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

Doubled Pawns
Point Count Chess: [-]


Point Count Chess, Examples
Doubled Pawns

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 62A to 62B - Page 93-94 PCC, Doubled Pawns. Example #1
Endgame Weakness

(p93-94) Diagram NO.62A to NO.62B
Cohn v. Rubinstein, 1909
Endgame Weakness

An exchange on f3, by Black's light-Bishop, for White's King Knight, results in White's Doubled Pawns on the f-file.

In addition to Doubled Pawns, White's h-Pawn becomes an Isolated Pawn, and it's this weakling that Black's King focuses on, while Black's Kingside Pawns take-on White's Doubled Pawn weakness.

Black's plan is to deal with White's weak Pawn structures on the Kingside, before freeing one of his other Pawns, and guiding it down to gain Promotion.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 63 - Page 94 PCC, Doubled Pawns. Example #2
The Doubled Queen Bishop Pawn
in the Queen Pawn Opening

(p94) Diagram NO.63
Example Sequence
The Doubled Queen Bishop Pawn in the Queen Pawn Opening

An exchange on c3, by Black's dark-Bishop, for White's Queen Knight, results in White's Doubled Pawns on the c-file.

It also leaves White's a-Pawn Isolated, and creates a Hole at b3.

However, H&M-S suggest White benefits more from having the Doubled Pawns reinforce the Center, although there appears to be equal opportunity to win or lose, from this position (for both sides).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 64 - Page 96 PCC, Doubled Pawns. Example #3
File-Opening

(p96) Diagram NO.64
Kostic v. Capablanca, 1919
File-Opening

This example serves as a warning to the player about to force their opponent to take on Doubled Pawns.

In certain cases, the Doubled Pawns will become a weakness that can be exploited. In other cases, the opponent can benefit from the opening of the file.

Includes a Comparison of the value of files that are opened, as a result of the Doubled Pawns, (comparing No.63 and No.64).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - Page 98 PCC, Doubled Pawns. Example #4
The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2)

(p98) Diagram NO.66
Capablanca v. Dus Chotimirsky, 1913
The Pinned King Knight
(1 of 2)


While the focus in this example is Black's Bishop Pin on White's Nf3, and the possibility of White incurring Doubled Pawns on the f-file, in the game, White actually avoids the Doubled Pawn formation.

The main point to consider is WHY White was able to choose to IGNORE the Doubled Pawn threat.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 67 - Page 98 PCC, Doubled Pawns. Example #4
The Pinned King Knight (2 of 2)

(p98) Diagram NO.67
Maroczy v. Capablanca, 1926
The Pinned King Knight
(2 of 2)


This example shows Black's King Knight (Nf6) being Pinned by White's dark-Bishop, from g5.

However, it also serves to highlight conditions that mean White's effort is wasted, in his play that forces Black to incur Doubled Pawns, on the f-file.

In addition, we see how Black can take advantage of the Half-Open g-file, which was created during the Doubling of Black's g- and f-Pawns.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - Page 100 PCC, Doubled Pawns. Example #5
Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2)

(p100) Diagram NO.69
Alekhine v. Lasker, 1924
Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2)

This example (No.69) is one of two (No.70, being the other) that tries to help a player determine whether it's okay (or not) to allow a center pawn (d- or e-Pawns) to become Doubled upon the bishop file (c or f, respectively).

H&M-S stress it's not easy to determine this!
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 70 - Page 101 PCC, Doubled Pawns. Example #5
Doubling Away from the Center (2 of 2)

(p101) Diagram NO.70
Rubinstein v. Canal, 1929
Doubling Away from the Center (2 of 2)

This example shows how White can thrive with Doubled Pawns on the f-file, and is in complete contrast to No.69, where the same Doubled f-Pawns proved to play a significant role is White's downfall.

Includes a Comparison between No.69 & No.70, to help identity one key difference that can help turn White's Doubled f-Pawns from a fatal weakness, to a potential game-winning asset.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 188 - Page 269 PCC, Doubled Pawns. Example #6
Acceptable Doubled Pawns

(p269) Diagram NO.188
Schwarz v. Tarrasch, 1932
Acceptable Doubled Pawns

This example shows that Doubled Pawns may be considered acceptable, when exchanging a Bad Bishop, for your opponent's Good Bishop.

Black's development leads to his light-Bishop becoming a Bad Bishop. Black then exchanges it for White's light-Bishop (the Good Bishop). Despite incurring Doubled Pawns on the f-file, it serves to strengthen the Center, for Black's benefit.

Further Reading

Point Count Chess (Horowitz & Mott-Smith, 1960)
  • The Doubled Pawn, (p92)
  • The Doubled Queen Bishop Pawn in the Queen Pawn Opening, (p94)
  • Acceptable Doubled Pawn, (p268)
  • The Doubled Pawn SUMMARY, (p102)


Return to the Index of Disadvantages
Return to the Chess Strategies Guide,
Studying the Pawns (Weak Pawns)
← Back to the Chess Glossary (Doubled Pawns)
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