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GM Alex Yermolinsky - Double Pawns in the English - Part 2

Opening: A17: English Opening: Hedgehog Defence 1...Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 (without: 3.e4; 3.d4; 3.Nf3 c5; 3...d5 4.d4; 3...b5 4.d4; 3...Bb4 4.d4)

Player(s): Gelfand, Adams, Yermolinsky

We have seen many examples of double pawns being terribly weak and how the need to protect them with the pieces can lead to dire consequences, such as complete paralysis of the pieces. Young players are made to be scared to death of double pawns. Literally, they would rather give up a piece than agree to double their pawns. More experienced players know better, yet many of them avoid positions they consider difficult to play because they carry the seeds of potential positional disaster. Are double pawns always bad? I will make the case that they are not. This series of videos opens up our discussion. We will be looking at some lines of the English Opening, where White invites a trade, which causes him to have double pawns on the c-file.
Video #1 introduces White's desired setup that combines the elements of the Botvinnik System with the pawns on c4 and e4, supported by the pawn on d3 with good control over the key d4-square provided by the pawn on c3. White central formation looks unbreakable in the absence of d7-d5 ideas for the opponent. However, there are possibilities of a flank attack with b7-b5 or f7-f5, particularly given Black's lead in development. A fascinating struggle will ensue.
Video#2 illustrates another line that leads to the same pawn formation. In this case, the white forces are fully mobilized, so a wise strategy of flexible defenses, demonstrated by GM Michael Adams, seems an appropriate choice. An all-out attack tried by the author of these words in one of the featured games had a chance to succeed, but it required a great degree of accuracy. In turn, Black's play can also be improved upon.

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Teacher's library (712) A17 Gelfand Adams Yermolinsky opening

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