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The Isolated Pawn
Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO.190A to NO.190B, p269-270
O. Bernstein v. Tarrasch, 1914

The majority of the Isolated Pawn examples have focused on either player incurring an Isolated Pawn on the d-file. Here, in No.190A, Black's f-Pawn becomes Isolated, on the e-file.

Two factors that make Black's e6-Pawn an Acceptable Isolani:

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the two positions featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.269, No.190A, after 11.Qe2
  2. PCC, p.270, No.190B, after 16...O-O
  3. Result of an Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2).
  4. Summary of the Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2).
  5. PGN

Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.269, No.190A, after 11.Qe2

After: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Nbd2 Nc5 10.c3 Be7 11.Qe2

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 190A - Page 269
After: 11.Qe2

1. How Black's f-Pawn becomes an Acceptable Isolani, on the e-file

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 190A and 190B - The Isolated Pawn, Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2), After 5...Nxe4 6.d4
The Isolated Pawn,
Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2),
After 5...Nxe4 6.d4
After 5...Nxe4 6.d4, Black's Nf6 takes-out White's e4-Pawn (5...Nf6xe4), and then White's d-Pawn comes out to attack Black's e5-Pawn (6.d2-d4).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 190A and 190B - The Isolated Pawn, Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2), After 6...b5 7.Bb3 d5
The Isolated Pawn,
Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2),
After 6...b5 7.Bb3 d5
After 6...b5 7.Bb3 d5, we reach the point just before White's d4-Pawn takes-out Black's e5-Pawn, during which Black has developed two more Pawns to their front line (6...b7-b5 » 7...d7-d5).

Black's b-Pawn drives back White's light-Bishop (7.Ba4-b3).

Black's d-Pawn creates an Outpost at e4; Black's Ne4 already occupies this vantage point, both inside the Center and inside White's territory.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 190A and 190B - The Isolated Pawn, Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2), After 8.dxe5 Be6
The Isolated Pawn,
Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2),
After 8.dxe5 Be6
After 8.dxe5 Be6, White's d4-Pawn moves into an Advanced position, as takes-out Black's e5-Pawn (8.d4xe5).

Black's light-Bishop then blockades White's e5-Pawn, as it's developed (8...Bc8-e6).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 190A and 190B - The Isolated Pawn, Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2), After 9.Nbd2 to 10...Be7
The Isolated Pawn,
Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2),
After 9.Nbd2 to 10...Be7
After 9.Nbd2 to 10...Be7, Black completes the development of all his Minor Pieces, prior to pushing his d5-Pawn into an Advanced position (...d5-d4).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 190A and 190B - The Isolated Pawn, Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2), After 11.Qe2 d4
The Isolated Pawn,
Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2),
After 11.Qe2 d4
After 11.Qe2 d4, Black waits until White's Queen comes off the d-file (11.Qd1-e2), before pushing his d-Pawn into an Advanced position (11...d5-d4), where it attacks White's c3-Pawn, and Cramps White's development at e3.

The advance of Black's d-Pawn also unleashes a Discovered Attack by Black's Be6, against White's Bb3. This is significant, as it tempts White into exchanging light-Bishops, on e6, which is what causes Black's f-Pawn to come over to the e-file.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 190A and 190B - The Isolated Pawn, Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2), After 12.Bxe6 fxe6
The Isolated Pawn,
Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2),
After 12.Bxe6 fxe6
After 12.Bxe6 fxe6, White trades light-Bishops (12.Bb3xe6), on e6, which results in Black's f-Pawn moving across onto the e-file, as it completes the trade (12...f7xe6).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 190A and 190B - The Isolated Pawn, Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2), After 13.cxd4
The Isolated Pawn,
Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2),
After 13.cxd4
After 13.cxd4, Black's former f-Pawn becomes the Isolated Pawn, on the e-file, as White's c3-Pawn finally breaks the tension to capture Black's Advanced Pawn, on d4 (13.e3xd4).
Ignore White's 2-v-1 & 4th v. 3rd, as his d4-Pawn isn't on the board long enough for either to count as advantages.

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The Result of an Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2)...

Position #2, My Analysis
PCC, p.270, No.190B, after 16...O-O

After: 11...d4 12.Bxe6 fxe6 13.cxd4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 Qxd4 15.Nb3 Nxb3 16.axb3 O-O

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 190B - Page 270
After: 16...O-O

2. After incurring the Isolated Pawn on the e-file, Black Simplifies and his Queen invades White's territory.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 190 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2), After 13.cxd4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 Qxd4
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2),
After 13.cxd4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 Qxd4
After 13.cxd4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 Qxd4. The first bit of Simplification comes in the wake of Black incurring the Isolated Pawn, on the e-file (13.c3xd4).

An exchange takes-out one set of adverse Knights (13...Nc6xd4 14.Nf3xd4), and allows Black to bring his Queen into White's territory (14...Qd8xd4), in the Center.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 190 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2), After 15.Nb3 Nxb3 16.axb6
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2),
After 15.Nb3 Nxb3 16.axb6
After 15.Nb3 Nxb3 16.axb6. The second bit of Simplification takes out the last set of adverse Knights, and leaves White with Doubled Isolated Pawns, on the b-file.

White forces the exchange of the last set of adverse Knights (15.Nd2-b3 Nc5xb3), which leaves White's Ra1 with the benefit of the Half-Open a-file, but also Doubled Pawns, which are BOTH Isolated Pawns, on the b-file, as White's a-Pawn completes the trade (16.a2xb3).

H&M-S say: "White accepts a doubled and isolated queen knight pawn, perhaps with the hope of making some use of the half-open queen rook file."

3. Why Black's Isolated e6-Pawn is an Acceptable Isolani

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 190 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2), After 16...O-O
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2),
After 16...O-O
After 16...O-O, Black finally gets to Castle his King to the Kingside (16...O-O).

Not only does this Connect Black's Rooks, it also gives Black the advantage of an Offside Pawn Majority, against White's severely weakened Doubled Isolated b-Pawns. This is the key benefit to Black, which outweighs incurring the Isolated Pawn.

H&M-S say: "Black's isolani is negligible, while his swap of a center pawn for a wing pawn has given him the ominous queen-side majority (the Offside Pawn Majority)."

Black's position also serves to Cramp White's development: White's f-Pawn cannot be advanced because it's Pinned by Black's Queen (Qd4), and White's King Rook is unable to chase away Black's Queen (Rf1-d1) without being left disadvantaged (as was proved by 17.Rf1-d1 Rf8xf2, which weakens the Pawn Guard surrounding White's Castled King).

All of this contributes to Black's Isolated Pawn being deemed an Acceptable Isolani.

From here, Black goes on to allow the exchange of Queens, before focusing on the advance of his Offside Pawn Majority, to force through a Passed Pawn, on the a-file, en route to winning the game.


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Summary of an Acceptable Isolani (2 of 2)...

  1. Black's f-Pawn becomes an Acceptable Isolani, on the e-file. The advance of Black's d-Pawn also unleashes a Discovered Attack by Black's Be6, against White's Bb3. This is significant, as it tempts White into exchanging light-Bishops, on e6, which is what causes Black's f-Pawn to come over to the e-file. White trades light-Bishops (12.Bb3xe6), on e6, which results in Black's f-Pawn moving across onto the e-file, as it completes the trade (12...f7xe6). Black's former f-Pawn becomes the Isolated Pawn, on the e-file, as White's c3-Pawn finally breaks the tension to capture Black's Advanced Pawn, on d4 (13.e3xd4).

  2. After incurring the Isolated Pawn on the e-file, Black Simplifies and his Queen invades White's territory. The first bit of Simplification comes in the wake of Black incurring the Isolated Pawn, and it involves an exchange that takes-out one set of adverse Knights (13...Nc6xd4 14.Nf3xd4), and allows Black to bring his Queen into White's territory (14...Qd8xd4), in the Center. The second bit of Simplification takes out the last set of adverse Knights, and leaves White with Doubled Isolated Pawns, on the b-file (15.Nd2-b3 Nc5xb3 16.a2xb3).

  3. Why Black's Isolated e6-Pawn is an Acceptable Isolani:

    • First, H&M-S say that "Black's isolani is negligible." This is probably because Black's Rook (Rf8) and Queen (Qd4) both attack the only White Pawn (f2) that could otherwise attack Black's Isolated e6-Pawn. Exchanges have also removed the Minor Piece threats (Knights and light-Bishop are all gone). Finally, White's Queen and Rooks are occupied with defending both Kingside and Queenside positions.

    • Second, it leads to Black gaining the advantage of an Qualitative Pawn Majority, against White's severely weakened Doubled Isolated b-Pawns. This is the key benefit to Black, which outweighs incurring the Isolated Pawn.

    • Third, Black's position, especially that of the Queen (Qd4) serves to Cramp White's development, and White finds it difficult to attack Black's Queen, without being left disadvantaged.


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PGN

[Event "St Petersburg preliminary"]
[Site "St Petersburg"]
[Date "1914.04.21"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Ossip Bernstein"]
[Black "Siegbert Tarrasch"]
[ECO "C80"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "138"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Nbd2 Nc5 10.c3 Be7 11.Qe2 {PCC p.269 No.190A} d4 12.Bxe6 fxe6 13.cxd4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 Qxd4 15.Nb3 Nxb3 16.axb3 O-O {PCC p.270 No.190B} 17.Rd1 Rxf2 18.Be3 Rxe2 19.Bxd4 c5 20.Bc3 b4 21.Kf1 Re4 22.Be1 Rxe5 23.Bg3 Rd5 24.Rxd5 exd5 25.Rd1 c4 26.Rxd5 cxb3 27.Rd3 a5 28.Rxb3 a4 29.Re3 Bf6 30.Re2 a3 31.bxa3 bxa3 32.Ra2 Bb2 33.Bd6 Kf7 34.Ke2 Ra6 35.Bc5 Ra5 36.Bb4 Ra4 37.Bc5 Ke6 38.Kd3 Kf5 39.Bf8 Kg4 40.Ke3 Ra6 41.Bc5 h5 42.Ke4 h4 43.Ke3 Ra4 44.Bd6 h3 45.gxh3+ Kxh3 46.Kf3 Kh4 47.Be7+ Kh5 48.Ke3 g5 49.Bc5 Kg6 50.Bd6 Kf5 51.Bc5 Ke6 52.Kf3 Kf5 53.Ke3 Re4+ 54.Kf2 Ra4 55.Ke3 Rh4 56.Bd6 Rh3+ 57.Bg3 Be5 58.Kf3 g4+ 59.Kg2 Bb2 60.Kf2 Ke4 61.Ke2 Rh6 62.Kd2 Rh8 63.Bc7 Rf8 64.Bg3 Rf3 65.Bb8 Kd5 66.Kc2 Kc4 67.Bg3 Rc3+ 68.Kd2 Kb3 69.Rxb2+ axb2 0-1

End.

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