Chess Course – Snippet 2

GMP Chess Course

This extract is from our core chess course lesson on the Isolated Pawn.

In this section, we explore endgames involving an isolated pawn. Typically, endgames with an isolated pawn are more favorable for the player opposing the isolated pawn. In endgames, the weaknesses of such pawns are more easily exploited.

Throughout this course lesson, we examine various possible endgames, discussing whether each can be won or if a draw is achievable for the side with the isolated pawn.

The Importance of This Information

Understanding which endgames can be won and which can be held is essential. You’ll know which pieces to exchange and which to retain, either to secure a win or to save a game if you play with the isolated pawn. Additionally, it helps determine whether it’s advisable to transition into an endgame or better to avoid it.

For this course snippet, we have chosen to present the endgame scenario of Same color bishops, with the bad bishop for the side with the isolated pawn, as illustrated in the next diagram.

Let’s analyze this position from the perspective of the side with the isolated pawn.

Having only the weakness on d5 is not difficult to hold, but it requires attention. You should position the other pawns on dark squares, such as a7, b6, f6, g5, and h6. After doing this, focus on the diagonal from which you will protect the d5-pawn with your bishop. It would be a mistake to guard the d5 pawn from the g8-d5 diagonal if White attacks from b3, because of potential tactics involving e3-e4. In such a scenario, you should defend from the a8-h1 diagonal.

Note that you should adopt a passive strategy and, again, avoid placing other pawns on the same color squares as your bishop.

The following endgame is from the game Wojtkiewicz – Khalifman, Rakvere, 1993.

The difference between this endgame and the position we previously discussed is that in addition to d5, Black has a second weakness on b7.

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