16 September 2015

Pawns are the Soul

Pawns are the soul of chess.
François-André Danican Philidor
In my post, "Dominquez--Aronian, Tata Steel 2014", I mentioned that Levon Aronian's play in that game offered a modern lesson in the meaning of Philidor's famous dictum. This morning I looked at Aronian -- Ponomariov, Tsaghkadzar 2015, Chess Informant 124/9, and found another illustration. The game as a whole is a good illustration of piece play in the service of creating powerful passed pawns.

Here is one of the final critical positions.

White to move

What would you play?

Aronian sacrificed the exchange to get the a-pawn rolling. Ponomariov resigned ninen moves later.

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