Pawn Formations part 4: Carlsbad Formation (QGD-Exchange)
Test Driving the formations:
Now, I’ll cut to the chase. I tied for first place in my section. Had I won my last game, I would have cleared first place altogether. I was able to play both the Samisch and the Rubinstein with favorable results. I discovered some minor tweaks that are needed in these lines as well as my Black repertoire. My tactics were sharp as I do a daily dose of 25 puzzles. The endgame is where I will need to put some polish before the World Open in 2 weeks. So look out.
Back to our regularly scheduled program on the QGD-Exchanged variation:
To address the traditional QGD player, I decided on the exchange variation as it immediately sets up the Carlsbad Pawn formation ( After, 1.d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 with e3 to follow):
Characteristic of a minority attack is to advance the queenside pawns followed by pieces to create structural weaknesses for Black. When White advances his b-pawn to b4, this leaves a distinctive hole on c4 begging for a Black Knight to come and perch. Black would then strive to: a) exchange the light-squared bishops, and b) attempt to place a Knight on c4 via b6 or d6 (or both). White would, of course, try to counter those plans. Black, by playing a6 to prevent b5, has some problems as well. It weakens the square b6 directly and c5 indirectl, given that if black proceeds with b6 (to strengthen c5), then the a6-pawn could come under assault.
For a good tutorial on Minority Attack basics I recommending reading this Blog post : http://chess-training.blogspot.com/2007/08/strategic-planning-minority-attack.html
Though I seem to have the opportunity to play the minority attack on occasion, I find the lines developing the Nge2 to be more favorable to pawn formations I’ve been studying and prepares for the supporting move of f3 to allow e3-e4. With the following continuation after 5.Bg5, c6 ( here Black can choose the natural Be7), 6.Qc2 Be7 7.e3, Nbd7 8.Bd3 0-0 9. Nge2.
Here is a game by Alekhine who was one of the first practitioners of this variation:
With the Queen’s Gambit Accepted, I am still deciding my best approach on this. I hope to cover this next time.