Exercise care in advancing pawns

Pawn advances in a game of chess, be it the opening, the middle-game or the end-game, have to be carefully calculated, deliberated and then executed.

The pawns are the only pieces which cannot retreat in a game of chess and an advance without proper calculation can prove detrimental as it opens up diagonals and offers possibilities on the rows and files also for the opponent’s pieces.

In the game which follows, white is slightly better but a wrong advance by black, gives a winning edge to white. The bishop pair then becomes active and seals the game.

White: Sergei Shipov (2658) – Black: Nigel Short (2675)
Port Erin, 1999
1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 Qxd5 6.e3
White can also think of  6.Nf3
6...c5 7.Bd2 Bxc3 8.Bxc3
White can also play 8.bxc3,
8...cxd4 9.Bxd4 . Interesting position! White’s entire Kingside is undeveloped while Black’s queenside is also entirely undeveloped
9. ..Nc6 10.Bc3 0–0
If 10...e5  11.Nf3  0-0  12.Be2 Be6
11.Nf3 b6. If 11...e5 12.Be2 (12.Rd1 Qxa2 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Bg4) 12...Bg4 13.0–0
12.Be2 Bb7 13.0–0 Rac8
If 13...Rfd8 14.Rfd1 (14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Rfd1 Qh5 ) 14...Qc5  15.Rac1 Rxd1+ 16.Rxd1 Rc8
14.Rfd1 . If 14.Bxf6 Nd4 15.Qd1 Nxe2+ 16.Qxe2 gxf6 with more or less a balanced game  
14...Qe4. An invitation to swap queens! If 14...Qc5 15.Rac1 Nb4 16.Qb3 Nbd5 17.Bd2 And if  14...Qh5 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.Qa4
15.Qxe4. White is naturally interested as the ending offers him better possibilities to go for a win. If  15.Bd3 Qg4 (15...Qd5 16.Bxf6 Nb4  17.Bxh7+ Kh8 18.Qb1 Qh5 19.Be4 Bxe4 20.Qxe4) 16.h3 Qh5
15...Nxe4 16.Be1
White has the bishop pair advantage
16. ..Rfd8 17.Rxd8+ Rxd8
Here Black should have captured with 17...Nxd8 18.b4 Nc3 19.Bxc3  19...Rxc3 20.Rd1 Rc8
18.Rc1. Better appears 18.Rd1 to invite exchange of rooks
18. ..a5 19.Bb5 Rd6
Not exactly the right move!  If .Na7 20.Rc7 Nc5 21.Be2 Rc8 22.Rxc8+ Nxc8 23.Nd4
20.Kf1 f6 21.Ke2 e5 22.a3
Better appears  22.Nd2 Nxd2 23.Bxd2 Na7 24.Bc4+ Kf8 25.f3
22...Kf8 23.Nd2
If  23...Na724.Bd3 Nxf2 25.Bxf2 e4 26.Bc4 exf3+ 27.gxf3 Nc6
23...Nxd2 24.Bxd2 h6
If 24...Na7 25.Rc7 Bf3+ And if 25...Nxb5 26.Rxb7
25.f3 Ke7  26.b4 axb4 27.axb4 Kd8 28.Bd3 Ne7 29.b5
Vacating the square for the bishop

29. ..e4, A wrong pawn advance! If 29...Nd5 30.g3 Nc7 31.e4 Ne6 32.Bb4 Nd4+ 33.Ke3 Rd7 34.f4 and White has a slight edge
30.fxe4 Re6 31.Rc4 Nc8
Though the position is better for White, Black could have offered stiffer resistance with 31...Ng6
32.Rd4+ Kc7
Once again the wrong square ! Worth a thought is 32...Ke8 33.Bb4 Ne7
33.Be1 Nd6. This loses straight away. If 33...Ne7 34.Bg3+ Kc8 35.Bd6 Ng6 36.Kf2 Ne5 37.Be2 also is better for White
34.Bg3 Kd7
If 34...g5 35.Bc4 Re5 36.Bd5  And if 36.Bxe5 fxe5 37.Rd1 Nxc4 38.Rc1
35.Bc4 Re5 36.Bxe5 fxe5 37.Rd2 Bxe4 38.Bd5 Bxd5
If 38...Bg6 39.Bc6+ Ke7 40.Ra2
39.Rxd5 Ke6 40.Rd3 Nxb5
If 40...Kd7 41.e4 Ke6 42.Rc3
41.Rb3 Nd6 42.Rxb6 e4 43.g4 g6 1–0.

White to play and win
1.Bb5 Qxb5 2.Rxh7+ Kxh7 3.Qh5+ Bh6 4.Qxh6 check-mate.

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