The Caterpillar Immortal

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Dubbed “the Caterpillar” by Tal Kestenberg, the following position was reached in a game this weekend at the Marshall Chess Club in the G/60 tournament. It’s common knowledge that doubled pawns are weak, and tripled pawns are atrocious, but how often have quadrupled pawns appeared on the board in a serious tournament game at the master level?

The opening was one of Asa’s bizarre modern defenses, and followed the game Popovych v. Hoffmann New York 1967 as printed in his first book, Chess Gladiator until Asa deviated by playing Nh6. In the previous game, he played dxe, dxe then Nh6. Rg7 was likely a blunder, as the rook becomes easily trapped after this move.