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The Advanced Pawn
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO.37, p58
Alekhine v. Capablanca, 1914

This example is similar to No.36, only this time it's White who gains the Pawn at KB5 (f5) by Capture.

The difference is, Black's Pawn at KB5 by Capture, in No.36, proved to be an asset: it was a strong move, which caused Cramp in White's Kingside territory, restricting White's ability to defend against Black's mounting attack against the position of White's Kingside Castled King.

Here, in No.37, White's Pawn at KB5 by Capture fails to apply any restrictions on Black's Kingside, and proves to be a liability ...

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.58, No.37, after 7...Be7
  2. Result of the Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2).
  3. Summary of the Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2).
  4. PGN
Additional analysis includes the:

The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.58, No.37, after 7...Be7

After: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bd7 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.O-O Be7

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - Page 58
After: 7...Be7

1. White gets his e-Pawn into position (at e4)

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - The Advanced Pawn, The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2), After 1.e4
The Advanced Pawn,
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture
(2 of 2), After 1.e4
After 1.e4, White's very first move (1.e2-e4) puts White's e-Pawn within range of getting to KB5 (f5) by Capture.

2. Further Development, The Ruy Lopez & a Pawn Exchange

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - The Advanced Pawn, The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2), After 2...e5 to 3.Bb5
The Advanced Pawn,
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture
(2 of 2), After 2...e5 to 3.Bb5
After 2...e5 to 3.Bb5, further development in the Opening leads to the position of the Ruy Lopez (as seen in the image, left).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - The Advanced Pawn, The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2), After 3...d6 4.d4
The Advanced Pawn,
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture
(2 of 2), After 3...d6 4.d4
After 3...d6 4.d4, Black develops his d-Pawn (3...d7-d6), forming a Chain down to Black's e5-Pawn.

White also develops his d-Pawn (4.d2-d4), but it attacks Black's e-Pawn. This leads to the Pawn exchange, which in turn takes White closer to getting his e-Pawn to KB5 (f5) by Capture ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - The Advanced Pawn, The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2), After 4...exd4 5.Nxd4
The Advanced Pawn,
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture
(2 of 2), After 4...exd4 5.Nxd4
After 4...exd4 5.Nxd4, Black enters into the Pawn exchange, using his e-Pawn to capture White's d-Pawn (4...e5xd4).

White's King Knight completes the trade (5.Nf3xd4).

White's Nd4 will play a pivotal role in White gaining the Pawn at KB5 (f5) by capture, as it's will be exchanged on f5, allowing White's e4-Pawn to capture across, to complete the trade. But, before all that, there's a little more development to be done ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - The Advanced Pawn, The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2), After 5...Bd7
The Advanced Pawn,
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture
(2 of 2), After 5...Bd7
After 5...Bd7, Black develops his Queen Bishop, interposing it between the King (Ke8) and Nc6. This is most likely a counter measure against White's Bishop Pin (Bb5 on Nc6), to remove Black's King from the equation.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - The Advanced Pawn, The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2), After 6.Nc3 Nf6
The Advanced Pawn,
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture
(2 of 2), After 6.Nc3 Nf6
After 6.Nc3 Nf6, both players develop Knights on the opposing sides. White develops his Queen Knight (6.Nb1-c3); Black develops his King Knight (6...Ng8-f6).
Black's Nf6 is actually quite a significant development, in relation to White getting his e-Pawn to KB5 (f5) by Capture (see the Comparison, below).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - The Advanced Pawn, The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2), After 7.O-O Be7
The Advanced Pawn,
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture
(2 of 2), After 7.O-O Be7
After 7.O-O Be7, White Castles Kingside (7.O-O) and Black develops his King Bishop (7...Bf8-e7), clearing the back rank, ready for Castling Kingside, at the next available opportunity.

However, before Black can Castle his King, White makes the move that exchanges his Nd4 and enables his e-Pawn to reach KB5 (f5) by Capture ...

3. White's e-Pawn becomes the Pawn at KB5 (f5) by Capture

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - The Advanced Pawn, The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2), After 8.Nf5
The Advanced Pawn,
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture
(2 of 2), After 8.Nf5
After 8.Nf5, White posts his Nd4 onto the f5-Outpost (8.Nd4-f5), threatening to either capture Black's Be7, or remove Black's g7-Pawn, which would give Black a Compromised King-side, in the same region where Black intends to Castle.

White, essentially, provokes an exchange of Minor Pieces, on f5.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - The Advanced Pawn, The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2), After 8...Bxf5 9.exf5
The Advanced Pawn,
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture
(2 of 2), After 8...Bxf5 9.exf5
After 8...Bxf5 9.exf5, White's e-Pawn becomes the Pawn at KB5 (f5) by Capture.

Black accepts the exchange, capturing White's Outpost Knight (8...Bd7xf5). Black's e-Pawn completes the trade (9.e4xf5), becoming the "Pawn at KB5 (f5) by Capture," in the process.

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The Result of the Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2)...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2), After 9...O-O
(RESULT) The Advanced Pawn,
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture
(2 of 2), After 9...O-O
After 9...O-O, Black also Castles Kingside, and then turns his attention to capturing White's Pawn at KB5 (f5), which currently isn't protected.

White's f5-Pawn either needs Pieces out to support it, or White must bring forward his g-Pawn, to g4 -- but that would involve weakening the Stronghold surrounding White's King (Kg1).
H&M-S suggest g2-g4 "will be necessary sooner or later" and say that it, therefore, should be played "immediately" (10.g2-g4), followed by a regrouping of his Pieces, "to support a king-side pawn storm."

However, they also say that there is danger in such a Pawn Storm, as "Black has no weaknesses and is well developed."

Once committed to the Pawn at KB5 (f5), H&M-S seem to suggest that commitment to the Kingside Pawn Storm is a necessity, saying "If White is unwilling to face that prospect, he should not have played (8.Nd4-f5, which led to the Pawn at KB5 by Capture: 9.e4xf5)."

In the actual game (Alekhine vs. Capablanca), White ended up losing his Pawn at KB5 (f5), and subsequently the game ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2), After 10...Nd7 11.Nd5 Bf6
(RESULT) The Advanced Pawn,
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture
(2 of 2), After 10...Nd7 11.Nd5 Bf6
After 10...Nd7 11.Nd5 Bf6, Black shapes up to trade his dark-Bishop off the board, in order to release his Queen, which is used to capture White's Pawn at KB5 (f5).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2), After 1.x
(RESULT) The Advanced Pawn,
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture
(2 of 2), After 13.Nxf6+ Qxf6
After 13.Nxf6+ Qxf6, White captures Black's Bf6 (13.Nd5xf6), with Black's Queen completing the trade (13...Qd8xf6), where she sits, bearing down upon the still undefended Pawn at KB5 (f5).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2), After 18...Rae8 19.Qb7
(RESULT) The Advanced Pawn,
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture
(2 of 2), After 18...Rae8 19.Qb7
After 18...Rae8 19.Qb7, Black has strenthened his attack against White's Pawn at KB5 (f5).

White hasn't been able to get his Pieces into position to provide adequate support for the Pawn, and appears resigned to losing it, as he removes the only defender (his Queen) to mount an attack deep in Black's Queenside territory (19.Qf3-b7).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 37 - The Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2), After 19...Qxf5
(RESULT) The Advanced Pawn,
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture
(2 of 2), After 19...Qxf5
After 19...Qxf5, Black's Queen captures the undefended White Pawn at KB5 (19...Qf6xf5).

White also lost the game.

This is clearly a case where Pawn at KB5 by Capture is a weak, or incorrect move.
To try and find out when the Pawn at KB5 by Capture is worthwhile, I've compared both examples (No.36 & No.37), below ...

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Summary of the Pawn at KB5 by Capture (2 of 2)...

This summary is also based on the Comparison between No.36 & No.37, below.

A Pawn at KB5 by Capture can be an asset ...

  1. If it can be adequately defended, by Pieces or by other Pawns, to prevent its capture (all that effort for no gain is wasteful).

  2. If it Cramp the enemy's development out on the Kingside flank.

  3. If its presence prevents the enemy's occupation of a square necessary to defend against an attack.

... otherwise, the Pawn at KB5 by Capture will likely be a liability; at risk of being captured, and may even contribute to its side losing the game.


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Comparison between No.36 & No.37.
When is the Pawn at KB5 by Capture worthwhile?...

Comparison 1: Black's f4-Pawn = Strong; White's f5-Pawn = Weak

In No.36 (after 26...exf4, below-left), Black's Pawn at KB5 (f4) by Capture, proved to be strong (the remaining comparisons, below, explore why this may be).

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, 37 -- Diagram 36
(COMPARISON 1)
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture,
No.36, After 26...exf4
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, 37 -- Diagram 37
(COMPARISON 1)
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture,
No.37, After 9.exf5

In No.37 (after 9.exf5, above-right), White's Pawn at KB5 (f5) by Capture, got captured, therefore, it proved to be weak, or ill-advised.

It's also worth keeping in mind that, in No.36, Black's Pawn at KB5 by Capture was a hypothetical example, contrived by H&M-S, for the benefit of their example of the odd occasion when a Pawn at KB5 by Capture was a "strong" option.

Comparison 2: Pawns at KB5 by Capture create Doubled Pawns

Both Pawns at KB5 by Capture, result in their side gaining Doubled Pawns on the f-file.

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, 37 -- Diagram 36
(COMPARISON 2)
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture,
No.36, After 26...exf4
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, 37 -- Diagram 37
(COMPARISON 2)
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture,
No.37, After 9.exf5

Comparison 3: Defenders of the Pawn at KB5 by Capture

In No.36 (after 26...exf4, below-left), Black already had a Piece (Qc7) in position, to provide support for the Pawn at KB5.

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, 37 -- Diagram 36
(COMPARISON 3)
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture,
No.36, After 26...exf4
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, 37 -- Diagram 37
(COMPARISON 3)
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture,
No.37, After 9.exf5

In No.37 (after 9.exf5, above-right), White captures his Pawn onto KB5 (f5) without any Piece in position to defend it. White is then left scrabbling around to get into position, but never manages to provide sufficient support, and ends up having to leave his f5-Pawn to be captured by Black's Queen.

Comparison 4: The Advanced Pawn's Cramping Effect

In No.36 (after 26...exf4, below-left), Black's Pawn at KB5 (f4) caused White sufficient Cramp, which prevented White from developing his King Knight out through the Kingside (in fact, White's Nf1 is totally stuck -- all routes out are covered by Black units, including the Pawn at KB5).

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, 37 -- Diagram 36
(COMPARISON 4)
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture,
No.36, After 26...exf4
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, 37 -- Diagram 37
(COMPARISON 4)
The Pawn at KB5 by Capture,
No.37, After 9.exf5

In No.37 (after 9.exf5, above-right), Black's King Knight had already been developed, and Black's army was also well developed as a whole, so that White's Pawn at KB5 (f5) wasn't really restricting Black's future development / expansion.

Remember: the main purpose of an Advanced Pawn:
  1. Cramp the enemy's development;

  2. Prevent the enemy's occupation of a square necessary to defend against an attack.
In No.36, Black's Pawn at KB5 (f4) achieved on both counts, hence it's considered a "strong" Pawn at KB5 ...

In No.37, White's Pawn at KB5 (f5) failed to Cramp the enemy's development, as Black had already develop well; and it also failed to prevent the enemy's occupation of a square necessary to defend against an attack, as Black's King Knight was already on its key defensive square (Nf6).

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PGN

[Event "St Petersburg (05)"]
[Site "St Petersburg (05)"]
[Date "1914.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Alexander Alekhine"]
[Black "Jose Raul Capablanca"]
[ECO "C62"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "70"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d6 4. d4 exd4 5. Nxd4 Bd7 6. Nc3 Nf6 7. O-O Be7 {PCC p.58 No.37} 8. Nf5 Bxf5 9. exf5 O-O 10. Re1 Nd7 11. Nd5 Bf6 12. c3 Nb6 13. Nxf6+ Qxf6 14. Bxc6 bxc6 15. Qf3 Rfe8 16. Be3 c5 17. Re2 Re5 18. Rae1 Rae8 19. Qb7 Qxf5 20. Qxc7 Qe6 21. Qxa7 Nd5 22. Kf1 Nf4 23. Rd2 Nxg2 24. Kxg2 Qg4+ 25. Kf1 Qh3+ 26. Ke2 Rxe3+ 27. fxe3 Qxe3+ 28. Kd1 Qxe1+ 29. Kc2 Qe4+ 30. Kb3 Qc6 31. a4 d5 32. a5 Qb5+ 33. Ka3 Rb8 34. Ka2 h6 35. a6 Qb3+ 0-1

End.

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