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  1. 24 Jul '14 02:37 / 1 edit
    Hello.

    I am a 1750 Elo player with a very positional, quiet and strategic style of play.

    I would like to know which variation I should play when, as White, I face the Queen's Gambit Declined.

    The variation must meet these two conditions:

    - On average it must tend to lead to positions which are as much solid, positional, slow, closed, quiet and strategic as possible (I want nothing sharp and tactical).

    - I should be able to play it both by beginning with 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 and by beginning with 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6



    I am hesitating between these three variations :
    - The 5.Bf4 variation: 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4
    - The 5.Bg5 variation: 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5
    - The Catalan: 4. g3

    Thanks in advance for your answers.
  2. Subscriber BigDoggProblemonline
    The Advanced Mind
    24 Jul '14 04:20
    Can you really keep a position closed if the opponent doesn't want to?
  3. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    24 Jul '14 09:23
    Originally posted by Marc Benford
    Hello.

    I am a 1750 Elo player with a very positional, quiet and strategic style of play.

    I would like to know which variation I should play when, as White, I face the Queen's Gambit Declined.

    The variation must meet these two conditions:

    - On average it must tend to lead to positions which are as much solid, positional, slow, closed, quiet a ...[text shortened]... 5.Bg5 variation: 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5
    - The Catalan: 4. g3

    Thanks in advance for your answers.
    From the position you posted i exclusively play e3. Most white players seem to avoid blocking in the black bishop, which is a consideration. But as a result of this bias, black players generally aren't quite as familiar with the position. Given the option i stick the white bishop on d3 and castle kingside and prepare a break with e4 (resolving the blocked diagonal). Here's an example.. (Not exactly the position but it is a possible transposition...)

  4. 24 Jul '14 10:05 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Marc Benford
    Hello.

    I am a 1750 Elo player with a very positional, quiet and strategic style of play.

    I would like to know which variation I should play when, as White, I face the Queen's Gambit Declined.

    The variation must meet these two conditions:

    - On average it must tend to lead to positions which are as much solid, positional, slow, closed, quiet a ...[text shortened]... 5.Bg5 variation: 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5
    - The Catalan: 4. g3

    Thanks in advance for your answers.
    I think its impossible to attempt to divorce strategy and tactics in this way for they appear to me to be symbiotic. Sure you can try to impose a style of play but sometimes the position simply cries out for a tactical response. Why avoid it? I have the problem where I draw lots of games due to either consciously or unconsciously (i cannot say) simplifying positions so that they become sterile, now I am trying to keep positions more complicated in the hope that it may yield more imbalances. This is not always possible because my opponent has a say in the game as well.
  5. Subscriber Ragwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
    24 Jul '14 17:57
    Originally posted by Marc Benford

    I am hesitating between these three variations :
    - The 5.Bf4 variation: 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4
    - The 5.Bg5 variation: 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5
    - The Catalan: 4. g3

    Thanks in advance for your answers.
    After 4.Nc3 how likely is 4...Be7 nowadays?



    Black can play 4. ...c5 Semi Tarrasch
    4. ...dxc4 QGA
    4. ...Bb4 Nimzo/Ragozin
    4. ...c6 Semi-Slav Meran

    all of which will provide Black with more open and active play than a standard QGD.
  6. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    25 Jul '14 00:19
    Originally posted by Ragwort
    After 4.Nc3 how likely is 4...Be7 nowadays?

    [fen]rnbqkb1r/ppp2ppp/4pn2/3p4/2PP4/2N2N2/PP2PPPP/R1BQKB1R w KQkq - 0 4[/fen]

    Black can play 4. ...c5 Semi Tarrasch
    4. ...dxc4 QGA
    4. ...Bb4 Nimzo/Ragozin
    4. ...c6 Semi-Slav Meran

    all of which will provide Black with more open and active play than a standard QGD.
    Haha, I can think of a few players that play 4..Be7. Aronian, Anand, Kramnik...Most of the top GM's play it. I think the strategy is "First don't lose...then think about winning once the kings safe."

    I play 4..Be7 all the time, it is really hard for white to achieve anything more than a slight advantage. It's interesting you mention Tarrasch as this opening has somehow been given his name when it is really Stanitz that should get the credit as it was named after their World championship match (which i highly recommend EVERYONE to play through in its entirety, super super brilliant match. Hardly a draw in sight!)
  7. 25 Jul '14 02:35
    Thanks all for a great thread.
  8. 25 Jul '14 08:53
    Originally posted by MontyMoose
    Thanks all for a great thread.
    Monty moose, Legend!
  9. 25 Jul '14 19:07
    Originally posted by Marc Benford
    Hello.

    I am a 1750 Elo player with a very positional, quiet and strategic style of play.

    I would like to know which variation I should play when, as White, I face the Queen's Gambit Declined.

    The variation must meet these two conditions:

    - On average it must tend to lead to positions which are as much solid, positional, slow, closed, quiet a ...[text shortened]... 5.Bg5 variation: 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5
    - The Catalan: 4. g3

    Thanks in advance for your answers.
    Play like Akiba Rubinstein
  10. 25 Jul '14 23:38
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Monty moose, Legend!
    A legend in his own mind, but not on the chessboard.

    Oh Robbie, listen to this new plan I started last week! I finally have time to play on a regular schedule again. So I'm taking my one man clan ( Clan 25074 ), issuing a bunch of challenges, and seeing how far I can move up the clan table by the end of the year. Should be a train wreck in the making! LOL.

    Best, Steve
  11. 26 Jul '14 08:21
    Why do so many chess players fear open positions? To win, you must open lines eventually.
  12. 26 Jul '14 13:11 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by MontyMoose
    A legend in his own mind, but not on the chessboard.

    Oh Robbie, listen to this new plan I started last week! I finally have time to play on a regular schedule again. So I'm taking my one man clan ( Clan 25074 ), issuing a bunch of challenges, and seeing how far I can move up the clan table by the end of the year. Should be a train wreck in the making! LOL.

    Best, Steve
    or you could play for the Zen Masters and cultivate your chess prowess in harmony with the universe.

    Clan 25203
  13. 26 Jul '14 19:52
    @BigDoggProblem and @robbie carrobie :
    Of course it's not possible to get a quiet positional game every single time, but some variations have a higher probability than others to lead to quiet positional games...
    That's why I said "On average it must tend to lead to positions which are as much solid, positional, slow, closed, quiet and strategic as possible" and not "It must lead 100% of the time, whatever Black does, to solid, positional, slow, closed, quiet and strategic positions".

    @Marinkatomb : Interesting suggestion! But unfortunately I am not considering playing this variation. I am only hesitating between the Catalan, the 5.Bg5 variation, and the 5.Bf4 variation.

    @tonytiger41: And which variation did that guy play against the QGD?

    @Ragwort: True. So which variation are you suggesting me to play?
  14. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    26 Jul '14 21:26
    Originally posted by Marc Benford

    @Marinkatomb : Interesting suggestion! But unfortunately I am not considering playing this variation. I am only hesitating between the Catalan, the 5.Bg5 variation, and the 5.Bf4 variation.
    If that is the case then i'd go for the Catalan, that is really similar to the English which is generally a more strategic sort of opening.
  15. Subscriber Ragwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
    27 Jul '14 07:42 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Marc Benford

    @tonytiger41: And which variation did that guy play against the QGD?

    @Ragwort: True. So which variation are you suggesting me to play?
    I don't think it matters so long as you understand the standard strategies associated with each of the moves. If you really want to take the tension out of the position and go for a slower build up, perhaps with a minority attack 5. cxd5 should also come into the mix?

    Looking at some modern games I see that Kramnik as Black has played all the 4th moves under discussion against 2600+ opposition in the last ten years. Obviously the top GMs consider the position as ripe for discussion so if you play on the internet you are going to face a lot of their moves.

    Rubinstein was active in the era when opening theory went little beyond 6 or 8 moves. He invented the Meran defence as well as the Rubinstein variation of the Nimzo, the French, the four knights etc. In this position in the era before WW1 he played Bg5. By Karlsbad 1929 and Scarborough 1930 he was playing 5. e3 and pushing b4 with Q side expansion, a variation with which he gave Spielmann and Yates a hard time.

    To save you some bother of searching one of those is in the RHP GM database.

    http://www.playtheimmortalgame.com/chess/grandmaster-games/viewmastergame.php?pgnid=151068&subject=Akiba-Rubinstein-vs-Rudolf-Spielmann