Are You Making This Beginner's Queen Mistake?

| 7 | For Beginners

A common mistake beginners make in the opening is bringing out the queen too early. Beginners are frequently enamored with her power and bring her out way too soon.

In this classic game it clearly  shows why this is a bad idea. You’ll also be surprised that black does not exploit this mistake!

If you are just starting out, read and learn!

White:              Spielmann Rudolf

Black:               Prokes, Ladislav

Place:               Prague

Opening:           Vienna Game


1. e4                e5          

2. Nc3             Nf6          

3. f4                 d5           

4. fxe5              Nxe4         

5. Qf3

White brings out the Queen. Principles of chess do not recommend developing the Queen so early in the opening. Usually the opposing player can take advantage by attacking the Queen. In the process the opposing player can develop minor pieces while the player who brought Queen out loses moves in order to bring the Queen back to safety.

In this game Black could have exploited this; for instance by playing 5 … Nc6. If White then plays 6 Nxe4 play may proceed: Nd4!; 7 Qd3?, dxe4; 8 Qxe4, Bf5. If White plays 6 Bb5, Black will gain a better advantage by playing, Nxc3; 7 bxc3, Qh4+; 8 g3, Qe4+; 9 Qxe4, dxe4; 10 Bxc6+, bxc6. Now Black’s two Bishops are on open diagonals. Even the doubled pawn on c file is not a disadvantage since White is unable to attack it. Black has threats in the form of Ba6 or Bf3, putting pressure on d3, preventing White from advancing his d pawn. 

5. …                f5

This move is intended to support the Knight on e5, but since Knight has to be withdrawn if White plays d3 it is a problematic move.  On the other side of the argument, if White does play d3, Black by playing d4 can prevent White’s d pawn from advancing further. This makes the White’s e pawn weak and also prevents White from developing his white squared Bishop immediately.   

6. d3                Nxc3         

7. bxc3             d4           

8. Qf2!

White sacrifices his pawn on c3. He does this to free the d4 square for his pawn. By playing d4 he will be able to build a strong centre and to develop his pieces more freely. If White tried to defend his c3 pawn he will end up with an inferior position. For instance the play might have proceeded thus;  8 Ne2, Nc6 or 8 Bb2?, dxc3; 9 Bxc3, Bb4!; 10 Bxb4, Qh4+; 11 Qf2, Qxb4+; 12 Qd2, Qd4.

8. ...                 dxc3

Black would have done better to develop his Knight with Nc6, with the added benefit of keeping the pressure on d4 intact.

9. d4                Be6          

10. Nh3           

White wants to move the Knight to f4 in order to exchange the Knight with the Black’s white squared Bishop. Once he is able to accomplish that, Black becomes weak with regard to white colored squares. Especially if White’s Bishop take control of a2-g8 diagonal. This diagonal became open after Black’s 5th move. This game is a good illustration of this strategy. 

10. …              Be7          

11. Nf4            Qd7          

12. Nxe6          Qxe6         

13. Bd3            g6           

White threatens Qe2 and Bc4. Black is unable to stop that.

14. Qe2           Qd5          

15. O-O           Qxd4+ 

Black’s previous move actually helps White since it opens the central files. White will make use of his Rooks to take advantage of the open files to start a combined attack.  Black would have done better to play Nc3 and then O-O-O. That would have given him a slim chance of preventing the loss.

16. Be3            Qd5          

If Black played 16 … Qxe5, White would play the moves Qf2, Bd4, Qe4, Rfe1, Rad1, amassing a formidable array of forces, against which Black would have been unable to defend. 

17. Rad1          Qa5

18. Bxf5

Black’s end is quick and needs no further explanation. 

18. …              Rf8          

19. Qg4           gxf5         

20. Qh5+         Rf7          

21. e6

Black resigns.

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