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premium_steve 45 ( +1 | -1 )
Pushing a and h pawns... What do you guys think about pushing these pawns in the middle game in general? Is it bad? I've always thought that the only files for rooks are the a- and h-files, and maybe the f-file also (after a castle and f-pawn push).
You see it most often, I guess, when the center is closed.

Does anyone know of many masters who particularly liked pushing those pawns? It kind of makes me laugh a bit. Any game examples?
anaxagoras 32 ( +1 | -1 )
yes, Bent Larsen is well known for pushing his rook pawns. I have an example where it immediately lead to the loss of a game:

Beliavsky - Larsen
1 e4 c6
2 d4 d5
3 Nc3 dxe4
4 Nxe4 Bf5
5 Ng3 Bg6
6 h4 h6
7 Nf3 Nd7
8 h5 Bh7
9 Bd3 Bxd3
10 Qxd3 e6
11 Bf4 Ngf6
12 0-0-0 Be7
13 Ne5 a5
14 Rhe1 a4?
15 Ng6! Nd5
16 Nf5! Bf8
17 Bd6 Rg8
18 c4 Nb4
19 Qh3! fxg6
20 Rxe6+ Kf7
21 hxg6+! Kxe6
22 Re1+ Ne5
23 Bxe5! 1-0

Yes, it's ok to do it if the center is closed, but if it's not expect to be crushed quickly.
premium_steve 79 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks :D I didn't see right away why the Ng6 move was good. I needed to look at the analysis.
Umm... I guess in open games tempi are more important? Things can develop so much faster.

Here's another short caro-kann classical game where black pushes his flank pawn, but wins.
It's from an OTB tourney game I played this weekend...
My opponent said the initial h-pawn push, in our position, is a big mistake on his part. But the pawn is eventually involved in a tactic that wins him the game!

Steve - Andrew [B18]
1.e4 c6
2.d4 d5
3.Nc3 dxe4
4.Nxe4 Bf5
5.Ng3 Bg6
6.Bc4 e6
7.N1e2 Bd6
8.f4 Nd7
9.00 h5
10.f5 exf5
11.Nxf5 Bxf5
12.Rxf5 Ngf6
13.Qe1 Qe7
14.Bg5 000
15.Qf2 h4
16.Bf4 h3
17.g3 Ne4
18.Qe3 Bxf4
19.Rxf4 Ndf6
20.Nc3 Qb4
21.Nxe4 Qxc4
22.Nxf6 gxf6
23.c3 Rhe8
24.Re4 Qd5
25.Re1 f5 and white resigns

After seeing the Qd5 move.... I was pretty devastated.
All comments appreciated :)