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(Qualitative Pawn Majority)


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(Offside Pawn Majority)

Pawn Majorities
The Offside Majority (1 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO.182, p258-259
Example Sequence

H&M-S's Definition of the Offside Majority: "If both kings castle on the same side, the player whose pawn majority is on the 'other' wing has a potential endgame advantage."

"Since king-side castling is usual, this advantage is commonly called the "queen-side majority."

"We prefer the term 'offside,' since the same situation obtains when both sides move O-O-O and one then establishes a king-side majority."

Presented in "skeletal" form, this example shows how an Offside Pawn Majority (White's, on the Queenside, in this case) is often used as a Decoy, for the benefit of the Minority Pawn on the side closest to its King, which will become the candidate Pawn, to be converted into a Passed Pawn and escorted up the board, to gain Promotion, for a game-winning advantage.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.258, No.182, before 1.b4
  2. Result of the Offside Majority (1 of 2).
  3. Summary of the Offside Majority (1 of 2).
  4. PGN

The Offside Majority (1 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.258, No.182, before 1.b4

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 182 - Page 258
Before: 1.b4

1. White's Offside Majority Attacks Black's Pawn Minority

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 182 - Pawn Majorities, The Offside Majority (1 of 2), After 1.b4
Pawn Majorities,
The Offside Majority (1 of 2),
After 1.b4
After 1.b4, White ensures Black's Queenside Minority Pawn cannot advance, by advancing his b-Pawn (1.b2-b4) to attack the a5-square.

Black won't play 1...a6-a5, as 2.b4xa5 will give White a Passed Pawn, in an Advanced position, and Black's King will be too far away from White's a5-Pawn, to prevent it from quickly gaining Promotion (refer also to the Rule of the Square).
White's plan is to use his Queenside Majority to attack Black's Pawn Minority (the Isolated a-Pawn), and force the creation of a Passed Pawn, and this is to be done before White's King is used to attack and remove Black's Kingside Pawn Majority, thereby converting his g-Pawn into the candidate Passed Pawn that's to be escorted to gain Promotion, for the game-winning advantage.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 182 - Pawn Majorities, The Offside Majority (1 of 2), After 1...Ke6
Pawn Majorities,
The Offside Majority (1 of 2),
After 1...Ke6
After 1...Ke6, Black starts to move his King closer to the Offside Pawns (those on the Queenside), to be in a better position to try and deal with White's Pawns, if one is converted to a Passed Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 182 - Pawn Majorities, The Offside Majority (1 of 2), After 2.Ke4 h5 3.a4
Pawn Majorities,
The Offside Majority (1 of 2),
After 2.Ke4 h5 3.a4
After 2.Ke4 h5 3.a4, White brings his King to the front line (2.Kf3-e4) and Black does likewise, albeit with his h-Pawn (2...h6-h5).

White then resumes his Pawn Majority attack against Black's Isolated a-Pawn, bringing his own a-Pawn up to sit in Phalanx formation (3.a2-a4), with the b-Pawn.

White edges ever closer towards the forceful creation of a Passed Pawn, on the Queenside.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 182 - Pawn Majorities, The Offside Majority (1 of 2), After 3...g5
Pawn Majorities,
The Offside Majority (1 of 2),
After 3...g5
After 3...g5, Black has no choice but to wait the approaching attack on his a-Pawn, so he resumes the advance of his Kingside Pawns, as he brings his g-Pawn to sit in Phalanx formation (3...g6-g5), with the h-Pawn.

2. White converts his Offside Majority into a Passed Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 182 - Pawn Majorities, The Offside Majority (1 of 2), After 4.b5
Pawn Majorities,
The Offside Majority (1 of 2),
After 4.b5
After 4.b5, White provokes the Queenside Pawn exchange, with the advance of his b-Pawn (4.b4-b5).

If Black fails to capture, White can simply push his b-Pawn beyond the attacking range of Black's a6-Pawn, and gain the Passed Pawn, anyway.

Black has no choice but to enter into the exchange ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 182 - Pawn Majorities, The Offside Majority (1 of 2), After 4...axb5 5.axb5
Pawn Majorities,
The Offside Majority (1 of 2),
After 4...axb5 5.axb5
After 4...axb5 5.axb5, White gains the Queenside Passed Pawn.

White's Queenside Majority is dissolved, as Black's a-Pawn captures White's b-Pawn (4...a6xb5), but that simply allows White's a-Pawn to recapture (5.a4xb5), to become a Passed Pawn -- the Decoy -- that Black's King cannot afford to ignore (due the threat of its Promotion).

3. White's Queenside Passed Pawn (the Decoy) drags Black's King away from the Kingside.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 182 - Pawn Majorities, The Offside Majority (1 of 2), After 5...h4
Pawn Majorities,
The Offside Majority (1 of 2),
After 5...h4
After 5...h4, Black tries to maintain his own Majority attack, on the Kingside, with the advance of his h-Pawn (5...h5-h4).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 182 - Pawn Majorities, The Offside Majority (1 of 2), After 6.b6 Kd6
Pawn Majorities,
The Offside Majority (1 of 2),
After 6.b6 Kd6
After 6.b6 Kd6, White advances his Passed Pawn (6.b5-b6) ever closer toward its Promotion square (b8), so that Black is pretty much compelled to abandon his Kingside Pawns, to send his King across (6...Ke6-d6) to deal with the threat by White's b-Pawn to gain Promotion ... that's how the Decoy works.

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The Result of the Offside Majority (1 of 2)...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 182 - Pawn Majorities, The Offside Majority (1 of 2), After 7.Kf5
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
The Offside Majority (1 of 2),
After 7.Kf5
After 7.Kf5, with Black's King having been dragged away towards White's Passed Pawn on the Queenside, White is free to attack Black's Kingside Pawn Majority, with his King (7.Ke4-f5).

Without support from their King, the two Black Pawns cannot hope to survive attacks either from the side or the rear.

White has no intention of saving his Passed Pawn on the Queenside -- that was purely a Decoy, pulling Black's King away from the Kingside, so that White's King could clear the two Black Pawns, convert his solitary g-Pawn into a Passed Pawn, and then use his King to escort it all the way up to gain Promotion.

So, while it may initially have looked like White's Offside Pawn Majority (the two Pawns on the Queenside) were favorite to force a Passed Pawn and gain Promotion, in reality, it's White's Pawn Minority -- the solitary Pawn on the Kingside -- that is the REAL candidate Pawn intended for Promotion, and with it the game-winning advantage.

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Summary of the Offside Majority (1 of 2)...

  1. White's Offside Majority (the Queenside Pawns) attacks Black's Pawn Minority, ignoring any urge to attack Black's Kingside Pawn Majority.

  2. White converts his Offside Majority into a Passed Pawn, by force, exchanging his original b-Pawn for White's a-Pawn, to enable his original a-Pawn to come to the b-file, by capture, and threaten to gain Promotion, from its Advanced position. This is all done before White's focus turns to clearing the Black Kingside Pawns, and converting his g-Pawn to a Passed Pawn.

  3. White's Queenside Passed Pawn (the Decoy) drags Black's King away from the Kingside. Black has no choice but to leave his Kingside Pawns and move toward White's Passed b-Pawn, to prevent it from gaining Promotion.

  4. White is free to attack and remove Black's Kingside Pawns, freeing his g-Pawn, which becomes the Passed Pawn that White's King will escort all the way up to gain Promotion. Black's King will be unable to prevent White from returning a Queen to the board, for a game-winning advantage.

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PGN

[Event "PCC, p258-259 Diagram NO. 182"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Horowitz"]
[Black "Mott-Smith"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/5k2/p5pp/8/8/5K2/PP4P1/8 w - - 0 0"]
[PlyCount "13"]

{PCC, p258 Diagram NO.182} 1. b4 Ke6 2. Ke4 h5 3. a4 g5 4. b5 axb5 5. axb5 h4 6. b6 Kd6 7. Kf5 *

End.

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(Offside Pawn Majority)