Amateur Adventures with 1. d4, Part I

May 26, 2008, 6:14 AM |

After playing 1. d4 for many many years, I've noticed a few trends in the wrong way to play with the black pieces. I don't advocate studying a bunch of opening lines for people my level and below, but I do think the process of looking at our games and correcting mistakes should include mistakes in the opening. You should be able to get your pieces out without making serious positional or tactical mistakes in the majority of your games.


The first dubious idea that I'll write about is in the queen's gambit, 1. d4 d5 2. c4 when black declines the gambit, but fails to protect the d5 pawn with 2. ... c6 or 2. ... e6. Notice that these moves allow black to recapture on d5 with a pawn. This is important, otherwise white gets a very easy development. Here I will show some short games where black either plays 2. ... Nf6 and recaptures on d5 with a knight, or recaptures with the queen.



The second game starts out similarly and takes a sour turn for black even more quickly.


Lastly, an example where black recaptures on d5 with the queen. This puts black in a development hole since the natural Nc3 from white forces the queen to move a second time.


Next time I'll look at what happens when black accepts the gambit and then awkwardly tries to hold on to the extra pawn.