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The Backward Pawn
Queen Pawn in the Sicilian Defence

Point Count Chess, NO.58A to NO.58B, p88-89
Example Sequence

This example shows a variation of the Sicilian Defence, where Black gains an early Half-Open c-file, and a 2-v-1 Pawn advantage in the Center. However, White is able to force Black to put his d6-Pawn into a Backward position.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the two positions featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.88, No.58A, after 5.Nc3
  2. PCC, p.89, No.58B, after 6...e6
  3. Result of the Queen Pawn in the Sicilian Defence.
  4. Summary of the Queen Pawn in the Sicilian Defence.
  5. PGN

Queen Pawn in the Sicilian Defence
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.88, No.58A, after 5.Nc3

After: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 58A - Page 88
After: 5.Nc3

1. The Sicilian Defence, Classical Variation, leads to Black's d-Pawn becoming a Backward Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 58A - The Backward Pawn, The Queen Pawn in the Sicilian Defence, After 1.e4 c5
The Backward Pawn,
The Queen Pawn in the
Sicilian Defence,
After 1.e4 c5
After 1.e4 c5, we reach the position of the Sicilian Defence.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 58A - The Backward Pawn, The Queen Pawn in the Sicilian Defence, After 2.Nf3 to 5...d6
The Backward Pawn,
The Queen Pawn in the
Sicilian Defence,
After 2.Nf3 to 5...d6
After 2.Nf3 to 5...d6, we reach a common position of the Classical Variation, of the Sicilian Defence, where Black actively swaps his c-Pawn (3.d2-d4 c5xd4 4.Nf3xd4) to gain two advantages:
  1. Half-Open c-file;
  2. 2-v-1 in the Center.
According to H&M-S, Black wants to activate his dark-Bishop, by fianchetto (...Bf8-g7), as a "logical complement" to the Half-Open c-file. They say that 5...d7-d6 is a usual "preparatory move," before the Fianchetto.

However, the d6-Pawn now relies on his e7-Pawn not advancing, else his d6-Pawn will become a Backward Pawn. This is the vulnerability that White focuses on.


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Position #2, My Analysis
PCC, p.89, No.58B, after 6...e6

After: 5...d6 6.Bg5 e6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 58B - Page 89
After: 5...e6

2. Black's d6-Pawn becomes a Backward Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 58B - The Backward Pawn, The Queen Pawn in the Sicilian Defence, After 6.Bg5
The Backward Pawn,
The Queen Pawn in the
Sicilian Defence,
After 6.Bg5
After 6.Bg5, H&M-S say White's Bishop Pin (6.Bc1-g5), against Black's Nf6, is an attempt to prevent Black's Fianchetto on the Kingside, since 6...g7-g6 7.Bg5xf6, would force 7...e7xf6, not only giving Black Doubled Pawns on the f-file, but also leaving the d6-Pawn Isolated.

This appears to be what prompts Black to turn his d-Pawn into a Backward Pawn ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 58B - The Backward Pawn, The Queen Pawn in the Sicilian Defence, After 6...e6
The Backward Pawn,
The Queen Pawn in the
Sicilian Defence,
After 6...e6
After 6...e6, Black's d6-Pawn becomes a Backward Pawn, in response to the Pin on his Nf6, as Black appears compelled to advance his e-Pawn (6...e7-e6), for reasons given above.

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The Result of the Queen Pawn in the Sicilian Defence...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 58 - (RESULT) The Backward Pawn, The Queen Pawn in the Sicilian Defence, After 6...e6 to 9.Ndb5
(RESULT) The Backward Pawn,
The Queen Pawn in the
Sicilian Defence,
After 6...e6 to 9.Ndb5
After 6...e6 to 9.Ndb5, the creation of Black's Backward d6-Pawn, following the e-Pawn's advance (6...e7-e6), leads to a logical response from White, who begins to build-up pressure against the Backward Pawn.

First, White steps his Queen forward (7.Qd1-d2), and then Castles Queenside (8.O-O-O), to form a Queen-Rook Battery, on the Half-Open d-file.

After Black has reinforced his Pinned Nf6 (7...Bf8-e7) and then Castled Kingside (8...O-O), White's Nd4 applies further pressure against Black's Backward d6-Pawn (9.Nd4-b5). This unleashes a Discovered Attack, by White's Queen-Rook Battery, against Black's Backward d6-Pawn.


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Summary of the Queen Pawn in the Sicilian Defence...

  1. The Sicilian Defence, Classical Variation, leads to Black's d-Pawn becoming a Backward Pawn. During the early phase of the opening, Black actively swaps his c-Pawn (3.d2-d4 c5xd4 4.Nf3xd4) to gain two advantages: the Half-Open c-file and a 2-v-1 in the Center.

  2. Black's d-Pawn becomes the Backward Pawn, after White's Bishop Pin (6.Bc1-g5) on Black's Nf6, prevents the usual Kingside Fianchetto of Black's dark-Bishop. This compels Black to develop his e-Pawn (6...e7-e6), and puts the d6-Pawn into a Backward position.

  3. White builds pressure against Black's Backward d6-Pawn, with a Queen-Rook Battery on the d-file, aided by Queenside Castling (7.Qd1-d2 » 8.O-O-O), and then relocates his Nd4, to b5 (9.Nd4-b5), also applying pressure to Black's Backward Pawn, with a Discovered Attack that uncovers the attack from White's Queen-Rook Battery.

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PGN

[Event "PCC, p88-89 Diagram NO.58A to NO.58B"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Horowitz"]
[Black "Mott-Smith"]
[Result "*"]
[PlyCount "17"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 {PCC, p88 Diagram NO.58A} d6 6. Bg5 e6 {PCC, p89 Diagram NO.58B} 7. Qd2 Be7 8. O-O-O O-O 9. Ndb5 *

End.

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