Why is this not more popular?


I have always wondered why in the queen's gambit exchange variation, black's position always seemed so cramped! The central pawn structure features black pawns on c6 and d5 for black, devoid of his e pawn, and pawns on e3 and d4 for white, and no c pawn.

This is the main line when white plays Nge2; in particular though pay attention to how black handles this:



Why did black have to be so adamant with his "anti-pin" play? Why doesn't he just develop his bishop to d6 and avoid moving the knight to f8 right away? Be more aggressive! That may keep the bishop on c8 temporarily locked in, but as we have seen it doesn't have much of a near future anyway.

The following is my suggested setup for black, something very rarely played compared to the main line, yet it seems to give him more freedom:


There must be a reason, but I just don't understand why high level players have preferred the former approach so consistently -- I don't know what they like about it.


In the second diagram, 10 Bxh7+ wins a pawn for free, doesn't it?


I suppose it does. Looks like black will have to throw ...h6 in. The comment is not very constructive though, since it doesn't answer my question about the validity of the strategy. The fact that there is an avoidable pitfall wouldn't be enough to discourage me from this idea, as long as I knew about it anyway, which I do now!


the main problems

as you can see if the white player wants he can go into the main line

besides why let your knight get pinned to your queen


And I could ask why let one pin clog your whole development, as in the first line of play?

And why would black be afraid of Qc2 there? I'm assuming it will either transpose, or, if Bg5 is avoided, then black will have an easier game.


I feel like queens gambit declined players think that in the exchange variation black has to recapture with the e-pawn on d5, but I also disliked the positions i got with black when i played this.   Another interesting recapture with nxd5 where black will play c5 and transpose into the semi-tarrasch and get a pretty equal endgame.  This pretty much avoids the passivity of the black position you are showing here.


@Eric_C: Your plan for white looks reasonable, but I must wonder if black is really worse off than if he played the main line. At least this way if white gets e4 black's pieces won't be quite as cramped, and the less pieces there are on the board, the less dynamic the idea is.

Moreover, black can still play ...Nf8 now that the pin has been released, he just has to content himself with either leaving it there for a bit or playing for ...Ne6 or ...N8h7. At least this way though not everything is blocked up, (no more e file clog for instance) like in the main line.


Well in that case black would recapture ...Nxf6, but Estragon has already pointed out that white can immediately capture on h7 due to the pin, so black needs to include ...h6 early.


Oh! I thought this was a thread about lying to your physician about "back problems" in order to get a subscription for pain killers! My badEmbarassed


And you look for that in the chess openings section? :P

Elubas wrote:

And you look for that in the chess openings section? :P


I'll apologize in "The sorry thread"Laughing

pdela wrote:

Why is this not more popular?


Those announcers were hilarious!Laughing

trysts wrote:

Those announcers were hilarious!



Compared to black's normal setup in the Nf3 main line, this removes black's bishop, a good long term thing for white. However, black simply has much more time than usual: usually white plays Bxf6 when the bishop is on e7; black recaptures ...Bxf6, when to get back to the kingside black takes out too full tempi -- ...Be7 and ...Bd6. Compare that to white's maneuver Bg3: here white is actually taking out a tempo to move back, so it seems like black is gaining three tempi (by avoiding moving the bishop so may times), and has a lot of development before white has even played b4 (usually white gets in b4 very quickly). I suspect that may allow black to play for an easier ...Ne4, which might give him a quick space advantage for an attack. I'm not sure which line is better, but you can definitely make a case for having this much extra tempi -- usually it takes ages longer for black to have a coherent, organized army. Even in semi-closed games, time counts for a lot.


Hmmmm, Interesting... I have played both these moves before, but never thought about it...



In general, in the exchange variation of QG black should attack white's kingside, and for that purpose his dark squared bishop on d6 should be very well placed. To the question why it couldn't go there immediately I dare not answer, perhaps the idea is to keep more options open by breaking the pin. Sometimes black wants to go ... Ne4, and if Bxe7, then ...Qxe7 with strong pressure on the e-file. And of course Bx7+ is no longer effective. Maybe ..h6 is not desirable in that setting, don't really know. I wish some stronger player could share his views here. 


The bishop is also very good on e7!
Blacks play in these carlsbad structures is always on the *king side* and center as well. The idea for leaving the bishop on e7 are similar to the lasker defence.. the f6 knight can move to e4 or h5 a pair of minor pieces will be swapped (easing blacks cramp)