Exchanging queens in the opening to avoid opponent's castling move

  • #1

    Recently, I've had this situation again and I was curious about it. AFAIK there's no name for this gameplay idea. In this match I played (see here for the rest http://www.chess.com/livechess/game?id=614969998)


    Whenever this happened to me that the queens were exchanged and I could no longer castle, that was usually the end for me, because intermediate players like me are not as strong without a queen and because it's kinda hard to bring the king into safety and to develop your pieces.

    But I'm curious if such a move is also strong against better players? Because to me it seems pointless to waste the queen so early on in the match, as this will make the gameplay later on so much more difficult, and while not a bad situation, it doesn't appear to me as that strong. What do you guys think?

  • #2

    White will likely have a bit of initiative in this sort of position, it's one of the reasons that black normally plays exd4 rather than trying to defend the pawn with d6. It's worse in other positions though e.g. http://www.chess.com/echess/game?id=76325174 even though my follow up play wasn't great.

  • #3

    Happened to me before, but I still managed to win.  I wouldn't say it makes gameplay more difficult but it does tend to dull things. 

    Disregard the ratings they aren't real:



  • #4

    As Scott said, 3...d6 is a mistake. Literally no grandmaster would play such a move against another grandmaster. However, there's still plenty of play in this position.

    This line is avoided by strong players because they like to keep the pieces on the board and they like to be able to castle. 

    The position isn't the end of the world for Black. In fact, the better player will usually still win from this position. However, Black has definitely given up quite a bit in this position. I'd say white has a slight advantage, but if Black has a plan, black still can win this game.

  • #5

    If you really wanted to play this more often, I would suggest playing 4..Nxe5 5.Nxe5 dxe5 followed by c6, to get your king to safety on c7.

    Here's one example of how play may continue. (Quite a few games are drawn using this stratagem, but here Black wins.)



  • #6

    One thing to remember;

    Once the queens are off, castling is less critical. Don't get into a mindset that you somehow are in trouble because you cant castle.

  • #7
    rooperi wrote:

    One thing to remember;

    Once the queens are off, castling is less critical. Don't get into a mindset that you somehow are in trouble because you cant castle.

    Still, it makes it harder to get the rooks into the game. Plus the king is still going to waste moves at some point as well as the tempo wasted to protect f7.

    But no, obviously it's not as critical.

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