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King in Front and Opposition ? You win !

This title is a bit of a shortcut, but in King and Pawn endgames, when you have the extra pawn, it is absolutely true ! As we have already seen, reaching a key square with the King ensures the win. However, there are other rules to manage pawn endgames,…

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Opening

The amazing Berlin defense

… In which Kramnik almost proved that Black can get a draw after 1. e4 ! The Berlin defense was used in 2000 by Vladimir Kramnik as a surprise weapon...

Getting started with the Two Knights Defense

When White is playing an Italian game, Black mostly has two ways to react: the safe one with the Giuoco Piano and the sharp one with the Two Knights Defense....

Getting started with the Giuoco Piano

Gambits are not suited for every type of players. Moreover, against a perfect play by the opponent, you often get out of the opening with a slight disadvantage. That's why...

Getting started with the King’s gambit

The opening we are going to study is so sharp that it was the favorite opening in the romantic era (before 1900). At that time, players were looking for the...

Strategy

The Knight on the Sixth Rank

Chess strategy, maneuvering pieces to favorable positions and initiating favorable trades, is one of the three pillars of every chess middlegame (tactics, strategy, and positional play). One of the best examples of employing chess strategy successfully, and the absolute dream piece of every player is...

The central breakthrough – Botvinnik-Keres 1952 (2)

This is our second article about planning in Chess. In the first article, we saw how Botvinnik optimized his pieces’ activity in the Carlsbad structure. This happened in a seemingly quiet exchange variation of the Queen’s gambit declined. Valeri Lilov is a 2438-ranked International Master,...

Planning in the Carlsbad – Botvinnik-Keres 1952 (1)

Planning in Chess is the ability to define your strategy for the next few moves. It requires a thorough understanding of the assets of your position: what am I aiming at ? What am I trying to achieve ? All this depends on the characteristics...

Passed pawn, isolated pawn, backward pawn… a complete catalog of pawn types

Knowing when a pawn is weak or strong and how you can use it is key in the endgame to know how to leverage your assets in a given position. But the strength (or the weakness) of your pawns must be taken into consideration as...

Endgame

Key squares in King and pawn endgames

This article is about this case where the passed pawn cannot get promoted without the King’s help (the other King being in the square of the pawn, remember the rule...

Creating a passed pawn from a pawn majority

Once we have studied strong and weak pawns, the next question is how to create a passed pawn. This article deals with the easiest case: when you have a pawn...

The Rule of the Square in King and Pawn endgames

This article deals with the generic case where you already have a passed pawn that needs to be promoted. It has been created earlier, for instance from a pawn majority....

The Beginner's Corner

How pieces are interacting together

This article could have been called “Interacting with friend pieces”, as the way to capture other pieces in Chess will be detailed in another article. You have just learnt how to move all the pieces (the Queen, the Knight, the pawn…) on an empty chessboard....

Getting started with Chess – the Chessboard

Welcome to PawnBreak if you are new to Chess. This article is the first of a series of lessons that will teach you how to play Chess. At the end of these articles, you will be mastering the rules and ready to check more advanced...

How the pawn moves

By now, you are probably aware of how the Queen, the Rook and the Bishop move, maybe you already master the mighty Knight’s move. The pawn is a very important piece in Chess, shaping what a given game will be like. Let’s see how pawns...

How the King moves

Once you know how we talk about ranks, files and squares in Chess, we can start discussing how each piece is moving. The Queen, the Rook, the Bishop, the Knight and the pawn all have their specific way of moving, but we are going to...

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