I made a bet with a non-neglegible stake that I will win a game against a friend without queen. My Elo rating is about 2000-2100, my friend's should be around 1400. Today I played with the black pieces with a rook odds and I won.
He didn't make big blunders and he played the opening quite well (e4, developed both knights and the white bishop and sacrificed on f7 for my 2nd rook), but he got lost in the middle game and did not know what to do.
These are my observations:
1) He knows that he wants to exchange as many pieces as possible even with slight material costs.
2) He knows how to play the standard textbook e4 - e5 opening, but I guess he is not familiar with other openings.
3) He didn't make huge blunders, so I cannot expect to sacrifice pieces and win in the opening phase.
4) The middle and endgame should be the parts of the game where he is less experienced.
5) I expect him to be weak in tactics and to loose pawns in not-obvious situations.
When I play without a rook odds, I try to keep the lines closed or to play with white a really aggressive e4, f4. However, I don't want to go into e4, since he knows that opening to a certain extent. I would rather go for c4, which is my standard opening. Ideally I would like to go for opposite castling with a pawns attack.
What should be my strategy for that game? / How can I prepare for that game?
In which variant of the english opening is it difficult for a beginner to exploit a queen?