Understanding before Moving 92: Backgrounds of structures (2)

by ChessBase
9/25/2022 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 92nd instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman continues to discuss structures that are typical for 1.e4 e5 openings. | Photo: Pascal Simon

Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2 Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2

In this two-part course the emphasis will be on typical pawn-structures.


In the previous episode we talked about structures that are typical for the Italian and the Ruy Lopez, and in which a white pawn is on e4 and a black pawn on e5. White often tries to build a strong pawn center with c2-c3, d2-d4 (or d3-d4).

When Black manages to keep his pawn on e5, White will often have problems to gain a concrete advantage. But if Black gives up the center with ...e5xd4, White gets a mobile pawn center with c3xd4 that often allows White to bring his pieces to life.

Therefore, Black should try to keep the pawn on e5 as long as possible and should be careful to release the tension with ...e5xd4.

Max Euwe, the only Dutchman ever to become World Champion, Max Euwe, managed to execute the strategy outlined above (almost) perfectly in his game against Contedini, played at the Chess Olympiad Leipzig 1960: Euwe managed to keep the pawn e5 in exemplary fashion. The fact that he had to withdraw almost all his pieces to the last two ranks to do so would have enchanted Wilhelm Steinitz.

The result of Euwe's strategy can be seen in the diagram below. It is Black to move and White is in for a surprise. Can you find the  thunderbolt with which Euwe seized the initiative?


Attacking with the Benko Gambit

Don't give 1.d4 players an easy ride — sacrifice a pawn with 3.b5 for a lasting initiative. GM Ramirez shows you clear ideas for play in every variation.

Attacking with the Benko Gambit - Part 2

GM Ramirez completes his repertoire suggestion versus 1.d4 with powerful systems among others against the ColleSystem, Trompowsky or the declining move 3.Nf3. An absolute asset - not only for friends of the Benko Gambit!

This week’s show (for Premium Members only)


Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.