Pawn Structure Pawn Structure

“I’m only bothered about things that will change the pawn structure.” – N Davies

I have a tendency to spend too long calculating and Nigel has advised me to spend my time considering the pawn structure and possible levers/ changes when it is my opponent’s move.

In this game I was very interested in Nigel’s ideas around 10.Na5 which would have prevented Black’s a5 and pressured b7 and c6.

Nigel found my 24.Nxe6 really quite horrible. I didn’t understand the strength of the knight on c5. My idea was to simplify and win the game with the extra pawn. However, it was still important to play the best moves and I made life much harder for myself.  Nigel was clear that 24.Nxe6 gave up my best piece. Having now played through some example lines I am starting to see this.

Nigel commented that Knights with good outposts (such as this one on c5 – which would have been “really good” here – would work well with this pawn structure.

Dan Staples