Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Put off my Queen's Indian plan

Yesterday, as Black against a -60 rated opponent at our city championship, I was surprised by 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4. After this first-time encounter I was put off my Queen's Indian plan because I didn't want to spend too much time considering whether the Queen's Indian can be used against this type of position, and I decided to play a "normal" Queen's Pawn opening like this one:

diagram

Black to move.

Black has a bit more space than in the Queen's Gambit declined, but the pawn-clogged center is not what I like, and really I was not able to turn it into a favourable position. The game was drawn after 21 moves, and the Deep Shredder analysis shows that neither side made any mistake, and the advantage for White remained always within 0 and 0.7 pawn units during the whole game. I accepted his draw offer in a dead-looking position.

Instead, I could have stuck with my Queen's Indian plan against his buildup which could have resulted in such a position:

diagram

Black to move.

According to Deep Shredder, this is not better than what I have played, but it fits my general plan of controlling the light-squared center and diagonal with my pieces and holding back my center pawns, thus preventing the intrusion of his pieces.

In this position, Black can make use of the exposed Bishop and gain a tempo with 7.-Nd5 8. Bh2 f5 9. Bd3 Nf6, and Black has a very good kingside play, keeping control over the strong point e4. I guess that it would have been much easier to get an advantage against my opponent this way, because this type of position may have been less familiar to him and more familiar to me.

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