Learning Ideas 1. d4 2. c4 Gruenfeld Pawn Structure Part 1

Learning Ideas 1. d4 2. c4 Gruenfeld Pawn Structure Part 1

Jun 12, 2017, 11:41 AM |

I would like to start a blog where I review and analyze my games starting with 1.d4 and 2.c4. Specifically trying to asses the ideas I used or considered as well as going through master games to learn new ideas


As a start I will review my most recent game as white, a 5/0 blitz game. 


Slav Defense: Modern, Schlechter Variation

Ideas used/considered by me (for better or, more likely, worse):
-Recognizing opening pawn structures and trying to react to favorable transposition
-Playing e4 given the opportunity
-Playing e5 to gain space
-h4 intending h5 to attack a fianchettoed pawn structure. Possibly a rook lift?
Opening Explorer Analysis:
NOW I want to use the Chess.com opening explorer to see if I can pick up new ideas...
The moves so far were a success with a great winning percentage where my moves were the top or second choice in the database to this point:
Finishing Development (where to put my pieces?)
The Queen:
I still have to develop the rest of my pieces and get castled. Here my choice was 8. Be3 and was only played twice though white did win those games. However, the top move was 8. Qa4, played 79 times! This must be an opportunity to learn an idea...
Why was this move played by masters?! I can only guess at the logic but I will show my reasoning:
-Black would like to play Qa5, this prevents that
-Prevents the pin by black with Bg4
-Removes the queen from the d-file while still protecting the d pawn. 
-Allows a rook to go to d1 if needed.
The second most popular move may elucidate some more of the master's thought process. The second most popular choice is 8.Qb3.
My thoughts on the reasoning:
-Qb3 accomplishes everything that Qa4 does except preventing black from playing Qa5 and protecting the d pawn. Qa4 just seems to have a little more going for it.
The Dark Square Bishop 
The move Ba3 kept showing up.
Normally I develop my bishop along the c1-h6 diagonal so this move stood out to me. This move, to me, does the following:
-Preventing black's pawn breaks e5 and c5.
-Maybe white doesn't need to aim to trade Black's dark squared bishop with Be3 and Qd2 since his bishop is biting on the pawn chain. A bishop on a3 seems to attempt to preserve the pawn chain by preventing pawn breaks.
The Light Square Bishop
In the Gruenfeld I usually place this bishop on c4 and I did see this though I also saw Be2. I do not know which one to prefer and I think that it is probably situational or even a matter of taste.
(black to move)
(Black to move)
I am going to stop here with the ideas and show three master games. These games just so happen to show a lot of the IDEAS that I have talked about. The first is a game that is similar to mine in that it had the Be3 Qd2 battery. The second game saw, among other things, the bishop developed to e2. The third game saw the bishop developed to c4. Try to take note of all the ideas that were talked about being used in these games.
Game 1:
Game 2:
Game 3:
Thanks to the few who may have given this blog post a read. Please let me know what you think about the blog, structure, wordiness, too many diagrams? Also let me know any ideas that you know or moves you would have considered. 
Even if no one reads it I definitely took something away from it. I crossed the 1600 barrier in blitz last week and intend on reaching 1700. I am confident I can do this as long as I work hard and never stop learning.