The Backward Pawn:
Part of the Advanced Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 1) and the
Chess Strategies Guide (Section 2: Studying the Pawns)

The Backward Pawn
Point Count Chess: [-]


Point Count Chess, Examples
The Backward Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 53A to 53B - Page 83-84 PCC, The Backward Pawn. Example #1
The Queen Bishop Pawn
in the Queen's Gambit

(p83-84) Diagram NO.53A to NO.53B
Capablanca v. Teichmann, 1913
The Queen Bishop Pawn in the Queen's Gambit

Black's c-Pawn becomes the Backward Pawn, when trying to defend his Pinned Nf6, with the Nd7, and when trying to create space for his light-Bishop (Bc8), with the advance of the b-Pawn.

Black faces a dilemma:

(A) keep the Backward c-Pawn and endure the Cramp it's causing within Black's Queenside position.

(B) Get rid of the Backward c-Pawn, by advancing it to c5, which, in part, causes Black's d5-Pawn to become Isolated.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 55A to 55B - Page 85-86 PCC, The Backward Pawn. Example #2
The King Pawn in a Classical
King-Side Attack

(p85-86) Diagram NO.55A to NO.55B
Capablanca v. Blanco, 1913
The King Pawn in a Classical King-Side Attack

Black's e-Pawn becomes the Backward Pawn, in the French Defence, after the exchange his d-Pawn on e4, leaves Black's e6-Pawn reliant on the f-Pawn, for Pawn support.

White exploits this, by threatening an attack on Black's King, with his light-Bishop (Bd3) and Queen (Qh3); they combine to force Black to move the f-Pawn, to f5, to increase defenses along the b1-h7 diagonal.

However, that causes Black's e6-Pawn to become Backward, and White's focus switches to applying pressure to it, before capturing that weak, Black e-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 58A to 58B - Page 88-89 PCC, The Backward Pawn. Example #3
The Queen Pawn in the Sicilian Defense

(p88-89) Diagram NO.58A to NO.58B
Example Sequence0
The Queen Pawn in the Sicilian Defense

Black's d-Pawn becomes the Backward Pawn, in a variation of the Sicilian Defence.

Early on, in the opening, Black gains a Half-Open c-file, and a 2-v-1 Pawn advantage in the Center.

White is able to exploit a vulnerability around Black's e7-Pawn, to force Black to put his d-Pawn into a Backward position.

Further Reading

Point Count Chess (Horowitz & Mott-Smith, 1960)
  • The Backward Pawn, (p81)
  • The Backward Pawn SUMMARY, (p91)


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Return to the Chess Strategies Guide,
Studying the Pawns (Weak Pawns)
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