Wayward Queen Attack | Strategic RETREAT with Qd1 is BEST! 😅

Wayward Queen Attack | Strategic RETREAT with Qd1 is BEST! 😅

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#waywardqueen #bishopsopening #tactics 

This was a rather fun game of 10+5 rapid that started with the Bishop's Opening, where my intermediate level opponent decided to try their luck with the Wayward Queen Attack (1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. Qh5)! I've recently made a video where I've pointed out that the Wayward Queen Attack is simply not any good, but you might have noticed that Stockfish doesn't consider it to be terrible with an evaluation of [-0.3]. The thing is that White needs to be willing to abort the attack rather than double down if their trap is working.

In this game, this is what White did on move 6, un-developing their queen to d1. In that position, there were a bit behind on development, but otherwise, were "fine"; with the evaluation at around [-1]. At the intermediate level, the game is far from decided!

On move 7, I decided to play a tricky move with a forward knight attack (7. Ng4!?). This ended up working, but it is a bit unsound. It makes use of a particular trap that is often available for Black against the Wayward Queen Attack. After a trade in the centre, White had moved their queen back to g4. And now, I had (9... d5); the d-pawn directly attacks White's bishop and opens the diagonal for my light square bishop to attack White's queen! Against the double-attack, White will lose their bishop. In this game, I effectively traded one of my knights for White's bishop, but where this tactic is available without first having lost a piece, it can result in straight up winning a piece in the opening.

We enter a somewhat complicated early middlegame position where both my opponent and I play somewhat inaccurately for a few moves. However, I managed to force White to make a concession and move their g-pawn forward to g3. Although I didn't make the most of this, White's options were limited in positions to singular good moves, so mistakes at those times were very impactful. After setting up a rook battery staring down the g-file, White cracked under pressure and played (23. Kf1??) trying to get away from the danger. This was a blunder as after a necessary queen trade to avoid immediate checkmate, White's king was exposed and cramped, and at ever present risk of back rank checkmate.

Running low on time (this was a 10+5 game of rapid), I didn't find the most elegant attack, but followed a general tactical heuristic that I knew was likely good. I brought both of my rooks on to the second rank, trapping White's king. We traded one set of rooks, and then sacrificed the second one to deflect White's king away from the d-file. This meant that my passed d-pawn on d3 could not be prevented from promoting!

Move 38, the stark reality struck: my queen was going to progressively gobble their remaining pawns (38. Qxf3) and there was nothing that their last piece, the bishop, could do to stop this. With all hope lost, White resigned, GG!

The big takeaway from this game is that at the intermediate level, you need to stop playing the Wayward Queen Attack, and even if you do, you must be willing to abort the attack early if it isn't working.


Hi!  I'm vitualis, the chess noob (aka chessnoob64), and I run the "Adventures of a Chess Noob" YouTube channel and blog.  I'm learning and having fun with chess! 

I restarted playing chess recently after my interest was rekindled by the release of "The Queen's Gambit" on Netflix.  I mostly play 1 or 2 games a day, and am trying to improve (slowly!).  I document some of my games and learning experiences on my blog and YouTube channel from the perspective of a beginner-intermediate player!

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