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What would be White's long-term plan be in this QGD opening position?

  • #1

    I recently played an OTB game as White where I got to the following position:

     

    What would White's plan be here? Any advice would be very appreciated.

  • #2

    White's main plan is to start a minority attack with Rb1 and b4. The plan in this attack is to play b5 and take on c6. If a6 is played, you play a4 and then play b5. When you take on c6 black may recapture in two ways: 1. A piece or 2. A pawn If a piece recaptures on c6 you play along the b and c files, gain space with a4, and do all sorts of stuff on the queenside. If a pawn recaptures on c6, you post a piece on c5 (a knight is best on c5), and you play along the b and c files with you major pieces. Also you can attack the newly weakened c pawn.

  • #3

    Goodknight nailed the normal while plan in these positions, but the dark squared bishop is very rarely trapped inside the pawn chain in this variation - it normally goes to f4 or g5.  I'd take black here, since it is going to be a problem to get any activity at all for that bishop if using the typical plan.  When white plays the setup you have at move 6, the usual strategy is not to exchange pawns, and instead make quiet improvement moves (bd3, 0-0) and "force" black to be the one to address the pawn tension by virtue of waiting him out.  If black does not addresses the pawn situation and continues to wait as well, white has a variety of continuations that perform quite well. https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=15&n=1923&ms=d4.d5.c4.e6.e3.Nf6.Nc3.Be7.Nf3.O-O.Bd3.Nbd7.O-O.c6&ns=7.8.23.41.3215.3037.411.3038.397.410.1039.9871.13477.1923

    Once pxp is played by white, it becomes very hard to get the dark squared bishop in play -- guarantied to be a long term issue.  If white waits, black will often address the center in such a way that the dark square bishop will get unburied.  Perhaps more importantly, after pxp by white, both of black's bishops come alive.  If white waits, worst case, both sides have a bishop that is hard to get in the game.  Instead, in the game, only white has a crappy bishop.  

    I know it is a lot of words, but I wanted to try and explain why your error matters, and if you are anywhere near the rating its showing for you, this is within your ability to absorb.  If you have questions, ask.  

  • #4

    Thanks for this. I don't play 1. d4 openings all that often as White, which is why I wanted advice. I'm always looking to improve my opening knowledge.

    I do remember that in the game I played, my dark squared bishop remained trapped the whole game. I don't think playing e3 on move 5 suits me at all. Thank you for making me realize that. happy.png

  • #5

    If the dark-squared Bishop were outside the Pawn chain (eg: on g5) then the Minority Attack aiming for an eventual b2-b4-b5 would be standard, agreed.

    With the Bishop still on c1, though, I might prefer White's other standard plan in these QGD Exchange lines: arranging to play f2-f3 and e3-e4 with a central Pawn roller.

    Normally, for that plan you would have wanted to play Nge2 instead of Nf3, and then swing the Knight out to g3 where it can support the e3-e4 push. But you can still get it there (Re1, Nfd7-f1-g3, f2-f3 then e3-e4) if you really need to.

  • #6

    The minority attack is unlikely to yield something with a bishop on c1. I would play a few preparatory moves like h3/a3, Re1, and eventually push e3-e4, with a typical IQP structure, where chances are mutual.

  • #7

    pfren wrote:

    The minority attack is unlikely to yield something with a bishop on c1. I would play a few preparatory moves like h3/a3, Re1, and eventually push e3-e4, with a typical IQP structure, where chances are mutual.

    I normally the Bg5 variation in the QGD and there I usually play the minority attack. I didn't know that a minority attack wouldn't work with the Bishop still on c1 and the pawn on e3(blocking the bishop). Thanks for the comment pfren.
  • #8
    GoodKnight0BadBishop έγραψε:
    pfren wrote:

    The minority attack is unlikely to yield something with a bishop on c1. I would play a few preparatory moves like h3/a3, Re1, and eventually push e3-e4, with a typical IQP structure, where chances are mutual.

    I normally the Bg5 variation in the QGD and there I usually play the minority attack. I didn't know that a minority attack wouldn't work with the Bishop still on c1 and the pawn on e3(blocking the bishop). Thanks for the comment pfren.

     

    Well... it could work, but not without some cooperation from the opponent.

  • #9

    I played a USCF1700 rated player in OTB chess, and he played the minority attack with the Bishop on c1 and the pawn on e3. That game made me believe that a minority attack in the Bc1-Pawn e3 structure was common.

  • #10

    Play Rb1. If he doesn't play ...a5 then play b4. Now you have the queenside stabilised and are threatening b4-b5 but don't play it yet. Next, play Re1 to support a possible e3-e4. Keep the opponent guessing, since white has played a passive opening. Bg5 is stronger because it pressurises d5. I would look to play Qc2 and Ne5, to mix it all up a bit. Or some similar kind of idea.

  • #11

    How does Black typically counter the Minority Attack?

  • #12
    SeniorPatzer wrote:

    How does Black typically counter the Minority Attack?

     

    I don't know about the QGD, but I read that normally Black is forced to launch his own minority attack on the opposite side, in this case the kingside. I guess that would mean advancing the f-pawn to weaken White's e-pawn? I don't play openings that use the minority attack, and I'd prefer not to, since those attacks can get tricky and intricate.

  • #13

    In positions like this with white's DSB passive and stuck on the queen side, white has to expect an eventual attack on the king side. Black's also going to want to use the e- file and e4 square.

    White might have counterplay opportunities with pushing e4 but it probably has to be quick and that might leave d4 and the a1 diagonal weak. 

    Another idea is Bd2, Qb1 with options and possibilities of some sort of minority attack threat. Hoping to divert black's pieces or at least attention. Saw the Qb1 idea in an Andreiken 2016 game, though Bg5 was earlier played. 

    In this position, white has to get some counterplay relatively quickly one way or another because black can probably make white's position unpleasant fairly soon.

  • #14

    SeniorPatzer wrote:

    How does Black typically counter the Minority Attack?

    There are lots of methods, most decent middle game book will cover it. The minority attack is very popular with club players because of its mechanical nature. Perhaps the most mechanical response is b5, then nb6-c4 to cover the backward c6 pawn. Ideally playing a5, then a5xb4 a3xb4 first, so white can't prevent the knight transfer by playing a5 himself. It is also worth remembering that it is only creating a backward c-pawn. Even in an endgame that isn't enough to win if only weakness, although it could be unphleasant. 

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