My favorite opening is the Queen’s Gambit, it’s slow and controlled and the goal is to constrict your opponent and eventually take a small advantage and convert it into a win. There is a trap line that is uncommon but I was able to play it verbatim from the books this time! White seizes the opportunity to get the Queen attacking immediately which is unlike the typical QGA, Black has no way to prevent the loss of a piece once the last pawn capture is made.
My opponent played the Marshall against the Queen’s Gambit, that was mistake number one. A common idea is after the Bishop captures on c3 is to put the Bishop on a3 and cut off the castling abilities of Black, that’s exactly what I did here. Black never opposed the Bishop and played too passively by moving pawns and minor pieces twice rather than attempt to control the center or castle Queen side. It ended in a nice mate on the 14th move.
Over the last couple days I’ve spent a lot time in online tournaments, the benefits to these is that you play with so many different people of all different ratings throughout it. I played a good deal of 1400-1800 players which are 200-600 points above my rating, it gives a good challenge and insight into how strong players play. One thing I noticed was my normal Queen’s Gambit wasn’t met by the QGD or Nizmo Indian so often but by the King’s Indian Defense. I had little idea of what to do against it and many of those games a little iffy, however I did develop some insight. The KID is notable for its sharp and attacking lines that are easy to get caught in if you don’t know the lines, hence the reason its popular in tournament play.
In the game below I played a 1600 rated opponent with the Queens pawn opening and he responded with the a structure similar to the Marshall, a defense I know very well and the pitfalls within. In short, never play the Marshall. This is my best win of the night and largely attributed to my knowledge of the opening but the end game play was also very good, Black was consistently pressing for a mating threat which demands the proper response.