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Hanging Pawns
Criteria

Point Count Chess, NO.85, p122
Bisguier v. Szabo, 1955

This example shows White's 4th Rank Phalanx that aren't Isolated and that doesn't Hang, because of White's ability to defend it, coupled with Black's inability to attack it (without disadvantage).

White's 4th Rank Phalanx also serves to Cramp Black's development, making it a strong formation, rather than a weak one.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.122, No.85, after 12...O-O
  2. Result of the Criteria (for Hanging Pawns).
  3. Summary of the Criteria (for Hanging Pawns).
  4. PGN
Additional analysis includes the:

Criteria (for Hanging Pawns)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.122, No.85, after 12...O-O

After: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.e4 dxe4 8.Nxe4 Nxe4 9.Bxe4 Nf6 10.Bc2 Bb4%2B 11.Bd2 Bxd2%2B 12.Qxd2 O-O

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - Page 122
After: 12...O-O

1. How White's c- & d-Pawns reach the position for H&M-S's questioning of the Criteria for Hanging Pawns.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6
Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6
After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6, we reach a variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined (Slav Defence).

White has immediately brought both c- & d-Pawns into Phalanx formation, on their 4th rank (1.d2-d4 » 2.c2-c4).

Black first brings his d-Pawn out (1...d7-d5) to meet the advance of White's d-Pawn, and then plays the Slav Defence (2...c7-c6) of the Queen's Gambit Declined.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3
Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3
After 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3, both sides develop Knights to their common third rank squares, so that they focus on the Center.

White develops both Knights. His King Knight is first out (3.Ng1-f3), which supports White's d4-Pawn, in the Center; his Queen Knight comes out (4.Nb1-c3), attacking Black's d5-Pawn, in the Center.

Black develops just his King Knight (3...Ng8-f6), which supports Black's d5-Pawn, in the Center.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 4...e6 5.e3
Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 4...e6 5.e3
After 4...e6 5.e3, both sides develop their respective e-Pawns (4...e7-e6 5.e2-e3), to support their respective d-Pawns.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 5...Nbd7 6.Bd3 Bd6
Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 5...Nbd7 6.Bd3 Bd6
After 5...Nbd7 6.Bd3 Bd6, more Minor Pieces are developed by both sides.

Black finally gets his Queen Knight out (5...Nb8-d7), but it has to come across in front of its Queen, because of Black's c6-Pawn.

The adverse King Bishops clear their back ranks (6.Bf1-d3 Bf8-d6), enabling Kingside Castling, and also targeting the opposition's h-Pawns.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 7.e4 to 9.Bxe4
Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 7.e4 to 9.Bxe4
After 7.e4 to 9.Bxe4, White's e-Pawn advances (7.e2-e4), which kick-starts a series of exchanges on e4 (7...d5xe4 8.Nc3xe4 Nf6xe4), that leaves White's light-Bishop on e4 (9.Bd3xe4).

Note: the d-file is now Half-Open, in Black's favor. White's d4-Pawn will become Backward, as soon as Black clears his Nd7 and Bd6 out of the way, freeing Black Queen to attack White's Pawn (the frontal attack will make it Backward). This will provoke the debate as to whether White's 4th Rank Phalanx Hangs or not.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 9...Nf6 10.Bc2
Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 9...Nf6 10.Bc2
After 9...Nf6 10.Bc2, Black's remaining Knight attacks White's Be4 (9...Nd7-f6), forcing it to retreat (10.Be4-c2).

This also serves to remove one of Black's Pieces that's preventing the frontal attack by Black's Qd8, against White's d4-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 10...Bb4+ to 12...O-O
Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 10...Bb4+ to 12...O-O
After 10...Bb4+ to 12...O-O, Black forces the exchange of dark-Bishops, after twice using his to attack White's King (10...Bd6-c4+ 11.Bc1-d2 Bc4xd2+), with White's Queen completing the trade (12.Qd1xd2).

The final Black Piece has been removed from in front of Black's Queen. White's d4-Pawn is now Backward, due to the frontal attack from Black's Queen, and the Pawn's inability to advance safely into a Chain formation (because of Black's c6- & e6-Pawns).

The position for H&M-S's questioning of the Criteria for Hanging Pawns, is reached following Black's Kingside Castling (12...O-O).


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The Result of the Criteria (for Hanging Pawns)...

2. Why White's 4th Rank Pawn Phalanx isn't Hanging Pawns

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - (RESULT) Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 12...O-O
(RESULT) Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 12...O-O
After 12...O-O, White's 4th Rank Phalanx isn't considered to be Hanging Pawns, because:

A. Despite White's d4-Pawn being under frontal attack and unable to advance (thus, it's in a Backward position), White has sufficient resources to defend the weak d4-Pawn:
  • White's Qd2 & Nf3 already offer greater support than Black's Qd8 offers in attack, and Black will struggle to bring more Pieces than Queen and a Rook, against White's d4-Pawn, because of Black's Bad Bishop (Bc8).

  • White can also bring one or both Rooks to the d-file, to join their Queen, in one giant Battery formation, if needed.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - (RESULT) Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 12...O-O
(RESULT) Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 12...O-O
After 12...O-O, White's 4th Rank Phalanx isn't considered to be Hanging Pawns, because:

B. H&M-S point to Black's inability to attack White's d4-Pawn (the 4th Rank Pawn under frontal attack) with his Pawns (both c6- & e6-Pawns will be lost, if either try to attack White's d4-Pawn).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - (RESULT) Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 12...O-O
(RESULT) Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 12...O-O
After 12...O-O, White's 4th Rank Phalanx isn't considered to be Hanging Pawns, because:

C. H&M-S point to Black's inability to bring Pieces to support an attack by his Pawns. The most obvious being play to support an attack by Black's c6-Pawn: 1...b7-b6, 2...Qd8-c7, 3...c6-c5, would leave Black with two Isolated Pawns (a7 & c5), after 4.d4xc5.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - (RESULT) Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 12...O-O
(RESULT) Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 12...O-O
After 12...O-O, White's 4th Rank Phalanx isn't considered to be Hanging Pawns, because:

D. H&M-S consider White's 4th Rank Phalanx to be Strong, as it Cramps Black's development:
  • It prevents Black from advancing either c6- or e6-Pawn, which is vital for Black, else his light-Bishop will remain Bad, hampering the overall effectiveness of Black's army.
So, even though White cannot form his Backward d4-Pawn into a Chain (to defend the 4th Rank Pawn that's under frontal attack), White's ability to defend it, coupled with Black's inability to attack it (without disadvantage) is what helps determine White's 4th Rank Phalanx not to be classed as Hanging Pawns.

White's 4th Rank Phalanx also serves to Cramp Black's development, making it a strong formation, rather than a weak one.

H&M-S also say: "White is so far ahead in both the defense and offense that the verdict must be that the phalanx does NOT hang."

3. How White takes advantage of having non-Hanging Pawns on the 4th Rank.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - (RESULT) Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 13.Ne5 Qc7
(RESULT) Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 13.Ne5 Qc7
After 13.Ne5 Qc7, White's King Knight is sent immediately to occupy the e5-Outpost (13.Nf3-e5), with its main objective being to blockade Black's e6-Pawn, preventing it from advancing against White's Backward d4-Pawn.

Black's Queen is moved to the c-file (13...Qd8-c7), ready to support the advance of Black's c6-Pawn, to attack White's d4-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - (RESULT) Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 14.O-O-O
(RESULT) Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 14.O-O-O
After 14.O-O-O, White Castles Queenside, which has the added benefit of bringing White's Queen Rook into Battery formation, behind its Queen, on the d-file, in anticipation of it becoming fully Open.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - (RESULT) Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 14...c5 15.Qe3
(RESULT) Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 14...c5 15.Qe3
After 14...c5 15.Qe3, with Queen in support, Black advances his c-Pawn (14...c6-c5), which attacks White's Backward d4-Pawn.

White ensures his his Queen maintains her support of the d4-Pawn (15.Qd2-e3), but her move to the d-file ensures White's Rd1 will be left Controlling the d-file, if either Black's c4-Pawn takes White's d4-Pawn, or vice versa.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - (RESULT) Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 15...b6 16.dxc5 bxc5
(RESULT) Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 15...b6 16.dxc5 bxc5
After 15...b6 16.dxc5 bxc5, White dissolves his 4th Rank Phalanx, getting rid of his Backward d4-Pawn, to leave Black with two Isolated Pawns, while White's Rd1 gets the benefit of the fully Open d-file.

Black's advance of his b-Pawn (15...b7-b6) causes White to break the tension between the Pawns, to force an exchange of Pawns on c5 (16.d4xc5 b6xc5). This leaves White's a7- & c5-Pawns Isolated; it gets rid of White's Backward d4-Pawn, and you can see White's Rd1 now occupies the fully Open d-file.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - (RESULT) Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 17.g4 and 18.Rhg1
(RESULT) Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 17.g4 » 18.Rhg1
After 17.g4 » 18.Rhg1, White advances his g-Pawn (17.g2-g4) toward the Black King's Stronghold, and supports its advance with White's King Rook (18.Rh1-g1).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - (RESULT) Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 19.b3
(RESULT) Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 19.b3
After 19.b3, prior to continuing his Kingside attack with the g-Pawn, White arranges his b-Pawn into a Chain (19.b2-b3), to defend against Black's Queen-Rook Battery, on the b-file.

White's a2-Pawn, light-Bishop (Bc2) and Queen (Qe3) all defend the position of White's King, against the two-unit threat from Black's b-file Battery.

White can now return his focus to his own attack against the position of Black's King.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - (RESULT) Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 20.g5 Ne8
(RESULT) Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 20.g5 Ne8
After 20.g5 Ne8, White's g-Pawn is pushed into an Advanced position (20.g4-g5), attacking Black's Nf6 and forcing it to flee (20...Nf6-e8).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - (RESULT) Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 21.Bxh7+ Kxh7
(RESULT) Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 21.Bxh7+ Kxh7
After 21.Bxh7+ Kxh7, White purposefully sacrifices his light-Bishop (21.Bc2xh7+ Kg8xh7), to bust open the Pawn Guard, at h7, to gain access to Black's King.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 85 - (RESULT) Hanging Pawns, Criteria (for Hanging Pawns), After 22.Qh3+ Kg8 23.Rg4
(RESULT) Hanging Pawns,
Criteria (for Hanging Pawns),
After 22.Qh3+ Kg8 23.Rg4
After 22.Qh3+ Kg8 23.Rg4, Black resigns, as White's Queen (22.Qe3-h3+) and King Rook (23.Rg1-g4) ramp up the pressure of their Mating attack.

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Summary of the Criteria (for Hanging Pawns)...

  1. White's c- & d-Pawns reaches the position for H&M-S's questioning of the Criteria for Hanging Pawns, in a variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined (Slav Defence). White has immediately brings both c- & d-Pawns into Phalanx formation, on their 4th rank (1.d2-d4 » 2.c2-c4). Black's c- & e-Pawns are developed to their 3rd Rank (2...c7-c6 » 4...e7-e6). The advance of White's e-Pawn (7.e2-e4) leads to the d-file becoming Half-Open, in Black's favor, as Black's d-Pawn exchanges onto e4 (7...d5xe4 8.Nc3xe4 Nf6xe4). Black's Nd7 and Bd6 leave the d-file, uncovering their Queen, which directly attacks White's d4-Pawn, which is now considered to be a Backward Pawn. The frontal attack, from Black's Queen (Qd8), on White's Backward d4-Pawn, is what prompts the query as to whether White's 4th Rank Phalanx is Hanging Pawns.

  2. White's 4th Rank Pawn Phalanx isn't Hanging Pawns, because:

    1. Despite White's d4-Pawn being under frontal attack and unable to advance (thus, it's in a Backward position), White has sufficient resources to defend the Backward d4-Pawn.

    2. Black is unable to attack White's d4-Pawn (the 4th Rank Pawn under frontal attack) with his Pawns.

    3. Black is unable to bring Pieces to support an attack by his Pawns.

    4. White's 4th Rank Phalanx is considered to be Strong, as it Cramps Black's development.


  3. White takes advantage of having non-Hanging Pawns on the 4th Rank, first using his King Knight to Blockade Black's e6-Pawn, preventing it from attacking White's Backward d4-Pawn. Then, when Black advances his c-Pawn, to attack White's d4-Pawn, White gets rid of his Backward Pawn, exchanging onto c5 and leaving Black with two Isolated Pawns (a7 & c5). In addition, the d-file becomes fully Open, with White's Queen Rook already occupying it, following White's decision to Castle Queenside (prior to the exchange of White's d4-Pawn, onto c5). White then focuses on pushing his g-Pawn to attack the Kingside position of Black's King. During this phase, White takes the time to push his b-Pawn into Chain formation, to protect the Queenside against Black's ambition to break through on the b-file, with the formation of a Queen-Rook Battery. White then resumes his assault on the Kingside, with another advance of his g-Pawn, followed by the sacrifice of his light-Bishop, which takes-out Black's h7-Pawn, to open up an avenue into the Black King's Stronghold. Black resigns with the approach of White's Queen and King Rook.

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Comparison between No.85 (Non-Hanging 4th Rank Phalanx) vs the other examples (all Hanging Pawns)...

COMPARISON 1: No.85 vs. No.80A

In No.85 (after 12...O-O, below-left), White's 4th Rank Phalanx was deemed NOT to be Hanging Pawns, primarily because of White's ability to defend it, coupled with Black's inability to attack it (without disadvantage) is what helps determine White's 4th Rank Phalanx not to be classed as Hanging Pawns. White's 4th Rank Phalanx also serves to Cramp Black's development, making it a strong formation, rather than a weak one. H&M-S also say: "White is so far ahead in both the defense and offense that the verdict must be that the phalanx does NOT hang."

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, No.85, White's Non-Hanging 4th Rank Phalanx, After 12...O-O
(COMPARISON 1),
White's Non-Hanging
4th Rank Phalanx,
No.85, After 12...O-O
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, No.80A, Black's Hanging Pawns, After 12...O-O
(COMPARISON 1),
Black's Hanging Pawns,
No.80A, After 12...O-O

In No.80A (after 12...O-O, above-right), Black's c5- & d5-Pawns are considered to be Hanging Pawns, because they are Isolated from their fellow Pawns; they're under frontal attack, and they cannot defend themselves by advance into a Chain formation, without putting Black at a disadvantage (Black would either incur an Isolated d-Pawn, or the advance of Black's c-Pawn would give White's Knight a good Outpost, on d4.

COMPARISON 2: No.85 vs. No.83

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, No.85, White's Non-Hanging 4th Rank Phalanx, After 12...O-O
(COMPARISON 2),
White's Non-Hanging
4th Rank Phalanx,
No.85, After 12...O-O
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, No.83, White's Hanging Pawns, After 10...c6
(COMPARISON 2),
White's Hanging Pawns,
No.83, After 10...c6

In No.83 (after 10...c6, above-right), White's c4-, d4 & e4-Pawns are considered to be Hanging Pawns, even though they not Isolated, because they've become Overextended to the point where they cannot advance safely, when under frontal attack.

COMPARISON 3: No.85 vs. No.84A

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, No.85, White's Non-Hanging 4th Rank Phalanx, After 12...O-O
(COMPARISON 3),
White's Non-Hanging
4th Rank Phalanx,
No.85, After 12...O-O
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, No.84A, White's Hanging Pawns, After 4.d4
(COMPARISON 3),
White's Hanging Pawns,
No.84A, After 4.d4

In No.84A (after 4.d4, above-right), White's c4- & d4-Pawns are considered to be Hanging Pawns, because, as H&M-S say, White's Pawns have become targets that Black can attack. Already, Black's Nb6 attacks White's c4-Pawn, and Black can "gain time by hitting (White's Pawns) with simple developing moves."


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PGN

[Event "Ch Club Argentino"]
[Site "Buenos Aires (Argentina)"]
[Date "1955.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Laszlo Szabo"]
[Black "Arthur Bisguier"]
[ECO "D46"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "45"]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.e4 dxe4 8.Nxe4 Nxe4 9.Bxe4 Nf6 10.Bc2 Bb4+ 11.Bd2 Bxd2+ 12.Qxd2 O-O {PCC p.122 No.85} 13.Ne5 Qc7 14.O-O-O c5 15.Qe3 b6 16.dxc5 bxc5 17.g4 Rb8 18.Rhg1 Qb6 19.b3 Rb7 20.g5 Ne8 21.Bxh7+ Kxh7 22.Qh3+ Kg8 23.Rg4 1-0

End.

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