Long ago Philidor taught that "pawns are the soul of chess." Today we know that understanding the pawn structure is vital when choosing a plan of action for the middlegame. Indeed, any correct middlegame plan depends on knowing how the pawns will behave - only then is it clear where the pieces should go! That is why Middlegame Strategy takes the guesswork out of planning in chess. Here NM Robert Leininger examines a single key pawn structure (seen on the cover), exploring each of its possibilities in detail. Concentrating on one fundamental pawn formation lets you cut through the clutter, focusing on how the pawns determine which course is best. With Middlegame Strategy, the art of sound planning in chess can be mastered by players of any level.
Known in Russia as the "Carlsbad" pawn structure, this ever-popular middlegame formation is famous in the Queen's Gambit after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.cxd5 exd5, but is also common in the Gruenfeld, Nimzo-Indian and other openings. The Carlsbad is a flexible and dynamic mainstay in the repertoires of many top Grandmasters, who can devise subtle, long range plans because they understand the pawn structure. Middlegame Strategy explains every aspect of this complex formation, including the minority attack, hanging pawns, the isolated d-pawn and much more. The lessons learned here will help any player make his middlegame decisions with accuracy and confidence.
Author: Robert Leininger
Title: National Master