Queen’s Indian

Here is a game that I just played on FICS.

I blundered by not “bothering” (typical for online play) to evaluate Rg3, Qg5, even though I had seen this before he even played Rg3. With ..Rd7 instead of ..b4 it goes from -3 to -.5. Then, he blunders back just as shockingly with f6.

But, okay, I show this game to show how playable that the Queen’s Indian is.

Here is how this game “could” have gone, with the help of Crafty.

I post this game/opening because RollingPawns might want to see it. I, however, will probably see just as many “Colle” type systems as I see 2.c4, so may not get to utilize this system as much.


11 thoughts on “Queen’s Indian

  1. NICE game!

    Do you like the Queen’s Indian? I have been using the Tarrasch defence for over a year now and kind of like it, but I have thought the Queen’s Indian might be cool at some point.

  2. Thanks, TommyG! 🙂 hehe

    Yes, anything that confuses my opponent somewhat is great for me, why not? I could trot out something similar from the QGD – the Makagonov-Bondarevsky line that Karpov used against Kortchnoi in their 1981 match (I went over all 18 games), but the thing I like best about the Queen’s Indian is that White frequently acts sort of stumped and it can go many ways.

    I feel that my style is universal enough that the opening is not going to determine things unless I fall for some cheesy trap or try to play a cheesy attack myself. 😉

    I think my ending and late middlegame could use some improvement, and Queen’s Indian can do that for me. That is often how I choose my openings, by what I need to improve at most. I used to get my rating up into the 1800’s on FICS by boringly sticking to the same opening. This time my rating is 1800 there by playing whatever suits my fancy, plus it makes chess more fun that way. I’m past the point where I need to “protect” myself much. Usually, I can understand the spirit of an opening and where an opening lacks, positionally.

  3. For some reason I have worse results in blitz with Queen’s Indian than with Nimzo-Indian, maybe it’s tricky. I like everything in your game except the position where White has these pawns – d6 and f5. 🙂 Then f6, yeah … serious blunder.
    That Crafty game looks OK until the 2R vs. 2R endgame, then I think the reasonable result here should be a draw, maybe I am wrong.

  4. Thanks, RollingPawns. Yeah, I should really be putting more time into my endgames, when I play OTB. But if and when I study, tactics study still produces the best results, improves my board-vision.

    My calculation abilities are my strength and this doesn’t go away much, so I really have to improve on the fundamentals, which are things that a better player will see or understand right away.

    I used to think I was some kind of great endgame player, but this is very relative to a person’s level. At that last Open tournament, it made me realize that these guys were 1900 because of their technique. While not perfect, a 1900 technique is usually enough to separate them from a 1600 player by being able to win from an even position. Technique is sort of an under-rated aspect of chess at the class level. I think, as it sums up the deeper understanding of chess that one would have who possesses it.

    I recommend this book ‘The Art of Combination’ by Maxim V. Blokh as the best chess purchase that a Class player can make. My book looks like the one on Amazon except it is green with no Russian writing on the cover. Anyway, for me building up board-vision so that I don’t make ridiculous oversights is still the most important thing, and that is not about analysis so much as having “a good eye”. A person can can have a strong understanding of chess, IMHO, but if one has a “bad eye”, then playing game after game at 15/0 or faster can still lead to a stagnant rating.

    It would take me a long time to read such a book, perhaps a year and a half. I am not one of these ‘Knights errants’ that blows through tactics unless it is at the level where it is obvious. I would love to be “Capt. Obvious” at the chessboard. Missing the “obvious” stuff is the most dangerous thing in chess.

    I can almost always find the tactic in one of these books, even the hardest problems going, but sometimes it can take me 10 minutes to find the “simple” tactic in some problems. My biggest hurdle is time, once the time becomes reasonable, I can spend more time concentrating on things such as endgames, technique, and late middle-game strategy.

    Here’s the difference between me and a 2500 player (besides tactics). I play this line with 9.Nb5 and make a tactical error. It should have been good for +1 and all that jazz, but with best play from Black there is no forced win. But in the CA DB, I see this game:
    Notice how the GM calmly retreats his knight with 9.Ne3. The reason for this is that the c7 weakness “isn’t going anywhere”. Later, if Black had played ..c6 to cover ..d5, then White still would have had Ng4 to pounce on f6 with. It’s like peekaboo, Black goes one way and White will go the opposite way, but White scores the win with strategy versus following some tempting tactical initiative that can fizzle out.

    BTW, the ending to that game would go ..QxQ, RxQf4 Re8, f6 Kf8, fxg7 Kxg7, Nxb6 where White has 5 pawns, only two chains, compared to Black’s 4 isolated pawns.

  5. Hey Linuxguy!

    I think endgame study pays off.

    I have recently won two games against players who were rated slightly higher than me only because I played the endgame better. Now against someone rated MUCH higher than me it won ‘t matter but that is time and getting better at tactics and calculation. Endgames make the difference in the long run I think,

    AND! Happy Holidays!!

  6. Tommy, here is a game I played this morning on FICS:

    It’s a pawn sack with attack in CK-Fantasy variation. Notice how I blew the tactic at the end. My original idea was Ng1 with h3 to win the Be6, but I noticed after the game that Ng1..Qg4, h3??..QxRd1.

    In this game, saw yet still “missed” that Rxd7 zwischenzug was winning a piece. Also, there was a Qxf7 queen sac “for rook, bishop and up a pawn” that wins, although it’s not for material, since if it were just material that would not be a worthy trade.

    I did play a tactical opening, to be fair to endgames, but until I get better at tactics I won’t allow myself to play for endgames straight from the opening. There was a period back when I was around 1300’s that I built up my technique rather solid, but I think even when I made the jump into the 1500’s OTB it was based more on tactics.

    The endgame technique things gives my play a type of sureity in winning positions that a purely tactical player may not have. I tend to beat weaker players more consistently than just about anyone I have ever met, and that is because I have both the tactics AND endgame technique. So it’s really the combination of the two. Actually, when I made the jump from 1300’s to 1500’s that was based mostly on improved calculation. I began to realize that I could get an advantage in just about any type of position if I out-calculated my opponent. It was actually during an OTB that I made this realization, over 10 years ago now but in chess time I guess it seemed like yesterday.

    Actually, if you go through a Karpov book like I have been doing, you realize that his style is basically to outcalculate, keep the draw in hand, and look for an endgame advantage. People overlook how many draws someone like a Karpov or Petrosian had, even as they could use tactics better than their opponents, particularly defensive tactics, but due to their style they still got a lot of draws. The thing that offsets the draws is that they could play strong tournaments, get the draws against strong players, so it’s not so bad. In Swiss tournaments it’s like you need a win as Black everytime, there is no use in the professional draw as much anymore.

  7. BTW, if anyone wants to know how to make Master, check out this kid’s rating progress. I saw him at a tournament once, nice kid. At the board he was in an arguile sweater-vest and seemed like he was 50 (that’s how I see most kids who are strong, they have to become adults at the board trapped in a kid’s body – of course they are still just little kids, but it dispels the notion that they were “born as chess masters”), British accent possibly, but played chase with some of the other kids there. In any case, it clearly shows what he went through to get there. Lots of big tournaments, and a dad who was rated around 1900.

    One advantage kids have is that they can play fast and have a strong “fast” rating as well. I watched him on one move and he simply stared at his opponent’s clock for minutes on end. Naturally, I saw him play some fast moves and not waste time unduly.

  8. Dad and playing a lot really helps (as well as young brains 🙂 ).
    Kasparov’s dad (and I think Karpov’s too) had about the same qualification, 1st category.

  9. I feel like quitting internet chess after a game I just played. I won, but realized post-mortem that I have been winning with a losing variation for quite some time.

    In the Ruy Lopez, and I don’t even know if it is a Lopez given that I haven’t played ..a6. I play a sort of Berlin Defense(?), but my opponent plays Qd4 which is really strong, hitting g7.

    Then I realize afterwards, that I really shouldn’t be trading pawns on d4 as is done against the Scotch. How dumb. I am playing an idiot’s line, but my weaker opponents don’t beat me, it’s as if I have learned some negative knowledge or something. This is where it helps to study rather than play too much.


    Paradoxically, this why openings “don’t matter”. I play a losing line and get away with it game after game because it requires tactical strength from my opponents and they are just not that up to par.

    One thing that kids have going for them, and you never hear this mentioned, is that they don’t have the same ego needs as adults. A kid can look at a position and just be wondering what the best move is and not take it so personal. An adult is like “How could I have possibly screwed up against this numbskull?” as if there were any basis of reality behind that statement other than statistically.

  10. What you played looks like Ruy, Old Steinitz Defense with switched move order.
    It was played against me a lot online, once OTB ( I won, though my opponent was essentially lower rated). Yes, with all my respect to Steinitz, this is known as inferior variation, I have 70% score in it with White. exd4 is standard, what else you can do. Usually people play Nxd4, DB score is 66%, as for that Qxd4 line, by the way, the score is 50%, so it’s better for Black.
    Openings matter, it can be proved by my stats for this variation, but of course better tactics is a serious advantage.
    I wouldn’t feel like quitting online chess because of this game, it’s a good learning experience for free and in the future you will not lose rating points after getting crushed OTB in this variation. Always play a6 in Ruy, what can I say :).

  11. RollingPawns, thanks.

    I’ve discovered that move-orders matter even more in e4 ..e5 than they do in the Sicilian Defense because Black needs to castle quicker, or in the right way/move-order/piece-development. Each transposition is like a different opening. In the Sicilian, for example, it’s more about playing schemes (that don’t like so much like the other).

    ..a6 is also what Gary Lane recommended in his book. Also, I’ve played the Berlin Defense and been okay with that on many occasions (no ..a6).

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