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  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    01 Dec '08 21:19
    Can someone please explain to me what's so "poisonous" about the g and h pawns in the Winawer poisoned pawn variation?

    I just played against someone rated higher than I and I took the poisoned pawns and, you know what? Nothing. Yes, my opponent hung his knight later in the game which is what sealed the deal, but it seemed to me like I consolidated my 2 pawn advantage fairly easily. Or... did my opponent mess up and fail to punish me for taking the pawns? If so, where and how?

    Game 5678415

  2. 01 Dec '08 21:36
    It's a nice system for black. Black gets some queenside play going if done properly. 9. ... cxd4 would have forced 10.Kd1 or 10.Ne2 which is the main line. 11. ... Nxd4 with the idea of Qc3 also looked good.
    Your opponent just missed the opportunities for counterplay that he is supposed to get.
  3. 01 Dec '08 21:39
    Not to say the main line is a picnic for black either. It is a very theoretical variation where every move must count/be accurate. The evaluations are constantly changing. White always has that h pawn march to give black extra worries as well. hehe
  4. 01 Dec '08 21:46


    This is a classic game with a similar variation (f5 is thrown in).
    Great game though.
  5. 03 Dec '08 14:44
    The thing about the PP variation is that there is no "winning attack" per se. The compensation is (IMHO) that black gets the open g/h files, more active pieces, targets in white's position and the white often finds it difficult to co-ordinate his pieces/get his king safe.

    In the above game, although I haven't analysed it at all, I just get the impression black never really "got going" and I'm not a big fan of 16 ...Na5. At a glance Nf5 seems to better to me - perhaps followed by rg4?
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    03 Dec '08 15:06
    Originally posted by paulbuchmanfromfics
    It's a nice system for black. Black gets some queenside play going if done properly. 9. ... cxd4 would have forced 10.Kd1 or 10.Ne2 which is the main line. 11. ... Nxd4 with the idea of Qc3 also looked good.
    Your opponent just missed the opportunities for counterplay that he is supposed to get.
    Good point about 11 ... Nxd4 and then can't be re-taken because of 12 ... Qc3+! That would have made things much more difficult for me. I guess from that I can see from the above posts, it it tough for white to defend the central pawns from a queen side assault. and, white can have trouble hiding the King, as castling short is dangerous because of the half open g and h files and there's too much black queen side activity to castle long. Still, 2 pawns and the weakening of the black f pawn is an awful lot of material to give up. It just seems to me that with correct play, white should be able to hold on to an advantage.
  7. 03 Dec '08 17:00
    Originally posted by sh76
    Good point about 11 ... Nxd4 and then can't be re-taken because of 12 ... Qc3+! That would have made things much more difficult for me. I guess from that I can see from the above posts, it it tough for white to defend the central pawns from a queen side assault. and, white can have trouble hiding the King, as castling short is dangerous because of the half open ...[text shortened]... . It just seems to me that with correct play, white should be able to hold on to an advantage.


    is the main line.

    Black is in fact, only one pawn down.
    Black's compensation is very positional. Black often plays Nf5 and d4.
    Another idea is to break the pawns up with f6. The black king gets tucked away safely on the queenside (like a lot of Winawer variations).


    Botvinnik used this variation. Uhlmann also used this as his main defense to 1.e4. (He even beat Fischer with a Winawer, but it was not a poisoned pawn.) If the Winawer failed, he had no defense to 1.e4.

    Watson's Play The French 2nd Edition had the Poisoned Pawn as black's response. The 3rd Edition switched to 7. ... 0-0, however. He said that he didn't believe the poisoned pawn was in bad shape. He just thought it would take a whole book just to cover that chapter.
  8. 03 Dec '08 17:07
    Here, Bronstein takes a quick bashing.
    He blindly followed "book" and met up with an innovation (17. ... d4).
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    03 Dec '08 17:11
    Originally posted by paulbuchmanfromfics
    [pgn]
    1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7. Qg4 Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 10.Ne2 Nbc6 11.f4 Bd7 12.Qd3 dxc3
    [/pgn]

    is the main line.

    Black is in fact, only one pawn down.
    Black's compensation is very positional. Black often plays Nf5 and d4.
    Another idea is to break the pawns up with f6. The black king gets tuc ...[text shortened]... wn was in bad shape. He just thought it would take a whole book just to cover that chapter.
    Wow, you know a lot about chess!

    Is black's king really so safe though? If white plays Rb1 and Be3 (not necessarily in that order), it seems as though white can get something going against the long castled queen.
  10. 03 Dec '08 17:12
    Here Uhlmann slowly takes over.

  11. 03 Dec '08 17:14
    Originally posted by sh76
    Wow, you know a lot about chess!

    Is black's king really so safe though? If white plays Rb1 and Be3 (not necessarily in that order), it seems as though white can get something going against the long castled queen.
    Thank you for the kind words. Sadly, I know a lot about openings and tactical play. I only wish I knew endings and positional play as well. If I had it all to do over, I would learn every endgame and few openings, instead of the other way around.

    It seems as though black can ward off all queenside attacks.
    I will give one more Uhlmann game (Nxc3) just for completeness.

  12. 03 Dec '08 17:20
    This time Uhlmann meets one of the better lines.
    As I said earlier, theory is constantly changing on the poisoned pawn.
    Here Psakhis is also a French expert. (He has written a set of manuals on the French.)



    Uhlmann gives 23.g4! / 26.Qd2 / And After 26.Qd3 Qh4 ! in which he could have played for the win !
  13. 03 Dec '08 23:09
    Originally posted by paulbuchmanfromfics
    [pgn][Event "Russia"]
    [Site "Match, Moscow (1)"]
    [Date "1960.01.02"]
    [Round "?"]
    [White "Mikhail Tal"]
    [Black "Mikhail Botvinnik"]
    [Result "1-0"]
    [WhiteElo "0"]
    [BlackElo "0"]
    [EventDate "?"]
    [ECO "C18"]
    [PlyCount "63"]

    1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qc7 7.Qg4 f5 8.Qg3 Ne7 9.Qxg7 Rg8 10.Qxh7 cxd4 11.Kd1 Bd7 12. ...[text shortened]... sic game with a similar variation (f5 is thrown in).
    Great game though.
    this is not a "similar variation". f5 is not just "thrown in", it protects the pawn, so has a completely different idea.

    I too would like to know what is so poisionous about the pawns.
  14. 03 Dec '08 23:16
    I've tried it as black and not found it to my liking. I play the benko and thought the play would be similar and it's not. The only thing I can offer is that if ... d4 often offers black advantage due to superior pieces (as seen in the Uhlman game) w/o this move his light square bishop is hopeless.
  15. 03 Dec '08 23:42
    Originally posted by diskamyl
    this is not a "similar variation". f5 is not just "thrown in", it protects the pawn, so has a completely different idea.

    I too would like to know what is so poisionous about the pawns.



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