Isolated Pawns – Chess Endgame Strategy with GM Davorin Kuljasevic
Chess endgames are the most important part of the game. It’s crucial for all aspiring players to have solid chess endgame strategy if they want to start getting more wins. Far too many club players go wrong in the endgame and blame their failure on a move they played in the opening!
At first, studying chess endgames can seem daunting and overwhelming. Unlike the opening, you can’t simply memorize moves because every game you get will have different endgame positions.
But there are a number of principles and chess strategies you can learn and apply to your games, no matter the position. In this video, GM Davorin Kuljasevic teaches the chess endgame strategy you can employ when you face off against an isolated queen’s pawn.
The isolated queen’s pawn is a common topic in chess because it is a pawn structure seen frequently and can arise from many different openings, whether starting with 1. e4, 1. d4 or 1. c4. One should know at least the very basics of how to handle these isolated pawn structures.
By analyzing the games of grandmasters, GM Kuljasevic explains in an easy to understand way how you can approach these positions in your own games, and the general principles you should stick to. For example, when your opponent has an isolated pawn, you should strive to take control of the square directly in front of the pawn.
Another principle you can apply in your games is to try and exchange pieces. When the opponent has an isolated pawn, they’ll want to keep their pieces on the board. The fewer pieces they have, the harder it will be for them to defend the weaknesses in their position, giving you a target for your attacks.
Isolated Pawns in the Endgame
Davorin focuses on the isolated queen’s pawn especially in the endgame and shows you how to fight against it. Often, the isolated queen’s pawn can become a weakness for your opponent.
You’ll have to know how to exploit it, and it’s likely you’ll need to look to create a secondary weakness in the opponent’s position.
Let’s take a look at one of the games Davorin analyzes in the video. It’s a game with a Semi-Slav opening, that skips through the middlegame to go almost directly from the opening into the endgame.
It began with 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 33. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 a6, reaching the position on the left.
Black’s main move at this point is usually 6…Bd6. 6…a6 is a much rarer option, but it is still a viable choice.
After 7. b3 Bd6 8. Bb2 0-0 9. Bd3 e5, Black looks to gain space in the center. Having played …a6, White is not given the option of playing Nb5.
White captures with 10. cxd5 cxd5 11. dxe5 Nxe5 12. Nxe5 Bxe5 and we reach the position on the right, a position with an isolated pawn!
The side with the isolated pawn should try and keep pieces on the board. If White were to castle now, we’d enter a middlegame where Black would gain some active play on the kingside with the bishops.
This gives us our first chess strategy – trying to exchange pieces. White played 13. Ne2. Not only does this look to exchange the strong bishop on e5, but this move also takes control of the square directly in front of the isolated pawn – another concept you should apply in these situations.
The game continued 13…Qa5+ 14. Bc3 Bxc3 15. Qxc3 Qxc3 16. Nxc3 and White have gained a very small advantage. How can White convert this position, and attack the isolated pawn weakness? Watch the video to find out!
Winning Endgame Strategies
You’ve probably noticed that all the top GMs are also excellent endgame players. And that’s not a coincidence. A great number of games are decided in the endgame.
Grandmasters meticulously examine endings with one side having an upper hand and learn how to save or convert them into a win.
From a practical point of view, those are the most important positions. However, that’s where many club players struggle!
With GM Davorin Kuljasevic’s course, you’ll learn all the endgame strategies and principles you need to enter any your endgames with confidence and convert more of them into wins. Click here to get Winning Endgame Strategies with 35% off.
Other interesting articles:
- King and Pawn Endgames with Zugzwang – Chess Endgames – IM Valeri Lilov (The Chess World)
- General Chess Endgame Principles – US Women’s Chess Champion IM Nazi Paikidze
- Chess Strategy Mastery: How To Evaluate a Chess Position – GM Bryan Smith (The Chess World)
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