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The Isolated Pawn
The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO.74, p109
Rubinstein v. Tartakower, 1925

In this example, White's e-Pawn becomes Isolated on the d-file.

However, White shows how the weakness of an Isolated Pawn can be turned into a strength, or an asset, if it can be kept Mobile.

The idea is that the player with the Isolani gets to choose when to push and use his Isolated Pawn, to his own advantage. This is typically what happens if the opposition cannot Blockade, Attack, and Destroy the Isolated Pawn, as shown in No.72 & No.73.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.109, No.74, after 10...Be7
  2. Result of the Mobile Isolani (1 of 2).
  3. Summary of the Mobile Isolani (1 of 2).
  4. PGN

The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.109, No.74, after 10...Be7

After: 1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e3 a6 6.a4 c5 7.Bxc4 Nc6 8.O-O cxd4 9.Nxd4 Nxd4 10.exd4 Be7

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 74 - Page 109
After: 10...Be7

1. How White incurs the Isolated d-Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 74 - The Isolated Pawn, The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2), After 1.c4 to 4.Nc3
The Isolated Pawn,
The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2),
After 1.c4 to 4.Nc3
After 1.c4 to 4.Nc3, we see the familiar tension between White's c4-Pawn and Black's d5-Pawn, as well as Black's e-Pawn at e6.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 74 - The Isolated Pawn, The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2), After 4...dxc4
The Isolated Pawn,
The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2),
After 4...dxc4
After 4...dxc4, Black breaks the tension between the two adverse Pawns, by capturing White's c4-Pawn (4...d5xc4), to leave White's d4-Pawn without Pawn defence on one side ... Although, to be fair, White had sort of already done this himself, when advancing his c-Pawn alongside the d4-Pawn, beyond the range to support the d4-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 74 - The Isolated Pawn, The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2), After 6...c5
The Isolated Pawn,
The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2),
After 6...c5
After 5.e3 & 6...c5, White's e-Pawn develops to support the d4-Pawn (5.e2-e3); Black's c-Pawn (6...c7-c5) attacks White's d4-Pawn, causes new tension between the enemy Pawns.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 74 - The Isolated Pawn, The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2), After 7.Bxc4 Nc6 8.O-O
The Isolated Pawn,
The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2),
After 7.Bxc4 Nc6 8.O-O
After 7.Bxc4 Nc6 8.O-O, White's light-Bishop (7.Bf1xc4) finally completes the exchange of Pawns, that had been initiated by Black's former d-Pawn (4...d5xc4).

The development of Black's Queen Knight (7...Nb8-c6) is significant, as it will be used to force an exchange of Knights, on d4, that will leave White's e3-Pawn Isolated on the d-file.

White then takes the opportunity to Castle Kingside (8.O-O).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 74 - The Isolated Pawn, The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2), After 8...cxd4 9.Nxd4 Nxd4 10.exd4
The Isolated Pawn,
The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2),
After 8...cxd4 9.Nxd4 Nxd4 10.exd4
After 8...cxd4 9.Nxd4 Nxd4 10.exd4, White's e-Pawn becomes the Isolated Pawn, on the d-file.

As he did with the first Pawn exchange, Black breaks the tension between his c5-Pawn and White's d4-Pawn, by capturing White's Pawn (8...c5xd4) ...

This results in the exchange of Knights (9.Nf3xd4 Nc6xd4), which leaves White's e3-Pawn Isolated on the d-file, as it is forced to complete the trade (10.e3xd4).

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The Result of the Mobile Isolani (1 of 2)...

2. White's Isolated d-Pawn is turned into a disposable asset, by pushing into an attack (this is the Mobile Isolani at work!)

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 74 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2), After 11.d5
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2),
After 11.d5
After 11.d5, White's d-Pawn shows its Mobile Isolani qualities, as it's pushed forward, to attack Black's e6-Pawn, (11.d4-d5).
White's plan is to make use of weak (Isolated) Pawn, by trading it for Black's stronger Pawn (supported by the f7-Pawn).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 74 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2), After 11...exd5 to 13.Bxd5
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2),
After 11...exd5 to 13.Bxd5
After 11...exd5 to 13.Bxd5, Black exchanges Pawns, deciding to capture White's Isolated d-Pawn (11...e6xd5), but at the expense of his stronger e-Pawn.

However, this allows White to also exchange Knights (12.Nc3xd5 Nf6xd5), and leave his light-Bishop on the d5-square (13.Bc4xd5), attacking Black's vulnerable f7-Pawn (at present, it's vulnerable because it's King is the sole defender).

3. White focuses on Black's f7-Pawn, after his Isolated d-Pawn has been swapped off the board

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 74 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2), After 13...O-O 14.Qf3
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2),
After 13...O-O 14.Qf3
After 13...O-O 14.Qf3, Black Castles Kingside (13...O-O), which does hand over support of the f7-Pawn to Black's Rook (Rf7), but at a cost of the f7-Pawn becoming Pinned by White's Bd5, the very moment Black's King completes its Castling maneuver, landing on g8.

White's Queen (14.Qd1-f3) is developed to coordinate with White's Bd5, against Black's Pinned f7-Pawn.

White's Queen also serves to defend the Bd5, against the threat from Black's Queen (Qd8).

H&M-S also mention the Cramp that White's Bd3 causes to Black's Queenside: "White has gained a magnificent central post for his king bishop, whence it cramps the Black queen-side and also eyes the king bishop pawn."

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 74 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2), After 14...Bd6 » 15...Qh4
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2),
After 14...Bd6 » 15...Qh4
After 14...Bd6 » 15...Qh4, Black does try to counter with an attempted attack on White's King, as his dark-Bishop (14...Be7-d6) and Queen (15...Qd8-h4) try to combine for an attack at h2.

However ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 74 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2), After 16.h3 Qb4
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2),
After 16.h3 Qb4
After 16.h3 Qb4, White's h-Pawn (16.h2-h3) is able to advance to snuff out the threat. Black's Queen wouldn't dare go down to g3, so tries an alternative attack (16...Qh4-b4), on White's Re1.
All these tactical maneuvers are an attempt by Black to prevent White taking-out Black's next weakest Pawn (f7).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 74 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2), After 18...Be6 19.Bxe6 fxe6
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2),
After 18...Be6 19.Bxe6 fxe6
After 18...Be6 19.Bxe6 fxe6, Black's f7-Pawn becomes Isolated on the e-file, after Black chose to confront White's light-Bishop, with his own (18...Bc8-e6) ...

This resulted in White accepting the swap of light-Bishops (19.Bd5xe6), with Black's f7-Pawn completing the trade (19...f7xe6), but becoming Isolated on the e-file, in the process.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 74 - (RESULT) The Isolated Pawn, The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2), After 20.Qe2 » 21.Qxe6+
(RESULT) The Isolated Pawn,
The Mobile Isolani (1 of 2),
After 20.Qe2 » 21.Qxe6+
After 20.Qe2 » 21.Qxe6+, White's Queen finally captures Black's former f-Pawn, on e6 (20.Qf3-e2 » 21.Qe2xe6+).

H&M-S say: "Despite ingenious tactical maneuvers, Black could not escape the eventual loss of a pawn and the game."

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Summary of the Mobile Isolani (1 of 2)...

  1. White's e-Pawn becomes the Isolated Pawn, on the d-file. After losing his c-Pawn, to Black's d-Pawn (4...d5xc4), White's e-Pawn is advanced (5.e2-e3) to support his d4-Pawn. Black's c-Pawn then attacks White's d4-Pawn (6...c7-c5), causing new tension between the enemy Pawns, prior to breaking the tension, to capture White's d4-Pawn (8...c5xd4), resulting in White's e3-Pawn becoming Isolated on the d-file, as it completes the Knight exchange that also takes place (9.Nf3xd4 Nc6xd4 10.e3xd4).

  2. White's Isolated d-Pawn is turned into a disposable asset, by pushing into an attack (this is the Mobile Isolani at work!). White's d-Pawn shows its Mobile Isolani qualities, as it's pushed forward, to attack Black's e6-Pawn, (11.d4-d5). Black exchanges Pawns, deciding to capture White's Isolated d-Pawn (11...e6xd5), but at the expense of his stronger e-Pawn. It also leaves White's light-Bishop on the d5-square (13.Bc4xd5), attacking Black's vulnerable f7-Pawn (it's vulnerable because it's King is the sole defender).

  3. White focuses on Black's f7-Pawn, after his Isolated d-Pawn has been swapped off the board. Black Castles Kingside (13...O-O), which does hand over support of the f7-Pawn to Black's Rook (Rf7), but at a cost of the f7-Pawn becoming Pinned by White's Bd5, the very moment Black's King completes its Castling maneuver, landing on g8. White's Queen (14.Qd1-f3) is developed to coordinate with White's Bd5, against Black's Pinned f7-Pawn. White goes on to capture Black's f7-Pawn, which becomes Isolated on the e-file, as the light-Bishops are traded on e6 (18...Bc8-e6 19.Bd5xe6 f7xe6). White's Queen captures Black's Isolani (20.Qf3-e2 » 21.Qe2xe6+).

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PGN

[Event "Marienbad"]
[Site "Marienbad"]
[Date "1925.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "4"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Akiba Rubinstein"]
[Black "Savielly Tartakower"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "95"]

1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e3 a6 6.a4 c5 7.Bxc4 Nc6 8.O-O cxd4 9.Nxd4 Nxd4 10.exd4 Be7 {PCC p.109 No.74} 11.d5 exd5 12.Nxd5 Nxd5 13.Bxd5 O-O 14.Qf3 Bd6 15.Re1 Qh4 16.h3 Qb4 17.Rd1 Rb8 18.b3 Be6 19.Bxe6 fxe6 20.Qe2 Bc5 21.Qxe6+ Kh8 22.Ba3 Qa5 23.Rd5 Bxf2+ 24.Kh1 Qc3 25.Rc1 Qf6 26.Qxf6 Rxf6 27.Rd7 Be3 28.Rxb7 Rb6 29.Rxb6 Bxb6 30.Rc6 h5 31.Bd6 Rb7 32.b4 a5 33.b5 Kh7 34.g4 hxg4 35.hxg4 Kg8 36.Kg2 Kf7 37.Kf3 Bd8 38.Ke4 Ke8 39.Kd5 g5 40.Ke6 Bb6 41.Rc8+ Bd8 42.Bc5 Rb8 43.Rc6 Rb7 44.b6 Rb8 45.Rc7 Bxc7 46.bxc7 Rc8 47.Bb6 Ra8 48.Ba7 1-0

End.

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