Queen’s Indian Defense - How to Play the d-pawn Openings - The Complete Chess Course From Beginning To Winning Chess! (2016)

The Complete Chess Course From Beginning To Winning Chess! (2016)

Book Eight

How to Play the d-pawn Openings

Queen’s Indian Defense

In this defense Black fianchettoes his light-square bishop very early, with a view to commanding the long diagonal, particularly the e4-square. White does best to fianchetto his light-square bishop, thus carrying on a long-range duel for control of the diagonal.

The dual often centers about a specific problem: White wants to enforce e2-e4, Black wants to prevent this move. If White gets in e2-e4, he will have an advantage in space, which explains the critical nature of the struggle. Bear in mind, though, that since White plays an early Nf3 (instead of Nc3 as in the Nimzo-Indian Defense), it will not be easy for him to enforce e2-e4.

On the whole, White gets a freer game than Black in this opening. White’s goal is to secure the initiative; Black’s goal is to maintain an adequate defense.

(a) 5…Be7 Variation

Queen’s Indian Defense

White - Black

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 Ne4

Black can now get a firm foothold in the center with 7…d5 at the cost of condemning his light-square bishop to inactivity after 8.Ne5!.

8.Qc2 Nxc3

White’s next move is more or less forced, as 9.bxc3 would give him doubled c-pawns with no tangible compensation.

9.Qxc3 (D)


Position after 9.Qxc3

Black has a double goal: to retain control of e4, and also to form a center of his own with …d6 and …e5.

White has good chances of getting the initiative: if for example 9…f5 10.d5! exd5 11.Ne1 with lasting pressure on Black’s game.

Another possibility from Diagram 40 is 9…Be4 10.Bf4! d6 11.Qe3! Bb7 12.Rfd1 Nd7 13.b4 Nf6 14.a4 a5 15.b5 and White has considerably more freedom of action.

(b) 5…Bb4+ Variation

Queen’s Indian Defense

White - Black

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 (D)


Position after 5.Bg2

Black decides on a simplifying exchange which, however, still leaves him with difficult problems to solve.

5…Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Bxd2+

The obvious reply is now 7.Nbxd2. But White’s queen knight will be more aggressively posted at c3 than at d2. This explains White’s next move:

7.Qxd2! 0-0 8.Nc3 d6

After this White will be able to play e2-e4, but if instead 8…Ne4 9.Qc2! Nxc3 10.Ng5! winning the exchange because of the mate threat.

9.Qc2 Qe7 10.0-0 c5

Black must forestall e2-e4, which would permit White to answer a later …c5 with d4-d5, seriously constricting Black’s game.

11.Rad1 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Bxg2

After 13.Kxg2 White is on the way to playing e2-e4, which will give him much greater command of the board. White has an unmistakable initiative.