In chess, it is often said that the pawns should control the center of the board. However, there are certain exceptions to this -in some scenarios, it is better for us to have a doubled-pawn structure and to have pawns on the flank. What do I mean by this?
Black to play
Consider the above position. White has just played Nxf6+; and, what would you do here as Black? Most chess players would immediately go for Bxf6 in order to avoid having doubled pawns on the f-file. However, if Bxf6, then White will play Bc4 and take control of that diagonal. The e6-knight is technically pinned because the f7-pawn is hanging.
Therefore, the right way to take the knight is with the pawn –exf6. After the white knight retreats, Black can push his pawn further with f5, and his position looks good. This is exactly what you will be learning today –the positions where it is better to have a doubled-pawn structure; taking our pawns to the edge (flank) of the board, instead of the stereotypical center.
Our guest coach, Sergey Kasparov, who published the lesson “Win with opposite colored bishops” two years ago, has prepared an instructive video lesson for you on this topic. You can watch the video lesson below: