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  1. Standard member byedidia
    Mister Why
    28 Aug '15 18:41
    So I know isolated pawns are a weakness. What if your opponent doesn't protect the pawn, but could on the next move. In general, should I go ahead and take it? Or should I wait for them to devote a piece to holding it? What value, in fractions of a pawn, would you give the weakness of the isolated pawn?
  2. 28 Aug '15 19:35
    The position on the board has everything to do with
    giving that question a solid answer.

    Sometimes leaving the pawn on the board is good because you
    have the square in front of the pawn (being isolated you cannot
    chase what ever there by a pawn.)

    Taking the pawn may subject you tempo gains on what ever took the piece
    especially if it is a Queen that takes the IQP.

    Sometimes taking the IQP sets free the opponent pieces. Remember one
    of the strengths of the IQP is to push it (sac it) at the right moment to attack the King.
    That is why one of the ploys v a an IQP is to block it., not taking it, blocking it.

    Generally if you manage to take the IQP it's good (you are a pawn up!)
    and you have a piece in the centre of the board. But even the slightest change
    in any position given as an example can and will alter the evaluation.
  3. 28 Aug '15 19:39
    Originally posted by byedidia
    So I know isolated pawns are a weakness. What if your opponent doesn't protect the pawn, but could on the next move. In general, should I go ahead and take it? Or should I wait for them to devote a piece to holding it? What value, in fractions of a pawn, would you give the weakness of the isolated pawn?
    Depends entirely on the rest of the position. To give a hard-and-fast rule for this, or even a general guideline, would be foolishness. As for fractions of a pawn, if you think this is a question which has an answer, you shouldn't be worrying about them yet.
  4. Standard member Duncan Clarke
    Student
    29 Aug '15 19:17 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by byedidia
    So I know isolated pawns are a weakness.
    It's not always the case that isolated pawns are a weakness. As already mentioned the Isolated Queen Pawn (IQP) is a feature of many openings. Grandmasters cannot agree on whether the IQP is an advantage or a disadvantage. Also, sometimes the opponent's weakness, or yours, for that matter, is a pawn stuck in the way of your own peices. To lose may well be a positive advantage.
  5. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    30 Aug '15 11:10
    Originally posted by byedidia
    So I know isolated pawns are a weakness. What if your opponent doesn't protect the pawn, but could on the next move. In general, should I go ahead and take it? Or should I wait for them to devote a piece to holding it? What value, in fractions of a pawn, would you give the weakness of the isolated pawn?
    If your opponent has an isolated pawn on the 7th and you cannot blockade it, you should seriously consider taking it before it promotes. Unless, of course, you have something better (such as mate on the move by doing something else).

    In other words, it all depends on the rest of the position.
  6. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    31 Aug '15 01:04
    If your opponent offers you a piece you should take it whatever the position. Especially when playing me...
  7. Standard member Red Night
    RHP Prophet
    31 Aug '15 04:24
    Tarrasch considered an IQP to be an advantage and not a weakness
  8. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    31 Aug '15 11:07
    Originally posted by Red Night
    Tarrasch considered an IQP to be an advantage and not a weakness
    A lot depends on whether you control the square in front of the isolani. If so, then an isolani may be an asset, since the pawn controls the two adjacent squares on the next rank, so you have three squares on that rank in your pocket, so to speak. However, if your opponent controls the square in front of the isolani, then he can post a piece there and the isolani protects it from frontal attack (for example by your rook) .
  9. 01 Sep '15 09:00 / 1 edit
    Byedidia and Greenpawn,
    Greenpawn mentioned that one ploy against an isolated pawn is to block it. Perhaps, this can also be a ploy against a connected pawn. However, if I am correct, I have read that when you block a pawn with a piece, block it with a piece that does not lose power while blocking the pawn.

    Thus, a Bishop or Knight will not lose power when in front of a pawn to block it. The Queen, and Rook will lose power while blocking a pawn.

    I suppose that a pawn can block an enemy pawn without losing its power to capture; but of course, it can no longer move forward. While using the thought that a pawn is not considered a piece, and when you want to use a piece to block an enemy pawn, consider the Bishop or Knight first rather than the Rook or Queen.

    I don't remember where I read this general guideline. Greenpawn, what do you think of this guideline?
  10. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    01 Sep '15 18:39
    The standard work is "Pawn Power in Chess" (translated from German) by Hans Kmoch.