<%-- Page Title--%> Timeout <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 147 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

March 26, 2004

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The menacing passer Chess

The pawn, with its very restricted mobility, does not have a great appeal to average players. They love the lethal firepower of the queen, or the way the knight hops around the board, creating great confusion in the enemy camp. They don't even mind losing a pawn early in the game if that means a little freedom for their pieces.

But at the master level, things are very different. Loss of a pawn for no compensation will surely lead to defeat in the endgame against a player with reasonably good technique. Pawns are also used for breaking up the position when a direct attack is launched on the enemy king. Advancing pawns can be very difficult to handle as they effectively destroy coordination among your pieces. Pawns can support outposts for the heavy artillery and open files and diagonals after they are exchanged during the light infantry battle.

But the most important property of a pawn is its ability to become a queen, or any other piece, when it reaches the eighth rank. That is simply fantastic as the modest pawn is rewarded for making its journey through the enemy terrain, ducking a barrage of attacks on its way. There is some kind of similarity between a pawn and an ordinary man. If he survives the difficult times in life and manages to plod on, the journey often ends on a happy note!

So it is not surprising that a passed pawn( not obstructed by an enemy pawn) is a valuable asset and a constant source of worry to the opponent.

In today's game Alexander Alekhine, a combinative genius , outplays his opponent with the magic of a menacing passer. White does retain two rooks for the queen, but lack of harmony among his forces is exploited by the world champion in a very convincing style. Alekhine's followers still believe that the world hasn't yet seen a better attacking player than the Franco-Russian grandmaster(Don't forget Mikhail Tal!). See if you can do anything after Black pushes his pawn to the seventh rank.

White: E Bogoljubow
Black: A Alekhine [A90]
Hastings Six Masters, 1922
1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bxd2+ 6.Nxd2 Nc6 7.Ngf3 00 8.00 d6 9.Qb3 Kh8 10.Qc3 e5 11.e3 a5 12.b3 Qe8 13.a3 Qh5 14.h4 Ng4 15.Ng5 Bd7 16.f3 Nf6 17.f4 e4 18.Rfd1 h6 19.Nh3 d5 20.Nf1 Ne7 21.a4 Nc6 22.Rd2 Nb4 23.Bh1 Qe8 24.Rg2 dxc4 25.bxc4 Bxa4 26.Nf2 Bd7 27.Nd2 b5 28.Nd1
28...Nd3! 29.Rxa5 29...b4 30.Rxa8 30...bxc3!! 31.Rxe8 c2 32.Rxf8+ Kh7 33.Nf2 c1Q+ 34.Nf1 Ne1! 35.Rh2 Qxc4 36.Rb8 36...Bb5 37.Rxb5 Qxb5 38.g4 38...Nf3+ 39.Bxf3 exf3 40.gxf5 Qe2! 41.d5 41...Kg8 42.h5 Kh7 43.e4 Nxe4 44.Nxe4 Qxe4 45.d6 cxd6 46.f6 gxf6 47.Rd2 Qe2 48.Rxe2 fxe2 49.Kf2 exf1Q+ 50.Kxf1 Kg7 51.Kf2 Kf7 52.Ke3 Ke6 53.Ke4 d5+ 01







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