Hanging Pawn Structure PART-2

Comments: 31

In the previous lesson, we discussed “Hanging Pawn Structures” (HPS) in a famous game between Kasparov and Portisch. Let’s continue our study of that game.

We stopped after 16.exd4 16…Na5. So it is White’s turn now. How would you play here as White?


White to play

17.d5! A thematic move! White opens the centre and activates both his bishops.

17…exd5 – if Black chooses to take with 17…Nc4 18.Qe4 g6 20.Bxc4 Qxc4 21.Qe5 f6 22.Qxe6+ Rf7 22.Rc1 Qa6 22.Nd4 and White has the upper hand.

18.cxd5 Bxd5 – White has eliminated the HPS and has opened his bishops for a kingside attack.


White to play

How can White start an immediate attack in the above position?

White goes for a tactical blow 19.Bxh7+ Kxh7 20.Rxd5; White is threatening to play Qe4+ followed by Rh5.

20…Kg8 A natural strategic retreat by Portisch, but anyway who can stop the Force! 21.Bxg7!! A bolt out of the blue!

21…Kxg7 22.Ne5 centralizing the knight in an open position; pieces are best placed in central squares, opening up the diagonal for the queen. Preparing to move rook to d7 and also to play Nd7, preventing the queen from supporting the bishop with lot of threats.



White to play

[22…f5 23.Rd3 Qc5 24.Nd7; 22…Rh8 23.Qg4+ Kf8 24.Qf5 f6 25.Re1 Nc6 (25…Qc1 26.Rdd1+–) 26.Nd7+ Kf7 27.Rxe7++–; 22…Qc2 23.Qg4+ Kh7 24.Rd3 Rc3 25.Qf5+ Kg8 26.Rg3++–]

23.Qg4+ Kf8 24.Qf5 threatening a simple mate on f7.

24…f6 forced. [24…Bxa3 not possible after Nd7 check – either Ke8 or Kg8 will result in forced mate in several moves. 25.Nd7+ Kg8 26.Qg4+]


White to play

How should White continue his attack now?

Kasparov played 25.Nd7+ [25.Ng6+ Ke8? (25…Kg7 26.Nf4 Rxd5 27.Nxd5 (27.Qg6+ Kh8 28.Ne6 Rg5) 27…Qc5 28.Nxe7) 26.Qh5 Rxd5 27.Ne5++–]

25…Rxd7 26.Rxd7 Qc5 27.Qh7 Rc7 28.Qh8+! And not 28.Rd3? Qxf2+!! 29.Kxf2 (29.Rxf2 Rc1+) 29…Bc5+ 30.Kg3 Rxh7=

28…Kf7 29.Rd3 A brilliant waiting move; only A FORCE can play like this. Now White threatens to play Qh7+ – forcing Black to play Ke6!

29…Nc4 30.Rfd1! Bringing the least active piece into the game. 30…Ne5? 


White to play and win

Now it’s time to solve the riddle on your own and finish like the FORCE did


Kasparov first created a HPS and prepared a d5 thrust followed by opening the position and converting it into one of the favourable centres discussed in my course “Your Winning Plan“. Having greater piece position advantage destroyed the opponent’s king position


Also, you can see the whole game here and download the PGN: LINK

Moreover, if you want to learn such skills and use them in your games, then you definitely will have to study the course “Your Winning Plan”.

Additionally, I’ve discussed the point about the ‘least active’ piece (mentioned above at move 30) in my other course “GM’s Positional Understanding”.

Get these courses now:

  • GM’s Positional Understanding: LINK
  • Your Winning Plan: LINK
P.S. If you enjoyed the lesson “Hanging Pawn Structure”, please write your comments below and “Like” and share it on Facebook/Twitter using the buttons on the left side. Thank you!
Comments: 31

Comments 31

  1. fantastic lessons dear igor smirnov you are the best coach…please let us know on which date new course is releasing and what is special in this course…thnakyu so much…

  2. dear igor l like the webinars of oslienko,attila turzo and yours and alex kundin.dear sir could you please invite gm daniel king or Gm simon williams for next webinars thanks in advance….

  3. dear igor i had seen the chessbase dvd of lilov and other gms like sam collins some are great and some are not but mr daniel king is fantastic his powerplays are just awesome and his powerplay shows also in playchess.com

  4. Hi Ayush,

    We’re happy to see the amount of interest in the new course.
    The new course will be released in the end of January. Please follow the updates and announcements on our blog.

    Silvestras | Student Support Officer

  5. Hi Ayush,

    Thank you for the enthusiasm about our webinars! 🙂
    We will see if we can contact Mr King or Mr Williams, though I hear Mr King is really busy with the Wijk an Zee reviews now.

    Best regards,
    Silvestras | Student Support Officer

  6. thankyu so much silverster.for your response.yes i know daniel king is very busy man.but he is the best for our rca team.

  7. Hi Ayush,
    Thank you for your interest in our new course.
    The details that you asked will be announced in the coming days.

    Prasaadh / Student Support Officer

    1. dear prasaadh i am telling this to you only because i have faith in you donot let my faith down please tell this information to igor dicuss it only then release some new courses or webinars… i had struggled a lot to find a coach in my chess carrier…

  8. Hi Ayush , If I herad things right , the new course is made by Igor Smirnov (along with RCA team) and guess author –> GM Maxim Dluggy

    1. Hi srivasthan ,do not forget to contact with David norwood,conquest Stewart,alon greenfeld they are also experienced coaches and also IM Goran vijnovic.

  9. dear prasaadh,gm irana krush and gm alejandro ramirez are also very best at chess teaching i saw their saint louis club lectures and also yassier sierwan sir he is also great.please request igor to invite them in webinars!!!!

  10. Hi Ayush,

    Thank you for noting them, we will see if we can contact them.

    Best regards,
    Silvestras | Student Support Officer

    1. dear silvester.grandmaster damian lemos from onlinechesslessons.net tell me about igor courses and his story ..and he is also saying that igor courses posses some unique qualities that none of the gms dvds had in ealier years .he is also impressed by igor smirnov.and he beg MR igor to sell his courses in his site tooo.so you will also understand the power of igor courses…

  11. dear silvester,every one of the grandmaster is not like igor smirnov explaining every move with specific justification and deep postional understanding.they donot tell us the rules by which they find powerplay continuations over the board..that’s why i am begging you sir please tell my complain to igor..i am begging you sir please tell igor donot engage other grandmaster or guest coaches in rca..they are just useless.

  12. Hi Ayush ,

    It’s understandable that you need webinar and courses from coach like GM Igor Smirnov . Yes , he explains the base principle of the things while …

    Some other just says ” Hmm , in this position I thought Rd8 would seem better than Re8 , so I played it and blah blah ”

    But Igor sir explains the base principle.So it is logical you like him.But every coach have different method of teaching. Every coach specializes different skills.So it would be good if you communicate with many GMs and obtain them .But you may not get many benefits like you get from GM Igor Smirnov , but you shall also get some benefits that Igor sir itself can’t teach to you . Even GM Igor Smirnov knows , each and every coach specializes some unique skills.

    Still , its understandable that you need GM Igor coaching only.But its not good to mention some other GMs as worst who conducted a webinar for you .

    Its good to say your opinion , but it would be even better if you send them to their email via “Contact” button . They never leave you unreplied . They will always response back to your query within 24 hrs and they will also let it know to GM Igor Smirnov 🙂

    P/S- As GM Igor Smirnov sir said , this website is a place for friendly communication 🙂

    All the best

    1. Thankyuvso much madra I can understand your feelings and opinion of different grandmasters. Thanks for help.rca is the best place for communication.

    2. hi madra you are saying very sutle things this is absoluetely right.but i just want to say that the things which you cant understand cant give you any benifits to you.if you are watching a dvd of my story series by kasparov in which he is going very fastly over his games with james plaskett.even you watch its dvd 100 times you get nothing out of it .

  13. dear silvestras,could you please invite Grandmaster ramesh from chess gurukul to share a experience with rca team??i heard that he is just extraordinary in teaching skills and arvind chitambram and debashis das also said that his explanations is just fantastic…

  14. Hi Ayush,

    Once again, thank you for a lot of recommendations! 🙂
    We will certainly try to contact at least some of them in the future.

    Best regards,
    Silvestras | Student Support Officer

    1. thankyu so much sir.you will contact that grandmaster also donot forget the name of grandmasters which i told you about.daniel king,gawain jones etc.sir please conduct a webinar of Gawain jones and gm ivan sokolov

  15. Yes I am here for GM Igor Smirnov , I like his courses he explain everything from the begin to the end on a easy way and on a different way He is the best !!!!!!!!

    Not like the other coaches !!!!!!!! they also never have give me good result,

    I am sad about the new course its not wiht GM Igor Smirnov 🙁 🙁

  16. That what I tried to explain to our beloved rca moderators that Igor is the best coach in the world .nor carlsen nor kaspprov they are no t best coach .

    1. Hi Jay,

      Please contact our Support department by clicking on “Support” tab in our blog and filling in the inquiry form.

      Best regards,
      Silvestras | Student Support Officer

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