I’ve played the GQ exclusively for awhile now and there was always one aspect that wasn’t as fluid as the rest. It was the dark squared Bishop, either it wasn’t developed early enough, it was blocked in by a pawn or a Knight or simply not influencing the game. I set out to find some other move orders in the QG to help fix the issue of the bad Bishop and I found that b3 fit into most of my games without any down sides. This game was the first time employing the move into my opening and it worked incredibly well and felt fluid just as I was looking for.
Below is the position after Black played 1…Bb4+ 2. Bd2 Bxd2 3. Nxd3
White’s opening position is incredibly solid and active while Black is lacking in space for the Queen’s Knight and the light squared Bishop is blocked by a pawn. From here Black play Ne7 and I push e5 blowing the center open supported by the Knight on d2. Black had a chronic problem of being behind in development and cramped for positions, it lead to a smooth conversation and too much pressure on a pawn lead to a collapse in Blacks territory.
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I enjoyed this game since I was put into a new position by move 2. It’s not uncommon for people online to play specific systems that they’re comfortable with and not many people know. The opening below is completely playable but not played very often, it transposes to something like a Semi-Slav where Black looks to play and solidify d5.
Although not familiar with this opening, the principles of opening development are enough to make it through anything unfamiliar. I simply exchange the wing pawns since that’s my typical play in every Slav or Semi Slave structure, get the Knights to c3 and f3 to influence the center, look for good squares for the Bishops (there is a pin option on a good diagonal) and put my Rook on the open c file to pressure a piece with few defenders.
Every piece is serving some purpose in the opening, the last two pieces (The King’s Rook and Queen) have yet to be determined where they would be best. From this point on it becomes about developing a plan, there is pressure on the c6 Knight and one of the defenders of it is pinned to a Rook. The Knight attack was the start point for my middle game plan, which slowly compounded until it ended up being able to cause enough problems Black missed the proper defense and everything began to fall apart.
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This game my opponent really seemed to know their opening, it was very solid on both sides initially but White seemed to slip more as the middle game came around. Middle game ideas were something I struggled with for awhile, the opening and end game made sense but the middle game is the wild west of the chess game. The tipping point came shortly after the position below, play followed 1.Ne4 Bxe2 2.Qxe2?! Nxd4 since the Queen left defense of the d pawn. From that position I retained the pawn advantage until I was able to win another by stacking Rooks against the c2 pawn. It ends with a little Rook sacrifice in order to deflect the White King from their last pawn and allows me to promote.
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