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The Hanging Phalanx
A Connected Phalanx Can Hang (1 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO.82A to NO.82B, p117
Pachman v. Donner, 1955

In this example, Black incurs a connected Hanging Phalanx, which is comprised of his e-Pawn (e5) & former g-Pawn (after it captures across to f5, when completing an exchange of Pawns).

Black's 4th Rank Phalanx is considered to be a Hanging Phalanx, as neither of the two Pawns can advance, without being captured and leaving Black with subsequent weaknesses:

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the two positions featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.117, No.82A, after 10.Be3
  2. PCC, p.117, No.82B, after 17.d4
  3. Result of how a Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2).
  4. Summary of how a Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2).
  5. PGN
Additional analysis includes the:

A Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.117, No.82A, after 10.Be3

After: 1.c4 g6 2.Nc3 Bg7 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 O-O 5.e4 e5 6.Nge2 d6 7.O-O Nfd7 8.d3 f5 9.exf5 gxf5 10.Be3

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 82A - Page 117
After: 10.Be3

1. How Black incurs a connected, Hanging Phalanx, at e5 & f5

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 82 - Hanging Phalanx, A Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2), After 1.c4 to 7.O-O
Hanging Phalanx,
A Connected Phalanx Can Hang,
(2 of 2), After 1.c4 to 7.O-O
After 1.c4 to 7.O-O, both sides have created a House for their King and Castled to the Kingside. However, there are differences compared with example No.81 (the game where White incurred the Hanging Phalanx).

White's c- & e-Pawns have been advanced to their fourth rank (1.c2-c4 » 5.e2-e4), but hasn't formed a fourth rank Phalanx, like White did in No.81, choosing instead to Fianchetto his light-Bishop (4.Bf1-Bg2), so as to support his e4-Pawn, while both c- & e-Pawns prevent Black from advancing his d-Pawn to d5.

Black's e-Pawn (5...e7-e5) has come out to Blockade White's e4-Pawn, to prevent it advancing again, which would see it attack Black's Nf6, forcing it to flee, while also Cramping Black's development through e6 & f6.

Black's e-Pawn will go on to form half of Black's Hanging Phalanx, along with Black's g-Pawn (when it completes a Pawn exchange, on f5, which comes about when Black elects to advance his f-Pawn, to confront White's e4-Pawn).

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 82 - Hanging Phalanx, A Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2), After 7...Nfd7 8.d3 f5
Hanging Phalanx,
A Connected Phalanx Can Hang,
(2 of 2), After 7...Nfd7 8.d3 f5
After 7...Nfd7 8.d3 f5, Black relocates his King Knight (7...Nf6-d7) to clear the way for the advance of his f-Pawn, which comes out to confront White's e4-Pawn (8...f7-f5), after White develops his d-Pawn (8.d2-d3), in support of the e4-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 82 - Hanging Phalanx, A Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2), After 9.exf5 gxf5 10.Be3
Hanging Phalanx,
A Connected Phalanx Can Hang,
(2 of 2), After 9.exf5 gxf5 10.Be3
After 9.exf5 gxf5 10.Be3, we reach the position where H&M-S consider Black's fourth rank Pawn Phalanx (e5 & f5) to be a connected, Hanging Phalanx.

White chooses to break the tension and enter into the Pawn exchange, on f5 (9.e4xf5), which leaves Black's g-Pawn on the f5-square, in Phalanx formation alongside Black's e5-Pawn, as it completes the trade (9...g7xf5).

White then develops his dark-Bishop (10.Bc1-e3).

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The Result of how a Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2)...

2. Why Black's e5 & f5-Pawns are considered a Hanging Phalanx

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 82 - (RESULT) Hanging Phalanx, A Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2), After 10.Be3
(RESULT) Hanging Phalanx,
A Connected Phalanx Can Hang,
(2 of 2), After 10.Be3
After 10.Be3, H&M-S give their explanation of why Black's e5- & f5-Pawns are to be considered a Hanging Phalanx ...
  1. They will both be captured, if they're advanced.

  2. White can attack Black's e5-Pawn and leave Black disadvantaged (either both Black Pawns are lost and Black is left with a seriously Compromised King-side; or Black is left with an Isolated f5-Pawn and a Compromised King-side).

  3. White can attack Black's f5-Pawn and leave Black disadvantaged (Isolated f5-Pawn & Compromised King-side).

All three situations are expanded on, below ...

Reason 1: Why Black's e5- & f5-Pawns are a Hanging Phalanx...
They will both be captured, if they're advanced.

H&M-S say: "Neither the king pawn nor the king bishop pawn can advance and live."

Whichever of those two Black Pawns is advanced, it will result in the loss of both former Hanging Pawns, while his Kingside will become severely Compromised. For instance, if 10...f5-f4, then 11.g3xf4 e5xf4 12.Be3xf4; alternatively, if 10...e5-e4, then 11.d3xe4 f5xe4 12.Bg2xe4.

Reason 2: Why Black's e5- & f5-Pawns are a Hanging Phalanx...
White can attack Black's e5-Pawn and leave Black disadvantaged.

H&M-S say: "White has the means to attack the pawns, notably P-B4 (f2-f4). Black cannot reply P-K5 (...e5-e4) without losing the pawn, while PxP (...e5xf4) would leave his king bishop pawn isolated on an open file."

Reason 3: Why Black's e5- & f5-Pawns are a Hanging Phalanx...
White can attack Black's f5-Pawn and leave Black disadvantaged.

H&M-S say: "Black can but try to maintain his phalanx intact, and White can prepare to strike again, say by a timely PxP (f4xe5), followed by P-Q4 (d3-d4), while Black must continually reckon with the protection of his king bishop pawn (f5) when White opens the king bishop file (f-file)."

This is what happened in the actual game, which I'll continue to look at, below ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 82 - (RESULT) Hanging Phalanx, A Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2), After 10...Nf6 to 13.f4
(RESULT) Hanging Phalanx,
A Connected Phalanx Can Hang,
(2 of 2), After 10...Nf6 to 13.f4
After 10...Nf6 to 13.f4, White's f-Pawn is advanced to attack the e5-Pawn of Black's Hanging Phalanx.

The return of Black's Knight, to f6 (10...Nd7-f6), where it guards the e4-square, potentially signals the threat to advance Black's e5-Pawn. In a few moves time, White brings his Queen Rook to the d-file, to support his d3-Pawn ...

This explains the move by White's Queen (11.Qd1-d2), which maintains support for the d3-Pawn, while clearing the d1-square for White's Queen Rook (Ra1), with White's Queen soon able to move to the e1-square, leaving defence of the d3-Pawn, to the Rook.

The advance of Black's c-Pawn (11...c7-c6) prevents White's Nc3 moving to the d5-Outpost. And, in a similar kind of maneuver, the advance of White's h-Pawn (12.h2-h3) appears to be a precaution against the threat from Black's Nf6, which could otherwise move to the g4-Outpost.

Black's Nf6 then moves out to the h-file (12...Nf6-h5), applying pressure against White's g3-Pawn, which will become Backward, if/when White advances his f-Pawn to f4 (Black will increase pressure against White's g3-Pawn, with his Queen going to g6). In the meantime, the relocation of Black's Nf6, to h5, serves to add support to Black's Hanging e5-Pawn, from the Bg7.

And then come the advance of White's f-Pawn (13.f2-f4), which now directly attacks Black's Hanging e5-Pawn, with White seeming content to ignore that it puts his g3-Pawn into a Backward situation.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 82 - (RESULT) Hanging Phalanx, A Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2), After 13...Qe8 to 15.Qe1
(RESULT) Hanging Phalanx,
A Connected Phalanx Can Hang,
(2 of 2), After 13...Qe8 to 15.Qe1
After 13...Qe8 to 15.Qe1, Black's Queen (13...Qd8-e8 » 14...Qe8-g6) increases pressure against White's Backward g3-Pawn; while White's King (14.Kg1-h2) and Queen (15.Qd2-e1) increase White's support for the vulnerable g3-Pawn.

White's Queen has also been removed from the d-file, clearing the way for White's Queen Rook to come across to d1, to support White's d3-Pawn, as has already been mentioned.

Position #2, My Analysis
PCC, p.117, No.82B, after 17.d4

After: 10...Nf6 11.Qd2 c6 12.h3 Nh5 13.f4 Qe8 14.Kh2 Qg6 15.Qe1 Nd7 16.Rd1 Kh8 17.d4

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 82B - Page 117
After: 17.d4
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 82 - (RESULT) Hanging Phalanx, A Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2), After 15...Nd7 to 17...Rg8
(RESULT) Hanging Phalanx,
A Connected Phalanx Can Hang,
(2 of 2), After 15...Nd7 to 17...Rg8
After 15...Nd7 to 17...Rg8, both sides focus on what seems to be the key vulnerability in the enemy's position.

White builds up his attack against Black's Hanging e5-Pawn first by bringing his Queen Rook across (16.Ra1-d1) to support the d3-Pawn, which is then pushed into the attack (17.d3-d4) against Black's Hanging Pawn (e5).

Black, having moved his Queen Knight (15...Nb8-d7) to reinforce support for the Hanging e5-Pawn, then turns his attention to increasing the pressure against White's Backward g3-Pawn. This involves moving his King off the g-file (16...Kg8-h8) in order to bring his King Rook onto the g-file (17...Rf8-g8), with the clear intention of forming a Battery, with his Queen (Qg6), to apply direct pressure down against White's g3-Pawn (albeit once Black moves his Bg7 out of the way).

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 82 - (RESULT) Hanging Phalanx, A Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2), After 18.Qf2 Bf6
(RESULT) Hanging Phalanx,
A Connected Phalanx Can Hang,
(2 of 2), After 18.Qf2 Bf6
After 18.Qf2 Bf6, White anticipates the e-file becoming fully Open, following the Pawn exchanges that are being threatened at e5, and so prepares to bring his King Rook to take Control of the e-file, by moving his Queen out of the way (18.Qe1-f2).

Black removes his dark-Bishop from the g-file (18...Bg7-f6), to unleash the pressure from Black's Queen-Rook Battery, against White's Backward g3-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 82 - (RESULT) Hanging Phalanx, A Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2), After 19.dxe5 to 20...exf4
(RESULT) Hanging Phalanx,
A Connected Phalanx Can Hang,
(2 of 2), After 19.dxe5 to 20...exf4
After 19.dxe5 to 20...exf4, Black's connected Hanging Phalanx is reduced to an unconnected Hanging Phalanx, before being fully dissolved.

First, White follows through his threat to force the exchange of Pawns, at e5 (19.d4xe5), which leaves Black with the unconnected Hanging Phalanx, as his d-Pawn completes the trade (19...d6xe5), to take the place of Black's original e-Pawn.

And then, White's Queen Rook infiltrates Black's territory (20.Rd1-d6), which prompts Black to fully dissolve his Hanging Phalanx, using his former d-Pawn a second time, this time to capture White's f-Pawn (20...e5xf4). to leave Black with Doubled Pawns on the f-file (albeit temporarily).

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 82 - (RESULT) Hanging Phalanx, A Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2), After 21.Nxf4 Nxf4 22.Bxf4
(RESULT) Hanging Phalanx,
A Connected Phalanx Can Hang,
(2 of 2), After 21.Nxf4 Nxf4 22.Bxf4
After 21.Nxf4 Nxf4 22.Bxf4, Black's former weakness of the connected Hanging Phalanx is reduced to the weakness of an Isolated f-Pawn.

White continues the series of swaps, to force an exchange of Knights (21.Ne2xf4 Nh5xf4), which is completed by White's dark-Bishop (22.Be3xf4), and which leaves White's Bf4 giving support to White's Rd6 and blockading Black's Isolated f5-Pawn, from the same position.

From here, White continues to exert pressure against Black's position, with both his Rooks playing key infiltration roles, through the Open e-file.


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Summary of how a Connected Phalanx Can Hang (2 of 2)...

  1. Black incurs a connected, Hanging Phalanx, at e5 & f5, after both sides begin with a Barcza-style Opening. White's c- & e-Pawns are developed to the 4th rank (1.c2-c4 » 5.e2-e4), with the c4-Pawn preventing Black's d-Pawn advancing to d5, while the e4-Pawn threatens to attack Black's Nf6, causing Black to Blockade it with his e-Pawn (5...e7-e5). Black subsequently forms a Chain, with his d-Pawn (6...d7-d6) to defends his e5-Pawn. Black's connected Hanging Phalanx comes following Black's decision to advance his f-Pawn (8...f7-f5), to confront White's e4-Pawn, enabling White to respond by exchanging Pawns, on f5, which leaves Black's g-Pawn in Phalanx formation, alongside Black's e5-Pawn, as it completes the exchange (9.e4xf5 g6xf5).

  2. Black's e5 & f5-Pawns are considered a Hanging Phalanx, because neither of them can advance without being captured, and because White can attack either of those two Black Pawns, and in each case Black will be left disadvantaged (either both Black Pawns are lost and Black is left with a seriously Compromised King-side; or Black is left with an Isolated f5-Pawn and a Compromised King-side).

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Comparison of the early Opening moves between
No.81 (leads to a White Hanging Phalanx) and
No.82A (leads to a Black Hanging Phalanx)...

No.81 (after 4...d5, below-left), leads to a White Hanging Phalanx:

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, Opening leads to a White Hanging Phalanx -- Diagram 81
(COMPARISON) Opening leads to a White Hanging Phalanx,
No.81, After 4...d5
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, Opening leads to a Black Hanging Phalanx -- Diagram 82
(COMPARISON) Opening leads to a Black Hanging Phalanx,
No.82A, After 5...e5

No.82A (after 5...e5, above-right), leads to a Black Hanging Phalanx:


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PGN

[Event "Czechoslovakia vs. Holland"]
[Site "Czechoslovakia vs. Holland"]
[Date "1955.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Ludek Pachman"]
[Black "Jan Hein Donner"]
[ECO "A10"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "63"]

1.c4 g6 2.Nc3 Bg7 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 O-O 5.e4 e5 6.Nge2 d6 7.O-O Nfd7 8.d3 f5 9.exf5 gxf5 10.Be3 {PCC p.117 No.82A} Nf6 11.Qd2 c6 12.h3 Nh5 13.f4 Qe8 14.Kh2 Qg6 15.Qe1 Nd7 16.Rd1 Kh8 17.d4 {PCC p.117 No.82B} Rg8 18.Qf2 Bf6 19.dxe5 dxe5 20.Rd6 exf4 21.Nxf4 Nxf4 22.Bxf4 Qf7 23.Re1 Bg7 24.Rde6 Nf8 25.Re7 Qxc4 26.Rxg7 Rxg7 27.Re8 Kg8 28.Bd6 Rf7 29.Qe3 f4 30.Qe5 Rf5 31.Rxf8+ Rxf8 32.Qg5+ 1-0

End.

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