Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. Standard member Ragnorak
    For RHP addons...
    03 Jan '06 13:42
    I've had this conundrum a few times recently, and was looking for some opinions on the matter.

    Often, in the middle game, I'd have a chance to sac a bishop or a knight, to create 2 to 3 passed pawns. What would you consider the points value of the pawns in the following scenarios. (bearing in mind that I am considering sacrificing a bishop or knight to achieve the passed pawns)

    1. 2 connected passed pawns on edge of board furthest away from enemy king.
    2. 2 connected passed pawns in centre of board
    3. 2 connected passed pawns on edge of board closest to enemy king

    What other factors affect the strength of the passed pawns? Obviously, the more advanced they are, the stronger they are. And the strongest way of advancing them is by trying to keep them side by side (which makes it much harder to blockade them) while having rooks behind. Anything else I should be aware of?

    Cheers,

    D
  2. 03 Jan '06 14:32
    I would go with 2,1,3 .

    Consideration: You need active pieces, Can you tie up your opponents pieces so he has to defend the pawns or can he forget about them, Is your king safe and finally how many pieces are on the board.

    This situation comes up a lot in some variation of the sicilian with black pawns on a6,b5,d6 and your light white bishop hasn't move. Personally I wouldn't trade of that bishop for those pawns because my king would be way to open, unless maybe if i can get rid of his queen.
  3. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    West Coast Represent
    04 Jan '06 01:46
    Whether or not they are supported by non-passed Pawns makes a difference, as does how far the Pawns are advanced.
  4. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    04 Jan '06 02:45
    Connected passed pawns in the centre can be incredibly strong. Pawns away from the king are going to be more use in the endgame where the king can't help stop them. I'm not so sure about the case where they're near the king, it's possible to get situations where they get in the way of attackers, and in the ending in this case the king is there to help stop promotions.
  5. Standard member ark13
    Enola Straight
    04 Jan '06 03:35 / 1 edit
    3 is certainly the least strong and should rarely be done. Of course, having those pawns probably means the enemy king has weak defences, and that could be useful.

    1 is very good for threatening to promote. You must consider how well your opponent can blockade, whether they'll become a liability, and how much space you can gain. You'll almost never be able to promote unless you can create something else your opponent has to defend against, or have good center control.

    2 is very good for attacking. You can push your opponent's pieces back and then attack the enemy king. It's not quite as easy to promote these as your opponent will probably have more available pieces to blockade with. These won't be quite as useful in the endgame as 1, but still very good.
  6. Standard member buffalobill
    Major Bone
    04 Jan '06 12:16
    I haven't considered it in that much depth, but here's a nice exchange sacrifice I was on the receiving end of Game 1389856
  7. Standard member buffalobill
    Major Bone
    04 Jan '06 15:41
    Originally posted by ark13
    3 is certainly the least strong and should rarely be done. Of course, having those pawns probably means the enemy king has weak defences, and that could be useful.

    1 is very good for threatening to promote. You must consider how well your opponent can blockade, whether they'll become a liability, and how much space you can gain. You'll almost never be ab ...[text shortened]... to blockade with. These won't be quite as useful in the endgame as 1, but still very good.
    Now that I think about it, I'd go for 2 most times, depending on how advanced they are. On the 5th rank, they're incredibly cramping for the opponent. Further advanced and you can virtually let the game win itself. It all depends.
    I'm in an interesting game at the moment (no comments please) where despite the passed pawns in an otherwise dead even game, they were well blockaded. I decided to sacrifice a bishop for three pawns to completely smash open the King side position. I now have four passed pawns and yet the game is not easily winnable. Game 1424219
  8. 04 Jan '06 17:22
    Once upon a time, I saw an Expert sac a N for 2 passed P's. During the post mortem, an IM opined that it's rarely a good idea if the ONLY reason for the sac is to get the 2 passers.
  9. Standard member buffalobill
    Major Bone
    04 Jan '06 17:30
    Originally posted by masscat
    Once upon a time, I saw an Expert sac a N for 2 passed P's. During the post mortem, an IM opined that it's rarely a good idea if the ONLY reason for the sac is to get the 2 passers.
    Well, the object of a sacrifice is the consequences. Obviously, the two passed pawns must serve the purpose of forcing a positive result. Any move that does so, is a good one. So, in a basic sense, he was correct.
  10. 04 Jan '06 17:31
    It depends on the material left. I like scenario 1, as it leaves less lines for enemy pieces to attack the pawns... but then again pawns in the centre can provide a way of blocking a rooks path to prevent your own king being trapped in a corner.
  11. Standard member prn
    06 Jan '06 14:47
    Interesting that this topic should show up now. I've got a game going on where my opponent just did sac a knight for a pair of connected passed pawns, Game 1318755.

    I DO NOT WANT COMMENTS NOW, as the game is still (6 Jan 2006) ongoing (Black has made move 41 at this time). Still, I think I'm not giving away any secrets when I say that the game just went from looking very drawish to being very fluid. My personal assessment is that it is still a draw with best play from both sides, but I could easily be wrong. And, of course, both sides have 'good' opportunities to go astray. Neither of us can afford to make a mistake.

    On the other hand, this is round 5 of this tourney, which started in September of 2004. Dave (The SDH) and I have been the only remaining players for the past 3 rounds and we've split two of them. He needs the win to force yet another round and I just need a draw to win the tourney. (That's also giving away no secret -- we've both said as much in our chat.) I actually offered a draw two or three weeks back. The position was looking like a probable draw and he was on vacation and had several times come within hours of the automatic timeout. The knight for two pawns was clearly his best opportunity to bring about some winning chances. Now we have an exciting game again so we're both happy.

    Best Regards,
    Paul
  12. 10 Jan '06 17:02
    This was my best passed pawn game to date.

    Game 1641994
  13. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    West Coast Represent
    10 Jan '06 17:49
    Flank PPawns would be stronger if the opponent has no Bishops to blockade. Knights don't blockade flank Pawns well, and the Queen is not a great blockading piece if there are enemy minor pieces on the board.
  14. 10 Jan '06 22:36
    If the past pawns are on the queen side and have started to prgress up the board then generally the worse you should get is your piece back in exchange for them but often they assist you to win the game.A great deal of course depends upon the position of the pieces, what's still on the board etc. However this exchange for flank pawns away from the enemy king is well worth consideration,'go on go for it!'