GW-KW, Point Count Chess Raw Discussion, File #2:
Part of the Advanced Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 2)

GW-KW, Point Count Chess,
Raw Discussion, May 19th 2011,
What I Needed Ken To Clarify,
[+] Qualitative Pawn Majority


May 19th 2011, additions to that discussion ...

Referring to Ken's comments, May 18th, regarding Qualitative Pawn Majority ...

(KW, May 18th) "Qualitative" means looking at both sides, and seeing which side has the least weakness (think weak pawns). If both sides have 4 pawns, but one side has doubled, or other weak pawns, then the better side with 4 pawns would have the "qualitative" majority.

May 19th 2011 - Qualitative Pawn Majority - Ex.1
Ex.1


(GW, May 19th) So, for Ex.1, Black would have the Qualitative Pawn Majority, owing to White's very poor Doubled Pawns on f2 & f3

Ken's Comments ...

Right. Black has a Qualitative Kingside Majority. White will probably play e4 to exchange pawns there and try to straighten out his pawn structure, but he will still be 3 pawns facing 4 pawns, so a Qualitative Majority is a point for Black in the current position.

Continuing with a second example ...

May 19th 2011 - Qualitative Pawn Majority - Ex.2
Ex.2


(GW, May 19th) However, what about Ex.2? ...

Both formations, surrounding the respective Castled Kings, are frequently seen in games. I've seen Yasser Seirawan promote White's position, in his Winning Chess Openings book, where it features in the Barcza Opening ...

Ken's Comments ...

I can see where you are coming from, but White's pawn structure is not weak. Even though the pawn on g3 creates 2 backward pawns on f2 and h2, with the Bishop on g2, this is actually quite a strong formation.

... (GW, May 19th) However, if you strip away the surrounding Pieces and focus on just the Pawns, then 'technically', wouldn't Black have the Qualitative Pawn Majority, since the advance of White's G Pawn leads to Holes at h3 and, since the E Pawn is missing, at f3, as well.

Ken's Comments ...

While there are holes, it would not be possible, with correct play on both sides, for an army with 3 to create a passed pawn against another army of 3. The holes do not count for the Majority, only the minus pawn moves (a hole is a weak square, not a weak pawn - As a suggestion, you need to get into your mind that squares and pawns are as different as pawns and pieces, and learn their unique characteristics - Here we are talking about Pawn Majority, so you need to look at pawn structure, not square structure. Hope that helps).

... (GW, May 19th) Looking across to Black's Pawns, none are giving away any weakness.

But, isn't the overall structure of White's position (including the Pieces) stronger, since the fianchettoed g2 Bishop acts like a Pawn on steroids?

Ken's Comments ...

Hah! Never heard it put that way before, but you are right (Hope the Bishop doesn't have to do drug testing!). The Bishop here extends the reach on the diagonals greatly over a pawn. While the Bishop is there, the formation is strong. When the Bishop is gone (maybe because of a positive drug test?), it will be subject to attack by Black's pieces, and maybe the f- or h- pawns.


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