What's the best way to play against this line? (in the QGA)

gingerninja2003

Although I have scored relatively well against this side-line, I usually end up with positions i'm unhappy with so I have come to the forums so I could see a range of options to play against it.

IMBacon

I don't know about "best"  I mean you're talking about move 4...

My choice? 4.Bc4

But im sure other moves like:

4. Nf3

4. Nc3

4.Qa4+ would all work.

 

 

TheDrevland

I assume you are uncomfortable having an isolated dpawn if you are not happy with Bxc4. If you play mainlines 1.d4 followed by c4 you have to be prepared to play such positions i think it comes with the package. its an unbalanced position where you can outplay your opponent and its quite fun to have the isolated dpawn when you learn it well

my137thaccount
gingerninja2003 wrote:

Although I have scored relatively well against this side-line, I usually end up with positions i'm unhappy with so I have come to the forums so I could see a range of options to play against it.

 

If you don't like facing this then don't play 3.e3, but instead 3.Nf3 or 3.e4! which GM practice seems to show to be the most effective move. However, if you still do want to play 3.e3 then 3...e5 4.Bxc4 is obviously correct as IMBacon pointed out, and then you have an isolated queen's pawn position.

Optimissed

I once lost against this in the final round of a major tournament, where I had to win as black to win the tournament outright but a draw was no good ..... something like equal first with three or four others. I wouldn't play 3 ... e5 again. I think white played 4. Bxc4.

4. de might be ok for white .... the K-pawns might be stronger than black,s Q-pawns. As white, I prefer 3. Nf3.

Geseldier

You can sidestep all of this by not playing 3. e3. It is not necessary to play that move that early anyway.

Just play 3. N.f3 first - also preventing e5 - and play e3 later.

Trexler3241

 

my137thaccount
Geseldier wrote:

You can sidestep all of this by not playing 3. e3. It is not necessary to play that move that early anyway.

Just play 3. N.f3 first - also preventing e5 - and play e3 later.

It's not necessary but playing it earlier avoids some other stuff. It seems that 3...e5 has basically been refuted at GM level, hence 3.e3 is in fact better than 3.Nf3.

Geseldier
my137thaccount schreef:
Geseldier wrote:

You can sidestep all of this by not playing 3. e3. It is not necessary to play that move that early anyway.

Just play 3. N.f3 first - also preventing e5 - and play e3 later.

It's not necessary but playing it earlier avoids some other stuff. It seems that 3...e5 has basically been refuted at GM level, hence 3.e3 is in fact better than 3.Nf3.


What other stuff are you trying to avoid?

In the databases there are hardly any (recent) GM games with white playing 3. e3; in fact, 3. N.f3 is more than 3 times as common (Chessbase 2019), which seems a clear indication of the preferred move according to latest theory. I'm curious, what lines refute blacks 3. ... e5 move? And is there any way for black to punish whites 3. N.f3?

my137thaccount

This game, though it ended in a draw, is supposed to be the refutation of 3...e5:

The problem with 3.Nf3 is that black has 2 extra options, both of which are avoided with 3.e3:

 

d0su
my137thaccount wrote:

This game, though it ended in a draw, is supposed to be the refutation of 3...e5:

The problem with 3.Nf3 is that black has 2 extra options, both of which are avoided with 3.e3:

That's interesting, since the book that convinced GM Smerdon to play the QGA suggests a different line for black:

Plugging it in Stockfish gives the same evaluation as the given game, but to my (amateur) eye it looks like black has more natural play here. What do you think?

@gingerninja2003 -- I used to play the QGA as black. The 3...e5 lines tend to lead to early Queen trades IIRC. I don't think GM "refutations" and Stockfish evaluations are very important for our level of play, but if IQP positions and endgame grinds are not to your taste you may want to consider a different opening, or at least avoid 3.e3.

my137thaccount
d0su wrote:
my137thaccount wrote:

This game, though it ended in a draw, is supposed to be the refutation of 3...e5:

The problem with 3.Nf3 is that black has 2 extra options, both of which are avoided with 3.e3:

That's interesting, since the book that convinced GM Smerdon to play the QGA suggests a different line for black:

Plugging it in Stockfish gives the same evaluation as the given game, but to my (amateur) eye it looks like black has more natural play here. What do you think?

@gingerninja2003 -- I used to play the QGA as black. The 3...e5 lines tend to lead to early Queen trades IIRC. I don't think GM "refutations" and Stockfish evaluations are very important for our level of play, but if IQP positions and endgame grinds are not to your taste you may want to consider a different opening, or at least avoid 3.e3.

I have to admit I'm not sufficiently knowledgeable about this, though I'd certainly be interested in finding out the answer. I agree with you that the line you gave looks nicer for black; the game Nyback vs Genov which I found in the database does make white's task look quite easy though, but that's just one game and there are a few other GM games in that line that led to draws. I'd be interested to hear what the titled players have to say as IMs pfren and poucin usually have something useful to say about such lines.

 

my137thaccount
AlphaZeroDark30 wrote:
my137thaccount wrote:
d0su wrote:
my137thaccount wrote:

This game, though it ended in a draw, is supposed to be the refutation of 3...e5:

The problem with 3.Nf3 is that black has 2 extra options, both of which are avoided with 3.e3:

That's interesting, since the book that convinced GM Smerdon to play the QGA suggests a different line for black:

Plugging it in Stockfish gives the same evaluation as the given game, but to my (amateur) eye it looks like black has more natural play here. What do you think?

@gingerninja2003 -- I used to play the QGA as black. The 3...e5 lines tend to lead to early Queen trades IIRC. I don't think GM "refutations" and Stockfish evaluations are very important for our level of play, but if IQP positions and endgame grinds are not to your taste you may want to consider a different opening, or at least avoid 3.e3.

I have to admit I'm not sufficiently knowledgeable about this, though I'd certainly be interested in finding out the answer. I agree with you that the line you gave looks nicer for black; the game Nyback vs Genov which I found in the database does make white's task look quite easy though, but that's just one game and there are a few other GM games in that line that led to draws. I'd be interested to hear what the titled players have to say as IMs pfren and poucin usually have something useful to say about such lines.

 

9...O-O seems simpler.

I think the point is to avoid Bg5 stuff, which, looking at some games with 9...O-O, seems to cause black some major irritation.

my137thaccount

 

my137thaccount

Sorry I accidentally overwrote my earlier post, but my point was that there's no need to play 10.Bg5 as 10.Re1 first makes Bg5 actually have bite. h6 would simply be met with Bh4.

TwoMove

3....e5 is a natural move for black. There isn't any refutation of it.

Geseldier
my137thaccount schreef:

This game, though it ended in a draw, is supposed to be the refutation of 3...e5:

The problem with 3.Nf3 is that black has 2 extra options, both of which are avoided with 3.e3:

 


Yes, black has those two options as well, but the question is whether they are actually threatening or not.

After 3. N.f3 N.f6 4. e3 B.g4 white is comfortable after 5. Lxc4 e6 6. h3 L.h5 7. O-O; even dropping the bishop back to e2 and following up with Nb.d2, b3, B.b2 and N.c4 is a pleasant game. 

After 3. N.f3 a6 black shouldn't even try to keep the pawn after 4. e3 b5 5. a4 B.b7 6. b3 e6 7. bxc4 bxc4 8. Bxc4; white is ready to castle while black still has to develop 2 pieces, so black probably shouldn't even try this. So if black instead tries 4. ... e6 then again simply 5. Bxc4 and white wil castle soon (unlike black); black can choose for 5. ... N.f6 (most common variation) or yet another pawn move 5. ... c5, which white can even ignore for now and just castle straight away.

If you're playing 3. e3 just for the sake of avoiding more lines then sure, go ahead. But you're setting yourself up for a more difficult game, when choosing the better lines for white after 3. N.f3 isn't even a problem.

Optimissed

4. .... e5 is a bad move. I once needed to win the last round of a major tournament to get first prize outright. A draw was no good .... I would have shared the prizes with about five others. My opponent played e3 and I went e5. After the game he showed me the ideas behind e3 and how a good positional player can capitalise if black plays e5. It all made sense and |I never played it again. Simply treat e3 as a simple transposition and play Nf6 or e6.

Optimissed
Optimissed wrote:

4. .... e5 is a bad move. I once needed to win the last round of a major tournament to get first prize outright. A draw was no good .... I would have shared the prizes with about five others. My opponent played e3 and I went e5. After the game he showed me the ideas behind e3 and how a good positional player can capitalise if black plays e5. It all made sense and I never played it again. Simply treat e3 as a simple transposition and play Nf6 or e6.

 

Geseldier
Optimissed schreef:

4. .... e5 is a bad move. I once needed to win the last round of a major tournament to get first prize outright. A draw was no good .... I would have shared the prizes with about five others. My opponent played e3 and I went e5. After the game he showed me the ideas behind e3 and how a good positional player can capitalise if black plays e5. It all made sense and |I never played it again. Simply treat e3 as a simple transposition and play Nf6 or e6.


How is white supposed to capitalise on black playing ... e5 then? What line is the refutation? I have a very hard time believing it is a "bad" move. (Also, I'm assuming you mean 3. ... e5.)