Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Tripled Pawns

This post is a collaboration with Mr Andrew Crosby who is an expert in chess gambits.
Andrew usually plays them in his games with great success. In addition, he is an active member of our virtual club taking part in our online tournaments and matches.

The 2023 American Cup concluded on 26th March with a win for Hikaru Nakamura. Eight American GMs competed and Round 1 offered an interesting and instructive game between Nakamura and Samuel Sevian.
Sevian gained notoriety as a chess prodigy when in 2014 he became the youngest ever American to earn the GM title at the age of 13 years, 10 months and 27 days.

Nakamura achieved his first strategical goal with the trade of minor pieces on f3. Sevian gave up one of his bishops in exchange for a knight. This happened on move 7.

Eight moves later, Sevian’s pawn structure started to weaken when Nakamura traded another pair of minor pieces leaving Sevian with doubled pawns on the c-file.

On move 20, the remaining minor pieces were exchanged and also the queens on f6, leaving Sevian with another pair of doubled pawns on the f-file.

Finally, on move 23 came the culmination of damage to Sevian’s pawn structure withn tripled pawns on the c-file.
From this moment on, Nakamura masterfully manoeuvred his rooks taking advantage of the many weaknesses in Sevian’s position.

The zugzwang at the end was a neat finish by Nakamura who had his opponent bound hand and foot.

If you enjoy chess but are unable to attend a local club, then join our virtual club. On our site, we regularly play online tournaments and team matches. There is also Blitz every last Saturday in the month. More than 800 members enjoy that chance and new players join every week. There are new tournaments for the coming months that need players! Join now! Limited slots!

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