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The Isolated Pawn
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO.72A to 72B, p106-107
Kan v. Bondarevsky, 1937

In this example, Black's e-Pawn is forced onto the d-file, with the first of two Pawns exchanged, before White forces the second Pawn exchange, to cause Black's former e-Pawn to become the Isolated Pawn, on d5.

White then proceeds to follow three step formula, (according to H&M-S), for dealing with your opponent's Isolated Pawn:

  1. "Blockade" the Isolated Pawn;
  2. "Attack" the Isolated Pawn;
  3. "Destroy!" the Isolated Pawn.

I suppose one might call the "BAD Formula"?

Important: In this game, White completes the first two bits against Black's Isolated d5-Pawn (1. Blockade; 2. Attack).

However, Black eventually resigns, before White completes the third and final bit (3. Destroy, the Isolated Pawn).
Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the two positions featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.106, No.72A, after 9...Bxc5
  2. PCC, p.107, No.72B, after 16.Nf3
  3. Result of the tactic to Blockade, Attack and Destroy the Isolani
    (1 of 2).
  4. Summary of the tactic to Blockade, Attack and Destroy the Isolani
    (1 of 2).
  5. PGN

Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.106, No.72A, after 9...Bxc5

After: 1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Bb5+ Bd7 6.Qe2+ Qe7 7.Bxd7+ Nxd7 8.dxc5 Qxe2+ 9.Nxe2 Bxc5

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72A - Page 106
After: 9...Bxc5

1. How Black incurs the Isolated d-Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 1.d4 to 2...d5
The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 1.d4 to 2...d5
After 1.d4 to 2...d5, we already see tension between the adverse Pawns at d5 and e4, respectively. White will be the one to break this tension, which will drag Black's e-Pawn onto the d-file.

If Black's c-Pawn then disappears from the c-file, Black's former e-Pawn will become the Isolated Pawn, on the d-file.

Black develops his e-Pawn one square, in response to White's two-square opening move, of his Queen Pawn (1.d2-d4 e7-e6).

That enables White to push his e-Pawn (2.e2-e4), to sit alongside White's d-Pawn, in Phalanx formation, in the Center.

Black's d-Pawn (2...d7-d5) is then developed to the head of the Chain (f7,e6,d5), creating tension between itself and White's e4-Pawn.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 3.Nd2 c5
The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 3.Nd2 c5
After 3.Nd2 c5, White anticipates the d4-square becoming clear, in the process of causing Black's d5-Pawn to become Isolated.

So, White prepares to put his Queen Knight onto the d4-square, bringing it out in shallow moves (first 3.Nb1-d2, then Nd2-b3, and finally Nb3-d4).
The real purpose of Nb1-d2: White's Queen Knight will move to the d4-square, to Blockade Black's Isolated d-Pawn.

Black's c-Pawn (3...c7-c5) is developed beyond the range to support Black's d5-Pawn. The position of the five active, adverse Pawns, are now set for White to force Black's e6-Pawn to become Isolated, on d4.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 4.exd5 exd5
The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 4.exd5 exd5
After 4.exd5 exd5, White forces Black's e6-Pawn onto the d-file, with the first Pawn exchange, on d5 (4.e4xd5 e6xd5).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 5.Bb5+ to 6...Qe7
The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 5.Bb5+ to 6...Qe7
After 5.Bb5+ to 6...Qe7, because Black's d-Pawn will become Isolated on d5 (a light-square), White plays to remove Pieces that could otherwise defend Black's d5-Pawn (the initial focus is on Black's Minor Pieces, and Black's Queen).

First, White develops his light-Bishop, so it attacks Black's exposed King, on the a4-e8 diagonal (5.Bf1-g5+), forcing Black to block the Check with one of his Minor Pieces (Nb8 or Bc8 can perform the task, but here Black chooses the Bishop: 5...Bc8-d7).

That's one potential d5-Pawn defender, thus one White target, in position, ready to take-out.

Next, White's Queen attacks Black's exposed King, on the e-file (6.Qd1-e2+). Black could block the Check with his dark-Bishop, but chooses to face White's Queen, with his own Queen (6...Qd8-e7), inviting a potential Queen exchange.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 7.Bxd7+ Nxd7
The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 7.Bxd7+ Nxd7
After 7.Bxd7+ Nxd7, White exchanges light-Bishops off the board (7.Bb5xd7+), with Black's Queen Knight completing the trade (7...Nb8xd7).

That's one potential d5-Pawn defender, successfully removed.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 8.dxc5
The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 8.dxc5
After 8.dxc5, Black incurs the Isolated d-Pawn, as White enters into the second Pawn exchange, on c5 (8.d4xc5).

2. Both Queens are Swapped Off the board

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 8...Qxe2+ 9.Nxe2
The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 8...Qxe2+ 9.Nxe2
After 8...Qxe2+ 9.Nxe2, having already attacked White's Queen, Black completes on his threat, and forces the exchange of Queens (8...Qd7xe2+), which is completed by White's Ng1 (9.Ng1xe2).
According to H&M-S, because Black has the Isolated Pawn (d5), the loss of Queens from the board serves to increase the Isolated Pawn's weakness, particularly because White still has enough heavy Pieces to coordinate a successful attack against Black's Isolani.

H&M-S say: "The isolani is perhaps the weakest in a queenless midgame -- that is, a position in which disappearance of the queens largely eliminates direct attack on either king, but in which enough pieces remain for a heavy attack on the isolani together with collateral maneuvers."
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 9...Bxc5
The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 9...Bxc5
After 9...Bxc5, Black's dark-Bishop (9...Bf8xc5) completes the exchange of Pawns, on c5, after that delay by Black to swap the Queens off the board.

[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

The Result of the tactic to Blockade,
Attack and Destroy the Isolani (1 of 2)...

Position #2, My Analysis
PCC, p.107, No.72B, after 16.Nf3

After: 10.Nb3 Bb6 11.Nbd4 Ngf6 12.Bg5 O-O 13.O-O-O Ng4 14.Bh4 Bd8 15.Bg3 Bf6 16.Nf3

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72B - Page 107
After: 16.Nf3

3. White's Queen Knight Blockades Black's Isolated d5-Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 10.Nb3 and 11.Nbd4
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 10.Nb3 » 11.Nbd4
After 10.Nb3 » 11.Nbd4, in two successive moves (10.Nd2-b3 » 11.Nb3-d4), White's Queen Knight completes its journey to the d4-square, to Blockade Black's Isolated d5-Pawn.

4. White's Queen Rook and a Knight both Attack Black's
Isolated d5-Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 11...Ngf6 12.Bg5 O-O
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 11...Ngf6 12.Bg5 O-O
After 11...Ngf6 12.Bg5 O-O, Black's King Knight develops (11...Ng8-f6), not only clearing the back rank, to enable its King to Castle Kingside, but it also provides support for Black's Isolated d5-Pawn.

As part of White's plan to Attack Black's Isolated d5-Pawn, White also focuses his attack on those Black Pieces that try to defend it. Knowing this, it's understandable to see White's dark-Bishop come out to attack Black's Nf6 (12.Bc1-g5). Black then Castles Kingside (12...O-O).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 13.O-O-O
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 13.O-O-O
After 13.O-O-O, White's decision to Castle Queenside has the benefit of bringing White's Queen Rook immediately to the d-file.

From here, it will take part in a Discovered Attack, against Black's Isolated d5-Pawn (when White's Nd4 is moves clear).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 13...Ng4 to 15.Bg3
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 13...Ng4 to 15.Bg3
After 13...Ng4 to 15.Bg3, Black tries to strike back and either delay or remove the attack on his Isolated d5-Pawn, by attacking White's Minor Pieces.
White makes sure he doesn't lose his Pieces (e.g. by entering into possible exchanges), as he wants them to enable the attack on Black's Isolated d5-Pawn ...

White can use his spare Pieces to keep Black's Pieces occupied, while selected troops focus on the Isolani.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 15...Bf6 16.Nf3
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 15...Bf6 16.Nf3
After 15...Bf6 16.Nf3, White gets to unleash his Discovered Attack, against Black's Isolated d5-Pawn.

Black continues his attack on White's Minor Pieces, focusing on the Blockading Nd4 (16...Be8-f6).

However, this simply allows White's Knight to remove the Blockade (16.Nd4-f3), which also serves to dis-cover the attack from White's Rd1, against Black's Isolated d5-Pawn.
Notice also how White's two Knights combine to prevent Black from advancing his Isolated d5-Pawn. This is kind of like an invisible Blockade, as it keeps Black's d-Pawn in its unsupported position, with the promise of death coming to it, if it steps onto d4.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 16...Nb6
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 16...Nb6
After 16...Nb6, Black begins the vital task of defending the under-attack Isolated d5-Pawn. First, with the nearest available Knight (16...Nd7-b6).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 17.h3 Nh6 18.Nf4
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 17.h3 Nh6 18.Nf4
After 17.h3 Nh6 18.Nf4, White applies more pressure to Black's Isolated d5-Pawn, attacking it for a second time, with a Knight.

White's h-Pawn (17.h2-h3) forces Black's Ng4 to flee to safety (17...Ng4-h6), and then White's Ne2 joins in the attack on Black's Isolated d5-Pawn (18.Ne2-f4).

5. White's King doesn't quite get to Destroy Black's Isolated d5-Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 18...Rfd8 to 20...Rad8
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 18...Rfd8 to 20...Rad8
After 18...Rfd8 to 20...Rad8, all the adverse Rooks join the activity on the d-file, in Battery formation.

Black forms his Rook Battery (18...Rf8-d8 » 19...Rd8-d7 » 20.Ra8-d8) to add more defenders, in support of the vulnerable, Isolated d5-Pawn.

White forms (19.Rd1-d3 » 20.Rh1-d1) his Rook Battery to add more attackers, against the vulnerable, Isolated d5-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 21.Bh2 to 36...Rxe5
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 21.Bh2 to 36...Rxe5
After 21.Bh2 to 36...Rxe5, the position is Simplified, with one set of adverse Rooks and both dark-Bishops being swapped off the board.

Notice also how White has begun to activate his King, bringing it off the back rank, and towards Black's Isolated d5-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 37.f3 to 45.Kd4
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 37.f3 to 45.Kd4
After 37.f3 to 45.Kd4, White manages to force Black's Rook to run all the way home, so he can bring his King up to attack Black's Isolated d5-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 72 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2), After 54.f4
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (1 of 2),
After 54.f4
After 54.f4, Black resigns, sparing Black's Isolated d5-Pawn from being Destroyed by White's King.

[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

Summary of the tactic to Blockade,
Attack and Destroy the Isolani (1 of 2)...

  1. Black incurs the Isolated d-Pawn, after White forces the exchange both his Center Pawns: the first drags Black's e6-Pawn onto the d-file (4.e4xd5 e6xd5); the second takes-out Black's c5-Pawn (8.d4xc5), to leave Black's former e-Pawn Isolated on the d-file.

  2. Both Queens are Swapped Off the board. Having already attacked White's Queen, Black completes on his threat, and forces the exchange of Queens (8...Qd7xe2+), which is completed by White's Ng1 (9.Ng1xe2). This appears to be a key mistake from Black, as the loss of Queens from the board serves to increase the Isolated Pawn's weakness, particularly because White still has enough heavy Pieces to coordinate a successful attack against Black's Isolani.

  3. White's Queen Knight Blockades Black's Isolated d5-Pawn. Having already been mobilized in front of its Queen (3.Nb1-d2), in two successive moves (10.Nd2-b3 » 11.Nb3-d4), White's Queen Knight completes its journey to the d4-square, to Blockade Black's Isolated d5-Pawn.

  4. White's Queen Rook and a Knight Attacks Black's Isolated d5-Pawn. White's decision to Castle Queenside (13.O-O-O) has the benefit of bringing White's Queen Rook immediately to the d-file (it will attack Black's Isolated d5-Pawn, by Discovery!). After 16.Nd4-f3, White gets to unleash his Discovered Attack, against Black's Isolated d5-Pawn. White's King Knight then applies more pressure to Black's Isolated d5-Pawn, attacking it for a second time (18.Ne2-f4).

  5. In this particular game, White's King doesn't quite get to Destroy Black's Isolated d5-Pawn, as Black chooses to resign.

[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

PGN

[Event "Tbilisi"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "1937.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Ilia Abramovich Kan"]
[Black "Igor Bondarevsky"]
[ECO "C08"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "107"]

1. d4 e6 2. e4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 exd5 5. Bb5+ Bd7 6. Qe2+ Qe7 7. Bxd7+ Nxd7 8. dxc5 Qxe2+ 9. Nxe2 Bxc5 {PCC p.106 No.72A} 10. Nb3 Bb6 11. Nbd4 Ngf6 12. Bg5 O-O 13. O-O-O Ng4 14. Bh4 Bd8 15. Bg3 Bf6 16. Nf3 {PCC p.107 No.72B} Nb6 17. h3 Nh6 18. Nf4 Rfd8 19. Rd3 Rd7 20. Rhd1 Rad8 21. Bh2 g6 22. g4 Bg7 23. Bg3 f6 24. Nd4 Nf7 25. Nde6 Ne5 26. Nxd8 Nxd3+ 27. Nxd3 Rxd8 28. Nc5 Rf8 29. Nxb7 f5 30. gxf5 Rxf5 31. Nd6 Rh5 32. Rh1 Be5 33. Nb5 a5 34. b3 Nd7 35. Kd2 Nf6 36. Bxe5 Rxe5 37. f3 Nh5 38. Nd4 Nf4 39. Rh2 Re8 40. a4 Kf7 41. Nc6 Ra8 42. Ke3 g5 43. h4 h6 44. hxg5 hxg5 45. Kd4 Kg6 46. Kc5 Rf8 47. Nd4 Rb8 48. Nc6 Rf8 49. Nxa5 Nh5 50. Nc6 Ng3 51. a5 Nf1 52. Re2 Ng3 53. Rg2 Nf5 54. f4 1-0

End.

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