. 30. ... Rb8 31. Rfe1 Qb6 32. h4 h5 33. Rd6 Qc5 34. Qf6 Qf5 35. Qxf5 gxf5 36. Rxa6 Rfd8 37. Rd6 10

While d4-d5 is most commonly effective in the middlegame, it can be also be used in simplified positions, as long as it allows the attacker to unleash the energy behind their more active pieces. The following example has some similar ideas to my game against Hardy as the goal behind the breakthrough is to invade on the 7th rank with rooks in the endgame. Jiganchine, Roman - Stanford, Mike BC Junior 1998.10.24 , C54 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 d6 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4 Bb4+ N 7. Bd2 Bxd2+ 8. Nbxd2 Nf6 9. OO O-O 10. Re1 Bg4 11. Qc2 d5 12. exd5 Nxd5 13. Qe4 Nf6 14. Qf4 Nb4 15. Rac1 c6 16. Ne5 Bh5 17. Ne4 Nbd5 18. Nxf6+ Qxf6

19. Qe4 ( Both players overlooked an unexpected opportunity for White to gain an advantage through exchanging queens: 19. Qxf6! gxf6 ( 19. ... Nxf6 20. h3 Bg6 21. g4 followed by f2f4, apparently would have created serious problems for Black. 21. ... Nd5 ( 21. ... Rad8 22. f4 Nd5 23. f5 f6 24. Nxg6 hxg6 25. fxg6 +/- ) 22. Bxd5 cxd5 23. Rc7 Rfe8 24. Rec1 b5 25. Rb7 a6 26. h4 Rac8 27. Rxc8 Rxc8 28. h5 Be4 29. Rxf7 Rc1+ 30. Kh2 Rc2 31. Kg3 Rxb2 32. Ra7 Kf8 ( 32. ... Rxa2 33. Ra8# ) 33. Rxa6 +- ) 20. Bxd5! fxe5 21. Rxe5 cxd5 22. Rxh5 Rac8 ) 19. ... Rad8 20. Bd3 Bg6 21. Nxg6 fxg6!? 22. f3?! This allowed Black to win a pawn almost by force, although there was no way to save the 'd' pawn. ( 22. Re2 Nf4 -/+ 23. Bc4+ Kh8 24. Rd2? Nh3+ 25. gxh3 Qg5+ 26. Kh1 Qxd2 -+ ) 22. ... Kh8? ( 22. ... Rde8! 23. Qg4 Ne3 24. Qg3 Qxd4 -+ ) 23. Rcd1 = Qg5

( 23. ... Rde8? does not work anymore 24. Qxe8 Qxd4+ 25. Kh1 +- ) 24. Qe5 Qf6 25. Bc4 Qd6 26. Bxd5 Qxd5 27. Qxd5 Rxd5 28. Re7 Rb5 29. b3 Kg8

30. d5!? White sacrifices the pawn in return for either exchange of rooks, or doubling his own rooks along the 7th rank. 30. ... cxd5 ( 30. ... Rxd5 31. Rxd5 cxd5 32. Rxb7 a6 ( 32. ... d4 33. Rxa7 Rd8 34. Kf2 d3 35. Ke1 Re8+ 36. Kd2 Re2+ 37. Kxd3 Rxg2 38. b4 +/- ) 33. Rb6 a5 34. Ra6 d4 35. Kf1 Rc8 36. Rxa5 Rc1+ 37. Kf2 Rc2+ 38. Kg3 d3 39. Rd5 Rxa2 40. Rxd3 +/- ) ( 30. ... Rf7? 31. Rxf7 Kxf7 32. dxc6 bxc6 33. Rd7+ Ke6 34. Rxa7 +/- ) ( 30. ... Rd8 31. d6 += ) 31. Rc1 The 'd' pawn was sacrificed in order for White to obtain the second open file for his rooks. 31. ... Kh8 ( White's idea was that 31. ... Rf7 does not help because of an intermediate check: 32. Rc8+! Rf8 33. Rcc7 +- ) 32. Rcc7 Rg8 Black defended g7, but this rendered his king and rook too passive. With Black playing without a clear defensive strategy, White wins rather easily from here. 33. Rxb7 Rc5

( 33. ... a6!? 34. Rxb5 axb5 35. Rd7 Ra8 36. Rxd5 Kg8 37. Rxb5 Rxa2 38. b4 Rb2 with some chances to make a draw - with similar positions to the analysis on move 30. ) 34. Rxa7 Rc1+ 35. Kf2 d4 36. Rad7 Rc2+ 37. Re2

Black must have overlooked this defense. 37. ... Rc5 ( 37. ... Rgc8 38. Rxd4 +- ) 38. Rxd4 +- h6 39. Red2 Kh7 40. Kg3 Ra5 41. a4 Rb8 42. R2d3 Ra7 43. Re4 Rab7 44. Ree3 Rb4 45. Kf2 g5 46. Ke2 g4 47. fxg4 Rxg4 48. g3 h5 49. h3 Rgb4 50. Kd2 h4 51. Kc2 hxg3 52. Rxg3 Rf4 53. Rdf3 Re4 54. Rf7 Re2+ 55. Kc3 Rc8+ 56. Kd3 Rb2 57. Rfxg7+ Kh8 58. Rb7 Rc7 59. Rxc7 To summarize the game, from the creative point of view - it was very pleasing to come up with a d4-d5 breakthrough idea in the endgame, rather than in the middlegame. The idea of exchanging queens on f6 on move 19 in order to play against the g6 bishop escaped the attention of both players and was not found until many years later while reviewing the game with an engine. Both ideas are rather atypical for IQP positions, but this only illustrates that one must be flexible in positions with any structure, no matter how well studied and 'standard'. 1-0

The following game presents a thematic pawn breakthrough in the Panov attack that both my opponent and myself had missed. White could have opened up the game to utilize his better development. Jiganchine, Roman - Baunok, Zoltan 25th Paul Keres Memorial 2000.05.19 , B13 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. d4 cxd5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 Qa5 7. a3

7. ... Ne4 8. Bd2 Nxd2 9. Qxd2 e6 10. Nf3 Be7

11. Be2 O-O 12. O-O dxc4 13. Bxc4 Bf6

14. Rfd1 Rd8 15. Qe3 a6?! This is a bit too optimistic and reckless in the sense that Black will never have time to follow up with an expanded fianchetto and develop the bishop to b7. ( Instead Black had an option of 15. ... Qb6 which I had expected during the game, and was forcing a draw by repetition. 16. Na4 ( But 16. d5!? is an interesting typical idea, which never occurred to me during the game 16. ... Qxe3 ( 16. ... exd5 17. Nxd5 Qxe3 18. Nxf6+ gxf6 19. fxe3 += ) ( 16. ... Qxb2? 17. dxc6! Rxd1+ 18. Rxd1 +- ) 17. fxe3 Ne5 = with a draw still being a likely result ) 16. ... Qa5 17. Nc3 Qb6 = ) 16. Ne4 This seems aggressive and attacks the bishop, but allows Black to regroup the pieces to better squares. ( A good way to take advantage of Black's lack of development was 16. d5!?

punishing Black for the delaying getting his queenside pieces out. A move like this should always be considered in such positions, but here the specific motive rather than a kingside attack is the weakness of Black's back rank, which gets exposed if the d8 rook is exchanged. 16. ... exd5 17. Rxd5! Qc7 ( 17.

... b5 18. Qe4! bxc4?? 19. Rxa5 ) ( 17. ... Rxd5?? 18. Qe8# ) 18. Ne4 Bxb2 19. Rb1 Rxd5 20. Bxd5 # Suddenly the bishop is running out of squares on the long diagonal. In return for the pawn - White has a very long lasting initiative, where Black has to defend with 'only moves'.

20. ... Bf6 21. Nfg5 Nd8 22. Nxf6+ gxf6 23. Ne4 Kg7 24. Ng3 Qe5 25. Be4 Ne6 26. Nf5+ Kg8 27. Rd1 Nf8 28. f4 Qc7 29. Ne7+! Kh8 30. Nd5 Qd6 31. Qd4 Rb8! ( 31. ... Kg7 32. Nb6 +- ) 32. Qxf6+ Qxf6 33. Nxf6 Kg7 34. Nh5+ Kh6 35. Ng3 +/- ) 16. ... Qf5 17. Rac1 ( 17. Bd3!? Bxd4 ( 17. ... Nxd4 18. Nxf6+ ( 18. Neg5 Nxf3+ ) 18. ... Qxf6 19. Bxh7+ Kxh7 20. Rxd4 += ) ( 17. ... Ne7? 18. Neg5 Bxg5 ( 18. ... Qg4 19. Bxh7+ Kf8 20. Be4 +/- ) 19. Nxg5 ) 18. Nxd4 Nxd4 19. Ng5 Qf6 20. Bxh7+ += ) 17. ... Ne7

18. Bd3 ( 18. Ne5!? Bxe5 19. dxe5 and again Black is suffering from weakened back rank; this is somewhat resemblant of my game against Glinert from 2002. )

18. ... Nd5 19. Nxf6+ Qxf6 20. Qe4 g6 21. Ne5 Bd7 22. Bc4

22. ... Be8?! This looks a bit too passive and misses the point of the position. ( 22. ... Bc6!? Made more sense, with Black activating his bishop and encouraging further exchanges. 23. Nxc6 bxc6

24. g3 = In this typical position the c6 pawn is no weaker than the d4 one. ) 23. Bb3 ( 23. Rd3 Rac8 24. Rf3 Qg7 and the pin along the "c" file is unpleasant for White, while f7 is well protected by Black. ) ( 23. Bxd5!? with the idea of exploiting the 'c' file would be a typical idea in this position, but Black should be able to hold balance with accurate play. 23. ... Rxd5 24. Rc7 Rad8! The bishop on e8 looks passive, but it is much better than it would have been on c8. The fact that the Black rooks are connected allows him to generate enough counterplay. 25. Ng4 ( 25. Rxb7? Rxe5! -+ ) 25. ... Qg7 26. Rxb7 Rxd4 27. Rxd4 Rxd4 28. Qe2 h5 = )

23. ... Rd6 ( 23. ... Rac8? trying to simplify the position 24. Rxc8 Rxc8 25. Bxd5 exd5 26. Qxd5 Rc2 27. Ng4 Qf4 28. h3 h5 29. g3! and the counterplay fails ) ( 23. ... Qf4?? 24. Bxd5 +- ) 24. Rd3 Qf4! I missed completely that now the rook is under attack. Here White risks even ending up with a worse position, as the exchange of queens rarely favours the side with an isolated pawn. 25. Re1 ( 25. Qxf4? Nxf4 26. Rd2 Rxd4 27. Rxd4 Ne2+ 28. Kf1 Nxd4 -/+ ) ( 25. Qe1!? was probably still best as recommended by my mentor at the time. ) 25. ... Qxe4 26. Rxe4 Rad8 27. g3 Nf6 28. Rf4

28. ... Kg7?! ( 28. ... Nh5! 29. Re4 =+ ) 29. Nxf7?! ( Yet a better version of this idea was 29. Rdf3! Nd5!? ( 29. ... Nh5 is worse as white is also given an option of 30. Rxf7+ Bxf7 31. Rxf7+! ( 31. Nxf7 Rf8 ) 31. ... Kg8 32. Rxb7 Re8 ( 32. ... Rxd4? 33. Bxe6+ Kf8 34. Rxh7 +- ) 33. Ra7 Nf6 += ) 30. Bxd5 ( 30. Nxf7 Nxf4 31. Nxd6 Ne2+ 32. Kf1 Rxd6 33. Kxe2 Rxd4 34. Bxe6 ) 30. ... Rxd5 31. Nxf7 R8d7 32. Ne5 ) 29. ... Bxf7 30. Rdf3 Rxd4 31. Rxf6

31. ... R8d7? This allows White to comfortably win a pawn. ( Better was 31. ... Bg8! I saw this move during the game and thought that i was going to be worse, which is in fact true. 32. Bxe6?! ( 32. R6f4 = ) 32. ... R8d6 -/+ ) 32. Bxe6 Bxe6 33. Rxe6 Rd1+ 34. Kg2 R1d2 35. Rb6 Kh6 36. Rfb3 Rf7 37. Rf3

37. ... Rc7 ( 37. ... Rxf3 38. Kxf3 Rd7 +/- is very favourable for White ) 38. Rf4 Kg5 39. h4+ Kh6 40. Rf3 Kg7

41. Rfb3 White goes for the rook vs rook endgame, which he wins, but Black seems to have had chances for a draw after the exchange of rooks. Another plan could involve advancing the pawns on both sides. ( 41. b4 Re7 ( 41. ... Kh6 42. a4 Rb2 43. Rf4 ( 43. a5 Rc4 44. Rf4 Rxf4 45. gxf4 Kh5 46. Kg3 h6 47. Rxb7 ~ ) 43. ... Rb3 44. g4 +/- ) 42. a4 Ra2 43. a5 Rd2 44. g4 Rd4 45. Kg3 Red7 46. Rf4 Rxf4 47. Kxf4 Rd4+ 48. Kg3 Rd7 49. g5 h5 50. f4 Rd3+ 51. Kf2 Rd2+ 52. Ke3 Rd7 53. f5 gxf5 54. Kf4 Rd4+ 55. Kxf5 Rxh4 56. Rxb7+ +- ) ( 41. g4!? again was my mentor's recommendation. ) 41. ... Rf7 42. Rxb7 Rxf2+ 43. Kg1 Rf1+ 44. Kg2 Rf2+ 45. Kh3 h5 46. Rxf7+ Kxf7

47. g4 Without an active king it is impossible to play for a win.

47. ... hxg4+ 48. Kxg4 Rg2+ 49. Kf4 Rh2 50. Kg3 Rd2 51. Rb6 a5 52. Rb5

52. ... a4 53. Rb4 Kf6? 54. Kf4 Rf2+ 55. Ke3 Rh2 56. Kd3 Kg7 57. Kc3

57. ... Rh3+ ( 57. ... Kh6 58. Rxa4 Kh5 59. Rd4 Rxh4 60. Rxh4+ Kxh4 61. a4 g5 62. a5 g4 63. a6 g3 64. a7 g2 65. a8=Q g1=Q 66. Qh8+ +- ) 58. Kc2 Rh2+ 59. Kb1 Kh6 60. Rxa4 Kh5 61. Ka2!

Now everything becomes clear and White is winning. 61. ... Rxh4 62. Rxh4+ Kxh4 63. a4 g5 64. a5 g4 65. a6 g3 66. a7 g2 67. a8=Q g1=Q 68. Qh8+ Kg3 69. Qg8+ Kf2 70. Qxg1+ Kxg1 71. b4 +A complicated game with instructive opening, middlegame and endgame. 1-0

Advancing f4-f5 Botvinnik, Mikhail - Tolush, Alexander V Moscow-Leningrad m 1965 , E42 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. d4 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. Ne2 d5 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. Nxc3 cxd4 8. exd4 dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nc6 10. Be3 O-O 11. O-O b6 12. Qd3 Bb7 13. Rad1 Ne7 14. Bg5 Ng6 15. f4 h6

White to move

Solution: 16. f5! In this typical IQP position, White plays for pressure along the f file. 16. ... exf5 17. Bxf6 Qxf6 18. Rxf5 Nf4 ( 18. ... Qc6 19. Bd5 Qd7 was more resilient. ) 19. Rxf6 Nxd3

20. Rxf7! Botvinnik continues to play for the strength of the c4 bishop. 20. ... Nxb2 ( 20. ... Rxf7 21. Rxd3 += )

21. Rxf8+ Kxf8 22. Rf1+ Ke8 23. Be6 Rd8 24. d5 +=

White's initiative persisted into the endgame, which he managed to win. 24. ... Bc8 25. Rf7 Bxe6 26. dxe6 Rd6 27. Rxg7 Rxe6 28. Rxa7 Nd3 29. h3 Nf4 30. Ra4 Ne2+ 31. Nxe2 Rxe2 32. Ra7 Kf8 33. Rb7 Re6 34. Kf2 Rf6+ 35. Kg3 Rg6+ 36. Kf3 Kg8 37. g3 Rc6 38. Kg4 Kh8 39. Kf5 Rc5+ 40. Kg6 Rc6+ 41. Kh5 Kg8 1-0

Pressure along the 'c' file If Black has a 'c' pawn instead of the 'e' pawn, White sometimes has a plan of advancing the Isolani to d5 and applying direct pressure against the backward 'c7' pawn, as the following game vividly illustrates: Fullbrook, Nigel - Jiganchine, Roman West Coast Open 2000.02.20 , C44 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. c3 d5 5. exd5 Qxd5 6. Be3

( The main line is 6. cxd4 Where I had played two more games against Nigel: 6. ... Bg4 7. Be2 Bb4+ 8. Nc3 Bxf3 9. Bxf3 Qc4 10. Bxc6+ ( 10. d5? White overestimated his chances and got seriously behind in development in the following encounter, several months after the main game: 10. ... Nd4 11. Bd2 OO-O 12. Rc1 Re8+ 13. Ne4 Nxf3+ 14. gxf3

14. ... Rxe4+ 0-1 (14) Fullbrook,N-Jiganchine,R. Keres Memorial 2000 ) 10. ... bxc6 11. Qe2+ Qxe2+

12. Kxe2 Ne7 13. Be3 O-O-O 14. a3 Ba5 15. Rhd1 Rhe8 16. Kf3 Nd5 17. Nxd5 1/2-1/2 FullbrookJiganchine,R/Fraser Valley Championship 2004 ) 6. ... Nf6 ( Later I deviated with 6. ... d3 7. Qxd3 Nf6 8. Nbd2 Bf5 9. Qxd5 Nxd5 10. Bb5 Bd7 11. O-OO Nxe3 12. Rhe1 O-O-O 13. fxe3 f6 14. Nd4 Ne5 15. Bxd7+ Rxd7 16. N2f3 Nxf3 17. Nxf3 Rxd1+ 18. Rxd1 Bc5 19. Nd4 1/ 2-1/2 Fullbrook, N-Jiganchine,R/Marathon 2000 ) 7. cxd4!? Taking on the isolated pawn here makes sense as this helps to free up the c3 square for the knight. ( 7. Nxd4 leads to easy play for Black. ) 7. ... Bb4+ 8. Nc3 Bg4 9. Be2 Bxf3 10. Bxf3 Qc4 11. Qe2 Qxe2+ 12. Kxe2 O-O-O

13. Rhd1 Despite having an isolated pawn, the endgame is promising for White because his two bishops are very active. Black needs to organize pressure on the white center as quickly as possible before White has a chance to fully consolidate. 13. ... Rhe8 ( 13. ... Bxc3 14. bxc3 Nd5 15. Bd2 Na5 16. Kd3 b5 17. a4 Nb3 18. Ra3 Nxd2 19. Rxd2 b4 20. cxb4 Nxb4+ 21. Kc4 a5 22. Kb5 +/- ) 14. Kf1 Ne7?! Black is attempting to control the d5, but he fails to establish a firm blockade on that square. ( 14. ... h6 made sense to prevent the pin that happened in the game. )

( Another idea was to setup the blockade along the light squares: 14. ... Bxc3 15. bxc3 Nd5 16. Bd2 Na5 17. Be2 Nb6!? 18. Re1 Nac4 19. Bf4 += ) 15. Bg5 Kb8 16. Rac1 a6 17. a3 Ba5 ( 17. ... Bxc3 was running into problems after 18. bxc3 Ned5 19. c4 +/- ) 18. b4 Bb6

19. d5! This is a typical example of advancing the isolated pawn to the 5th rank with the idea of pressuring the black pawn that remained on c7. 19. ... Nd7 20. Na4

( 20. d6 cxd6 21. Ne4 f6 22. Bf4 Ne5 23. Nxd6 +/- also allowed White to open up the position to his advantage. ) 20. ... Ba7?

White made good progress in pushing the Black pieces back, but this blunder overlooks an elegant shot based on the pressure along the 'c' file. ( Black still had a chance to defend if he immediately went after the dark squared bishop. 20. ... f6! 21. Bf4 g5!? and now White's best chance is ( 21. ... Ne5?! 22. d6! ( Black was still ok after 22. Bxe5 fxe5 23. d6 Nf5 24. Nxb6 cxb6 25. d7 Re7 26. Bg4 g6 = ) 22. ... N7g6 23. Bxe5 Nxe5 24. Nxb6 cxb6 25. Be4 g6 26. Rc7 Rd7 27. f4 +- ) 22. d6!? ( 22. Bg3 Nf5 = ) 22. ... gxf4 23. dxe7 Rxe7 24. Bg4 +/- ) 21. Rxc7! Kxc7 22. d6+ It is symbolic that the decisive blow is made by the 'd' pawn forking the black piece and king. An instructive win that shows that if an isolated pawn is not firmly blockaded, it can provide enough play even in the endgame, especially if supported by more active pieces and the advantage of two bishops. 1-0

Ideas for the Side Playing against an Isolated Pawn

Directly Attacking the Isolated Pawn in the Middlegame Svidler, P. - Samhouri, B. 41st Olympiad Open 2014 2014.08.02 , B40 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. g3 Bb4 7. Bg2 d5 8. exd5 exd5 9. O-O O-O 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Re1 h6

White to move

Solution: 12. Nxd5! This is a great example of the case where an isolated pawn, rather than being blocked, should be attacked and captured directly. This position had occurred in tournaments before, but Svidler was the first one to find this shot. 12. ... Nxd5 ( 12. ... hxg5 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14. Nxe7+ Kh8 15. Qxd8 Rxd8 16. Nxc6 +- ) 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14. Bxe7 Nxe7 15. Qxd8 Rxd8 16. Rxe7 Bf5 17. c4 +/White is up a pawn and has a winning position. 17. ... Rdc8 18. Re5 g6 19. b4 Rab8 20. a3 Kf8 21. Rd1 Be6 22. Rc5 a5 23. bxa5 Rb3 24. a4 Rb4 25. Rxc6 Rxc4 26. Rxc8+ Bxc8 27. Bf1 Rc7 28. a6 Ke7 29. Rb1 Kd6 30. Rb6+ Kc5 31. Rb8 Be6 32. Rb7 Kc6 33. Bg2+ 1-0

Bykov - Jiganchine, Roman Yudovich Memorial 1997.04.01 , B14 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. d4 cxd5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Nc3 e6 7. Nf3 Bb4 8. Qc2 O-O 9. Bd3 h6 10. O-O Nc6 11. Bd2 Qb6 12. a3 Be7 13. Rad1 Bf6 14. Qc1

( 14. Nxd5 exd5 15. Bc3 Bg4 =+ ) 14. ... Nxd4! 15. Nxd4 Qxd4 16. Bxh6

White may have planned on this as the threat of Bh7 and Rxd4 is created but the tactics work to Black's advantage. 16. ... Nxc3! 17. Be3? ( 17. bxc3! Qxc3 18. Qe3 still left White with some compensation for a pawn. ) ( 17. Bh7+ Kxh7 18. Rxd4 ( 18. Qc2+ Qe4 -+ ) 18. ... Ne2+!

19. Kh1 Nxc1 20. Rxc1 Bxd4 -+ ) 17. ... Qxd3!

18. Rxd3 Ne2+ 19. Kh1 Nxc1 20. Rxc1 Bxb2 -+

with an extra piece Black quickly won. Grabbing the central isolated pawn was the starting point of his combination. 21. Rc7 Be5 22. Re7 Bf6 23. Rc7 Rd8 24. Rxd8+ Bxd8 25. Rc3 Bd7 0-1

Sokolov, Andrei - Schlosser, Philipp 2001 , D41 1. e4 c6 2. c4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. cxd5 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nxd5 6. Nf3 e6 7. Bc4 Nc6 8. d4 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 Bf6 11. Ne4 b6 12. Nxf6+ Nxf6 13. Bg5 Bb7 14. Rc1 Rc8 15. Bd3 h6 16. Bh4

Black to move

Solution: 16. ... Nxd4! 17. Ne5 ( 17. Nxd4 Rxc1 18. Qxc1 Qxd4 -/+ ) 17. ... Qd5 18. f3 Rxc1 19. Qxc1 Nd7 20. Be4 Qxe5 21. Bh7+ Kxh7 22. Rxe5 Nxe5 23. Qc7 Nexf3+ 24. gxf3 Nxf3+ 25. Kf2 Bd5 26. Be7 Ra8 27. h4 Kg8 28. Ke3 f6 29. h5 Ng5 30. a4 Bf3 31. b4 Bxh5 32. b5 Bf3 33. a5 bxa5 34. Bc5 a4 35. Bxa7 a3 36. Qa5 Rc8 37. Qxa3 h5 38. Bd4 Rc2 39. b6 h4 40. Qa4 Rc8 41. Qa7 e5 42. Bb2 Rc2 43. b7 Re2+ 44. Kd3 Rxb2 45. b8=Q+ Rxb8 46. Qxb8+ Kh7 47. Ke3 h3 48. Qb2 Bg4 49. Qc2+ f5 50. Kf2 Nf3 51. Qc7 e4 52. Qe7 Nd4 53. Kg3 Ne2+ 54. Kf2 Nf4 55. Kg3 Ng2 56. Kh2 e3 0-1

Mikhail Botvinnik was well known for handling positions from the side with the isolated pawn. In the following game he shows his skill when fighting against an Isolated Queen's pawn. Botvinnik, Mikhail - Zagoriansky, Evgeny 1943 , A13 1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 e6 3. b3 Nf6 4. Bb2 Be7 5. e3 O-O 6. Nc3 c5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Nxd5 exd5 9. d4 cxd4 10. Qxd4 Bf6 11. Qd2 Nc6 12. Be2 Be6 13. O-O Bxb2 14. Qxb2 Qa5 15. Rfd1 Rad8

Black's pieces here are quite passive and White is able to immediately begin applying pressure against the d5 pawn. 16. Rd2 Rd7 17. Rad1 Rfd8

18. h3 Restricting the e6 bishop is part of White's strategy, since this is Black's most passive piece in this structure.

18. ... h6 19. Ne5 Exchanging pieces and freeing up the f3 square for the bishop. 19. ... Nxe5 20. Qxe5 Qc5 21. Bf3

The ideal setup against the d5 pawn has been achieved and Black is completely tied down to its defense. The material configuration of light squared bishops and heavy pieces is typically the worst for the defender of an isolated pawn, since White can attack it with all of his pieces, while the slight spacial advantage it provides is of little benefit since there are no knights on the board to occupy dangerous outposts. 21. ... b6 22. Qb2 Rc8 23. Qe5 Rcd8 24. Rd4 a5

25. g4! It is impossible to attack the d5 pawn with any extra pieces, but by generating play on the kingside White is able to create further targets and exploit the passive setup that Black had adopted. Botvinnik's pieces have greater freedom of maneouver, allowing him to attack both in the center on the kingside.

25. ... Qc6 26. g5 hxg5 27. Qxg5 f6 28. Qg6 Bf7 29. Qg3 White is threatening Rg4, but the preventive measure Black chooses is only making things worse. 29. ... f5

A decisive weakening move, after which the position becomes completely hopeless. 30. Qg5 Qe6 31. Kh1 Qe5 32. Rg1 Rf8 33. Qh6 Rb8 34. Rh4 Kf8 35. Qh8+ Bg8 36. Rf4 Rbb7 37. Rg5 Rf7 38. Qh5

With the fall of the e5 pawn, the rest of Black's position collapses as well. 38. ... Qa1+ 39. Kg2 g6 40. Qxg6 Bh7 41. Qd6+ Rfe7 42. Qd8+ The game is a classic example of combatting an isolated pawn in the middlegame via exchanges of appropriate pieces and creating additional weaknesses across the entire board. No variations are truly necessary to explain the purpose of Botvinnik's play. 1-0

f7-f5 as Defensive Idea Jiganchine, Roman - Huber, Greg Keres Open 2001.05.20 , B22 1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nf3 e6 6. cxd4 b6 7. Nc3 Nxc3 8. bxc3 Ba6 9. Bxa6 Nxa6 In return for exchanging the light squared bishops, Black had to pay the price of temporarily misplacing his knight. 10. O-O Be7 ( Black could have tried a gain a tempo over the game text by trying to take on d6 in one move: 10. ... Nc7 11. c4 d5 12. exd6 Bxd6 ) 11. Qd3 Nc7 12. c4 d5 13. exd6 Bxd6

White has hanging pawns, and the black position is somewhat cramped therefore White has a slight advantage. 14. Rd1 O-O Since Black is missing a usual defensive piece on the kingside - the knight on f6, it makes sense for White to generate some threats against the black king and weaken his pawn shelter. 15. Ng5!

15. ... f5 Although e6 is currently well protected by the knight from c7, it will be difficult for Black to activate his pieces. Even though the a2-g8 diagonal is now slightly weakened, without a light squared bishop it will be hard for White to exploit it. However any further kingside weakening should be undertaken by Black with extreme care. ( 15. ... g6 16. Qh3 h5 would have also resulted in a significant weakening of Black's kingside. ) 16. Qe2 Qf6 17. Nf3 Rfe8 18. Bb2 Qh6 19. Ne5 a6

Black begins to prepare the pawn break b6-b5 with the goal of freeing up his knight. 20. Rd3 g6? This weakens the dark squares around the black king unnecessarily and wastes an opportunity to break through on the queenside. The black queen now is also somewhat out of play, so if anything it is this move that was the cause of Black's problems for the rest of the game.

( There was no reason to delay 20. ... b5! and probably the best White can do is force an endgame where he is only slightly better: 21. Rh3 Qf4 22. g3 Qe4 23. Qxe4 fxe4 24. Rh4 += ) 21. a4! b5?! Black made a risky but understandable decision to sacrifice a pawn and create some counterplay. ( He could have tried to prepare this breakthrough, but that would give White time to tighten his bind over the dark squares: 21. ... Rab8 22. Bc1 Qg7 23. Bf4 Red8 ( 23. ... b5 24. Nxg6 ) 24. Qd2 b5 25. c5 Bxe5 26. Bxe5 Qe7 27. h4!? and White has a dominating position. ) 22. axb5 axb5 23. Rxa8 Rxa8 Black gained control over the 'a' file, but the rook had to stop protecting the e6 pawn, which Black absolutely has no right to lose, as then his king would be catastrophically weak. 24. cxb5

24. ... Nd5 It appears as though Black activated his pieces and White has to be careful about the weak first rank, as well as possible threats of Nf4. However the black queen is badly placed on h6, which is a problem combined with the weakness of e6. ( 24. ... Nxb5? was losing a piece after 25. Rh3 Nxd4 26. Bxd4 Qc1+ 27. Qf1 +- ) 25. Rd1?! Instinctively defending the first rank and against Nf4. ( It was already possible to play 25. Ng4 but at this point this only lead to equality with best play 25. ... fxg4 26. Qxe6+ Kg7! ( 26. ... Kh8?! 27. g3! ( 27. Qxd5?? Ra1+ 28. Bxa1 Qc1+ 29.

Rd1 Qxd1# ) 27. ... Ra2 ( 27. ... Bxg3 28. hxg3 Qg5 29. Qe5+ Qxe5 30. dxe5 Nb6 +- ) 28. Qxd6 Rxb2 29. Qe5+ Qg7 30. Qxd5 += ) 27. g3 Ra2 28. Qxd6 Rxb2 29. Qe5+ Kf8! ~ and White is unable to capture on d5 with check. ) ( Much stronger was the patient 25. g3! with which White creates a escape square for the king while blocking the pressure along the b8-h2 diagonal (thus freeing up the knight on e5) and also taking away the f4 square from the black knight. Given that White is also up a pawn, Black's position here is almost hopeless. ) 25. ... Rb8? $138

26. Ng4! Here this works perfectly and Black's position falls apart because the black king is being attacked along the two major diagonals. 26. ... Qf4 ( 26. ... fxg4 27. Qxe6+ Kh8 28. Qxd6

28. ... Re8 and now 29. Rf1 +- is the simplest way to avoid any counterplay from Black. )

27. Qxe6+ Kg7 28. Ne5! Now all of Blacks pieces are possible targets of the white queen. 28. ... Rxb5? A blunder in time trouble. ( 28. ... Bxe5 29. dxe5 ) 29. Qd7+ 1-0

Aronian, Levon - Kramnik, Vladimir 2013 , D42 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e3 Nc6 7. Bd3 Be7 8. a3 O-O 9. Qc2 cxd4 10. exd4

10. ... f5!? Since White hurried with setting up the battery along b1-h7 diagonal ahead of even castling, it also makes sense for Black to commit himself and play an early f5. ( More standard would be 10. ... g6 11. Bh6 Re8 with typical play for Isolani structure, where White can even contemplate 12. h4!? ) 11. O-O Bf6 12. Nxd5 Qxd5 13. Be3

13. ... b5!?

Another provocative pawn push by Kramnik that pursues the same goal of restricting White's light squared bishop. 14. Qe2 Bb7!?

By setting up the pressure along the long diagonal Black shows that he is not willing to give up the initiative. 15. Rac1 ( 15. Bxb5 Nxd4 16. Bxd4 Bxd4 17. Nxd4?? Qxg2# ) 15. ... a6 16. Rfd1

16. ... f4!? Continuing the highly aggressive play and showing that the f pawn has advanced not only to defend but also to attack. 17. Rc5

( 17. Bxf4 Bxd4 would also allow Black to play along the newly opened f file. ) 17. ... Qd6

18. Qc2 Unwilling to surrender the psychological initiative in this highly important game, Aronian sacrifices a piece to exploit Black's slightly overextended setup. 18. ... fxe3 19. Bxh7+ Kh8 20. fxe3 Ne7 21. e4 Rac8 22. e5 Bxe5 23. Nxe5 Rxc5 24. Ng6+ Nxg6 25. dxc5 Be4 26. Rxd6 Bxc2 27. Bxg6 Bxg6 28. Rxe6 Bd3 29. h4

29. ... a5 The dust has somewhat settled and with an extra piece Black is playing for a win which he achieved after further struggle. 30. c6 Rf1+ 31. Kh2 Rc1 32. Re3 Bb1 33. Rc3 Rxc3 34. bxc3 Kg8 35. c7 Bf5 36. Kg3 Kf7 37. Kf4 Bc8 38. Kg5 Bd7 39. h5 Be6 40. g3 a4 41. g4 Kf8 42. Kf4 Ke7 43. g5 Kd7 44. Ke5 Bg8 45. c8=Q+

Kxc8 46. Kd6 Kd8 47. Kc6 Ke7 48. Kxb5 Ke6 49. Kxa4 Kf5 50. g6 Kg5 51. Kb5 Kxh5 52. a4 Kxg6 53. a5 Kf6 54. a6 Bd5 55. c4 Ba8 56. Kb6 Ke5 57. Kc7 g5 58. Kb8 Be4 59. Kc7 g4 60. a7 g3 61. c5 Ba8 62. Kb8 Bc6 0-1

Malaniuk, Vladimir P - Yakovich, Yuri 1992 , D27 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e3 Nf6 4. Bxc4 e6 5. Nf3 c5 6. O-O a6 7. a4 Nc6 8. Qe2 cxd4 9. Rd1 Be7 10. exd4 O-O 11. Nc3 Nd5 12. Qe4 Nf6 13. Qe2 Nd5 14. Bd3 Ncb4 15. Bb1 b6 16. Ne5 Bb7 17. Ne4 f5! 18. Nc3 Rc8 19. Ra3

Black to move

Solution: 19. ... Nc2 Exploiting the vulnerable position of rook on a3 and knight on c3. 20. Ra2 ( 20. Bxc2 Bxa3 21. bxa3 ( 21. Nxd5 Qxd5 22. bxa3 Qxg2# ) 21. ... Nxc3 -+ ) 20. ... Nxd4

21. Qe1 ( After 21. Rxd4 Black is able to exploit the weakened first rank. 21. ... Nxc3 ( 21. ... Rxc3 22. bxc3 Nxc3 23. Rxd8 ( 23. Qd2 Ne2+ 24. Qxe2 Qxd4 ) 23. ... Nxe2+ 24. Rxe2 ) 22. bxc3 Qxd4 23. cxd4 Rxc1+ 24. Qf1 Rxf1+ -/+ ) 21. ... Nb3 22. Nf3 Nxc1 23. Rxc1

23. ... f4 -/+ 24. Qe3 Qc7 25. Ra1 Bc5 0-1

Exchanging Dark Squared bishops with Bg5 We had already seen that exchanging dark squared bishops can be beneficial for a side playing against the isolated pawn in Botvinnik - Zagoriansky. With colors reversed, it is still crucial to understand what pair of bishops to keep and what pair to exchange. When White forces Black to play g7-g6, and installs the bishop on h6, it is often to Black's advantage to trade it off to diminish the power of White's attack, and sometimes - even to take over initiative on the kingside. Jiganchine, Roman - Zuk, Robert Thanksgiving Open 1999.10.10 , B22 1. e4 c5 2. c3 d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 e6 6. Bd3 ( 6. Na3 has become the main move nowadays. ) 6. ... Nc6 7. O-O Be7 8. Be3 White insists on getting an isolated pawn, but that comes at the cost of slightly misplacing the dark squared bishop, which is a bit passive on e3 in these positions. ( As in several other theoretical positions in the c3 Sicilian, White can take advantage of Black delaying the capture on d4, by advancing his c pawn: 8. c4! Qd8 ( 8. ... Qh5!? 9. Be2 ~ ) 9. dxc5 Bxc5 ( 9. ... Nd7 10. a3 Nxc5 11. Bc2 Qxd1 12. Rxd1 += ) 10. Nc3 O-O 11. Bg5 Be7 12. Qe2 += ) 8. ... cxd4 ( 8. ... O-O? 9. dxc5 Bxc5 ( 9. ... Rd8 10. Bc2 += ) 10. Bxh7+ Kxh7 11. Qxd5 Nxd5 12. Bxc5 +/- ) 9. cxd4 O-O 10. Nc3

10. ... Qd8 Slightly more common is the queen retreat to d6. 11. Re1 With the bishop already on e3, a different piece setup would make more sense. ( 11. a3 scores best here 11. ... b6 12. Qe2 Bb7 13. Rfd1!? Rc8 14. Rac1 Qd6 15. Ba6!? Qb8 16. Bg5 Rfd8 17. Bxb7 Qxb7 18. Bxf6 Bxf6 19. d5 Na5 20. dxe6 fxe6 21. Qxe6+ += 1-0 (82) Skembris,S (2560)-Fossan,E (2325), 1993 ) 11. ... b6 12. a3 Bb7 13. Qe2 Rc8 14. Rad1

14. ... Nb8 Black created the threat of Bxa3, but there are certain dangers associated with taking a pawn like this... 15. Nb5

( 15. Bb1!? Bxa3!? 16. d5! exd5 17. Bg5

with initiative 17. ... h6 18. Rxd5 Bxd5 19. Bxf6 Qxf6 20. Nxd5 Qxb2 21. Ne7+ Kh8 22. Qd3 g6 23. Nxc8 Rxc8 24. Ne5 Rf8 ~ ) ( 15. Ne5!? ) ( Also logical was the immediate 15. Bg5 Nbd7 ( 15. ... Bxa3? 16. Bxf6 Qxf6? 17. Ne4 Bxe4 18. Qxe4 g6 19. bxa3 +- ) 16. Ba6 Bxa6 17. Qxa6 Rc7 18. Nb5 ( 18. d5! exd5 19. Bf4 Rc5 20. Qxa7 Re8 21. Qb7 and White will win the pawn on d5 ) 18. ... Rc2 19. Qa4 Rxb2 20. Bc1 Rb1 21. Qc4 a6 22. Nc3 Ra1 23. Qb3 b5 24. d5 ~ 1-0 (63) Poluljahov, A (2505)-Brodsky,M (2545) ) 15. ... a6 16. Nc3 b5 17. Bb1 Nbd7 18. Bg5 Nb6 19. Qd3 g6 20. Bh6 Re8 21. Ne5

21. ... Nbd5 White made a couple of inaccuracies in the opening, and generally Black is ok in this position, since he managed to get all his pieces out and has avoided creating any major weaknesses for himself.

22. Ne4 ( 22. Qh3!? Nxc3 23. bxc3 ( Against 23. Nxf7? Black has 23. ... Qd5! 24. bxc3 Rxc3! -+ ) 23. ... Bd5 would leave White without a clear way to develop initiative. ( Too risky however is 23. ... Bxa3?! 24. Bg5! Be7 25. Nxf7! Kxf7 26. Bxf6 Bxf6 27. Qxh7+ Bg7 28. Bxg6+ Kf8

29. d5!? with dangerous initiative for White. ) ) 22. ... Nxe4 23. Qxe4

23. ... Bg5! This leaves White without any attacking chances whatsoever; moreover, Black now has some hopes to put pressure on g2. However, with careful play White should be able to maintain balance. 24. Bxg5 Qxg5 25. h4 Qf4 26. g3 Qxe4 27. Bxe4 Rc7 28. Nd3

Interestingly all White pawns are placed on color different than his bishop, while all of Black's pawns - same color as his bishop. White also has a good outpost for his knight on c5. Despite the exchange of queens, White has enough positional factors to counterbalance for the one structural defect that he has - the isolated pawn on d4. 28. ... Nf6 29. Bxb7 Rxb7 30. Nc5 Rb6

31. Ne4?! Exchanging the more active knight does not make much sense, as now it is only Black who can press for advantage. ( White could have tried to simplify with 31. d5!? Rc8!? ( 31. ... exd5 32. Rxe8+ Nxe8 33. Rxd5 = ) 32. dxe6 Rxc5 33. e7 Kg7 34. e8=Q Nxe8 35. Rxe8 Rc2 36. g4 Rxb2 37. g5 Re6! 38. Ra8 Re7 39. Rdd8 f5 40. Rh8 and White has enough initiative to compensate for the missing pawn. ) ( 31. b4 would have maintained rough balance in the position. ) 31. ... Nxe4 32. Rxe4 Rd8 33. Re3 Rc6 34. Rd2 Rc4 35. Red3 Rd5

Black has established a strong blockade, and the central breakthrough is no longer in the cards, so White will be settled with pawn weaknesses for the rest of the game. 36. Kf1 Kf8 37. Ke2 Ke7 38. Ke3

38. ... h5 ( More unpleasant for the defender was 38. ... Rd7!? followed by transferring the king to d5. White is unable to free himself up without further concessions: 39. d5 ( 39. Rc3 Kd6 =+ ) 39. ... e5 =+ ) 39. Rc3! The exchange of one pair of rooks makes the position much easier for White to play. 39. ... Rxc3+ 40. bxc3

After a typical transformation, now Black has to play against the backward c3 pawn. 40. ... Rd6 41. Ra2 Rc6 42. Kd3 Rc4 43. f3 Ra4 44. Kc2 Kd6 45. Kb3 This position is very close to the well known game Flohr-Vidmar, 1936, with colours reversed. Smyslov and Levenfish make a comment about that game: "bringing the king to b7 or b6 (b2 or b3 in my game) would free up the rook for defense along the 'e' file. Black would have a defensible position. " This is exactly what happened in my game! 45. ... e5 ( Perhaps first Black could improve his position in other ways, but it is hard to find any decisive for White anyway: 45. ... Kd5 46. Re2 f6 47. Re1 e5 48. dxe5 fxe5 49. Rd1+ Kc5 50. Rd8 e4 51. f4!? ) 46. dxe5+ Kxe5 47. Re2+ Kf5 48. Re7 White managed to activate the rook, so he is mostly out of danger at this point. 48. ... f6 49. Rh7 Rc4 50. Rd7

50. ... Ra4 51. Rh7 Rc4 52. Rd7 Ra4 The game is a good illustration of how to handle the Black side of an IQP position, however with careful play White is often able to hold equality even if things don't go his way. 1/2-1/2

Transferring the Knight to f4 Combined with Pressure along a8-h1 diagonal Salcedo, Daniel - Jiganchine, Roman Keres Memorial 2002.05.19 , D29 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. Qe2 b5 8. Bb3 Bb7 9. Rd1 Nbd7 10. Bc2 Moving the same piece twice in the opening is not so great; also, Bc2 immediately surrenders control over d5 (making it not very consistent with Rd1). ( 10. Nc3 leads to the main line, Black has a wide selection of moves here: 10. ... Qb6 ( 10. ... Qc7 11. e4 was Orlov-Charbonneau, Keres 2002 ) ( 10. ... Qb8 11. Bc2 Bd6 12. h3 O-O 13. a3 Rc8 14. Ng5 h6 15. Nge4 Be7 16. Rb1 Bc6 17. b4 cxb4 18. axb4 Bxe4 19. Nxe4 Nxe4 20. Bxe4 Ra7 21. Bd3 Nb6 22. e4 Na4 23. Bd2 Nc3 24. Bxc3 Rxc3 25. e5 Qb6 Kostin,AJiganchine,R/Saturday Swiss 2004/1/2-1/2 (37) ) ( 10. ... Bd6 ) 11. d5 Nxd5 12. Nxd5 Bxd5 13. Bxd5 exd5 14. Rxd5 Qb7 15. e4 Be7 16. Bg5 Nb6 17. Rad1 f6 18. Bf4 O-O 19. R5d2 Rad8 = ) ( 10. e4 is another dangerous idea ) 10. ... cxd4 White was apparently going to push e4-e5, so I decided to take the sting out of this idea. Capturing on d4 though has major drawback - it allows the Bc1 to come out. 11. exd4 Be7 12. Ne5 This looks aggressive, but if Black just waits and does not take on e5, the tension will prove in Black's favour, as he can often toy with the idea of Nxe5, whereas for White taking on d7 would most likely lead to exchange of pieces. ( Better was 12. Nc3 O-O = ) 12. ... O-O

Black finished development and all his pieces are placed comfortably, whereas White is still far from creating any hint of threats. 13. Bf4?! The bishop does very little useful on f4. ( 13. Nc3 was more flexible if White was not sure where the bishop should go 13. ... Rc8 14. Bg5 ( 14. Be3!? ) 14. ... Nd5 15. Bxe7 Nxe7 16. Rac1 and White has at least developed. ) 13. ... Rc8 14. Nc3 Nb6 15. Bg5 Admitting that Bf4 was a waste of time. 15. ... Nbd5 16. Nxd5 Nxd5 17. Be3

The bishop keeps going back and forth, as a result it will be Black who will first initiate activity on the kingside, which is far from common in IQP structure, but does happen occasionally and is a good indicator that White has well lost his course. ( It might have been better to initiate simplifications with 17. Bxe7 Qxe7 18. Be4 ( 18. Qe4?

f5 19. Qe2 Nf4 -+ ) 18. ... Nf4 19. Qe3 ( 19. Qg4?! Bxe4 20. Qxf4 Bd5 =+ and the light squared bishop is nominally bad, but very strong! ) 19. ... Bxe4 20. Qxe4 Nd5 21. g3 = ) 17. ... Bd6 Played with the idea of freeing the 'd8-h4' diagonal for the queen. 18. Rac1 Qh4! 19. Qg4 For some reason I did not even consider this move for White, but it is probably the safest one. ( 19. Nf3 Qh5 -/+ would allow Black to create a lot of threats. ) ( Weakening light squares with 19. g3 Qh3 also does not look right. ) ( 19. Qf3? fails to 19. ... f6! 20. Ng4 Nxe3 -+ ) 19. ... Qxg4 20. Nxg4 f6

With this move I am taking away the e5 square from the white knight and playing for domination as the black pieces are much better placed and now the threat of h7-h5 is created.. However this weakening of e6 is unnecessary and later caused Black some difficulties in converting his advantage. ( 20. ... h5 21. Ne5 Bxe5 22. dxe5 Nxe3 23. fxe3 Rfd8 gave Black only a small advantage. ) ( 20. ... Rfd8!? 21. Be4 Rxc1 22. Bxc1 ( 22. Rxc1? Nxe3 23. fxe3 Bxe4 ) 22. ... h6 =+ ) ( Best was the direct 20. ... Nf4! 21. Bxf4 Bxf4 22. Ne3 Rfd8 -/+ and White sorely lacks any counterplay while Black enjoys better pawn structure and advantage of two bishops. ) 21. Bd2 This is necessary to create an escape square for the knight, but retreating with the bishop further weakens the d4 pawn.

( 21. h3? h5 22. Nh2 Nf4 23. Bxf4 Bxf4 -+ ) 21. ... Nf4?! ( 21. ... Rc4! would have just won the pawn: 22. Bc3!? ( 22. Ba5 Rfc8 ) ( 22. Be1 Rfc8 ) 22. ... Bf4 ! ( 22. ... Nxc3 23. bxc3 Rxc3? 24. Bxh7+ ) 23. Bb3 h5!? 24. Bxc4 bxc4 25. Ne3 Nxe3 26. fxe3 Bxe3+ 27. Kf1 Bxc1 28. Rxc1 Bd5 with an extra pawn and pretty good winning chances. ) 22. Bxf4 Bxf4 23. Ne3 Rfd8 24. Bb3 I secured myself two bishops with opponent still having a weak pawn, but White exploits the weakening of the e6 pawn. 24. ... Rxc1

( 24. ... Kf7!? was also possible 25. Rxc8 Bxc8 ( 25. ... Rxc8 26. d5 exd5 27. Nxd5 Bxd5 28. Bxd5+ = ) 26. d5 Ke7 =+ ) 25. Rxc1? White had to make moves instantly, so he forgot that he could take on e6 with an intermediate check ( 25. Bxe6+ Kf8 26. Rxc1 Rxd4 Black still maintains an advantage due to two bishops, but it is smaller than after the text move. ) 25. ... Kf7 26. g3 Bb8! 27. Rd1 Bf3 28. Rd2 Ba7

The bishops have gained almost full control and White can no longer keep the pawn on d4 alive. 29. d5 Ke7 30. Rc2 Bxe3 31. fxe3? ( Much more resilient was 31. Rc7+! ) 31. ... Bxd5 ( 31. ... exd5 32. Rc6 Rd6 33. Rc7+ Rd7 34. Rc6 Rd6 ) 32. Bxd5 Rxd5 -/+

After exerting continuous pressure on the isolated pawn for many moves Black finally won extra material and eventually also gained the full point. 33. Kf2 ( 33. Rc6 Rd1+ 34. Kf2 Rd2+ 35. Kf3 a5 36. Rb6 b4 37. Rb5 Rxb2 38. Rxa5 Rxh2 -+ ) 33. ... Kd6 34. Kf3 Rc5 35. Rd2+ Kc7 ( For now, I was avoiding forcing matters in variations such as 35. ... Ke5 36. Rd7 g5 37.

Rxh7 Rc2 38. Ra7 Rxb2 ( 38. ... f5 39. h3 ) 39. Rxa6 Rxh2 40. Ra5 Rb2 41. a4 = ) 36. h4 Rc4 37. e4 Rc1 38. Ke3 e5

39. a3 White lost on time. It feels that since Black is up a pawn, and e pawn is weak, this should be winning. Overall, the game shows that if White is careless about his development, Black can take over the initiative - even on the kingside. However the margin of error for White is quite large, and despite playing very passively, he maintained drawing chances up until the last moment. 0-1

In the following game Black managed to obtain a very active position in the middlegame and transition to the endgame was in fact a saving act for White. Tang, Edward - Jiganchine, Roman Keres mem 39th 2014.05.19 , D27 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. Bb3 I was feeling completely exhausted after the previous round game, and the pairing was unpleasant because I was not entirely sure which QGA system to try this time. In the end I decided to try the system with early exchange on d4, as that's what I had looked up about half a year ago. 7. ... cxd4 By trading early on d4 Black eliminates a couple of possible setups by White, but as a downside, this frees up the c1 bishop. ( In my previous games I had played 7. ... Nc6 8. Nc3 ( 8. Qe2 cxd4 9. Rd1 Be7 10. exd4 O-O 11. Nc3 Nd5 12. Bc2 b6 13. Ne5 Bb7 14. Nxd5 Qxd5 15. Be4 Qd6 16. Nxc6 Bxc6 17. Bxc6 Qxc6 18. d5 Qd7 19. dxe6 Qxe6 20. Qxe6 fxe6 21. Be3 Bf6 22. Rab1 b5 23. b3 Rfd8 1/2-1/2 (23) Donjkas, J-Jiganchine,R December Active 2012 ) 8. ... Be7 9. Qe2 ( 9. dxc5 Qxd1 10. Rxd1 Bxc5 11. Bd2 Ba7 12. Rac1 Bd7 13. Be1 Ke7 14. Na4 Rhc8 15. Nc5 Rab8 16. Nxd7 Nxd7 17. Bc2 h6 18. Be4 f6 19. Rc2 f5 20. Bxc6 Rxc6 21. Rxc6 bxc6 22. Bc3 g6 23. Kf1 Rb5 24. Nh4 Nf8 25. a4 Rd5 26. Rxd5 exd5 27. Bg7 Ne6 28. Bc3 Kf7 29. Nf3 Bb8 30. Be5 Ba7 31. Bc3 Bb8 32. Be5 Ba7 33. Bc3 1/2-1/2 Donkjas,J (2056) -Jiganchine,R (2219) Langley Open 2013 ) 9. ... cxd4 10. Rd1 O-O 11. Nxd4 Qc7 12. Nxc6 Qxc6 13. e4 b5 14. Bg5 b4 15. Nd5 exd5 16. Bxd5 Bg4 17. f3 Nxd5 18. exd5 Qb6+ 0-1 Tang, E-Jiganchine,R Keres 2010 ) 8. exd4 Nc6 9. Nc3 Be7

10. Re1

( 10. Bg5 is slightly more popular, with several games by Kramnik and Anand covered elsewhere in this book. ) 10. ... O-O ( 10. ... Na5?! 11. Bc2 b5 12. d5 b4 13. Ba4+ Kf8 14. Bf4 bxc3 15. d6 Nd5 16. dxe7+ Qxe7 17. Be5 Bb7 18. bxc3 Rd8 19. Nd4 Nc4 20. Bxg7+ Kxg7 21. Nf5+ exf5 22. Rxe7 Nxe7 23. Qe2 Ng6 24. Qxc4 Rd2 25. Bb3 Bd5 26. Qxa6 Rd8 27. Bxd5 R8xd5 28. h3 Ne5 29. a4 f4 30. a5 f3 31. Qb7 fxg2 32. a6 1-0 (32) Kramnik,V (2751)-Karpov,A (2710) Frankfurt 1999 ) 11. a3 This surprised me, but apparently this move is the main line. ( Other moves are 11. Bg5 ) ( Or 11. Bf4 Na5 12. d5 Nxb3 13. Qxb3 Nxd5 14. Rad1 This gives Black a chance to sacrifice a queen in a rather enterprising manner: 14. ... Nxf4!? 15. Rxd8 Rxd8 16. Rd1 Nd5 ~ 17. Ne5 Bf6 18. Nc4 Rb8 19. Na5 Bd7 20. Ne4 Be7 21. Nc4 Bb5 22. Ne5 Be8 23. h3 b5 24. Qg3 Rbc8 25. Kh1 a5 26. h4 a4 27. Ng5 h6 28. Ngf3 Nf6 29. Rxd8 Rxd8 30. Qf4 Rd1+ 31. Kh2 Bd6 32. g3 Bc6 33. g4 Rd3 34. Kg1 Bxf3 0-1 (34) Kramnik,V-Kasparov,G, Blitz, 2001. ) 11. ... Na5

( 11. ... b5 Allows White to break through in the center and obtain a promising position: 12. d5 exd5 13. Nxd5 Nxd5 14. Bxd5 += The symmetric pawn structure is unpleasant for Black to defend. ) 12. Bc2 b5 13. Qd3 ( 13. d5!? is Kasparov's idea that he first used against Ivanchuk, and this is still the most popular move. 13. ... Re8 ( The first game in this line continued: 13. ... Nc4 14. Qd3 Re8 15. a4 exd5 16. axb5 a5 17. b3 Nd6 18. Nd4 Bb7 19. f3 Rc8 20. Na4 Bf8 21. Bg5 g6 22. Qd2

Rxe1+ 23. Rxe1 Nde8 24. Re2 Bb4 25. Qe3 Rc7 26. Bd3 Re7 27. Qc1 Rxe2 28. Bxe2 Qe7 29. Qe3 Qxe3+ 30. Bxe3 Nd7 31. Nc6 Bxc6 32. bxc6 Nb8 33. Bb6 Bd6 34. Nc3 Bc7 35. Bf2 d4 36. Nd5 1-0 (36) Kasparov,G-Ivanchuk,V ) ( 13. ... exd5 14. Bg5 Be6 15. Nd4 Qd7 16. f4 g6 17. f5 gxf5 18. Bxf5 Bxf5 19. Rxe7 Qxe7 20. Nxf5 Qe5 21. Qf3 Rae8 22. Rf1 Re6 23. Qh3 Ne4 24. Bf4 Qf6 25. Nxd5 Qxb2 26. Bh6 Rfe8 27. Qg4+ Rg6 28. Nde7+ Kh8 29. Qxe4 Rxe7 30. Nxe7 1-0 (30) Ivanov, S-Vorobiov,E ) 14. Bg5 h6 15. Bh4 Nxd5 16. Nxd5 exd5 17. Qd3 g6 18. Qe3 Be6 19. Qxh6 Bxh4 20. Bxg6 Qf6 21. Bh7+ Kh8 22. Bg6+ Kg8 23. Qh7+ Kf8 24. Nxh4 Qg7 25. Qxg7+ Kxg7 26. Bd3 += 1-0 (70) Kramnik,V-Anand,V, 1999. ) 13. ... Bb7 14. Bg5 g6 15. Rad1?! This is a logical move, but probably not the most accurate. ( By far the main line is 15. Ne5 (preventing Nc4) 15. ... Rc8 16. Rad1 ( 16. Bh6 Re8 17. Qg3 Nh5 18. Qh3 Bf6 19. Rad1 Nc4 20. Nxc4 Rxc4 21. Be3 Rc7 22. Be4 Bxe4 23. Nxe4 Rd7 24. g4 Ng7 25. Qf3 Be7 26. Nc5 Rd5 27. Nxa6 f5 28. Nc5 Bd6 29. h3 Rf8 30. Bh6 fxg4 31. Qxg4 Bxc5 32. dxc5 Qf6 33. Be3 Nf5 34. Bg5 Qxb2 35. Rxd5 exd5 36. Qf3 d4 37. Qd5+ Kh8 38. Bf4 Ng7 39. Qd6 Kg8 40. c6 Qc3 41. Rc1 Qxh3 42. c7 Qg4+ 43. Bg3 Rc8 44. Qd8+ Kf7 45. Re1 g5 46. Re7+ Kg6 47. Qd6+ Kh5 48. Rxg7 Qd1+ 49. Kg2 1-0 (49) Korobov, AZakharov,V ) 16. ... Nc4 17. Nxc4 bxc4 ( 17. ... Rxc4 18. Bb3 Rc7 19. d5 ~ ) 18. Qh3 Nd5 19. Bh6 Re8 20. Ne4 Qb6 21. Bc1 f5 22. Nc3 Bf6 23. Nxd5 exd5 24. Qg3 Bxd4 25. Bxf5 Bxf2+ 26. Qxf2 Qxf2+ 27. Kxf2 gxf5 28. Rxe8+ Rxe8 29. Rd4 1/2-1/2 (29) Sokolov,I (2625)Hansen,C (2595) Malmo 1998 ) 15. ... Nc4 16. Bc1 Rc8 17. Bb3

17. ... Qc7 Black completed development, and is ready to apply pressure along the 'c' and 'd' files. If anything his position is a bit easier to play. The strong knight on c4 is clearly an asset that shuts down the bishop on b3 while also creating threats against a3 and b2 pawns. 18. Qe2 N

( Black was also better after 18. Ne5 Nxe5 19. dxe5 Rfd8 20. Qe2 Rxd1 21. Rxd1 Nd7 22. Bf4 Rd8 23. Bc2 Nb6 24. Be4 Rxd1+ 25. Qxd1 Nc4 26. Bxb7 Qxb7 -/+ Foisor,S (2337) Hamrakulova,Y (2145) Gaziantep 2008 1/2-1/ 2 (62) ) 18. ... Rfd8 ( During the game I rejected 18. ... Nxa3 19. Bxe6 fxe6 20. Qxe6+ Rf7 21. Ng5 Rf8 and White has quite a few ways to continue the attack. 22. d5 Bc8 23. d6 Bxe6 24. dxc7 ) 19. Bg5

This is the second time the bishop comes to g5 from c1, so in a way this is an admission of guilt and lack of precision in previous play. 19. ... Nh5!? ( During the game I did not even consider 19. ... Ng4 but it looks like there is no particular advantage to playing that: 20. Bxe7 Bxf3? 21. Qxf3! ( 21. gxf3?? Qxh2+ 22. Kf1 Qh1# ) 21. ... Qxh2+ 22. Kf1 +- White king is exposed, but safe. ) ( In my analysis of this game with a fellow chess expert, we looked briefly at this move, but the computer likes this move! 19. ... Nxb2!? Objectively this is probably best, but in terms of a practical game - this gives White too many options, some of which are forcing, but some of them are not. The standard sacrifice of 20. Bxe6? is tempting but fails to Bxf3. Correct is ( 20. Rc1 Nc4! 21. Ne5 Rxd4!? ) ( 20. Nxb5 axb5 21. Qxb2 Bxf3 22. gxf3 Nd5 leaves Black with a large positional advantage. ) 20. ... Bxf3! ( 20. ... fxe6? 21. Qxe6+ Kh8 ( 21. ... Kg7 22. Qxe7+ Qxe7 23. Rxe7+ Kf8 24. Rxb7 ( 24. Bxf6? Bxf3 ~ ) 24. ... Nxd1 25. Nxd1 +- ) 22. Bxf6+ Bxf6 23. Qxf6+ Qg7 ) 21. gxf3 Nxd1! 22. Bxf7+ Kxf7 23. Qe6+ Kg7 To a computer but not to a human, it is obvious that White's attack is just slightly short of steam, and Black has grabbed one rook more than White. 24. Qxe7+ Qxe7 25. Rxe7+ Kf8 26. Bxf6 Nxc3 -+ ) 20. Bh6 Bf8! Once Black managed to consolidate, exchanging dark squared bishops in this structure is to his advantage. Here the additional benefit to this idea is that this allows him to plant a

powerful knight on f4 with tempo. ( Less clear was 20. ... Nf4?! 21. Bxf4 Qxf4 =+ 22. d5 ~ ) 21. Bxf8 ( After 21. Bg5 I was probably going to continue 21. ... Nf4 =+ ) 21. ... Nf4! An important intermediate move, after which the white queen has no good square to retreat to, while protecting the f3 knight. 22. Qc2

22. ... Rxf8?! ( It was essential to play another intermediate move. 22. ... Bxf3!? 23. Bh6 ( 23. gxf3 Rxf8 is clearly an improvement over the game line as I had ruined White's pawn structure. ) 23. ... Nxg2 objectively it is not clear how White can exploit weak dark squares around Black king, but during the game I decided to avoid such complications. Probably that was a mistake. ( or even 23. ... Bxd1!? 24. Rxd1 Nxb2!? ) ) 23. Ne4 The only way to defend the knight on f3. 23. ... Na5 Forcing an endgame, which is a sign that things are going Black's way, although in the case of this game he clearly missed some better opportunities to decide matters in the middlegame. ( Dan suggested 23. ... Ne5 24. Qxc7 Nxf3+ 25. gxf3 Rxc7 but this is not much better for

Black than the game. ) 24. Qxc7 White spent most of his time, trying to avoid an exchange of queens, but that was not really an option. 24. ... Rxc7 25. Ba2 also forced 25. ... Rc2 Black maintains some serious advantage into the endgame, but it is probably not as significant as in the middlegame where I could have ruined opponent's pawn structure on the kingside. 26. Rd2 Rxd2 27. Nexd2 Nd3 ( 27. ... Rd8!? 28. Rc1 Nd3 29. Rc2 ) 28. Rb1 Rd8?! Putting pressure on the isolated pawn is natural, but even stronger was invasion on the second rank along the c file: ( Better was 28. ... Rc8! 29. b4 ( 29. Ne5 Nf4! ) 29. ... Rc2! ) 29. b4 White is trying to free up the rook from defending the b pawn. 29. ... Bxf3 ( Black would maintain further pressure with 29. ... Nc6!? ) 30. bxa5? That came rather unexpected for me, and with 4 minutes on the clock, I went for simplification that was a mistake. ( 30. gxf3 Nc6 31. Nb3 Nxd4 32. Nxd4 Rxd4 33. Rd1 Nf4! was what I had calculated 34. Rxd4 Ne2+ 35. Kf1 Nxd4 -/+ ) ( I also calculated 30. Nxf3 Nc6 31. Rd1 Nxd4 32. Rxd3 Nxf3+ 33. Rxf3 ( 33. gxf3 Rxd3 -+ ) 33. ... Rd1# that was the point behind Bxf3 ) 30. ... Bd5? Wrongly exchanging my strong bishop for a very passive one.

( 30. ... Bc6!? or, any other bishop retreat to a safe square would have probably just left me up a pawn. 31. Nb3 ( 31. Nf3 Bxf3 32. gxf3 Rxd4 33. Rd1 Nf4 -/+ ) 31. ... Bd5! 32. Rd1 Nf4! 33. g3? ( 33. Rd2 also leaves Black with nice choices: 33. ... Bxb3 34. Bxb3 Rxd4 35. Rxd4 Ne2+ 36. Kf1 Nxd4 37. Bd1 Nc6 -+ winning the second pawn. ) 33. ... Ne2+ 34. Kf1 Nc3 35. Rd2 Nxa2 36. Rxa2 Bxb3 -+ ) 31. Bxd5 Rxd5 32. Nb3 e5!? The last chance to attack the weak white pawns. ( 32. ... Nf4 33. Kf1 and I did not like that the white knight is coming to c5. ) 33. dxe5 Nxe5 34. f4 Nc4 35. Ra1

35. ... Rd3?! The direct approach here just leads to simplifications and a draw. ( 35. ... Nb2!? 36. Ra2!? ( 36. Rc1 Rd3 37. Nc5 Rxa3 38. Nxa6 Rxa5 -/+ ) ) ( It was better to keep the rook on d5, guarding c5 square from the white knight and simply activate Black's own king. 35. ... Kg7! 36. Kf2 ( 36. a4 b4 -/+ ) 36. ... Kf6 with still some winning chances. ) 36. Nc5

36. ... Rxa3 Going for more simplification in mutual time trouble. ( 36. ... Rd6 37. Nb3 and a5 is defended again. 37. ... Kg7 38. a4 b4 39. Rc1 Nb2 40. Rc2 Nxa4 41. Rc4 Rd1+ ( 41. ... Nc3 42. Rxb4 = ) 42. Kf2 Rb1 43. Rxb4 Nc5 44. Nxc5 Rxb4 45. Nxa6 Ra4 -/+ ) 37. Rxa3 Nxa3 38. Nxa6 Nc4 39. Nc7 Nxa5 and the players agreed to a draw. Conclusion: White lost his course when transitioning from the opening into the middlegame, and I ended up with a promising position, which I failed to take advantage of my chances. As usual, time trouble in the most critical moments of the endgame interfered with clear thinking, and I settled for moves that appear safer, but eventually led to a draw. ( Going into that position I had hoped to have an extra option of 39. ... b4 but the more I calculated in the last seconds on the clock, the more futile it seemed. 40. a6 b3 41. a7 ( 41. Nb5 b2 42. Nc3 Kf8 ) 41. ... Nb6 42. Nb5 b2 43. Nc3 Kf8 44. Kf2 Ke7 45. Ke2 ( 45. Nd5+ Nxd5 46. a8=Q b1=Q 47. Qxd5 = ) 45. ... Kd7 46. Kd2 Kc7 47. Kc2 Kb7 48. Kxb2 Kxa7 at no point it appears that Black is playing for a win. ) 1/2-1/2

Endgames with Isolated Pawns We have already covered several endgames, but here a couple more examples. Simplified positions rule out combinations and attacking ideas, therefore a possessor of an isolated pawn turns into a defender facing a rather challenging task, as the next example illustrates: Wilson, John - Jiganchine, Roman BC Junior 1999.10.29 , C80 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. Re1 Nc5 7. Bxc6 dxc6 8. Nxe5 Be7 9. d4 Ne6 10. c3 O-O 11. Nd2 c5 12. Nb3 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Nxd4 14. Qxd4 Qxd4 15. cxd4 Bb4 16. Re3 Be6 17. a3 Bd6 18. b4 Rfe8 19. Bb2 f6 20. Nd3 Bc4 21. Rxe8+ Rxe8 22. Re1 Kf7 23. Rxe8 Kxe8

24. Nc5 b6 25. Ne4 Be7 26. f4 Kd7 27. Kf2 Ke6 28. Nd2 Bd5 29. g3 Kf5 30. Ke3 h5 31. Nf3

Black has several ways of converting his better pawn structure and advantage of two bishops. A

possible solution here involved giving up one of two bishops. 31. ... Bxf3!? The plan for Black in the bishop endgame is to transfer the king to d5, ensure blockade on the light squares by f6-f5, transfer the bishop on f6 to put pressure on d4 pawn. This piece play is combined with pawn breaks c7-c5 and h5-h4-h3. ( In the game I played 31. ... Kg4!? and still won. 32. Ng1 h4 33. Kf2 hxg3+ 34. hxg3 c5 ( 34. ... Bd6 -/+ ) 35. dxc5 bxc5 36. Bc3 Be4 37. Bd2 Bc6 38. Bc3 Bd6 39. Bd2 cxb4 40. Bxb4 Bc7 41. Bc5 Ba5 42. Ne2 Bd7 43. Nd4 Bc3 44. Kg2? ( 44. Nc2 =+ Kf5 45. Ke3 Ba4 46. Kd3 Bb2 47. Ne3+ Ke6 48. f5+ Kf7 49. Nc4 Bc1 = ) 44. ... Be1 -/+ 45. Bf8 g6 46. Be7 f5 ( 46. ... Bxg3 47. Bxf6 Bxf4 -+ ) 47. Bh4 Bc3 48. Ne2 Bc6+ 49. Kf2 Bb2 50. Be7 Bb5 51. Ng1 Bd4+ 52. Kg2 Bc6+ 53. Kh2 Bf2 54. Ne2 Bf3 and White resigned. ) 32. Kxf3 Ke6! It turns out that White is just on time to defend the 'd4' pawn, and prevent the invasion of the black king to c4, but he does not have time to play the singe move that he needs to establish blockade on the kingside - h2-h4. ( 32. ... g5? with the idea of fixing all white pawns on dark squares is met by 33. d5! = ) 33. Ke4 ( 33. h4 Kd5 34. Ke3 Kc4 35. f5 Kb3 36. Bc1 a5 -+ ) ( 33. h3 Kd5 34. g4 hxg4+ 35. hxg4 ( 35. Kxg4 Ke4 -+ ) 35. ... a5 36. bxa5 bxa5 37. a4 Kc4 38. Ke4 Kb3 39. Bc1 Kxa4 40. Kd5 Kb3 41. Kc6 Bd6 -+ ) 33. ... f5+ 34. Kd3 Kd5

The isolated pawn on d4 is not the only weakness in White's position - all of his pawns are placed on same color as the bishop, making this a typical example of a "good vs bad" bishop endgame.

35. Bc1 ( 35. Bc3? Bf6 36. a4 c6! -+ 37. Bb2 ( 37. Bd2 Bxd4 -+ ) 37. ... c5 38. bxc5 bxc5 -+ ) 35. ... Bf6 36. Be3 h4! ( 36. ... c6? 37. h4 b5 38. Bf2 Bd8 39. Be3 a5 40. Bd2 a4 41. Bc1 Bb6 42. Be3 = would leave Black without any real chance to break through. ) 37. Bf2 h3!

It is essential to advance the 'h' pawn as far as possible in order to be able to have a target on the kingside as well - with possible bishop sacrifices on g3. 38. Be3 is probably not helping either: 38. ... g6 Zugzwang again, White cannot maintain the bishop on e3 where it both guards d4 and prevents g5. 39. Bf2 g5 40. Be3 gxf4 41. Bxf4 ( 41. gxf4 Bh4 42. Bg1 c6 43. Be3

43. ... Bg3! -+ 44. Bg1 ( 44. hxg3 h2 ) 44. ... Bxf4 ) 41. ... Bxd4 42. Bxc7 Bg1 43. Ke2 Bxh2 44. Kf2 b5 45. Bf4 Kc4 -+ 0-1

Even in the endgame a pawn break with d4-d5 is an important idea for the side with IQP, and the second player should try to prevent it by firmly controlling the d5 square. In the next game White opened up the center to here advantage: Batsiashvili, Nino - MacNab, Louise WYCC 2003 - G16 2003.10.23 , D18

As a famous joke says, centralizing the king in the endgame cannot be bad, it can only be premature. Here is an example: 22. ... Kf8?! Right now too much depends on the pawn structure: if White gets a chance to play d4-d5, he will be better, because of his strong bishop. If Black manages to put the Knight on d5, he is completely safe. ( That's why it was essential to play 22. ... Nb6! 23. Rxc8+ Nxc8 24. Bf3 Nb6 25. b3 ( 25. Bxb7 Nxa4 26. b3 Nb6 27. Kf1 Kf8 28. Ke2 Ke7 29. Kd3 Kd6 = ) 25. ... Nd5 = ) 23. Bf3 b6 24. d5 exd5 25. Bxd5 Nd6 26. Rxc8+ Nxc8

This is a basic endgame, where a bishop is clearly superior to the knight due to the open nature of the

position. 27. f4 Ke7 28. Kf2 f6 29. Ke3 Kd6 30. Be4 h6 31. Kd4 White king came to the center first anyway (see note to move 23). 31. ... g5?

This only helps White, since now the center of the board is more open, and he has more opportunities for invasion. Black tries to exchange some pawns, since that is supposed to help defender, but here she should have rather been looking for ways to create a fortress! ( Better was 31. ... Ne7 and now to open the center White has to play h4, g4-g5, leading to exchange of two pairs of pawns - definitely to Black's benefit, since in the game only one pair of pawns was exchanged. Black would then have much better chances for a draw than in the game. ) 32. fxg5 fxg5 33. Bf3 Ne7 34. Ke4 Ke6 35. Bg4+ Kd6 36. g3!

Zugzwang! Black has to let the White king to invade either e5 or f5. It seems that after 32...g5 Black is lost.

36. ... Kc5 37. Ke5 Kb4 38. Bd1 Now the bishop's superiority is obvious, since it controls both sides of the board. 38. ... b5 39. axb5 Kxb5 40. Ke6 Nc6 41. Kf6 Nd4 42. Kg6 Kc5 43. Kxh6 Nf5+ 44. Kxg5 Nxg3 45. h4 Ne4+ 46. Kf5 Nd6+ 47. Kf6 Ne8+ 48. Kf7 Nd6+ 49. Ke6 Ne8 50. Ba4 Ng7+ 51. Kf6 Nh5+ 52. Kg5 Ng7

53. h5 ( A faster way to finish the game was 53. Bd7 Kd6 54. Kg6 Nh5 55. Kxh5 Kxd7 56. Kg6 Ke8 57. Kg7 +- ) 53. ... Nxh5 54. Kxh5 Kb4 55. b3 Kc5 56. Kg5 Kd6 57. Kf4 Kd5 58. Kf5 Kd6 59. Ke4 and soon Black resigned. 1-0

Combinations in the Middlegame The rest of the positions in the book should expose the already familiar attacking ideas for the side possessing an IQP via rather simple exercises. Feliciano, V. - Heredia Serrano, C. 41st Olympiad Women 2014 2014.08.10 , B14 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Bb4 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bd2 O-O 9. Bd3 Nc6 10. O-O Nf6 11. Bg5 Be7 12. a3 b6 13. Re1 Bb7 14. Bb1 Ba6 15. d5 exd5 16. Qc2 g6

White to move

Solution: 17. Rxe7! With this typical sacrifice White wins at least two pieces for a rook and obtains a winning position. 17. ... Nd4 ( 17. ... Nxe7 18. Bxf6 +- ) ( 17. ... Qxe7 18. Nxd5 +- ) 18. Nxd4 Qxe7 +- 19. Ba2 Rfe8 20. h3 Qd6 21. Qa4 Bb7 22. Ndb5 Qc6 23. Bxf6 Qxf6 24. Nc7 d4 25. Nxe8 Qg5 26. Nd5 Bxd5 27. Bxd5 Rd8 28. Qc4 Qe7 29. Bxf7+ Qxf7 30. Nf6+ 1-0

Horvath, Imre - Berenyi, Gabor 1993 , B28

White to move

Solution: 18. Ne5 fxe5 19. Rg3+ 1-0

Cordy, Steven - Csomos, Roland 1993 , B14

White to move

Solution: 20. Bxg6 ( 20. Bxg6 hxg6 21. Rxg6+ Kh7 22. Nxf7 Ne4 23. Rg7# ) 1-0

Proehl, Holger - Kleschtschow, Juri 1995 , B15

White to move

Solution: 32. Qxh6+ ( 32. Qxh6+ Kxh6 33. Nxf7+ Kg7 34. Nxd6 +- ) 1-0

Tupy Martin - Rehorek, Martin 1995 , B14

White to move

Solution: 37. h6+ ( 37. h6+ Kxh6 38. Qf8# ) 1-0

Langner, David - Bollenbach, Brad 1997 , B50

White to move

Solution: 22. Bxh7+ Kh8 ( 22. ... Kxh7 23. Qh5+ Kg8 24. Qxf7+ Kh7 25. Qh5+ Kg8 26. Qxe8+ ) 23. Qh5 1-0

Tamm Ulrich Dr - Kistella, Roman 1998 , B22

White to move

Solution: 26. Bxe6 ( 26. Bxe6 fxe6 27. Qxe6+ Kf8 28. Qxe7+ ) 1-0

Penttinen, Jarkko - Pessi, Juha 1998 , B22

White to move

Solution: 28. Rxf5 ( 28. Rxf5 exf5 29. Re1! +- ) 1-0

Turov, Maxim - Sakovich, Igor 1998 , B22

White to move

Solution: 27. Rxf7+ ( 27. Rxf7+ Kxf7 28. Ng5+ Kg7 29. Nxe4 ) 1-0

Lezcano, Jaen Pedro - Gonzalez, Perez Lutgarda 1993 , B10

White to move

Solution: 17. Nxf7 Kxf7 18. Qxe6+ Kf8 19. Ba2 1-0

Mohr Georg - Gollain, Marc 1993 , B27

White to move

Solution: 15. Nxf7 Rxf7 16. Bxe6 Qf8 17. Qxb6 hxg5 18. Qxb7 Nbd7 19. Bxf7+ 1-0

Knazovcik, Ladislav - Voboril, Pavel 1994 , B22

White to move

Solution: 12. g4 Nxg4 13. Nxd7 O-O-O ( 13. ... Nxd7 14. Bxd7+ Kxd7 15. Qxb7+ ) 14. Qc3+ 1-0

Moen Ole Christian - Rolvag, Mikael 1994 , B17

White to move

Solution: 22. Bxh6 Be2 ( 22. ... gxh6 23. Qxh6 followed by Bxd5 and Rg3. ) 23. Bxd5 Bxd1 24. Bc4 1-0

Reichmann, Egon - Scheck, Rudolf 1995 , B22

White to move

Solution: 16. d5 f5 ( 16. ... exd5 17. Qxc8+ ) 17. Qc4 1-0

Avrukh, Boris - Gheorghiu, Florin 1996 , B22

White to move

Solution: 30. Rxe6 Rc6 ( 30. ... fxe6 31. Qxg6+ Kh8 32. Nf7# ) 31. Nxf7 Rxe6 ( 31. ... Kxf7 32. Qxg6# ) 32. Nxd8 Bxd8 33. Bg5 Bc7 34. Ne5 1-0

Bojkovic, Natasa - Khurtsidze, Nino 1996 , B22

White to move

Solution: 19. Bxh7+ Kh8 ( 19. ... Kxh7 20. Qe4+ Kg8 21. Bxd8 ) 20. Qe4 Nxe7 21. Ne5 g6 22. Nxf7+ Kxh7 23. Nxd8 1-0

Nurkic, Sahbaz - Bresciani, Nicola 1996 , B22

White to move

Solution: 24. d5 Bxd5 25. Qb4+ Kd7 26. Nb5 Qf4 ( 26. ... Kc8 27. Qe7 Rd7 28. Rg8+ ) 27. Qxf4 1-0

Jeric, Simon - Bukic, Enver 1997 , B22

White to move

Solution: 26. Nxf7 Nd5 ( 26. ... Kxf7 27. Bxe6+ ) 27. Nxd8 1-0

Schmedders, Hans-Gerd - Wittmann, Rainer 1997 , B22

White to move

Solution: 17. Rxc6 Qxc6 18. Ne5 1-0

Cortes, Moyano Julio - Zapata, Ferrada Marco 1997 , B22

White to move

Solution: 15. Rxe6 Bf4 ( 15. ... fxe6 16. Bxe6+ ) 16. Nxf7 Rxf7 17. Re7 Bxc1 18. Rxc1 1-0

Hadzimanolis, Antonios - Sands, David A 1999 , B22

White to move

Solution: 17. d5! Nxd5 ( 17. ... exd5 18. Bxf6 Bxf6 19. Qd3 +- ) 18. Nxd5 Bxg5 19. Nxg5 h6 20. Nf3 exd5 21. Qc2 1-0

Tactics from Blitz The positions above were taken from games played under slow time controls, but in blitz tactical shots are a lot easier to overlook and I collected quite a few from my own practice over the years: Elisabeth - DDT3000 ICC 5 0 2001.09.04 , D27 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e3 Nf6 4. Bxc4 e6 5. Nc3 c5 6. Nf3 a6 7. a4 Nc6 8. O-O cxd4 9. exd4 Be7 10. Re1 O-O 11. Bg5 Nb4 12. Qe2 Nfd5 13. Bxe7 Nxe7 14. Rad1 Nbd5 15. Ne4 Bd7 16. Ne5 Bxa4 17. b3 Bc6 18. Nxc6 Nxc6 19. Nc5 b5

White to move

Solution: 20. Nxe6! Nc3 ( 20. ... fxe6 21. Qxe6+ Kh8 22. Bxd5 +- ) 21. Nxd8 Nxe2+ 22. Bxe2 Raxd8 23. d5 += Na5 24. b4 Nb7 25. Bf3 Nd6 26. Ra1 Ra8 27. Re7 Rfd8 28. Rc7 Nc4 29. d6 Nxd6 30. Bxa8 Rxa8 31. Rd7 Nc4 32. Rxa6 Re8 33. g3 h6 34. Raa7 Re1+ 35. Kg2 Ne5 36. Re7 Re4 37. Kh3 Kh7 38. f4 Nc6 39. Rxe4 Nxa7 40. Re5 Kg6 41. Rc5 Kf6 42. Rc7 Nc8 43. Rxc8 Ke6 44. Rc5 Kd6 45. Rxb5 g6 46. Rc5 f6 47. Rc1 Kd7 48. b5 Kd6 49. b6 Black resigns 1-0

TonAmour - Tzouve ICC 3 0 2002.10.20 , B17 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Ng3 c5 7. c3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Be7 9. Bd3 Nd5 10. O-O N7f6 11. Re1 Bd7 12. a3 O-O 13. Qe2 Bc6 14. Ne5 Bd6 15. Bg5 h6 16. Bd2 Rc8 17. Rad1 Nd7 18. Ng4 Nf4 19. Bxf4 Bxf4 20. Bb1 Nf6 21. Qd3 g6 22. Ne5 Qd5 23. f3 Bxe5 24. Rxe5 Qd6 25. Qe3 Bd5 26. Qxh6 Nd7

White to move

Solution: 27. Nh5 Black resigned because of 27. ... gxh5 28. Rg5# 1-0

TonAmour - flytox ICC 3 0 2002.11.01 , C10 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Ng3 Be7 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O b6 9. Qe2 Bb7 10. Rd1 Qc8 11. Ne5 c5 12. c3 cxd4 13. cxd4 Rd8 14. Bg5 Nd5 15. Rac1 Qb8

White to move

Solution: 16. Bxh7+ Kxh7 17. Qh5+ Kg8 18. Qxf7+ Kh7 19. Bxe7 +- Nxe7 20. Qxe7 Nxe5 21. dxe5 Bd5 22. Qg5 Qb7 23. Rd4 Rac8 24. Rh4+ Kg8 25. Rxc8 Rxc8 26. Nh5 Rc2 27. Qd8+ Kf7 28. Rf4+ Kg6 29. Qe8+ Kh7 30. Nf6+ gxf6 31. Rh4+ Kg7 32. Qh8+ Kg6 33. Qxf6# Black checkmated 1-0

TonAmour - ultrahunter ICC 5 0 2002.11.06 , D42 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O Nc6 10. Re1 Nf6 11. a3 b6 12. Bc2 Bb7 13. Qd3 g6 14. Bh6 Re8 15. Rad1 Nd5 16. Ne4 Rc8 17. Ng3

Black to move

Solution: 17. ... Ncb4 This is a typical tactic for Black (solid defense on the kingside, combined with counterplay on the c file) 18. axb4 Nxb4 19. Qb3 Nxc2 20. Ne5 Nxe1 21. Rxe1 Qd5 White resigns 0-1

Garryncha - Manopesada ICC 2 1 2003.03.20 , D42 1. e4 c5 2. c3 d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. d4 e6 5. Nf3 cxd4 6. cxd4 Nf6 7. Nc3 Qd8 8. Bd3 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 Nc6 11. a3 b6 12. Bc2 Bb7 13. Qd3 g6 14. Bh6 Re8 15. Rad1 Rc8 16. Bb3 Na5 17. Ba2 Nd5 18. Ne5 Bf6 19. Qh3 Nxc3 20. bxc3 Bd5 21. Bb1 Black's position is okay, but White maintains some pressure on the kingside, so Black should be careful. 21. ... Nc4 22. Ng4 Bg7?! 23. Bxg7 Kxg7 24. Qh6+ Kg8 25. Rd3 f5 26. Rh3! Rc7

White to move

Solution: 27. Bxf5! Capturing with either pawn opens a crucial file or rank. 27. ... exf5 ( 27. ... gxf5 28. Nf6+ +- ) 28. Rxe8+ Qxe8 29. Nf6+ +- Kf7 30. Nxe8 Kxe8 31. Qf4 Re7 32. Qb8+ Kf7 33. Rxh7+ Black resigns 1-0

Garryncha - tapsatal ICC 5 0 2003.04.21 , D26 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 e6 5. Nc3 dxc4 6. Bxc4 Nf6 7. Nf3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 h6 10. Qe2 a6 11. Rd1 b5 12. Bb3 Bb7 13. Bf4 Bd6 14. Ne5 b4

White to move

Solution: 15. Nxf7! Qc7 ( 15. ... Rxf7 16. Qxe6 ) 16. Bxd6 Qc6

17. d5! Qc8 18. dxe6 bxc3

White to move

Solution: 19. Nxh6+ gxh6 20. e7+ Rf7

21. Rd3 Another typical idea in IQP positions - transferring the rook to the kingside attack along third rank decides the game. 21. ... Nbd7 22. Rg3+ Kh8 23. Bxf7 Qc6 24. Qe3 Nh7 25. Qxh6 Qxg2+ 26. Rxg2 Bxg2 27. Kxg2 Nf6 28. Be5 Rg8+ 29. Bxg8 Kxg8 30. Bxf6 Nxf6 31. Qxf6 cxb2 32. e8=Q+ Black resigns 1-0

Garryncha - lkd ICC 5 0 2004.04.27 , D42 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bd3 Nc6 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 Nf6 11. a3 b6 12. Bc2 Bb7 13. Qd3 g6 14. Bh6 Re8 15. Rad1 Rc8 16. Bb3 Na5 17. Ba2 Nd5 18. Ne5 Bf6

19. Ne4 A very typical position in an IQP structure, as both sides have completed their development. 19. ... Bh8

White to move

Solution: 20. Nxf7!? Kxf7 21. Ng5+ Kg8 22. Nxe6

22. ... Qh4 Black makes a mistake in complications. ( 22. ... Qd7! ) 23. Qb5! Bc6?

White to move

Solution: ( 23. ... Qxh6 24. Bxd5 +- ) 24. Bxd5 Bxd5 ( 24. ... Bxb5 25. Ng5+ Re6 26. Bxe6# ) 25. Qxd5 Black resigns 1-0

Garryncha - WoodyWoodPushed ICC 3 0 2004.11.03 , D40 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Bb4 7. Bd3 Nc6 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 O-O 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Re1 a6 12. a3 b5 13. Ba2 Bb7 14. Qd3 g6 15. Rad1 Re8 16. Qe2 Na5 17. Ne5 Nc6 18. Qf3 Rc8 19. Qh3 Nd5

White to move

Solution: 20. Nxf7! Kxf7 ( 20. ... Bxg5 21. Nxd8 ) 21. Qxe6+? ( Overlooking immediate mate with 21. Qxh7+ Kf8 22. Bh6# ) 21. ... Kg7 22. Bxd5 Bxg5 23. Qf7+ Kh6 24. Qxb7 Rxe1+ 25. Rxe1 Nxd4 26. Be4 Ne6 27. Qxa6 Nc5 28. Qxb5 Bd2 29. Rd1 Nxe4 30. Nxe4 Rc1 31. Rxc1 Bxc1 32. Qe2 Bxb2 33. g3 Bxa3 34. Qe3+ Kg7 35. Qc3+ Kh6 36. Qxa3 Kg7 37. Qf3 Kh6 38. Kg2 Kg7 39. Qe3 h6 40. Qf4 Kh7 41. Qe5 Black forfeits on time 1-0

Pressure along a2-f7 diagonal DDT3000 - Chanchar ICC 3 0 2009.02.14 , B13 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 dxc4 5. Bxc4 e6 6. Nf3 Nf6 7. Nc3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 a6 10. a3 b5 11. Bb3 Bb7 12. Qd3 Nbd7 13. Bc2 Nb6 14. Bg5 g6 15. Ne5 Nbd5 16. Qh3 Nxc3 17. bxc3 Rc8 18. Bh6 Qc7 19. Bxf8 Bxf8 20. Bb3 Qxc3

White to move

Solution: 21. Nxf7? ( The correct approach was to sacrifice on e6 instead: 21. Bxe6!! fxe6 ( 21. ... Qxh3 22. Bxf7+ Kg7 23. gxh3 ) 22. Qxe6+ Kh8 23. Qxf6+ Bg7 24. Qe6 +- ) 21. ... Qxh3 22. gxh3 Kxf7 23. Bxe6+ Kg7 24. Bxc8 Bxc8 Now the position is unclear again. 25. Rac1 Bd7 26. Rc7 Bxa3 27. Ra7 ( 27. Re6 a5 28. Rxf6 Kxf6 29. Rxd7 a4 30. Rxh7 Bb2 31. Ra7 a3 =+ ) 27. ... a5 28. Re6 Bb4 29. Rxf6 Kxf6 30. Rxd7 Bc3 31. Rb7 Bxd4 32. Rxb5 Bc3 33. Rb6+ Kf5 34. Ra6 h5 35. Kg2 Bb4 36. Kf3 g5 37. Ke3 Bc5+ 38. Ke2 Bb4 39. f3 Ke5 40. Rb6 Kf5 41. Rb5+ Kf4 42. Rd5 Bc3 43. h4 gxh4 44. Rxh5 Bf6 45. Rxa5 Bd8 46. Ra4+ Kg5 47. h3 Kf5 48. f4 Bc7 49. Kf3 Bd8 50. Rc4 Kf6 51. Rc6+ Kf5 52. Rc2 Bf6 53. Rc8 Ke6 54. Rf8 Ke7 55. Rxf6 Kxf6 56. Kg4 Kg6 57. Kxh4 Kf6 58. Kg4 Kg7 59. f5 Kh8 60. Kg5 Kg8 61. Kf6 Kf8 62. Ke6 Ke8 63. h4 Kd8 64. f6 Kc8 65. f7 Kc7 66. f8=Q Kb6 67. Qd6+ Kb5 68. Qd3+ Ka5 White ran out of time and Black has no material to mate 1/2-1/2

About the Author Roman Jiganchine has been a chess coach of several Canadian junior players. His students in the early 2000s won many Canadian championship youth titles in various age groups. Roman has contributed to "Chess Life", Russian "64" magazine, and for several years had an endgame column in Canadian chess magazine "En Passant" (later renamed into "Chess Canada"). He received his early chess education in the Moscow Petrosian Chess school, which brought to the chess world grandmasters such as Morozevich, Riazantsev, and the Women's World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk. Roman moved to Vancouver, Canada in 1998, and represented Canada in the 2000 World Youth Under 18 Championship in Spain.

Symbols and Abbreviations Used in the Book Position Evaluation ∞ – Unclear: It is unclear who (if anyone) has an advantage. = – Even position: White and Black have more or less equal chances. += – White has slightly better chances. +/− – White has much better chances. +− – White has a clear advantage. =+ – Black has slightly better chances. −/+ – Black has much better chances. −+ – Black has a clear advantage.

Move Evaluation ?? - Blunder ? - Mistake ?! - Dubious move !? - Interesting move ! - Good move ‼ - Brilliant move

Table of Contents CopyRight Information Introduction Contents IQP from Various Openings Panov Attack - Caro-Kann Alapin - Sicilian Queen's Gambit Accepted - ? Direct Attack Against the King Tal, Mikhail - Chikovani, Iuri Keene, Raymond - Miles, Anthony J Botvinnik, Mikhail - Ragozin, Viacheslav Jiganchine, Roman - Chan, James Moskvitch, Andrei - Jiganchine, Roman Lerner, Konstantin Z - Rausis, Igors Melkumyan, H. - Krysztofiak, M. Kosteniuk, A. - Ju Wenjun Structural transformations Jiganchine, Roman - Poitras, Luc Jiganchine, Roman - Kim, Phillip Jose Raul Capablanca - Alexander Alekhine Ristovic, Nenad - Jiganchine, Roman Zhao Xue - Bela Khotenashvili Jiganchine, Roman - Sadoway, S. Jiganchine, Roman - Hardy, Justin Kostin, Andrey - Jiganchine, Roman Jiganchine, Roman - Miller, B. Glinert, Stephen - Jiganchine, Roman Jiganchine, Roman - Davies, Lucas Lai, Peter - Jiganchine, Roman Kramnik, Vladimir - Korobov, Anton Jiganchine, Roman - Zhadanov, Vasili B Plans for the side with the Isolated Queen Pawn Pressure on d5 square Kasparov, Garry - Spangenberg, Hugo Advancing d4-d5 Smyslov, Vassily - Ribli, Zoltan Smyslov, Vassily - Karpov, Anatoly Kasparov, Garry - Short, Nigel Botvinnik, Mikhail - Petrosian, Tigran V Kramnik, Vladimir - Anand, Viswanathan Kramnik, Vladimir - Anand, Viswanathan Kramnik, Vladimir - Anand, Viswanathan Jiganchine, Roman - Stanford, Mike

Jiganchine, Roman - Baunok, Zoltan Advancing f4-f5 Botvinnik, Mikhail - Tolush, Alexander V Pressure along the 'c' file Fullbrook, Nigel - Jiganchine, Roman Ideas for the Side Playing against an Isolated Pawn Directly Attacking the Isolated Pawn in the Middlegame Svidler, P. - Samhouri, B. Bykov - Jiganchine, Roman Sokolov, Andrei - Schlosser, Philipp Botvinnik, Mikhail - Zagoriansky, Evgeny f7-f5 as Defensive Idea Jiganchine, Roman - Huber, Greg Aronian, Levon - Kramnik, Vladimir Malaniuk, Vladimir P - Yakovich, Yuri Exchanging Dark Squared bishops with Bg5 Jiganchine, Roman - Zuk, Robert Transferring the Knight to f4 Combined with Pressure along a8-h1 diagonal Salcedo, Daniel - Jiganchine, Roman Tang, Edward - Jiganchine, Roman Endgames with Isolated Pawns Wilson, John - Jiganchine, Roman Batsiashvili, Nino - MacNab, Louise Combinations in the Middlegame Feliciano, V. - Heredia Serrano, C. Horvath, Imre - Berenyi, Gabor Cordy, Steven - Csomos, Roland Proehl, Holger - Kleschtschow, Juri Tupy Martin - Rehorek, Martin Langner, David - Bollenbach, Brad Tamm Ulrich Dr - Kistella, Roman Penttinen, Jarkko - Pessi, Juha Turov, Maxim - Sakovich, Igor Lezcano, Jaen Pedro - Gonzalez, Perez Lutgarda Mohr Georg - Gollain, Marc Knazovcik, Ladislav - Voboril, Pavel Moen Ole Christian - Rolvag, Mikael Reichmann, Egon - Scheck, Rudolf Avrukh, Boris - Gheorghiu, Florin Bojkovic, Natasa - Khurtsidze, Nino Nurkic, Sahbaz - Bresciani, Nicola Jeric, Simon - Bukic, Enver Schmedders, Hans-Gerd - Wittmann, Rainer Cortes, Moyano Julio - Zapata, Ferrada Marco Hadzimanolis, Antonios - Sands, David A Tactics from Blitz Elisabeth - DDT3000

TonAmour - Tzouve TonAmour - flytox TonAmour - ultrahunter Garryncha - Manopesada Garryncha - tapsatal Garryncha - lkd Garryncha - WoodyWoodPushed DDT3000 - Chanchar About the Author Symbols and Abbreviations Used in the Book