George Zeigler

George Zeigler is a published writer, have a Masters Degree in Psychology, and have played chess for over 30 years with a current rating of USCF 2073, and peak rating of USCF 2199

Mastering Pawn Structures

Mastering Pawn Structures

After a little research, you’ll find that some variations have been played by chess grandmasters, but way less frequently than more solid alternatives. This often means they are used as “a surprise weapon,” and there’s a good chance there’s something about them that doesn’t hold up too well against correct play. Oftentimes, there’s just a single variation that comes close to refuting the idea, and the opponent has to know that line or find it over the board. Otherwise, the adventurous player often gets a good game.

Long Term Problems in Chess

Black's King Rook is out of Play

When playing against the French Defense, sometimes f4 is played before Nf3, and sometimes Nf3 is played directly. In some variations, it’s a matter of preference, and at other times the position dictates a specific course of action.

The Bishop Pair Needs Space

A single pawn paralyzes the entire queenside

This game is a great example that shows how the power of the bishop pair increases as the game opens up, especially when there is play on both sides of the board. We have also included several powerful teaching points about pawn structure.

The Unexpected Gambit

White’s extreme square control exploits Black’s lack of development and decentralized pieces

A sharp confrontation that leads to several unexpected moves and sacrifice of material in exchange for extreme square control.

Time, Space, and Force – The Value of Time

Element Trade: Bishop Pair for Pawn Structure

Time, space, and force are the fundamental building blocks we work with in chess. This article is focused on the value of time. In the future, we’ll write separate articles on space and force.

The Joy of Sacrificing Your Queen

Black’s bishop is a "problem piece."

White makes an early strategic error. As a result, Black is able to sacrifice his queen, and place White’s king in a mating net.