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The Advanced Pawn
P-K5 in the French Defense

Point Count Chess, NO.33, p55
Kitto v. Wallace, 1955

This example is all about White's Advanced Pawn at K5 (e5) becoming a "liability," rather than the asset, or advantage that it otherwise should be.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.54, No.33, before 1...f6
  2. Result of the P-K5 in the French Defense.
  3. Summary of the P-K5 in the French Defense.
  4. PGN
Additional analysis includes the:

P-K5 in the French Defense
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.54, No.33, before 1...f6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 33 - Page 54
Before: 1...f6
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 33 - The Advanced Pawn, P-K5 in the French Defense, Before 1...f6
The Advanced Pawn,
P-K5 in the French Defense,
Before 1...f6
Before 1...f6, the example begins with White's e-Pawn already in its Advanced position, at K5 (e5).

An example of how White's e-Pawn gets into its K5 position can be seen in the section about the Advanced Chain, No.15A & No.15B, after 5.e5.

In No.33, the major difference is White has developed his King Knight to f3, blocking the path of the f-Pawn, when the f-Pawn is needed at f4, to reinforce support for the Advanced Pawn at K5 (e5).
H&M-S suggest White's e-Pawn, in this situation, is a "liability."
To try help understand why, I've compared this Advanced Pawn at K5, with those seen in No.31 & No.32, respectively.

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The Result of the P-K5 in the French Defense...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 33 - P-K5 in the French Defense, After 1...f6 and 2...fxe5 and 4.dxe5
(RESULT) The Advanced Pawn,
P-K5 in the French Defense,
After 1...f6 » 2...fxe5 » 4.dxe5
After 1...f6 » 2...fxe5 » 4.dxe5, Because White couldn't employ his f-Pawn, to reinforce the Pawn at K5 (e5), Black was able to take-out the original e-Pawn (1...f7-f6 » 2...f6xe5), forcing White to replace it with his d-Pawn (4.d4xe5).

While White retains the Advanced Pawn at K5 (e5), it is at the expense of giving Black two separate advantages: 2-v-1 & a Protected Passed Pawn (d5).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 33 - P-K5 in the French Defense, After 4...Qc7
(RESULT) The Advanced Pawn,
P-K5 in the French Defense,
After 4...Qc7
After 4...Qc7, Black's Queen is developed, to attack White's Advanced Pawn at K5 (4...Qd8-c7).

Because of this threat, plus White's expose King (Ke1), White is never able to remove his Nf3 from its support of the e5-Pawn. Black, therefore, prevents White's f-Pawn from being able to provide the neccessary reinforcement, from f4 (as was seen in No.31 & No.32).
I don't have the remainder of this game, but H&M-S say that White ends up losing his Advanced Pawn at K5: "White resigned ... just ahead of checkmate, his king pawn (e5) going lost as a matter of course during the attack."

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Summary of the P-K5 in the French Defense...

  1. If you intend to post a Pawn at K5 (e5), make sure you've completed more of your development, including Castling (as the Comparison, below, appears to suggest).

  2. If you intend to post a Pawn at K5 (e5), ensure the f-Pawn can provide reinforcement, and isn't blocked by the King Knight (Nf3). Prior to gaining the Advanced Pawn at K5, make sure the f-Pawn can advance to f4, otherwise the King Knight may be forced to defend the e5-Pawn, which will totally rule-out f2-f4.

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Comparing White's Pawns at K5 (e5).
What makes No.33's e5-Pawn a liability,
when both No.31 & No.32 are advantageous?...

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, Diagram 33
(COMPARISON) The Advanced Pawn, P-K5 in the French Defense,
No.33, Before 1...f6
According to H&M-S, the King Knight, positioned at f3, at the point when White has gained his Advanced Pawn at K5, is a significant flaw in White's plan, as it prevents his f-Pawn from adding its vital support the Advanced e-Pawn (as was seen in No.31).

This is partly to blame for turning White's Advanced e-Pawn into a "liability," and not advantage that it otherwise should be.

Comparison 1

In No.31 (after 9.f4, below-left), White's King Knight was initially developed to f3 (2.Ng1-f3), but was soon moved on again, to complete the exchange of Pawns on d4 (3.d2-d4 c5xd4 4.Nf3xd4); therefore, the Knight isn't blocking the f-Pawn, at the point when its support from f4 (to e5) is needed.

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, No.33 -- Diagram 31
(COMPARISON 1)
The Advanced Pawn,
P-K5 to Chase the King Knight
(1 of 2), No.31, After 9.f4
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, No.33 -- Diagram 32
(COMPARISON 1)
The Advanced Pawn,
P-K5 to Chase the King Knight
(2 of 2), No.32, After 13.f3 Nxd2

In No.32 (after 13.f3 Nxd4, above-right), White's King Knight was also initially developed to f3 (3.Ng1-f3), but it too was relocated (12.Nf3-d2) before White gained the Advanced Pawn at K5 (e5) -- and when it happened, White's f-Pawn had clear space in front of it to be able to advance to f4, to reinforce the Pawn-support for the e5-Pawn.

Comparison 2

H&M-S also point to the fact that, in both No.31 & No.32, White is further developed, before he gains his Advanced Pawn at K5 ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, No.33 -- Diagram 31
(COMPARISON 2)
The Advanced Pawn,
P-K5 to Chase the King Knight
(1 of 2), No.31, Before 12.fxe5
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, No.33 -- Diagram 32
(COMPARISON 2)
The Advanced Pawn,
P-K5 to Chase the King Knight
(2 of 2), No.32, Before 19.e5

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison 2, Diagram 33
(COMPARISON 2) The Advanced Pawn, P-K5 in the French Defense,
No.33, Before 1...f6
Notice that White has already Castled in both, whereas in No.33 (left), White still needs to develop Pieces off the back rank, from either side, to be able to Castle -- and yet he's already pushed his e-Pawn into its Advanced position.

And there's still the problem of White's Nf3, which never managed to get away from this position, where it blocks the crucial advance of White's f-Pawn (f2-f4).

The overall Comparison leads me to conclude that:

  1. White is fine to develop his King Knight (to f3), first, but for White to be successful with his Advanced Pawn at K5 (e5), support from the f-Pawn is critical. Therefore, the f3 square must be cleared of the King Knight, in time for when the f-Pawn is needed at f4.

  2. White should be further developed, having Castled his King (either Kingside or Queenside), prior to gaining his Advanced Pawn at K5 (e5).


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PGN

[Event "PCC, p54 Diagram NO. 33"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1955"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Kitto"]
[Black "Wallace"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r1bqkb1r/pp3ppp/2n1p1n1/3pP3/3P4/5N2/PPN2PPP/R1BQKB1R b KQkq - 0 0"]
[PlyCount "15"]

{PCC, p54 Diagram NO.33} 1... f6 2. h4 fxe5 3. h5 Nge7 4. dxe5 Qc7 5. Bf4 Nf5 6. Bd3 Nb4 7. Nxb4 Bxb4+ 8. Kf1 O-O *

End.

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