Sacrificing Pawn Structure for Bishop Power

The power of the bishop pair in open games is a well-known fact. Another well-known fact is that the pawn structure determines whether a game is open or closed. Combine these two ideas and you have the idea illustrated in the following gif: If you are defending against a bishop pair, be very careful and considerate when it comes to pawn moves; it’s often wiser to keep your pawns in place and dare the owner of the bishop pair to attack. If you are attacking with the bishop pair, ponder the significance of the opponent’s pawn moves, and do not hesitate to “sacrifice” a solid pawn structure if it helps you to activate your bishop pair.

middlegame_openlines_07

This setup is lifted from Abramovic vs Nikolic, Yugoslawia 1994 and demonstrates White’s willingness to accept two isolated pawns to unleash the power of his bishops.

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3 Responses to Sacrificing Pawn Structure for Bishop Power

  1. chesstiger says:

    Personal experience would like to see an actual, legal, chess position instead of a position with no kings. The idea would stick better in my mind that way. But i guess, like i said already, that is personal preferences.

    • chunkyrook says:

      Understandable; I would recommend you take a look at the actual game that I linked to. I still prefer having the pattern with as few pieces as possible to convey the idea; with every pattern and with every idea, it should be clear that the merit of an idea always depends on the actual position on the board. This is true for every chess idea. There’s always additional factors to consider, and the position of your king is one of them. So I don’t think it’s necessary to include the king unless it somehow contributes to the idea behind the pattern. As for this specific pattern: I’m not quite happy with it, either; I think I need to revise it.

    • chunkyrook says:

      Understandable; I would recommend you take a look at the actual game that I linked to. I still prefer having the pattern with as few pieces as possible to convey the idea; with every pattern and with every idea, it should be clear that the merit of an idea always depends on the actual position on the board. This is true for every chess idea. There’s always additional factors to consider, and the position of your king is one of them. So I don’t think it’s necessary to include the king unless it somehow contributes to the idea behind the pattern. As for this specific pattern: I’m not quite happy with it, either; I think I need to revise it.

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