Super Blitz #15: Carlsbad Minority Attack!

This is hands down one of my best 3-0 games that followed my opening prep. It was a Traditional GQD main line and my opponent was eager to trade off some minor pieces from the start.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Bg5

I’ve had this opening a million times but I never seemed to make it to the point where I can launch a minority attack against the Black Queen side which is the standard idea in the pawns structure once cxd and exd is played.

4…Be7 5. e3 h6 6. Bh4 O-O cxd5 exd5 8. Nc3 c6 9. Bd3 Bg4 10. Be2?! Bxf3 11. Bxf3 Nd7 12. Bxe7 Qxe7

We arrive at the position above where both sides are structurally sound. The imbalance is 2 knights vs knight and bishop, Black with a Queen side majority and I with a King side majority. This is the point where a minority attack will weaken Black’s advantage and turn it into more of a liability.

13. O-O Nf6 14. Rb1 Nbd7 15. b4 b5 16. a4

The whole idea behind the minority attack is to trade off pawns and leave Black with something to defend, generally the c pawn. You can see above that the c pawn is backwards and the weakest point in the position. Even if it can be defended it means that Black will be tied down while defending.

16…a6 17. Qc2 Rfe8 18. axb5 axb5 19. Ne2

Ideally Black would play something like Rec8 and I’d play Rfc1 and there would be some poking and prodding by both knights. The position above is dynamic but equal.

19…Ra4 20. Qxc6 Rxb4 21. Nc3 Rc4

Black drops the c pawn by failing to defend or thinking that taking the b pawn is a better trade so they might have a passed pawn. The main issues is the c pawn was the support for both the b and d pawns, Black has now made two weaknesses in exchange for the one.

The position above seems like Black has found a way to win material due to the double attack on the Queen and the knight with no way to defend both but there is a move. 22. Nxd5! counter attacking the enemy Queen if 22…Rxc6 23. Nxe7+ Rxe7 24. Bxc6. Instead play goes 22. Nxd5! Nxd5 23. Qxd5 Rfc8 24. Rxb5 1-0

22. Nxd5 Nxd5 23. Qxd5 Rec8 24. Rxb5 1-0

Black resigns in this position as being down two pawns and only have 26 seconds compared to my 1:32 doesn’t look promising.

View Full Game on Lichess.org

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