I'm about 1500 on Lichess, and as white I almost always play the queens gambit accepted (if reached).

After some moves I often, almost naturally, play at some point Rfe1 and h3.

The first one is to get my rook away from the f pawn to a semi open file. The h3 push is because I'm always afraid of back rank mate so this prevents this. Also it stops black from playing bg4 pinning my usually unmoved queen.

Are these good reasonings/strategies?

  • 2
    How do you "almost always play the queens gambit accepted" if you are playing white? Isn't it up to Black whether to accept or decline the gambit? And how do you play h2? Do you start the game with the pawn on h1? Don't you mean h3?
    – bof
    Feb 6, 2022 at 0:01

1 Answer 1


There's too many variables to give a definite answer.

If white has a pawn on e3, the queen belongs on e2 so the king's rook can get to d1. If white's e-pawn is gone, then that rook belongs on e1 to support a knight on e5. There are some lines where the rook is left on f1 to support the f-pawn when it is pushed to f5, normally when black's bishop is on b7.

As I can't remember any variation without a pawn on e6, I don't understand any need to prevent the pin. I rarely find white needing to worry about any aggression from black, let alone a back rank mate. I find that h3 is a wasted tempo which is better used for an aggressive move.

I suggest you ask this in the lichess.org forum with diagrams to help clarify your plans. That site also has some good studies to show you middlegame plans in the QGA.

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