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Decisive Pawn Pushes
Compiled by Mendrys
--*--

The game hangs in the balance when a simple pawn push turns the tide.

White looks fine after 10. Nxd4 but 10...c5! turns the tables
I Aloni vs Bronstein, 1956 
(E80) King's Indian, Samisch Variation, 29 moves, 0-1

14. e5! rips open black's kingside.
Fischer vs Benko, 1959 
(B57) Sicilian, 27 moves, 1-0

The Isolated Queen pawn reigns supreme!
Kasparov vs Short, 1986 
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 33 moves, 1-0

18. f5! and the double pin cannot be resisted.
Carlsen vs A Groenn, 2005 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 24 moves, 1-0

26...f3
L Karlsson vs H Olafsson, 1979 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 37 moves, 0-1

46...c4!
Feldman vs Korchnoi, 1953 
(B03) Alekhine's Defense, 49 moves, 0-1

14..e4! "An unexpected shot that sends white spinning" Lombardy
Letelier vs Fischer, 1960 
(E70) King's Indian, 23 moves, 0-1

I dunno, any move by the h pawn?
Larsen vs Spassky, 1970 
(A01) Nimzovich-Larsen Attack, 17 moves, 0-1

d6. Lose a piece or get mated.
C Tsai vs Browne, 2002 
(E81) King's Indian, Samisch, 29 moves, 1-0

16...f3! and it's pandemonium for the white king.
Harris vs Weeramantry, 1972 
(B09) Pirc, Austrian Attack, 23 moves, 0-1

e6, f6 or f4?
Aronian vs Rapport, 2017 
(E17) Queen's Indian, 28 moves, 1-0

29. e5! and it's all over
Kramnik vs Radjabov, 2013 
(E60) King's Indian Defense, 37 moves, 1-0

Two in a row and an underpromotion to boot!
Larsen vs C Munoz, 1957 
(A15) English, 34 moves, 0-1

12. e5! leads to smothered mate.
V Disawal vs M Anshuman, 2008 
(B21) Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4, 21 moves, 1-0

50. c4! and the black king is soon overwhelmed.
Caruana vs Aronian, 2014 
(C89) Ruy Lopez, Marshall, 66 moves, 1-0

27....d7! eventually nets the queen.
Gulko vs A Kremenietsky, 1982 
(E80) King's Indian, Samisch Variation, 39 moves, 0-1

25. g4!! starts a new front that black cannot defend.
Botvinnik vs E Zagorjansky, 1943 
(A13) English, 42 moves, 1-0

18. e4! leads to a brilliant combination 6 moves later.
Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2001 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 36 moves, 1-0

21. e4! shows ugly can be beautiful.
A Zatonskih vs P Dukaczewski, 2013 
(D27) Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical, 26 moves, 1-0

Bad mojo can happen when your king defends. 31 h6!
V Akopian vs Sveshnikov, 1993 
(B30) Sicilian, 35 moves, 1-0

31. c4!. White's pawn offer is accepted. Mate follows.
T Krabbe vs R Wade, 1964 
(B16) Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation, 34 moves, 1-0

19. a5!! nets the queen
S Knott vs D M Adams, 2004 
(D19) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch, 23 moves, 1-0

The e pawn marches on.
Unzicker vs Bronstein, 1955 
(B92) Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation, 42 moves, 0-1

J Peters vs Seirawan, 1984 
(B16) Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation, 39 moves, 0-1

J Cervenka vs J Schauer, 1993 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 38 moves, 1-0

More than I can count.
Dreev vs Kamsky, 1987 
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 56 moves, 1-0

21...e4! opens the position for Aronian's queen & nice endgame.
McShane vs Aronian, 2012 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 76 moves, 0-1

M Mahjoob vs A Nguyen, 2006 
(D12) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 55 moves, 1-0

Contrast 20... d5 with 22. b4
P Trifunovic vs Bronstein, 1957 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 34 moves, 0-1

29. b4! and black quickly falls apart.
Portisch vs Keres, 1969 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 40 moves, 1-0

Give up some pawns, gain an attack
Bronstein vs Browne, 1990 
(B99) Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line, 34 moves, 1-0

35...f5? throws it all away.
Svidler vs Topalov, 2007 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 48 moves, 1-0

Tal vs Spassky, 1980 
(C95) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer, 44 moves, 1-0

63. g5! is the only way
Polgar vs Short, 1993 
(C86) Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack, 67 moves, 1-0

24. f6 seals blacks fate.
Alekhine vs K Junge, 1942  
(C86) Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack, 28 moves, 1-0

Aronian vs Anand, 2007 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 48 moves, 1-0

C6 quickly decides
Bronstein vs R Vedder, 1997 
(E16) Queen's Indian, 25 moves, 1-0

Spassky vs D J Banks, 1971 
(B01) Scandinavian, 37 moves, 1-0

Gelfand vs Aronian, 2013 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 60 moves, 1-0

Carlsen misjudges 19...e4
Carlsen vs Giri, 2011 
(D71) Neo-Grunfeld, 22 moves, 0-1

40 games

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