Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Danger, Pawn on 7th Rank!!

As Philidor stated. “Pawns are the soul of chess”. The value of pawns increases as they advance towards the eighth rank. And a pawn in the seventh rank is generally a headache for the opponent.

Today’s game features this case. The game occurred in the prestigious Tata Steel Chess Masters, 2020. GM Fabiano Caruana played GM Vishy Anand in round 8. According to Caruana, the game became “a huge mess” after Anand sacrificed a pawn, and soon after Caruana an exchange.

Despite Caruana managed to move one of his pawns until the 7th rank, Anand had the queening square under control and material advantage. However, the pressure that that pawn exerted, disoriented Anand who did not find the winning line and even allowed Caruana to get a second pawn on the seventh rank.

Losing a game after having the advantage is painful. And you can imagine Anand’s frustration after this game.

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