Today, I played this game in which I played the Queen’s Indian Defense. This position was reached:

enter image description here

I played Be7, which is a correct move. I wonder however, why Black isn’t forced to play Bb7 in order to prevent e4? If White wants to, after exchanging on f6, they can play e4.

Compare it to my recently question regarding the move d5 by White in a Pirc Defense: enter image description here

When is preventing e4 no longer a priority for Black?

In the Pirc Defense I even possessed a pawn in the 5th file which means I still had certain control over the center and yet in the Indian where I had no control of the center with advanced central pawns, e4 can be allowed. Why?

1 Answer 1


There is a huge difference here, and that is first, that you will get the bishop pair for white's big center, but also that your Bf6 is beautifully placed for they typical black move in the Queen's Indian, c5, which will cut across the a1-h8 diagonal. Also, the white center can be successfully attacked.

In the other example from the other question, cxd4 does not break up the center at all, and there was still the danger to the black king with e4-e5. You can see that in your game today, e4-e5 allows the queens to be traded, and will actually leave e5 vulnerable.

 [FEN ""]

 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Nc3 (5. Bxf6 $6 Bxf6 6. e4 d6 7. Nc3 Bb7 8. Be2 c5 {Breaking up the center or if d5, making the Bf6 a monster.} 9. d5 Qe7 10. O-O O-O 11. Re1 Nd7 12. Qc2 Ne5 {And black is very comfortable.}) 5... d5 6. e3 Bb7 7. Be2 Nbd7 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 O-O 10. Ne5 Nxe5 11. dxe5 Ne4 12. Bxe7 Qxe7 13. Nxe4 Bxe4

By the way, while Be7 is not technically wrong, it is not in the spirit of that opening, and is a bit passive. Here is a typical line fighting for, and keeping control of e4.

 [FEN ""]

 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. Bg5 Bb7 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. e3 h6 7. Bh4 g5 8. Bg3 Ne4 9. Qc2 Bxc3+ 10. bxc3 d6 11. Bd3 f5

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