I'm looking for some openings for white and black that have a high probability of trading queens early on without being significantly worse. Does anyone know any openings that fit this criteria?

  • 3
    Title says "reach endgames", body says "trading queens". Not the same thing.
    – bof
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 1:41

2 Answers 2


There's a "drawing line" in the Petrov Defense for White:

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Qe2 Qe7 {Black has to play this or 6. d3 wins a piece} 6. d3 Nf6 7. Qxe7+

Playing 7. Qxe7+ loses White's opening half-tempo, but queens are off, and if that's what White wants he's gotten it. Not playing Qxe7+ can still lead to a queen trade, until either side decides to block the e-file with minors.

The Berlin Defense is another well-known opening with early queen trade:

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8

This opening has gained a reputation for drawishness at GM level.



Exchange Spanish with an early d4

1.d4 King's Indian Exchange Variation


Pirc Defence 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.dxe5 dxe5 - I actually think this is close to equal for Black. (4.Nf3 is usually played.)

Berlin Defence

Nimzo-Indian 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 O-O 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b6 7.Bg5 Bb7 8.f3 h6 9.Bh4 d5 10.e3 Nbd7 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Bxd8 Nxc3 13.Bh4 Nd5

If you want to look for a highly effective repertoire for white based on early simplifications, I would say Oleg Krivonosov's (olegas) games on ICC are very underrated. Some other players are pretty good at sidelines, but these may not trade pieces very often, such as Igor Glek and Michael Adams.

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