I had an interesting 5+3 game today in an opening I can’t remember the last time I played against. Naturally I wanted to take a look post game and see how well I played without knowing the lines. Just following principles I played a near perfect game since the opponent made an early mistake on the 12th move I was able to capitalize on.
Black immediately puts the question to White’s development, where is the knight going and where is the bishop going? It’s not a bad opening and generally transposes to the typical style QGD if played normally. My opponent decided to support the Bishop after 3. Bd2 Qe7 which isn’t the main line.
Above is the critical position, Black is in a bit of a tangle and needs to get out of it. The bishop is stuck on c8 and there isn’t a clear plan for what the knights are trying to accomplish. Black needs to try to break open the position and get their pieces free. Playing e5 offers what Black is looking for but instead of that they play b5?? which immediately loses a pawn and severely weakens the c7 pawn. The game continues where Black fails to defend the c pawn and I am left with outside passed pawns that cannot be stopped.
I want to start this with an apology to those in the 20 minute rapid pool on chess.com. I generally don’t play longer controls online because of the possibility of cheating so my rating is very low compared to my usual modes. In efforts to equalize my rating across all time controls I’ve been jumping in the rapid game pool the last couple days. Playing against someone 400 or 500 points above your own level can be frustrating but insightful experience.
The two games I wanted to share today I played Black and both started in the Indian defense but transposed to different openings. The two critical position in each game are in the positions below. The analysis will have the full variation.
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.