Friday, May 13, 2005

Steve Stoyko Lecture, Thursday 5-12-05

Steve Stoyko lectured last night about the Isolated Queen Pawn formation. This is a classic opening motif that has been the key positional feature of many games. These positions can also produce an isolated pawn couple (following an exchange of Knights or Bishop for Knight at c3 and bxc3) or "hanging pawns" (when the neighboring isolanis are side by side), but Steve thought it best to save those for another lecture. The IQP has both positive and negative features for both sides (including space and attack for White and endgame prospects for Black), but Steve focused on the positives for White if he knows what he is doing. He also looked at games where White clearly seemed not to know what he was doing -- concluding with a game that otherwise would seem very boring but which makes an interesting illustration of not grasping the position: Reshevsky-Petrosian, California 1966. The point Steve wanted to make with this game was that even GMs sometimes don't seem to understand the basics of the IQP -- which means that you can outplay them if you do! Reshevsky's 13.Bd2?! is a lemon and leads him to all sorts of contortions, and Petrosian took a draw in a better position as Black likely for issues completely unrelated to the situation on the board.

I will soon be posting a file of the lecture and a page devoted to it, along with links on the Isolated Pawn Formation and maybe books for additional reading. I may also post some good links to the games he covered -- maybe in my next post.

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