Grab Material

A lot of books recommend against grabbing material. Donít take those free pawns with your Queen. Better to stay active, keep your Queen in the middle, and avoid diverting the Queen away from the Kingside. Youíll come under attack, they say.

But thereís another side to this. Material is material. Free pawns are extra pawns. One of the most popular openings for Black is the Poison Pawn, where the extra pawn isnít so poisoned after all. You can win with extra pawns! Even one extra pawn. You might have to endure an uncomfortable time of cramped play. Or you might come under a strong attack against your King. But cramped positions can be gradually unwound. And an attack can be met with resilient defence. Remember that ďmost attacks are unsoundĒ and that solid defence can often prevail.

At the end of it, you can win with your extra pawns. It wonít be a blaze of glory type win, and it wonít end with a Queen sacrifice, but you can win in the endgame with your pawns.

And remember that free stuff is free stuff.

Related Chess Tactics

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