Loyal readers, I apologise for the scarcity of updates. A new job has been keeping me not only from regular updates, but also from studying chess and acquiring new ideas. The only chess I get these days is the weekly tournament game. So far, I’m happy with my performance (3 1/2 points out of 4 games). However, my opening leaves much to be desired. At this stage, I’m opting for open games, and inevitably seem to wind up with isolanis. I don’t particulary mind that; the topic of the isolani is fascinating and it forces you to hone your attacking game, which is precisely what I want. Yet many of the subtleties of isolated pawn positions elude me still. One pattern I have to remember is the danger of a pinned queen isolani, arising, for example, in the Panov-Botvinnik attack, my weapon of choice against the Caro-Kann.
This week’s gif, therefore, is devoted to the pattern of the open line and rook-pawn-queen pin in isolated pawn positions. If you play with the isolani, try to anticipate this potential resource for the isolani-attacker, and make sure you can either move or hold on to the isolated pawn without incriminating your piece activity too much (you don’t want to use your pieces to become passive defenders of the isolani!) or, worse even, endangering your queen.
Edit: Apologies for the lame title as well. In my defence: lameness can sometimes serve as a useful mnemonic device!