Thursday, November 09, 2006


Pawn Structure Chess of Andre Soltis is really an excellent book.
It explains that there are about a dozen different pawn formations. Different openings can lead to one and the same pawn formation. The book describes what the plans are for both sides for every formation. It really gives a deeper insight.

While studying the book I use it to revamp my openings. I have a few holes in my repertoire and the book assists me to fill them.
For instance I have played the classical dutch defense in the past. With little success. I tried to revive it with the aid of the book. And although I failed to do so, at least it I understand now why I had so little success with it. I tried to accomplish the wrong things in the opening. For realisation of the right plans in the dutch you are dependend of positional mistakes of your opponent. If I was a grandmaster I should try to change the opening according to the logic of the pawn structure. But that is way beyond my capabilities. Yet:)

I have played the Benko gambit in the past with little success either. The main reason for that was that my opponents seldom played the book moves, and I wasn't able to punish them for that. The book helps me out.

Further I had always problems when white played 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3
With the aid of the games of Karpov I'm building an answer for that. Karpov plays the Queen Indian. He for sure has an eye for pawn structures!

The book has one downside, it's not in algebraic notation but in some funny nostalgic notation. I already use two systems, english and dutch, but this third system uses the "P" for pawn. "P" in the dutch algebraic system is the symbol for the knight. So I really have to stay alert!

PCT is still going strong for the simple straight forward positional moves. I didn't know I was so bad in that!

With Margriet I study a game of Capablanca a day. Great games!


  1. The notation problem you mentioned is
    odd. I have the first edition 1995, and mine is in standard Algebraic.

    Glad you are liking the book! I told you it would change your entire approach to openings. :)
    I too am beginning to enjoy Karpov's style more and more. About ready to break out my book on Karpov's games.

  2. I have a second hand copy from 1976. So maybe it's rewritten.

  3. It goes like P-QB4 (c4); QN-KB4 (black queens Knight to f5) and the like

  4. Now here is a Capa game *)

    David Hooper felt that the queen sacrifice should rank among the best ever made. It certainly impressed the young Irving Chernev, who was on hand, and asked Capablanca if it were sound, right after Capa made it. Capa answered "Wait and see".
    The game is all the more astounding for being a simul.

  5. I guess the "first edition" could be with the "David McKay Company".