Exploiting weaknesses Part II

GM Swapnil Dhopade & FM Ankit Gajwa

GM Swapnil Dhopade & FM Ankit Gajwa

Chess Pathshala

  1. September 1, 2020

Exploiting weaknesses Part II

Anchor Points

Hello dear readers,

In the first part of this article, we looked at some examples where one side skillfully exploited weak squares or weak pawns in the opponent’s camp. Here, we shall see some more instructive and useful examples which are similar in nature, where our focus would be on ‘anchor points’.

An interesting benefit of a weak square in the opponent’s camp is that it can become an ‘anchor point’ for your own pieces. In simple words, you can use that weak square to build up, or improve your position. A very famous example of this case is a game between Karpov and Kasparov from their world championship match.

Example 1


  1. In the aforementioned game, the c6 square turned out to be of a huge importance for White.

  2. White gained complete control of the c-file only because of this ‘anchor point’ on c6, an exchange on which would result in a creation of a passed pawn for White.

  3. Magnus Carlsen, in his game against Wesley so from Sinquefield Cup 2019, very nicely illustrated how one can use anchor points along with weak pawns in the opponent’s camp to improve his position.

The following game is a modern masterpiece.

Example 2


  1. Here Carlsen combined the weakness of the b6 pawn along with the anchor point on d5 –Carlsen used the principle of two weaknesses to increase his advantage.

  2. The Principle of two weaknesses is an important principle to understand for every chess player.

  3. It states that it’s important to create at least two weaknesses in our opponent’s territory that can be utilized, in order to gain something tangible out of a position, because usually the defending side is capable of defending a single weakness with all its might.

  4. A good strategy is to create a second front, or a second target – which would give you realistic chances of breaking through, since the defending side’s pieces would already be occupied in defense of the first weakness, and as a result, would be less mobile.

  5. The following game illustrates this concept very nicely.

Example 3


Solution of the position from the previous article-

1. dxc5! – dxc5  2. Rad1 – Rad8 3. Rd5 (the d5 square is an anchor point for White, which he can utilize by doubling his rooks on the d-file) b6 4. Rad1 and white has a very good position with a lasting advantage.

  1. White went on to win in a very instructive manner in Botvinnik – Chekhover 1973.

  2. I highly recommend the readers to go through the full game below.

Example 4


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