Openings for Tactical Players: Queen's Gambit Accepted

Openings for Tactical Players: Queen's Gambit Accepted‎

GM Gserper
47 | Tactics

This is the eternal question of chess players who like sharp positions: "How do I reasonably achieve sharp play with Black vs 1.d4?"  Sure you can play the King's Indian Defense or the Gruenfeld Defense, but then you will have to know an ocean of opening variations.  Besides, if you are unlucky enough to follow your opponent's opening preparation, then the game can end before it really started. One solution to the problem is to play the Queen's Gambit Accepted (QGA). I know what you think: the QGA leads to dry, boring positions. Not necessarily! If you play creative chess, you can get a sharp position in any opening.  Here we can try to challenge the well-known assessment that the Queen's Gambit is not a real gambit since in most of the variations Black cannot keep his extra pawn. What if after White's most popular move, 3. Nf3, we play 3...c6? One of the benefits of this move is a nasty trap that claims even GM victims. Judge for yourself:


Here are the games where GMs playing White fell for this trap: Farago (2515)- Blumberg, Budapest, 1994 ; Lesiege (2521)- Perez, Habana,1999; Kunte (2535)- Varga, Beijing, 2008.  Now you can really see that the trap is wicked!

So, do you play 3...c6!? just for the sake of this trap? Of course not!  GM Victor Kupreichik was one of the most dangerous attacking players in the world in the 70s.  Let's see how he treats this system.


The beauty produced by the creative mind of GM Kupreichik could have been played by Morphy or Andersen!
The next game shows that you can play 3...c6!? against 3.Nc3 as well:
To be fair, White has two moves that eliminate the 3... c6!? option.  I am talking about 3.e3 and 3.e4, both of which make 3...c6 stupid due to the simple 4.Bxc4.  Still, you can get an attacking position in any variation as the next games demonstrate:
3.e3 is one of the oldest moves in the QGA and probably the most solid one! Yet, look at the masterpiece created by GM Utut Adianto.  Black created a decisive attack out of nowhere.  Enjoy!
In conclusion, let me repeat my usual advice/disclaimer.   In this article I didn't try to prove that Black is winning in all the variations or that this line is the best for Black in the QGA. My goal was just to show the ideas and demonstrate typical tactics. I hope you replayed the whole games and not just the positions shown on the diagrams (Remember that you can always replay a whole game from the first move if you click "Solution" and then "Move list"). If you liked what you saw so far, then it is a good starting point for your own investigation of the opening.  I hope you'll create your own gems similar to the ones we analyzed today.
Good luck!
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