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

Hanging Pawns
Point Count Chess: [-]


Point Count Chess, Examples
Hanging Pawns

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 80A to 80B - Page 114 PCC, Hanging Pawns. Example #1
(p114) Diagram NO.80A to NO.80B
Zukertort v. Taubenhaus, 1887
Hanging Pawns

Determining whether a 4th Rank Phalanx is Hanging or not means looking to see whether the Pawns can defend themselves by forming into a Chain.

In this example, Black incurs Hanging Pawns, on the c- & d-files.

White focuses on attacking the Black units trying to defend the respective Hanging Pawns, before capturing the least-defended of the Hanging Pawns, which leaves the remaining one as a weak Isolani.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 83 - Page 118 PCC, Hanging Pawns. Example #2
Shaky Center Pawns

(p118) Diagram NO.83
Kevitz v. Kotov, 1955
Shaky Center Pawns

In this example, White's 3-Pawn Phalanx (c4-, d4- & e4-Pawns) are considered to be Hanging Pawns, by H&M-S.

Important: Despite White's 4th Rank Phalanx not being Isolated, as per H&M-S's standard definition of Hanging Pawns, in this example (No.83), H&M-S still consider White's 3-Pawn Phalanx on the 4th Rank, to be Hanging Pawns, as they've become Overextended to the point where they cannot advance safely, when under frontal attack.

Includes Additional Analysis, revealing H&M-S's remedy for Shaky, Hanging Pawns, in the Center.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 84A to 84B - Page 119-120 PCC, Hanging Pawns. Example #3
Inviting Pawn Advances (1 of 2)

(p119-120) Diagram NO.84A to NO.84B
Jackson v. Denker, 1935
Inviting Pawn Advances (1 of 2)

In this example, Black uses his King Knight to invite White to advance his e-, c- & d-Pawns (in that order) into a position where H&M-S consider them to be Hanging Pawns, despite them not being Isolated (similar to No.83).

This example reveals two different outcomes, both in Black's favor: White loses a Pawn; or, Black gains a Positional Advantage.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram NO.84A and NO.84C - Page x-x PCC, Hanging Pawns. Example #3
Inviting Pawn Advances (2 of 2)

(p119-121) Diagram NO.84A & NO.84C
Lessing v. Denker, 1938
Inviting Pawn Advances (2 of 2)

See No.84A (1 of 2) for full details of how Black invited White to advance his Pawns, until they became Hanging Pawns.

In No.84B (1 of 2), White tried to play his way out of trouble by not capturing Black's d6-Pawn, which had come out to attack White's Advanced e5-Pawn.

This example (No.84C) shows how White risks incurring an Isolated d-Pawn, or having to make a "premature advance" of his c-Pawn, to c5, if he does try to capture Black's d6-Pawn, with his Advanced e5-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - Page 122 PCC, Hanging Pawns. Example #4
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns)

(p122) Diagram NO.85
Bisguier v. Szabo, 1955
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns)

This example shows White's 4th Rank Phalanx that aren't Isolated and that doesn't Hang, because of White's ability to defend it, coupled with Black's inability to attack it (without disadvantage).

White's 4th Rank Phalanx also serves to Cramp Black's development, making it a strong formation, rather than a weak one.

Includes a side-by-side Comparison of No.85 (4th Rank Phalanx that doesn't Hang) and the other examples (Hanging Pawns).

Further Reading

Point Count Chess (Horowitz & Mott-Smith, 1960)
  • Hanging Pawns, (p114)
  • Hanging Pawns SUMMARY, (p123)


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