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The Isolated Pawn
The Isolated Queen Pawn

Point Count Chess, NO.71A to 71D, p101-106
Rubinstein v. Marshall, 1912

In this example, both sides incur Isolated Pawns:

Of the two, Black's Isolated d5-Pawn is considered the stronger, as it has greater influence in the Center. However, despite this, White shows how his arguably weaker Isolated c-Pawn can be used to triumph over Black's stronger Isolated d5-Pawn, while causing Black further Pawn weaknesses, which are rounded-upon, en route to White's victory.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the four positions featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.104, No.71A, after 3...e6
  2. PCC, p.105, No.71B, after 7.Bg2
  3. PCC, p.105, No.71C, after 11...O-O
  4. PCC, p.106, No.71D, after 17.Qd4
  5. Result of the Isolated Queen Pawn.
  6. Summary of the Isolated Queen Pawn.
  7. PGN
Additional analysis includes the:

The Isolated Queen Pawn
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.104, No.71A, after 3...e6

After: 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c5 3.c4 e6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 71A - Page 104
After: 3...e6

1. How Black gains the Isolated d-Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 71A - The Isolated Pawn, The Isolated Queen Pawn, After 1.d4 to 2...c5
The Isolated Pawn,
The Isolated Queen Pawn,
After 1.d4 to 2...c5
After 1.d4 to 2...c5, White develops his d-Pawn (1.d2-d4) and defends it with his King Knight (2.Ng1-f3).

Both Black moves focus on developing Pawns. First, Black completes a Classical Queen Pawn Opening (1...d7-d5), and then attacks White's d4-Pawn, with his c-Pawn (2...c7-c5).

Black's c-Pawn has developed beyond range to help defend Black's d5-Pawn. This means only Black's e-Pawn can provide Pawn support, to the d-Pawn, which is significant in relation to Black incurring the Isolated d-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 71A - The Isolated Pawn, The Isolated Queen Pawn, After 3.c4 e6
The Isolated Pawn,
The Isolated Queen Pawn,
After 3.c4 e6
After 3.c4 e6, White's c-Pawn (3.c2-c4) attacks Black's d5-Pawn, which Black defends, with the e-Pawn (3...e7-e6).

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Position #2, My Analysis
PCC, p.105, No.71B, after 7.Bg2

After: 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.g3 Nf6 7.Bg2

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 71B - Page 105
After: 7.Bg2
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 71A - The Isolated Pawn, The Isolated Queen Pawn, After 4.cxd5 exd5
The Isolated Pawn,
The Isolated Queen Pawn,
After 4.cxd5 exd5
After 4.cxd5 exd5, White forces the exchange of Pawns, on d5 (4.c4xd5 e6xd5), leaving Black with a d5-Pawn that's not yet Isolated, but it no longer has ANY Pawn support -- this makes it vulnerable.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 71A - The Isolated Pawn, The Isolated Queen Pawn, After 5.Nc3 and 6.g3 and 7.Bg2
The Isolated Pawn,
The Isolated Queen Pawn,
After 5.Nc3 » 6.g3 » 7.Bg2
After 5.Nc3 » 6.g3 » 7.Bg2, note how White has made his subsequent developing moves, so that his Pieces can begin to gang-up against Black's vulnerable, and soon-to-be-Isolated, d5-Pawn.

First, White's Queen Knight is developed (5.Nb1-c3), directly attacking Black's d5-Pawn.

Then, White Fianchettoes his King Bishop (6.g2-g3 » 7.Bf1-g2), which targets Black's d5-Pawn, by X-Ray (Definition 2).

In addition, the Fianchetto clears the back rank, to enable White to Castle Kingside, when ready to.

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Position #3, My Analysis
PCC, p.105, No.71C, after 11...O-O

After: 7...cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bc5 9.Nb3 Bb4 10.O-O Bxc3 11.bxc3 O-O

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 71Cx - Page 105
After: 1.x
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 71A - The Isolated Pawn, The Isolated Queen Pawn, After 7...cxd4 8.Nxd4
The Isolated Pawn,
The Isolated Queen Pawn,
After 7...cxd4 8.Nxd4
After 7...cxd4 8.Nxd4, Black's d-Pawn becomes an Isolated Pawn, as Black commits himself to exchanging his c-Pawn, on d4 (7...c5xd4 8.Nf3xd4).

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The Result of the Isolated Queen Pawn...

Position #4, My Analysis
PCC, p.106, No.71D, after 17.Qd4

After: 12.Bg5 Be6 13.Nc5 Qe7 14.Nxe6 fxe6 15.c4 dxc4 16.Bxc6 bxc6 17.Qd4

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 71D - Page 106
After: 17.Qd4

2. Black forces White to incur an Isolated c-Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 188 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Isolated Queen Pawn, After 8...Bc5 to 10.O-O
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Isolated Queen Pawn,
After 8...Bc5 to 10.O-O
After 8...Bc5 to 10.O-O, Black's dark-Bishop goes on the offensive, attacking both White Knights, in quick succession.

First, Black's dark-Bishop goes after White's Nd4 (8...Bf8-c5), which evades the attack, while staying Queenside (9.Nd5-b3).

Second, Black's dark-Bishop attacks White's Nc3 (9...Bc5-b4), which becomes fixed by the Bishop Pin.

White chooses to break the Pin, by Castling his King to the Kingside (10.O-O).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 188 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Isolated Queen Pawn, After 10...Bxc3 11.bxc3 O-O
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Isolated Queen Pawn,
After 10...Bxc3 11.bxc3 O-O
After 10...Bxc3 11.bxc3 O-O, White is forced to incur an Isolated c-Pawn.

Black proceeds to exchange his dark-Bishop, for White's Nc3 (10...Bb4xc3), which causes White's b-Pawn to become the Isolated c-Pawn, when it completes the trade (11.b2xc3).

Black follows this up by Castling Kingside (11...O-O).
See the Comparison, below, to see why H&M-S determine Black's Isolated d-Pawn to be stronger than White's Isolated c-Pawn.

Despite Black having the stronger Isolated Pawn, it counts for nothing, as White proceeds to attack it, before going on to win the game ...

3. White attacks the Pieces supporting Black's Isolated d-Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 188 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Isolated Queen Pawn, After 12.Bg5 to 13...Qe7
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Isolated Queen Pawn,
After 12.Bg5 to 13...Qe7
After 12.Bg5 to 13...Qe7, White focuses on weakening support for Black's Isolated d5-Pawn, while Black tries his best to keep it supported, while also trying to support the Pieces that are supporting the Isolated d5-Pawn.

First, White's dark-Bishop Pins Black's Nf6 (12.Bc1-g5), weakening the Knight's support for the Isolated d5-Pawn.

Black's response is to bring in his remaining Bishop (12...Bc8-e6), to take over the role of defending the Isolated d5-Pawn.

Next, White's remaining Knight is brought up (13.Nb3-c5), to attack Black's Be6, thus weakening its support for the Isolated d5-Pawn.

Black's response is to provide support, with the Queen (13...Qd8-e7) to the light-Bishop, thus supporting the supporter of the Isolated d5-Pawn.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 188 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Isolated Queen Pawn, After 14.Nxe6 fxe6
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Isolated Queen Pawn,
After 14.Nxe6 fxe6
After 14.Nxe6 fxe6, White exchanges Knight for Bishop (14.Nc5xe6), thereby removing one of the defenders of the Isolated d5-Pawn.

However, Black un-Isolates his d5-Pawn, as his f-Pawn completes the trade (14...f7xe6).
Why not use his Queen to complete the Pawn exchange (14...Qe7xe6)?

Probably because White would then be able to coordinate an attack with his light-Bishop and Queen, at d5, against Black's Queen ...

Black's King being on the same diagonal line would make things even more awkward, for Black. So, Black has chosen to weaken the Pawn Guard, surrounding his Castled King, instead.

4. White attacks, re-Isolates, and then captures White's former Isolated d-Pawn, on the c-file.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 188 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Isolated Queen Pawn, After 15.c4 dxc4
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Isolated Queen Pawn,
After 15.c4 dxc4
After 15.c4 dxc4, White gets rid of his weak/weaker Isolated c-Pawn, causing Black's e6-Pawn to become Isolated!

White's Isolated c-Pawn attacks Black's former Isolated d5-Pawn (15.c3-c4), which makes it onto the c-file, as it captures White's c4-Pawn (15...d5xc4). It's here that Black's e6-Pawn also becomes an Isolated Pawn.
Important: before capturing Black's Isolated c4-Pawn, White first creates MORE WEAKNESSES in Black's Pawn structure, while also Simplifying, to remove some of Black's Pieces, which further intensifies Black's weaknesses, by reduces Black's ability to defend them, or to stop White by counterattack White's troops.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 188 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Isolated Queen Pawn, After 16.Bxc6 bxc6
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Isolated Queen Pawn,
After 16.Bxc6 bxc6
After 16.Bxc6 bxc6, White forces Black's b- & c-Pawns to become both Isolated and Doubled on the c-file, while exchanging his light-Bishop, for Black's Nc6 (16.Bg2xc6 b7xc6), to begin Simplifying the position.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 188 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Isolated Queen Pawn, After 17.Qd4
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Isolated Queen Pawn,
After 17.Qd4
After 17.Qd4, White's Queen (17.Qd1-d4) is brought up alongside White's Isolated c4-Pawn, attacking it from the side.

Note: White could just have easily moved his Queen to the c-file, or brought one of his Rook across to attack Black's Isolated c4-Pawn. However, White chose instead to give himself extra options, by also using his Queen to increase the pressure against Black's Pinned Nf6.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 188 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Isolated Queen Pawn, After 17...Qd8 18.Bxf6 Rxf6
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Isolated Queen Pawn,
After 17...Qd8 18.Bxf6 Rxf6
After 17...Qd8 18.Bxf6 Rxf6, Black doesn't take his Queen out of the line of the Pin, but maintains her defensive support of the Pinned Nf6, while also moving to attack White's Qd4 (17...Qe7-d8).

White ignores this threat, in order to bring an end to the Pin, by exchanging his Bishop, for Black's Nf6 (18.Bg5xf6 Rf8xf6), to further Simplify the position.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 188 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Isolated Queen Pawn, After 19.Qxc4
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Isolated Queen Pawn,
After 19.Qxc4
After 19.Qxc4, White's Queen finally captures Black's Isolated c4-Pawn (19.Qd4xc4) -- the former Isolated d5-Pawn -- and flows into a Double Attack on Black's two newly incurred Isolated Pawns (c6 & e6).

I've seen enough of this example, with regards to Black's Isolated d-Pawn. From here, White goes on to win the game.

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Summary of the Isolated Queen Pawn...

  1. Black gains the Isolated d-Pawn, first. After the Classical Queen Pawn Opening (1.d2-d4 d7-d5), Black's c-Pawn is developed beyond range to help defend Black's d5-Pawn (2...c7-c5). This means only Black's e-Pawn can provide Pawn support, to the d-Pawn, which it does when White's c-Pawn comes forward to attack Black's d5-Pawn (3.c2-c4 e7-e6). White forces the exchange of Pawns, on d5 (4.c4xd5 e6xd5), and then White applies pressure against Black's weakened d5-Pawn (5.Nb1-c3 » 6.g2-g3 » 7.Bf1-g2). Black's d-Pawn becomes an Isolated Pawn, as Black commits himself to exchanging his c-Pawn, on d4 (7...c5xd4 8.Nf3xd4).

  2. Black forces White to incur an Isolated c-Pawn. Black's dark-Bishop goes on the offensive, attacking both White Knights (8...Bf8-c5) the final attack Pinning White's Nc3 (9...Bc5-b4). After White breaks the Pin, by Castling Kingside (10.O-O), Black proceeds to exchange his dark-Bishop, for White's Nc3 (10...Bb4xc3), which causes White's b-Pawn to become the Isolated c-Pawn, when it completes the trade (11.b2xc3).

  3. White attacks the Pieces supporting Black's Isolated d-Pawn. First, White's dark-Bishop Pins Black's Nf6 (12.Bc1-g5), weakening the Knight's support for the Isolated d5-Pawn. Next, White's remaining Knight is brought up (13.Nb3-c5), to attack Black's Be6, which had come down to take-over supporting the Isolated d5-Pawn, due to the Pin on the Nf6. White exchanges Knight for Bishop (14.Nc5xe6), thereby removing one of the defenders of the Isolated d5-Pawn. However, Black un-Isolates his d5-Pawn, as his f-Pawn completes the trade (14...f7xe6).

  4. White gets rid of his weaker Isolated c-Pawn), using it to attack, re-Isolate, and then captures White's former Isolated d-Pawn, on the c-file. First, White's c-Pawn is advanced to force Black's d-Pawn to capture it, taking Black's Pawn onto the c-file (15.c3-c4 d5xc4). Next, White forces Black's b- & c-Pawns to become both Isolated and Doubled on the c-file, while exchanging his light-Bishop, for Black's Nc6 (16.Bg2xc6 b7xc6), to begin Simplifying the position. White's Queen finally captures Black's Isolated c4-Pawn (17.Qd1-d4 » 19.Qd4xc4) -- the former Isolated d5-Pawn.

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Comparison between Black's Isolated d-Pawn
and White's Isolated c-Pawn...

After 11...O-O, White has an Isolated c-Pawn (below-left), and Black has an Isolated d-Pawn (below-right):

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, White's Isolated c-Pawn, After 11.O-O
(COMPARISON)
White's Isolated c-Pawn = Weaker,
After 11.O-O
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, Black's Isolated d-Pawn, After 11.O-O
(COMPARISON)
Black's Isolated d-Pawn = Stronger,
After 11.O-O

Comparing White's Isolated c-Pawn with Black's Isolated d-Pawn, H&M-S believe Black's d-Pawn is the stronger Isolated Pawn, because it exerts a greater influence on the Center.

While Occupation isn't the same as Control, one way to gain Control of a Square, is to occupy it with a Pawn (although it must be protected -- here, it is, by Black's Nf6 & Qd8). So, that's the first way Black's d5-Pawn has influence in on the Center.

Add to that, Black's d5-Pawn, again supported by the Nf6 and Qd8, directly Controls the e4-square, in the Center, being less vulnerable than the contesting White Bishop (Bg2).

By contrast, White's Isolated c-Pawn only Controls the d4-square, without having any other impact, certainly not in the same way that Black's d5-Pawn does by occupying the Center, as just mentioned.


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PGN

[Event "Breslau"]
[Site "Breslau"]
[Date "1912.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "17"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Akiba Rubinstein"]
[Black "Frank James Marshall"]
[ECO "D33"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "111"]

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c5 3.c4 e6 {PCC p.104 No.71A} 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.g3 Nf6 7.Bg2 {PCC p.105 No.71B} cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bc5 9.Nb3 Bb4 10.O-O Bxc3 11.bxc3 O-O {PCC p.105 No.71C} 12.Bg5 Be6 13.Nc5 Qe7 14.Nxe6 fxe6 15.c4 dxc4 16.Bxc6 bxc6 17.Qd4 {PCC p.106 No.71D} Qd8 18.Bxf6 Rxf6 19.Qxc4 Qd5 20.Rac1 Raf8 21.e4 Qh5 22.f4 Qa5 23.e5 Rh6 24.Rc2 Qb6+ 25.Kg2 Rd8 26.Rff2 Rc8 27.Rfd2 Kh8 28.Rd6 Qb1 29.Rxc6 Rg8 30.Rc8 Qb7+ 31.Kg1 Qb6+ 32.Qc5 Qxc5+ 33.R2xc5 g5 34.Rxg8+ Kxg8 35.fxg5 Rh5 36.h4 h6 37.gxh6 Rxh6 38.Rc8+ Kf7 39.Rc7+ Kg6 40.Rxa7 Kf5 41.Ra5 Rh8 42.Kg2 Rb8 43.Kh3 Rb1 44.Ra3 Rh1+ 45.Kg2 Ra1 46.Rf3+ Kxe5 47.Rf2 Kd4 48.h5 Rc1 49.h6 e5 50.g4 e4 51.h7 Rc8 52.g5 e3 53.g6 exf2 54.g7 Ke3 55.g8=Q Ke2 56.Qe6+ 1-0

End.

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