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

Point Count Chess, NO.73, p108
Denker v. Pinkus, 1940

In this example, Black's e6-Pawn becomes Isolated on the d-file, in a similar way No.72. However, this time we see how White gets to complete Nimzovich's three step formula for dealing with an opponent's Isolated Pawn (1. Blockade; 2. Attack; 3. Destroy!).

The usual strategy for success is:

In this case, after the Blockading of Black's Isolated Pawn, White's Mating Threat is the collateral threat, which forces Black to leave his Isolated Pawn unguarded, enabling White to Attack it, before Destroying the Isolani.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.108, No.73, after 9...exd5
  2. Result of the tactic to Blockade, Attack and Destroy the Isolani
    (2 of 2).
  3. Summary of the tactic to Blockade, Attack and Destroy the Isolani
    (2 of 2).
  4. PGN

Blockade, Attack and Destroy the Isolani (1 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.108, No.73, after 9...exd5

After: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bf4 O-O 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 exd5

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 73 - Page 108
After: 9...exd5

1. How Black incurs the Isolated d-Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 73 - The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2), After 1.d4 to 6...c5
The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2),
After 1.d4 to 6...c5
After 1.d4 to 6...c5, there's the familiar tension surrounding the adverse c- & d-Pawns, plus Black's e-Pawn at e6, as was seen in No.72.

The only real difference among these Pawns is the White Pawn that attacks Black's d5-Pawn:
  • In No.73, (left), the task falls to White's c-Pawn;

  • In No.72, White's e-Pawn gets the task.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 73 - The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2), After 7.dxc5 Bxc5
The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2),
After 7.dxc5 Bxc5
After 7.dxc5 Bxc5, White forces the first Pawn exchange, to take-out Black's c5-Pawn (7.d4xc5), with Black's dark-Bishop completing the trade (7...Be7xc5).

This leads immediately to two subsequent sets of exchanges, which is significant to Black's e-Pawn becoming Isolated on the d-file...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 73 - The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2), After 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 exd5
The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2),
After 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 exd5
After 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 exd5, Black's e6-Pawn becomes the Isolated Pawn on the d-file.

The first exchange is led by White's c4-Pawn, which captures Black's d5-Pawn (8.c4xd5), in an attempt to force Black's e6-Pawn to recapture, thus Isolating itself on d5.

However, Black chooses instead to complete the Pawn exchange, with his Knight (8...Nf6xd5).

This results in White choosing to exchange Knights on d5 (9.Nc3xd5), leaving Black little option but to complete the trade with his e6-Pawn (9...e6xd5), resulting in it becoming Isolated on the d-file.


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

2. White's Mating Threat is the "Collateral Threat," used in conjunction with the Attack on Black's Isolated d5-Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 73 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2), After 10.Bd3
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2),
After 10.Bd3
After 10.Bd3, White "Blockades" Black's Isolated d5-Pawn, in tandem with beginning his Collateral Threat against Black's King.

White's light-Bishop Blockades Black's Isolated d-Pawn (10.Bf1-d3), as well as launching an attack on the Pawn Guard (h7) in front of Black's King.

Note: White's e3-Pawn also provides a kind of Blockade of its own, by preventing Black's Isolated d5-Pawn from advancing to d4.
H&M-S note White's strategy, which they say launches "... a blitz against the Black king, not with expectation of a mate but to draw the defenders away from the isolani."
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 73 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2), After 12.Ng5
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2),
After 12.Ng5
After 12.Ng5, White continues his Mating threat, by expanding his King Knight, to attack the h7-square (12.Nf3-g5).

The other part of the Mating threat comes from White's light-Bishop (Bd3) and Queen (Qd1-h5) all coordinating against the h7-square. If Black were to ignore this, Qd1-h5 and Qh5xh7# would be Checkmate.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 73 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2), After 12...f5
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2),
After 12...f5
After 12...f5, White's Mating threat forces Black to respond by using his f-Pawn (12...f7-f5) to block the path of White's Bd3, along the b1-h7 diagonal.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 73 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2), After 13.g4 Qe8
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2),
After 13.g4 Qe8
After 13.g4 Qe8, Black's Isolated d5-Pawn loses its sole defender (Black's Queen).

The attack by White's g-Pawn (13.g2-g4) against Black's f5-Pawn, forces Black to remove his Queen from defending the Isolated d5-Pawn, to guard the h5-square (13...Qd8-e8) against the Mating threat from White's Queen.

However, Black's Isolated d5-Pawn is left unguarded, leading to the next part in the plan for dealing with an opponent's Isolated Pawn (2. Attack!).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 73 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2), After 14.Qb3 Qd7
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2),
After 14.Qb3 Qd7
After 14.Qb3 Qd7, White's Queen Attacks Black's Isolated d5-Pawn (14.Qd1-b3), causing Black to return his Queen (14...Qe8-d7), to the Isolani's defence.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 73 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2), After 15.Rd1 and 16.Bb5
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2),
After 15.Rd1 » 16.Bb5
After 15.Rd1 » 16.Bb5, White incorporates a Discovered Attack, against Black's Isolated d5-Pawn, as he builds up more pressure against the Isolani.

Just as White did in No.72, he slides his Queen Rook onto the d-file (15.Ra1-d1), tucking it in behind the Minor Piece that's also helping to Blockade Black's Isolated d5-Pawn.

White then unleashes his Discovered Attack, by removing the Blockading Minor Piece (16.Bd3-b5), which moves to Pin Black's Nc6, and dis-covering the second Attack on Black's Isolani, by the Rd1.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 73 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2), After 16...Qe7 17.Qxd5
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2),
After 16...Qe7 17.Qxd5
After 16...Qe7 17.Qxd5, White's Queen Destroys Black's Isolani, capturing it to complete Nimzovich's three step formula for dealing with an opponent's Isolated Pawn:
  1. Blockade;
  2. Attack;
  3. Destroy!
Black's Queen breaks the Pin on the Nc6 (16...Qd7-e7), but at a cost of leaving the Isolated d5-Pawn undefended, for the second and final time, as White's Queen captures it (17.Qb3xd5).

3. Black resigns, as White plays to force the exchange of Queens

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 73 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2), After 17...Rd8 18.Qxd8+ Qxd8
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2),
After 17...Rd8 18.Qxd8+ Qxd8
After 17...Rd8 18.Qxd8+ Qxd8, Black's King Rook (17...Rf8-d8) attempts to repel White's Queen, only for White to launch into a forced exchange of Queens (18.Qd5xd8+ Qe7xd8).

However, White wins the game, without getting to complete the Queen exchange ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 73 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2), After 19.Nf7+
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
Blockade, Attack, Destroy! (2 of 2),
After 19.Nf7+
After 19.Nf7+, Black resigns, as White's Knight (19.Ng5-f7+) Forks Black's King and Queen.

White threatens to complete the exchange of Queens, and probably also the last adverse Knights, to leave White with a game-winning position, especially as the tension between the f5- & g4-Pawns threatens to leave White with a Passed Pawn (e3).

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

  1. Black incurs the Isolated d-Pawn, after White breaks the tension between the adverse c- & d-Pawns, forcing the exchange of Pawns and one set of adverse Knights (7.d4xc5 Be7xc5 8.c4xd5 Nf6xd5 9.Nc3xd5), that causes Black's e6-Pawn to become Isolated on the d-file, as it completes the series of trades (9...e6xd5).

  2. White's Mating Threat is the "Collateral Threat," used in conjunction with the Attack on Black's Isolated d5-Pawn. First, White's light-Bishop (10.Bf1-d3) helps to Blockade the Isolani, while White's Bd3 also threatens to coordinate with White's King Knight (12.Nf3-g5) and Queen (via the threat of Qd1-h5) against the h7-square, which is guarded solely by Black's King. This forces Black to push his f-Pawn (12...f7-f5) to block the path of White's Bd3, along the b1-h7 diagonal, and remove the Black Queen from guarding the Isolated d5-Pawn (13...Qd8-e8), so Black can defend against the threat of White's Qd1 going to h5.

  3. White Attacks Black's Isolated d5-Pawn, first with his Queen (14.Qd1-b3) and then a second time with a Discovered Attack, involving White's Bd3 and Queen Rook: After White's Rook moves to the d-file (15.Ra1-d1), White's Bd3 moves out of the way (16.Bd3-b5) to Pin Black's Nc6, which dis-covers the Attack by White's Rd1, against Black's Isolani.

  4. White Destroys Black's Isolated d5-Pawn. After Black's Queen breaks out of the Pin (16...Qd7-e7), she leaves the Isolated d5-Pawn undefended, for the second and final time, as White's Queen captures it (17.Qb3xd5).

  5. Black resigns, as White plays to force the exchange of Queens.

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PGN

[Event "USA-ch"]
[Site "New York"]
[Date "1940.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "8"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Arnold Denker"]
[Black "Albert Pinkus"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "37"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 {PCC p.108 No.73} 10. Bd3 Bb4+ 11. Kf1 Nc6 12. Ng5 f5 13. g4 Qe8 14. Qb3 Qd7 15. Rd1 Kh8 16. Bb5 Qe7 17. Qxd5 Rd8 18. Qxd8+ Qxd8 19. Nf7+ 1-0

End.

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