“I don’t believe in fortresses.” – Magnus Carlsen
I understand Carlsen’s famous quote, not at face value, but rather as an understanding of chess’s nearly infinite possibilities. Carlsen himself has shown in a lot of his games and how seemingly easily drawn games can be won by finding hidden resources in the position.
Still, fortresses do exist in chess.
Even Carlsen himself has stumbled upon one or two in his career. Perhaps the costliest one was in the fourth game of the match with Karjakin, when in a relatively easily won position he allowed Karjakin to build one. Later in the match, the missed chances of an early lead could have cost Carlsen dearly.
In this article, I would like to take a look at one specific fortress that is quite typical of the symmetrical structure it can arise from.
These symmetrical structures are very common and can happen from many openings – the Queen’s Gambit Accepted, the Queen’s Gambit Declined, the Catalan, the Nimzo-Indian and probably some others too, either directly or by transposition to the above openings.
P.S. Instead of learning 5-6 different openings, why not learn a single opening system that you can use against whatever your opponent plays?
In this 6-hour course, IM Valeri Lilov uses his innovative approach based on understanding a very specific “beat sequences” and key plans to minimize preparation time.