14 December 2012

Dubious Rule

In Logical Chess: Move by Move (1998) Irving Chernev offers a rule for when the h-pawn can be moved.
The move ...h6 by Black (or h3 by White) should be played only if the h-pawn is to form a base for attack by pawns, i.e. if it supports an advance by the g-pawn. Defensively, the move does more harm than good, as it loosens the pawn structure and weakens its resistance to attack. It is especially dangerous if the king has castled on the kingside, as the pawn itself, standing out from the ranks, provides a convenient target. (31-32)
Although Chernev's book offers several examples that illustrate his prescription, it should be an easy matter to find an abundance of examples of strong players in Chernev's day, and in ours, where the best players in the world violated his prescription.

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