Mobile Pawn Wing:
Part of the Advanced Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 1) and the
Chess Strategies Guide (Section 2: Studying the Pawns)

Mobile Pawn Wing
Point Count Chess: [+]

One possible question you may have is:

"When do they STOP being classed
as a Mobile Pawn Wing?"

This "Pawn Storm" - as the Mobile Pawn Wing is sometimes known - is an advantage (assuming the criteria of Center Control and Superior Development still apply) UNTIL you, in general, no longer have a pawn that is mobile (pawns blockading one another, or a piece blockading a pawn that cannot be shaken from its post, or exchanging away all pawns). This is where one advantage (Mobile Pawn Wing) would be converted to others (Opponent's doubled pawns, etc).

Here's an interactive example of when the Mobile Pawn Wing situation ends:

In the game, above, one would perhaps place the Mobile Pawn Wing as continuing through the game move 20, when it is converted into Passed Pawns on move 21. Generally, an advantage remains until it is transformed into one or more other advantages (as here, with Control of the Open g-file, and by 21. fxe6+, conversion to Passed Pawns), or until the advantage disappears because of the opponent gaining a counterbalancing superior advantage.

It is this give and take that makes the Point Count useful in dynamic strategy decisions. This is when ANY Point Count ends, at the point of conversion to another advantage, by one side or the other. The PCC section starting on p.267, dealing with Relative Values, highlights this, and on p. 268, c) and d) give a brief reflection of this ... but, reread the chapter to understand this idea more fully, that an advantage remains until it is transformed.

Coming back to the present topic, note that H&M-S's criteria for Mobile Pawn Wing (Control of the Center, and Superior Development) are still in effect throughout these moves (as shown in the above interactive example, Moves 8 to 21).

The superior development, as they say in the third paragraph on p. 72, "consisting in the ability to bring a larger or more effective force to bear upon a relatively small sector than his opponent can muster to its defense."

Then in the next paragraph, H&M-S list the pieces each side can muster to the Kingside, White having the advantage on this side, which is where he should plan to attack. An "unspoken" factor, that also needs a mention, is that if it is the Pawns in front of your King that are to move, the King cannot be subject to attack.

By the way, the reason to advance the Pawns is to create weaknesses in the enemy camp. This idea of conversion of advantages is a big one in chess. That's also the difference of a dynamic (or temporary) advantage, verses a permanent advantage (greater material force, for instance).

One other criteria worth mentioning is that the King needs to be relatively safe when the pawns move forward in front of him (an obvious point, but worth mentioning). This should come naturally, a result of Controlling the Center and having the Superior Development on the side of the attack. Mobility means they can move safely, with little Vulnerability issues until they get to the opposing pawns.

Moving On: Point Count Chess, Examples (Page 3).

Return to the Index of Advantages
Return to the Chess Strategies Guide,
Studying the Pawns (Flank Pawns)
← Back to the Chess Glossary (Mobile Pawn Wing)
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