Minority (Attack) Report
You have to give to get. Chess is no different. What makes it so difficult (for me) is assessing whether we have gained more than we have lost.
Following on from my blog entry (https://www.chess.com/blog/blohmoremoney/my-first-journey-into-the-queens-indian-defence) which annotated my first Queen's Indian Defence game as Black against CM Than Tu Tran, I asked GM Bojkov to review my game.
He suggested I explore the games of Karpov, Leko and Karjakin as model players on the Black side of the Queens Indian Defence. Married with this is being familiar with the Nimzo Indian and Reti as a complementary opening system.
Key Idea: Minority Attack to Remove your Weakness
GM Bojkov highlighted an idea I never considered during the game. In the diagrammed position, I recognised this was the moment to devise a concrete plan. I chose to strengthen "control" over the white squares on the long diagonal with 14. ... Qc6. This is ineffective, as White can simply exchange off light squared bishops as in the game. Black ultimately would prerfer to stay in a middlegame.
Instead, I didn't consider the idea of advancing my a-pawn from a7-a5-a4. In effect, this is a minority attack to either weaken the White b-pawn by making it backward or isolating the White a-pawn. Why didn't I consider this? I felt I gave up too much by playing my pawn on the same colour as my dark squared bishop (making it bad). This was a valuable lesson in positional assessment. We are familiar with the Minority Attack in Carlsbad structures, and the idea can be transferred here.
To that end, 14. ... Bc6 would have prepared this plan of 15. ... a5
Minority Attack (Again)
White has just played 22. Nxf3 and I recognised this as a moment to plan for the endgame for the type of pawn structure I'd like.
Again, I missed the idea of 22. ... a5 to exchange off my weakness and weaken White via a minority attack. My weakness on d6 would be offset by the weakness on b3
Another idea GM Bojkov suggested to me was ... Nh5 eyeing g3, as a way to deter White's pawn expansion on the Kingside.
If now 18. Nf1 f5 clamping down on e4 or 18. Kh2 Bf6 exchanging the dangerous dark squared bishop. With White's King having some air, he would be detered from expanding on the Kingside.
A thematic idea to use is the ... d5 strike, being prepared that both c- and d-pawns are likely to be exchanged for White and Black, leading to safe equality.