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Doubled Pawns
The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO.66, p98
Capablanca v. Dus Chotimirsky, 1913

IMPORTANT: While the focus in this example is Black's Bishop Pin on White's Nf3, and the possibility of White incurring Doubled Pawns on the f-file, in the game, White actually avoids the Doubled Pawn formation.

The main point of consideration is WHY White (Capablanca) was able to choose to IGNORE the Doubled Pawn threat.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.98 No.66, after 15...O-O
  2. Result of the Pinned King Knight (1 of 2).
  3. Summary of the Pinned King Knight (1 of 2).
  4. PGN

The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.98 No.66, after 15...O-O

After: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 Na5 9.Bc2 c5 10.d4 Qc7 11.Nbd2 Nc6 12.Nf1 cxd4 13.cxd4 Bg4 14.d5 Nd4 15.Bd3 O-O

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - Page 98
After: 15...O-O

1. How White's Nf3 gets Pinned by Black's light-Bishop

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - Doubled Pawns, The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2), After 1.e4 e5
Doubled Pawns,
The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2),
After 1.e4 e5
After 1.e4 e5, the Classical King Pawn Opening (1.e2-e4 e7-e5) leads to conditions that begin to suit a Pin, by Black's light-Bishop, along the h5-d1 diagonal.

On White's part, the development of the e-Pawn (1.e2-e4) opens the h5-d1 diagonal, straight down to White's Queen (Qd1).

On Black's part, the development of his own e-Pawn (1...e7-e5) clears the e6-square, which leaves just Black's d7-Pawn blocking the Bc8's access to the target g4-square, along that h5-d1 diagonal.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - Doubled Pawns, The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2), After 2.Nf3
Doubled Pawns,
The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2),
After 2.Nf3
After 2.Nf3, White develops the Knight (2.Ng1-f3) that will be subjected to the Pin, by Black's light-Bishop, since the Nf3 stands in front of its Queen (Qd1), and will have to remain there, to defend.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - Doubled Pawns, The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2), After 7...d6
Doubled Pawns,
The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2),
After 7...d6
After 7...d6, Black develops his d-Pawn (7...d7-d6) and opens the c8-h3 diagonal, for the benefit of Black's light-Bishop, in preparation for its Pin, at g4, on White's Nf3.

Incidentally, Black's d-Pawn also helps reinforce support for Black's e5-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - Doubled Pawns, The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2), After 13...Bg4
Doubled Pawns,
The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2),
After 13...Bg4
After 13...Bg4, Black's light-Bishop comes out (13...Bc8-g4) to Pin White's Nf3, which cannot move, as it must continue to shield its Queen (Qd1).
The PURPOSE of the Pin on the King Knight, is twofold:

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - Doubled Pawns, The Purpose of the Pinned King Knight, After 13...Bg4
Doubled Pawns, The Purpose of
the Pinned King Knight, (1)
(1) The Pin stops the adverse Knight from contesting the squares in the Center.

In this game, it enables Black's Nc6 to safely occupy the d4-Outpost, whether through the capture of White's d4-Pawn, or not).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - Doubled Pawns, The Purpose of the Pinned King Knight, After 13...Bg4
Doubled Pawns, The Purpose of
the Pinned King Knight, (2)
(2) The Pin threatens to force White to incur Doubled Pawns, on the f-file.

In this game, 1...Bg4xf3 2.g2xf3 will result in Doubled Pawns, on the f-file, if White breaks the Pin by moving his Queen off the same d1-h5 diagonal, as Black's Bg4 (e.g. Qd1-d3).
The Doubled f-Pawns takes full effect ONLY when their King has Castled Kingside. On this point, H&M-S say: "... successful defense usually depends on the achievement of two objectives:"

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - Doubled Pawns, Successful Defence of Doubled f-Pawns, After 13...Bg4
Doubled Pawns, Successful Defence of Doubled f-Pawns, (a)
(a) the posting of a knight on KN3 (g3/g6).

In this game, White would be expected to play Nf1-g3.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - Doubled Pawns, Successful Defence of Doubled f-Pawns, After 13...Bg4
Doubled Pawns, Successful Defence of Doubled f-Pawns, (b)
(b) the advance of "both" king bishop pawns (f2/f7 & f3/f6) to clear the second rank for lateral defense of KN2 (g2/g7) and KR2 (h1/h8).

In this game, White would be expected to play f3-f4, then f2-f3, clearing the 2nd Rank, so that White's Queen and Rooks could defend laterally, through the f2-square, to the vulnerable g2-square, above White's King.

2. Continued play, delays action against White's Pinned Nf3

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - Doubled Pawns, The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2), After 14.d5 to 15...O-O
Doubled Pawns,
The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2),
After 14.d5 to 15...O-O
After 14.d5 to 15...O-O, Black doesn't capture White's Pinned Knight, immediately, and instead settles for continued expansion (Nc6 to the d4-Outpost: 14...Nc6-d4, courtesy of the Pin on White's Nf3), and development (Kingside Castling: 15...O-O).

In that same period, White pushes his d-Pawn into an Advanced position (14.d4-d5), at the head of an Advanced Chain (e4,d5), and relocates his light-Bishop (15.Bc2-d3), from the glare of Black's Qc7.

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The Result of the Pinned King Knight (1 of 2)...

Okay, now we reach the focal point of this example: the potential for White to incur Doubled Pawns, on the f-file, and the reason why White is able to ignore this threat, in this particular instance.

Before seeing the Actual Result (how White dealt with the threat, in this game), I've looked briefly at [A] Black's Expected Result, and [B] White's Possible Defence.

[A] Black's Expected Result: White incurs Doubled f-Pawns

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2), After 16.Ng3 Bxf3 17.gxf3
(RESULT A) Doubled Pawns,
The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2),
After 16.Ng3 Bxf3 17.gxf3
After 16.Ng3 Bxf3 17.gxf3, White incurs Doubled f-Pawns.

It's possible Black may expect White to keep his Qd1 defending the Pinned Nf3, and so instead move his King Knight (16.Nf1-g3).

This enables Black to exchange his Bg4, on f3 (16...Bg4xf3), to force White to incur Doubled Pawns, as the g-Pawn completes the trade (17.g2xf3).

Meanwhile, Black's d4-Outpost Knight would be waiting until White's Qd1 had been displaced (captured, or forced away from defending f3), to attack White's King (...Nd4-f3+) or, at the very least, keep White's King restricted, either on f1 or h1.

[B] White's Possible Defence: Light-Bishop Interposes

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2), After 16.Bd3-e2
(RESULT B) Doubled Pawns,
The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2),
After 16.Bd3-e2
After 16.Bd3-e2, White could simply interpose his Bd3, in between White's Pinned Nf3 and Qd1, severely disrupting the effect of the Pin, as White wouldn't need to incur Doubled Pawns on the f-file, in the event either Black's Nd4 or Bg4 chose to capture White's Nf3.

And if White's Nf3 was captured, White's Be2 could complete the trade, instead (e.g. 16...Bg4xf3 17.Be2xf3, and then if 17...Nd4xf3 Qd1xf3 completes TWO EVEN EXCHANGES of material).

[C] The Actual Result: White Ignores the Doubled Pawn Threat

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2), After 15...O-O
(RESULT C) Doubled Pawns,
The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2),
After 15...O-O
After 15...O-O, H&M-S explain why White (Capablanca) is about to completely ignore the threat of Doubled f-Pawns:

"He (White) does not fear the doubling of his king bishop pawn, because his pieces are poised to achieve both the defensive objectives: N-N3 (Nf1-g3) and P-B4 (g2xf3-f4, probably?)."
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2), After 16.Be3 and 17.Bxd4 exd4
(RESULT C) Doubled Pawns,
The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2),
After 16.Be3 » 17.Bxd4 exd4
After 16.Be3 » 17.Bxd4 exd4, White ignores the threat of Doubled f-Pawns, to exchange Black's d4-Outpost Knight, off the board. This removes one threat to White's King, and also serves to give Black Doubled Pawns, on the d-file.

If you go back to the position before 16.Bc1-e3, you'll notice that Black's d4-Outpost Knight isn't actually secure, as it's defended only by Black's e5-Pawn ...

This enables White to make what appears to be a fairly routine Minor Piece exchange, for the sake of removing the threat from Black's Nd4.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2), After 18.a4 to 19...axb5
(RESULT C) Doubled Pawns,
The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2),
After 18.a4 to 19...axb5
After 18.a4 to 19...axb5, prior to dealing with Black's Bg4, White exchanges a-Pawns, onto the b-file, causing both b-Pawns to become Isolated. However, White gains in two ways, by doing this:
  1. Gains the Open a-file, for White's Ra1

  2. Reduces the potential for Black to force a Passed Pawn, on the Queenside. This enables White to concentrate on a Kingside offensive.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 66 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2), After 20.h3 Bxf3 21.Qxf3
(RESULT C) Doubled Pawns,
The Pinned King Knight (1 of 2),
After 20.h3 Bxf3 21.Qxf3
After 20.h3 Bxf3 21.Qxf3, White forces Black to exchange his light-Bishop, to put an end to the Pin.

White attacks with his h-Pawn (20.h2-h3), forcing Black into the capture of White's Pinned Nf3 (20...Bg4xf3), breaking the Pin, in the process.

Finally, White's Queen completes, what is effectively, a routine Minor Piece exchange (21.Qd1xf3).

White is now able to press ahead with his Kingside offensive.

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Summary of the Pinned King Knight (1 of 2)...

  1. White's Nf3 becomes Pinned by Black's light-Bishop. The development of White's King Pawn (1.e2-e4) and King Knight (2.Ng1-f3), leaves White's Nf3 in front of the Qd1, in a straight line on the h5-d1 diagonal, which is the pattern for a Pin, which just awaits the attack by Black's light-Bishop (13...Bc8-g4, in this game), to apply the Pin to White's Nf3.

  2. The purpose of the Pin on the King Knight, is twofold: (1) The Pin stops the adverse Knight from contesting the squares in the Center; (2) The Pin threatens to force White to incur Doubled Pawns, on the f-file.

  3. The best time to force your opponent to incur Doubled f-Pawns, from the Pinned King Knight (Nf3/Nf6), is when their King has already Castled Kingside, as the g-file will open up, exposing the enemy King to a frontal assault, by Queen and Rook(s).

  4. The successful defence of Doubled f-Pawns usually depends on two objectives: (a) the posting of a knight on KN3 (g3/g6); (b) the advance of "both" king bishop pawns (f2/f7 & f3/f6) to clear the second rank for lateral defense of KN2 (g2/g7) and KR2 (h1/h8).

  5. White is able to ignore the Doubled Pawn threat, due to White's ability to carry out two key defensive operations: (1) if White's g-Pawn becomes Doubled on the f-file, it will then achieve its defensive objective, by being pushed up to f4; (2) White's Nf1 is in position to achieve its defensive objective, by moving to g3.

  6. White prepares to break the Pin, or at least make it redundant, by exchanging Black's d4-Outpost Knight, off the board (16.Bc1-e3 » 17.Be3xd4), which has the added effect of giving Black Doubled d-Pawns, after Black's e-Pawn completes the trade (17...e5xd4).

  7. White forces boths sides to take on Isolated b-Pawns (18.a2-a4 » 19.a4xb5 a6xb5), as not only does it Open the a-file, for White's Ra1; it also reduces the potential for Black to force a Passed Pawn, on the Queenside. This enables White to concentrate on a Kingside offensive.

  8. White breaks the Pin on his Nf3, turning it into a harmless and relatively straight-forward Minor Piece exchange, as White's h-Pawn (20.h2-h3) deliberately pressures Black's Bg4 into capturing White's Nf3 (20...Bg4xf3). White's Queen completes the even trade (21.Qd1xf3).

  9. White continues by mounting an attack on the Kingside, which includes pushing White's e-Pawn up the board (e4-e5-e6) and bringing White's Ng3 up to the 7th Rank (Ng3-f5-e7).

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PGN

[Event "St Petersburg exhibition"]
[Site "St Petersburg"]
[Date "1913"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "2"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Jose Raul Capablanca"]
[Black "Dus Chotimirsky"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "93"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 Na5 9.Bc2 c5 10.d4 Qc7 11.Nbd2 Nc6 12.Nf1 cxd4 13.cxd4 Bg4 14.d5 Nd4 15.Bd3 O-O {PCC p.98 No.66} 16.Be3 Rac8 17.Bxd4 exd4 18.a4 Qb6 19.axb5 axb5 20.h3 Bxf3 21.Qxf3 Nd7 22.Rec1 Nc5 23.b4 Na4 24.Rxc8 Rxc8 25.e5 g6 26.e6 Rf8 27.Ng3 Qb7 28.Nf5 fxe6 29.dxe6 Qc7 30.Qc6 Qd8 31.Nxe7+ Qxe7 32.Bxb5 Nc3 33.Qd7 Qxd7 34.Bxd7 Rb8 35.e7 Kf7 36.Re1 Re8 37.Bxe8+ Kxe8 38.Re6 d5 39.Kf1 Nb5 40.Ke2 Nc7 41.Re5 Na6 42.b5 Nb4 43.b6 d3+ 44.Kd2 Kd7 45.e8=Q+ Kd6 46.Qe7+ Kc6 47.Qxb4 1-0

End.

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