Pawn Formations Part 5: QGA, Some hair brained Ideas
The line I am looking at against the Queen’s Gambit accepted is the Classical variation with 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4. e3
For the most part, Black will not try to defend the pawn on c4 and , instead, play 4…e6. If Black plays to support the pawn with 4…b5 White responds with 5.a4 c6 6.b3 and he can prepare to occupy the center with e4.
Occupying the center with e4 seems to be the main theme throughout this opening. If given the chance this usually gives white a strong center. Black’s sharpest responses are those that challenge the center starting with …c5 and pushing White to an IQP. White can usually enter these IQP positions with an initiative.
Following the main line classical, 4…e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. 0-0 ( I looked at the Furman Variation with 6.Qd2 which plans for dxc5 without prompting the queen exchange on d1 but Black can easily find the correct play). 6..a6 is the typical response. Black can play 6…Nc6 but its not as flexible because in some variation the b8 knight is better off on d7.
After 6…a6 I was faced with several choices as White on how to proceed. A lot of White’s choices allows Black the b5 pawn advance ( Nc3, Qe2 for instance) and a preventive move with the Bishop to Bb3 ( still supports the strong diagonal) or Bd3 to support the advance of e4 still doesn’t stop the advance of Black’s Queen side pawns. 7.e4 intends to advance to e5 but Black can still muster a counter attack on the Queenside. That is why I will look at the old main line 7.a4 as it puts a stake on b5 and slows Black’s Queenside advance.
White will play Qc2, Rfd1 and Nc3 to complete development and support e4. Black will play to exchange on d4 and put his energy on that square more so than on e5. White can get control of e5 and the center .
Atypical continuation is as follows.
7. a4 Nc6 8. Qe2cxd4 9. Rd1 Be7 10. exd4 O-O 11. Nc3 Nb4 12. Ne5 Bd7 13. Bg5 Rc8 14. Bb3 Be8
By Move 15, White enters an IQP with an initiative on the Kingside while Black position is solid.
Here is a game by Kramnik using this 7.a4 line:
My next post will be the last in this series of Pawn formations. I am looking at White’s themes against the Dutch. Hope you all enjoy this.