The Ultimate Guide to Chess Pawn Structures
What you'll learn
- Be able to recognise effective plans in different openings and their pawn structures e.g. Minority attack plan in Carlsbad structure of Queens Gambit
- Be able to build an effective opening repertoire which fits your playing style e.g. Nimzo-indian for prophylaxis style
- Be able to use pawn structures to influence the level of tactics one needs to calculate - e.g. Slav or French structures can be used for quieter positions
- Be able to understand what Beth Harmon in the Queen's Gambit hit Netflix series meant with the terms "Backward pawn", "Hanging Pawns"
- Be able to let pawn structures drive your choice of openings knowing you have fundamental middlegame ideas
- Be able to transpose favourably into different structures when appropriate e.g. from London system into Stonewall structure
- Be able to recognise the key basic pawn formations that frequently arise from chess openings
- Be able to head to particular structures which match your mood and energy levels for calculation or need for just drawing
- Be able to leverage common winning patterns both for and against particular pawn structures within your own games
- Be able to make use of Thorn pawn structures and head for them for both middlegame and endgame advantages
- Be able to make positional pawn sacrifices for things like Knight outposts and other positional gains
- Be able to make positional exchange sacrifices to create a longer term upward trend within certain pawn structures
- Be able to make effective pawn based strategies for the opening phase
- Be able to make effective pawn based strategies for the middlegame phase
- Be able to make effective pawn based strategies for the endgame phase
- Be able to appreciate the fundamentals of Pawn related Chess Strategy in terms of position evaluation and longer term planning
- Be able to make use of pawn chain undermining where appropriate
- Be able to make effective Outposts around key squares within the pawn structure
- Be able to do "high level shuffling" especially around potential strategic pawn breaks to minimise regrets and maximise impact
- Be able to understand the dynamic and positional tradeoffs of different pawn structure factoring in King position
- Be able to see the up and downsides of the Isolated pawn structure and its descendants such as hanging pawns
- Be able to choose openings based on their pawn structures if you wish to build up your tactical strengths e.g. gambits or dynamic structures e.g. IQP
- Be able to recognise which dynamic structures need you to put on your calculation and attacking hats or pay a penalty later in miserable endgames
- Be able to understand iconic and beautiful game examples for handling various pawn structures such as classic Bobby Fischer games
- Be able to see with updated analysis fantastic examples that Kingscrusher has researched in the last few years from his Youtube channel
- Be able to be inspired by connected passed pawn examples from the engine World where even Stockfish couldn't handle the potential of them
- Be able to choose the right plan especially in non-tactical situations thus saving time on the clock
- Be able to fight effectively against tactical players with methods such as counterplay-removal and endgame transitioning
- Be stimulated to play the Sicilian Sveshnikov effectively being inspired by the Backward pawn examples
- Simplify your need to memorise tonnes of opening theory if you master the essential pawn structures
- Be able to make use of prophylaxis when appropriate within certain pawn structures
- Be able to evolve your opening repertoire with structurally implied game examples in this course such as the Nimzo-Indian to inflict doubled pawns on opponents
- Be able to see the price often paid for damaging structures such as "Bishop without counterpart" which can be a targetable downside in its own right
- Be able to get make use of "Thorn pawn" structures aka "Chess cheat code!" which Chess Neural networks have proven valuable
- Be able to add "Soul" to your chess game! - "Pawns are the Soul of Chess" - François-André Danican Philidor
- To be able to have a more effective structural perspective on what is going on in a position
- To be able to rethink your opening choices and general game plans generally based on pawn structures
- Be able to have effective "template plans" based on pawn structure which occur in many different openings
- Be able to use a nice simple line with White vs the Caro-Kann - the exchange variation with knowledge of Carlsbad structure ups and downs
- Be able to play the Sicilian Sveshnikov making use of effective template plans given in the examples
- Be able to understand the structural "playbook" of both sides in a tonne of different openings which have similar structures highlighted in this course
- Be able to appreciate "structualists" like Capablanca, Petrosian, Karpov, Adams who are masters of pawn structure plans and annotated games
- Be able to handle key pawn breaks for yourself and the opponent - give yourself a break :)
- Be able to transform structures into other sometimes more exploitable advantages or other structures
- Be able to appreciate Kingscrusher's pure love and admiration of Tigran Petrosian who also inspired Karpov with the concept of relatively risk-free chess :)
- Be able to appreciate Kingscrusher's love of Mikhail Tal in the Benoni structures which can be transposed to from the Kings Indian defence
- Game analysis all engine checked with latest Stockfish NN (Neural Network) often uncovering amazing new previously undiscovered resources!
- Be able to appreciate classic notable games in Chess history which are major stem games for key ideas organised by structure
- Be able to see how World chess champions championed particular structures such as Petrosian in the French and Tal in the Modern Benoni
- Knows the basics of playing Chess
"Pawns are the soul of chess!" - Philidor
Pawns unlike other pieces on the chessboard cannot move backward and as such, they represent the "irreversible decisions" of chess that one has to make carefully otherwise one could easily regret such pawn moves.
In this course, you will get a strong focus on pawn structures in chess with example games from World chess champions and other master "structuralists" who have demonstrated a keen understanding of the importance of pawn structure and choice of openings for such structures.
The examples try and provide a roadmap of key plans against or for certain structures where appropriate to get a more balanced understanding of the pros and cons of each structure - and to be able to anticipate the opponent's plans and moves more easily.
Pawn structure plans and template ideas will help one play openings of any kind more effectively when aspects of that structure match key examples in this course fundamentally. You will be able to effectively reuse template plans from past world chess champions and Grandmasters and other great players.
Key pawn structural elements are looked at with many example games showing how they have their "up and downsides" including
Thorn pawns (yes Neural Networks have pointed the way here!)
And also more specific configurations of pawns are looked at including:
d5 pawn chain
e5 pawn chain
Boleslavsky Hole structure (especially Sveshnikov examples!)
By the end of the course you should have more of a "structuralist" mindset to chess - and realise the importance more of the "little guys!" and they are really the very life and soul of the game as Philidor mentioned all that time ago!
Who this course is for:
- Chess beginner and intermediate players
Tryfon Gavriel, also known as "Kingscrusher" on the Internet. I am a FIDE Candidate Master (CM), British Regional Chess Master, and run a popular Youtube channel for many years with over 114k+ Subs as of 2021 and a Silver Button Award.
I have done many shows on commercial chess servers. I am also the Webmaster of the correspondence style chess server Chessworld which emphasizes game quality and research.
Over 35 years of playing activity both online and offline. Peak ICC blitz rating of 2625 (18-Jun-1999). Peak ICC 5 min auto-pairing of 2383 (29-Jun 2012). ECF Grading peak classical: 212 (A) ECF. Peak Rapid rating: 217 (C). Lichess marathon top 10 finishers in 3 marathons so far. In the other two, top 50 finishers. Won quite a few tournaments at lichess
One of my earliest Over-the-board achievements in Chess was winning the Lloyds Under 18 national UK tournament in 1989. My trophy was awarded to me by Grandmaster and Ph.D. Mathematician Dr John Nunn.
I have done teaching in Schools and also have done teaching online with several Lichess students on a regular basis, and have a very good coaching rating at lichess.
Played twice in the main British Chess championship. Many of my Youtube viewers claim big rating increases after watching my videos.
I particularly love chess tactics and combinations, and it is probably no accident that my "Complete Guide to Chess Tactics" has been a best-seller since near inception here at Udemy.
In general, I will try and give you greater enthusiasm for the game and in particular the dynamic aggressive tactical aspects of playing chess. My favorite heroes are Paul Morphy, Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, and Mikhail Tal. if you want to be a dynamic aggressive player, I may be able to encourage you and find you relevant resources on that path. The dynamic aggressive were particularly strong tactically and would often trade off pawn structure neatness and material to try and checkmate the opponent's kings. Checkmate does win the game :)
In terms of concrete openings to make use of potentially teaching here at Udemy through courses, I like Solid openings on such as the London System. I also like provocative openings like the Knight's Tango systems to encourage weaknesses from opponents. I am also at faster time controls especially, particularly fond of aggressive openings and gambits. As an example, the Smith-Morra Gambit vs the Sicilian Defence, and other gambits can be used aggressively even with the black pieces such as the Albin Counter Gambit. Gambits vary of course in soundness and it is important to teach what "ticks many boxes" for use in various time controls. In the search for the ideal courses to provide you, I like to search within myself for my core strengths and passions within the passion of Chess.
I truly hope you enjoy my courses and they improve your chess and your enjoyment of chess generally - and life generally :)