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Doubled Pawns
Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO.100, p69
Alekhine v. Lasker, 1924

According to H&M-S, there is a general rule of thumb recommending you "capture toward the center," whenever there's a choice of completing an exchange with one of two Pawns.

Two exceptions to this general rule, are:
  1. If you need to clear certain lines, for the sake of improved mobility of your Pieces.

  2. If by capturing (completing an exchange), the Pawn will become more active in its new position, than on its previous square.

This example (No.69) is one of two (No.70, being the other) that tries to help a player determine whether it's okay (or not) to allow a center pawn (d- or e-Pawns) to become Doubled upon the bishop file (c or f, respectively).

H&M-S point out that it's a tricky situation, saying: "Even a world champion can go astray here!"

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.100 No.69, after 7...Nh5
  2. Result of Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2).
  3. Summary of Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2).
  4. PGN

Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.100 No.69, after 7...Nh5

After: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bf4 c6 7. e3 Nh5

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - Page 100
After: 7...Nh5

1. How White's e-Pawn become Doubled, on the f-file.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 1.d4 to 2...e6
Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 1.d4 to 2...e6
After 1.d4 to 2...e6, Black plays the Queen's Gambit Declined, as he declines the opportunity to capture White's c4-Pawn (2.c2-c4), to develop his e-Pawn (2...e7-e6) into the Chain (f7,e6,d5).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 3.Nf3 to 5...exd5
Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 3.Nf3 to 5...exd5
After 3.Nf3 to 5...exd5, a bit of further development (3.Ng1-f3 Ng8-f6 4.Nb1-c3 Nb8-d7), the tension between c4 and d5 is broken, as White forces an exchange of Pawns (5.c4xd5 e6xd5), to leave White with a 2-v-1 Pawn Majority, in the Center.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 6.Bf4
Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 6.Bf4
After 6.Bf4, White develops his dark-Bishop to the King Bishop File (6.Bc1-f4).

In a few moves from now, White's Bf4 will be part of an exchange by Black, that will force White to form Doubled Pawns, on the f-file.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 7.e3
Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 7.e3
After 7.e3, White develops his e-Pawn (7.e2-e3), so it now defends both the d4-Pawn, but crucially the Bf4 (which will become apparent, when White is forced to incur Doubled Pawns).

Not only is White's e3-Pawn in a Backward position, it has given Black the advantage of Pawn on the 4th Rank vs. Pawn on the 3rd Rank.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 7...Nh5
Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 7...Nh5
After 7...Nh5, Black's King Knight moves out to the King Rook File (7...Nf6-h5), to attack White's Bf4.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 8...Nxf4 9.exf4
Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 8...Nxf4 9.exf4
After 8...Nxf4 9.exf4, White incurs Doubled Pawns on the f-file (the King Bishop File), as Black follows up the Knight attack on White's Bf4, by capturing it (8...Nh5xf4), to force an exchange on f4.

As White's e3-Pawn completes the trade (9.e3xf4), it forms the Doubled Pawn structure, on the f-file.

If it hadn't captured, White's Nf4 could have removed White's g2-Pawn, blasting open the g-file, for invasion into White camp, on the Kingside -- precisely where White intends to Castle his King.

Alternatively, White's Nf4 could have take-out White's Bd3, to complete the removal of BOTH White Bishops.


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The Result of Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2)...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 9.exf4
(RESULT) Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 9.exf4
After 9.exf4, as White's incurs Doubled Pawns, on the f-file (9.e3xf4), White causes more problems for himself, as it leaves White's d4-Pawn Isolated, while the e-file becomes fully Open.
At this point, H&M-S say: "Dr. Lasker evolved and executed a remarkable long-range plan, the focus of which was to force his way through to White's KR2 (h2)! Perhaps White could have found a defense, but in any event could never hope for more than a draw."

Below, I've made notes of some of the key moves, leading to White's resignation ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 9...Bd6 10.g3
(RESULT) Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 9...Bd6 10.g3
After 9...Bd6 10.g3, Black prepares for Castling his King off the Open e-file, by developing his King Bishop (8...Bf8-d6).

This is important, as Black's dark-Bishop, lurking on the b8-h2 diagonal, plays a significant role in forcing White's resignation, a bit later on.

Meanwhile, for White, prior to Castling Kingside, he pushes his g-Pawn (10.g2-g3), so it supports the leading Doubled f-Pawn (f4).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 10...O-O 11.O-O
(RESULT) Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 10...O-O 11.O-O
After 10...O-O 11.O-O, both sides get their Kings off the Open e-file, and Castled to the Kingside.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 11...Re8
(RESULT) Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 11...Re8
After 11...Re8, Black is first to control the Open e-file, with his King Rook (11...Rf8-e8).
If White hadn't needed to spend that move supporting his f4-Pawn (10.g2-g3), White would have been able to beat Black to occupying the Open e-file, with his King Rook.

Black has a key positional advantage, and his Kingside Pawns still remain unmoved, protecting their King in his Stronghold.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 12.Qc2 to 25.h3
(RESULT) Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 12.Qc2 to 25.h3
After 12.Qc2 to 25.h3, White has been compelled to advance all three available Kingside Pawns (19.g3-g4 » 22.f4-f5 » 25.h2-h3), to defend his King's position.

Note how Black has retained his dark-Bishop on the b8-h2 diagonal, but has now also incorporated his Queen (22...Qd8-d6) into Battery formation, concentrated on the h2-square.

In addition, White has also posted his King Rook onto the Open e-file (24.Rf1-e1), to challenge Black's Re8, at the other end.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 26.Rxe8+ to 27.Qc1
(RESULT) Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 26.Rxe8+ to 27.Qc1
After 26.Rxe8+ to 27.Qc1, White forces an exchange of the Rooks on the Open e-file (26.Re1xe8+ Rc8xe8), and then uses his remaining Rook to attack Black's Rook on the Open e-file (27.Ra1-e1).

But, Black's Rook turns defence into attack, counterattacking White's Qb2 (27...Re8-b8) on the Open b-file, which flees to the back rank (28.Qb2-c1), leaving White's Isolated a2-Pawn unprotected.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 28...Ng5 29.Ne5
(RESULT) Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 28...Ng5 29.Ne5
After 28...Ng5 29.Ne5, both sides post their Knights to available Outposts (28...Nh7-g5 29.Nf3-e5), tempting the other to attack or capture their Knight.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 29...fxe5 30.Qxg5 e4
(RESULT) Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 29...fxe5 30.Qxg5 e4
After 29...fxe5 30.Qxg5 e4, Black manages to get his f6-Pawn onto the Open e-file, and then to the vanguard of Black's Advanced Chain (c6,d5,e4), to increase the weakness of White's f2-Pawn, which is both Doubled and in a Backward position.

Black's f-Pawn captures first (29.f6xe5), causing White's Queen to pounce on Black's Kg5 (30.Qc1xg5). Black then advances his replacement e-Pawn (30...e5-e4), forming the Advanced Chain.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 32.f4 hxg4
(RESULT) Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 32.f4 hxg4
After 32.f4 hxg4, Black's e4-Pawn becomes a Protected Passed Pawn, at the head of its Advanced Chain, as White chooses to push his Backward f2-Pawn two squares forward (32.f2-f4), perhaps tempting White's e4-Pawn to capture En Passant.

Black ignores that En Passant, keeping his Protected Passed Pawn on e4, and instead taking-out White's g4-Pawn, with his h-Pawn (32...h5xg4), so it now attacks White's h3-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 33.Be2 gxh3
(RESULT) Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 33.Be2 gxh3
After 33.Be2 gxh3, Black's former h-Pawn returns to the h-file, as a Passed Pawn, in an even more Advanced position.

The attack on Black's g4-Pawn, with his light-Bishop (33.Bd3-e2), only serves to allow Black's g4-Pawn to return to the h-file, in an even more Advanced position, as it captures White's h3-Pawn (33...g4xh3).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 34.Bh5 Rb2 35.Nh4
(RESULT) Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 34.Bh5 Rb2 35.Nh4
After 34.Bh5 Rb2 35.Nh4, White tries to take advantage of Black's Pinned g6-Pawn, by applying pressure with his light-Bishop (34.Be2-h5).

However, Black ignores this threat, to get his remaining Rook onto the 7th Rank (34...Rb8-b2), attacking White's Ng2 for a second time, which flees to h4 (35.Ng2-h4).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 69 - (RESULT) Doubled Pawns, Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2), After 35...Qxf4 36.Qxf4 Bxf4
(RESULT) Doubled Pawns,
Doubling Away from
the Center (1 of 2),
After 35...Qxf4 36.Qxf4 Bxf4
After 35...Qxf4 36.Qxf4 Bxf4, Black ends White's Doubled Pawn misery, to trade Queens off the board (35...Qd6xf4 36.Qg5xf4 Bc7xf4).

With Black's Rb2 and Bf4 poised to help either Passed Pawn (h3) or Protected Passed Pawn (e4) gain Promotion, White resigns.

So, in this case, in Doubling Away from the Center (9.e3xf4), White's Doubled Pawns on the f-file (King Bishop File), turned out to be a game-losing position.


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Summary of Doubling Away from the Center (1 of 2)...

  1. White is at risk of having to Double Away from the Center, when posting his dark-Bishop on f4 (6.Bc1-f4), supported by a Pawn at e3 (7.e2-e3), when Black's King Knight can attack White's Bf4 (7...Nf6-h5), before forcing an exchange (8...Nh5xf4), which causes White's e3-Pawn to complete the trade (9.e3xf4), Doubling Away from the Center, and forming the Doubled Pawn structure, on the f-file.

  2. Black can capitalize on White's Doubled f-Pawns, if White is compelled to advance his Kingside Pawns (19.g3-g4 » 22.f4-f5 » 25.h2-h3), and if Black can force through two Passed Pawns, supported by the dark-Bishop on the b8-h2 diagonal, and a Rook on the 7th Rank. However, this appears to be easier said than done, as Dr. Lasker's elaborate long-range plan showed (from 9...Bf8-d6 to 36...Bc7xf4).

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PGN

[Event "New York"]
[Site "New York"]
[Date "1924"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "03"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Alexander Alekhine"]
[Black "Emanuel Lasker"]
[ECO "D35"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "72"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bf4 c6 7. e3 Nh5 {PCC p.100 No.69} 8. Bd3 Nxf4 9. exf4 Bd6 10. g3 O-O 11. O-O Re8 12. Qc2 Nf8 13. Nd1 f6 14. Ne3 Be6 15. Nh4 Bc7 16. b4 Bb6 17. Nf3 Bf7 18. b5 Bh5 19. g4 Bf7 20. bxc6 Rc8 21. Qb2 bxc6 22. f5 Qd6 23. Ng2 Bc7 24. Rfe1 h5 25. h3 Nh7 26. Rxe8+ Rxe8 27. Re1 Rb8 28. Qc1 Ng5 29. Ne5 fxe5 30. Qxg5 e4 31. f6 g6 32. f4 hxg4 33. Be2 gxh3 34. Bh5 Rb2 35. Nh4 Qxf4 36. Qxf4 Bxf4 0-1

End.

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