I have been studying weak pawns this week. What are weak pawns? They are isolated pawns unsupported by other pawns, backward pawns at the unsupported end of a pawn chain or doubled up pawns on a file. All are slightly different but the strategic principles are the same. Here are rules for dealing with weak pawns:
Keep pressure on weaknesses.
Exchange your opponents active pieces.
Control the square in front of a weak pawn.
Don’t let your opponent get rid of his weakness.
If you are the player with weak pawns then the strategy for you is to aim for a piece driven attack in which you don’t swap off pieces. Grab the initiative even if you lose a weak pawn.
A new Sunday tournament has started and my first round was against a new player and I had a fairly easy victory. Round two was tougher, my opponent had a FIDE rating 400 plus points above mine and I’d lost to him before. He also started with the English which is an opening I never play and hardly ever need to defend against. I have noticed that it is being used quite a bit at top level so I should perhaps familiarise myself with it. My rule of thumb for this opening is to copy my opponents moves till it doesn’t make sense to. Here is the game, I am Black
So my Sunday winning streak of 6 games has come to an end.
My first game after my glorious win over a FIDE Master was at a rapid competition. Opposite me was a very small child with a rating of 200, he beat me. Despondent I went on to play a smaller child with a rating of 400, he beat me (even after I was a piece up after 4 moves!). After seven games I won 3.5 out of 7, which is actually ok, but my games were full to the brim with errors. My draw included me having two connected pawns supported by a King vs. King and I managed to stalemate. Clearly no-one can rest on their laurels. Back to the drawing board.