I often play this variation of the Queen's Gambit Accepted:

[fen ""]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 a6 6. O-O c5 7. dxc5 Qxd1 8. Rxd1 Bxc5 9. a3 b5 10. Be2 Bb7 11. b4 Be7 12. Bb2 Nbd7 13. Nc3 O-O 14. Rac1

My question is, what are the plans for White & Black? I get a bit lost when I reach this position.

Also, any other tips on my opening would be most appreciated

  • I'm thinking about the merits of avoiding the Q trade using 7.Qe2, to maintain better winning chances. Black can advance with 7...b5 and, if desired, 8...c4. But is it really advantageous to open up the Q-side so early? Black can also play 7...cxd4, but 8.Nxd4 looks comfortable for White. Unless looking to draw, I think I would prefer 7.Qe2 to 7.dxc5.
    – rolando2
    Mar 7, 2015 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


I'm not an expert on this line, but one idea from "Study chess with Matthew Sadler" stuck in my mind: To play against the b7-bishop with f3 and e4. So that might be an objective for white. For black this is probably harder to archive, because the Nc3 is ready to jump into d5.

But this Nc3 instead of Nd2 gives black a different target: The square c4. Say after 14…Rc8 15.Nd4 Ne5 makes some sense, to jump into c4 and possibly acquire the bishop pair. Though after 16.Nb3 this doesn't yet work tactically, because of 16…Nc4 17.Bxc4 Rxc4 18.Na5 Rc7 19.Nxb5 …

So maybe 14…Rc8 15.Nd4 Nb6 is better, because on b6 the knight will be more stable. Then 16. Nb3 and possibly Nfd5 with the idea to exchange the Nc3 and go Bb7-d5-c4.

This was a bit of a stream of consciousness, but I'll try to sum up:

  • Playing f3 and e4 to blunt the bishop b7 is an idea.
  • The squares c5,a5 and c4,a4 are targets for the pieces. Especially the knights can be very annoying if they reach such a square.
  • There is always the idea of playing a4/a5 to try and liquidate the whole queenside, especially if there is still a rook on the a-file.
  • This might look like a very calm position, but with so many pieces still on the board, you should definitely look out for tactical possibilities.
  • If you don't find anything better to do, you can move your king closer to the centre: It is always possible, that some mass exchanges leave you in an endgame, where the king centralisation will be key.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.