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18 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't white take after 8..c5 in the Grünfeld, Spassky variation?

9.dxc5? is a horrible positional blunder. The Grunfeld for black allows white a big center, and his idea is to chip away at it, or force it to advance, and then chip away at it. That center controls ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.6k
17 votes

Why are side pawns better than center pawns in this position?

Chess strategy is complex and has several ingredients mingling at the same time. It is true that 3 c3 helps white mantaining two center pawns if black decides for a c:d4 pawn exchange. But black isn't ...
Andrea Mori's user avatar
  • 1,184
16 votes

Why after 1. d4 Nf6, 2. c4 is so common but after 1. c4 Nf6, 2. d4 is so rare?

To answer your question, I think it mainly comes down to selection bias. The White players of the games after 1.c4 Nf6 are often not intending to play a Queen's pawn opening (at least, not right away ...
Inertial Ignorance's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

Modified move-order in the KID 4. ..0-0. What is the point and how to react?

In the vast majority of the cases, 4....d6 and 4....0-0 transpose into each other. However, with 4....0-0 black keeps the option of playing c6 and d5. Recently, this idea has been played by GM Jobava,...
Maxwell86's user avatar
  • 5,546
15 votes
Accepted

Why does Black want to trade off their King's Bishop in many d4 lines?

Black gains a tempo. Black has played two bishop moves, but white has played Nc3, a3, and bxc3. Once the smoke clears, black has a lead in development with one minor piece out (vs none) and can ...
DongKy's user avatar
  • 1,193
14 votes

What to play vs. 1. d4 when Sicilian is my favorite defense?

You can play the Stonewall defence with black as well, as quid suggested. You can start with a Dutch and get the familiar structure (just an example): [FEN ""] 1. d4 f5 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 d5. ...
kmartin's user avatar
  • 1,638
11 votes
Accepted

What are the ideas behind the Blackmar-Diemer gambit?

I've used BDG countless number of times and won virtually everytime over weaker players. This is a dangerous opening if Black simply plays normal development moves, quite tricky to play in a 5-minute ...
SmallChess's user avatar
  • 22.5k
11 votes

Why does Black want to trade off their King's Bishop in many d4 lines?

Bent Larsen explained it like this. If you want to win as Black you must unbalance the position, and this involves giving something to get something. Giving your opponent the two Bishops is something ...
Philip Roe's user avatar
  • 8,633
10 votes
Accepted

Black's reply against anti-Grünfeld (3.d5)

In Volume 1 of his high-quality series on the Grünfeld for black, GM Avrukh recommends 3....b5!?, "playing in the spirit of the Benko Gambit". On page 6 of the PDF excerpt, you can find his analysis. ...
Maxwell86's user avatar
  • 5,546
10 votes
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Difference between 7. Qc2 vs 7. Qa4 in the Catalan

As you mentioned, 7.Qc2 a6 8.Qxc4 and 7.Qa4 a6 8.Qxc4 lead to the same position. However, after 7.Qc2 a6, white has the option to play 8.a4, which is recommended by GM Avrukh in Grandmaster ...
Maxwell86's user avatar
  • 5,546
9 votes
Accepted

What's the best answer to 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.a3?

This really comes down to what you're comfortable with. Both the Benoni and the QGD are good options, precisely because of the reason you mention: a3 isn't really useful for White in those openings, ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 24.9k
9 votes

Why is 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Bg5 almost never played?

After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Bg5, the position resembles the Tromposvky Attack (1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5), where white often gives up the bishop pair in exchange for a lead in development and the center. For ...
Maxwell86's user avatar
  • 5,546
8 votes

Why doesn't white take after 8..c5 in the Grünfeld, Spassky variation?

it's actually impossible to keep the material advantage since after 9.dxc5 black has the move 9...Qa5 which puts a second attacker to the c3 pawn and also prepares to recapture the c5 pawn. All that ...
SubhanKhan's user avatar
  • 2,158
7 votes

Looking for way to “punish” the d5 push after 1. d4 Nf6

If you're a Benoni player, there's nothing wrong with 2... c5, which will get you in familiar territory (3. dxc6 e.p. is harmless and not something White wants to play - exchanging a center pawn for a ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 24.9k
7 votes

Looking for way to “punish” the d5 push after 1. d4 Nf6

The most direct way to punish this move seems to be to attack the d-pawn immediately. Black gets a very slight advantage. For example [FEN ""] 1. d4 Nf6 2. d5 c6! 3. c4 cxd5 4. cxd5 Qa5 + 5. Nc3 b5!...
NM Wesley Falcao's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Why is 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Bg5 almost never played?

Your bishop can be chased with h6, g5 and h5, after what white barely equalizes. It also gives black calm options, for example some c5 with Qa5 ans Ne4 ideas. It's just committing the bishop too early....
hoacin's user avatar
  • 3,286
7 votes

Why after 1. d4 Nf6, 2. c4 is so common but after 1. c4 Nf6, 2. d4 is so rare?

Looking at this through the intentions of the moves helps me make sense of this. The move 1. d4 establishes a dark-square pawn in the center. Light-square control however is still missing. If possible,...
Farraway's user avatar
  • 386
7 votes

How to avoid QGD/Slav lines as black against 1.d4?

The King's Indian Defence is the first thing that comes to my mind. You'll have to like the pawn structures that arise from e.g. the Main line, with White trying to break through on the queenside ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 24.9k
6 votes
Accepted

King's Indian move order

It's actually a less flexible move order. The bishop will go to g7 in either case, but now black can't go ...d5 in one go. Only play this if you want to put the bishop on e7 (the Old Indian Defense)
John Smith's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Achieving Catalan-like structure against Slav response

Are there strong responses different from 4. .. e6 for black against 4. g3 that avoid the Catalan? 4...Bf5 One interesting alternative is 4...Bf5, with very original play. Before playing e6, Black ...
Kortchnoi's user avatar
  • 3,525
5 votes

Strongest / most aggressive 1. d4 openings

I feel that the most ambitious, principled and aggressive 1.d4 repertoire is the one given by John Cox in his book "Starting Out: 1.d4!". Of course these are the most ambitious lines for white in ...
RemcoGerlich's user avatar
  • 28.2k
5 votes

Why is the g3 and Bg2 set up so strong vs the Dutch?

Optimal piece setup in openings are determined by pawn structures. If you compare the common pawn structures of the openings KID, Gruenfeld, Queen's Gambit, Queen's Indian with the Dutch you will ...
alip's user avatar
  • 176
5 votes

Why is the g3 and Bg2 set up so strong vs the Dutch?

The g3 and Bg2 setup is strong defensively and strong offensively. White wants to play e4 to challenge the f5 pawn and Black's kingside white square complex. g3 and Bg2 is one of the best ways to ...
magd's user avatar
  • 1,755
5 votes
Accepted

On the Mason Attack

What are the main points, tactical or otherwise, backing up the Mason Attack? At least for normal (not top GM) players, the main points of the London system (never heard the name Mason Attack before)...
user1583209's user avatar
  • 20.8k
5 votes

Why is 7 Bd3 in the Cambridge Springs QGD more often met with 7...Ne4 than 7...dxc4?

7...dxc4 is absolutely just as good as 7...Ne4. Stockfish 10 (at depth 32) gives 7...dxc4 an evaluation of -0.31, while 7...Ne4 is 0.23. A difference of 118 games vs 96 games isn't a big deal and has ...
Inertial Ignorance's user avatar
5 votes

Why not 1.d4 Nf6 2.d5?

In this case, because you probably cannot maintain it, and it will become weak. The principles of not making too many pawn moves, and developing your k-side and pieces quickly take precedence. It may ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.6k
5 votes

Why are side pawns better than center pawns in this position?

Move 3 is a bit early for such positional evaluations, but some food for thoughts: after 3...cd 4.ed, e7-e6 will be played, rather sooner than later but then the pawn structure in the center is fixed,...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 16.4k
5 votes

Why after 1. d4 Nf6, 2. c4 is so common but after 1. c4 Nf6, 2. d4 is so rare?

The first moves 1.d4, 1.c4. and 1.Nf3 can all potentially transpose to the same opening lines, but they can also each avoid specific openings, while also allowing others: 1.d4 gives Black the full ...
Cephalopod11's user avatar

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