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Pawn Forks: the David vs. Goliath of Chess

  • MI Silman
  • | 09/02/2013
  • | Visto 15395 veces
  • | 24 comentarios

The pawn fork: fun, often game changing, sadistic. In fact the David vs. Goliath feel of a lowly pawn simultaneously hitting two far more valuable enemy pieces is one of the game’s great pleasures. 

But, is the pawn fork really some rare nuclear option, or can it be a part of various scenarios ranging from violent to run-of-the-mill? Let’s take a look...

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PAWN FORK IN THE OPENING

At times the fork is used early in the game, but just because you can fork pieces doesn’t mean it leads to anything.

BASIC MATERIAL GAIN

Often the pawn fork is all about winning material.

THE PAWN FORK AS AN ATTACKING THEME

Sometimes the fork is more attack-based than material-based. 

BEAUTY ALERT! You are about to see some really nice stuff!

THE PAWN FORK AS RUBBISH

Sometimes the fork, as tempting as it may be, isn’t the way to go.

PROBLEMS

There are some really hard problems here. Few will solve them all, but the idea is not to stroke your ego. Instead, learn from the examples and also revel in the sheer artistic beauty that some of these problems offer. As always, make sure to look at the hidden prose and variations embedded in the puzzles!

The answers to the "Yes" or "No" puzzles will appear at the end of the article.

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Assess the position after 31.g5+. Is it good for White? If not, did White have something better?
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Is d3-d4, forking black's Rook and Knight, a good idea?
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Is 18.Nxc5 a good move?
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YES and NO PUZZLE ANSWERS

Assess the position after 31.g5+. Is it good for White? If not, did White have something better?
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Is d3-d4, forking back’s Rook and Knight, a good idea?
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Is 18.Nxc5 a good move?
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Comentarios


  • hace 20 meses

    doug5263

    Nice article.  In Mikhalchishin vs. Lopukhin after 33 f5+ if Qf7 ; then after 34 Rh2+ Nh5 (If Kg5 35 Qd2 winning) 35 f6 Rg5 (Nxf6 36Rxf6+) 36 Nf5+ Kg6 37 Nxd6 with a winning attack.

  • hace 20 meses

    AkiMumbaiChamp

    nice book ............. 

  • hace 20 meses

    Shah_Maht

    two questions 1. is
     that sound? 2.

  • hace 20 meses

    Shah_Maht

     i love ur books where r they cheapest? (a free signed copy would be much appreciated :))   I want to play u also thnx.

  • hace 20 meses

    Chesspuzzles

    i really want to ask a question. your books are great, ur articles are great! then why haven't u become a GM? I truly can't understand that.

  • hace 20 meses

    MI Silman

    blot said: "In Gedeon Barcza vs. Giorgio Porreca, what is the idea behind 31.Qf4? 31.Qc3 looks like a good alternative imo."

    In my notes I say that 31.Qc3 is a great alternative. I used 31.Qf4 cause I wanted to make use of the fun end to that line. 31.Qc3 is what I'd play in a game, but it's too smooth and didn't allow me the Queen sac that 31.Qf4 did (remember it's a puzzle so I'm looking for fun puzzle solutions).

     

  • hace 20 meses

    blot

    In Gedeon Barcza vs. Giorgio Porreca, what is the idea behind 31. Qf4? Qc3 looks like a good alternative imo.

    And thanks for a good article, as always.

  • hace 20 meses

    KingLeopold

    Its funny that you just wrote this article and i should of read it on the day it came out because I just got caught by one in a recent game

  • hace 20 meses

    lol_chessaments

    Because exf3 is a bit stronger than Kg1

    AJI12043

    In Fijalkowski vs Boog, after white plays 22. d4 why wouldn't black play the line 22. Qxf3+ 23. Kg1 23. Qe3+ 24. either Kg2, Kf1 or Nf2 24. Qxd4  Seems like the threat is averted and should be a good advantage for black. There also seem to be several enticing looking attacking lines off that Qxd4 variation, but those aren't as clear. The line above though seems solid if not very good for black. Gives a pawn majority and more active pieces for black while whites king is more exposed.

  • hace 21 meses

    MBramnik

    Great article!

  • hace 21 meses

    Vamsinath24

    nice article....and a good set of puzzles.....

  • hace 21 meses

    RukhMania

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • hace 21 meses

    ZaaaFaaaaa

    Aji12...  22...Qxf3 23 exQ  losing the lady

  • hace 21 meses

    AJI12043

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • hace 21 meses

    mottsauce

    Thanks, Jeremy: that Gyula Sax game is incredible.

  • hace 21 meses

    MI Silman

    @ Martin0 - Thanks for pointing out the typo! It's fixed.

  • hace 21 meses

    wardexe

    Because the pawns pinned to the king

  • hace 21 meses

    _L_Lawliet_

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • hace 21 meses

    dalsmith

    This is great.  Thanks Silman.  Almost done with Reassess Your Chess, 4th edition.  Then moving on to your Endgame book.

  • hace 21 meses

    MrMars

    the game with makarov, the end of the side-variation, couldn't black take whites queen with mate?

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