I am putting this out there as a reward to my regular blog readers who have a job and play tournament chess.
This can be a really breezy opening for the player who wants to avoid opening disputes, duels, and neutralize White’s advantage as painlessly as possible. Note that I spent under 5 1/2 minutes on this instructional game.
Incidentally, I missed a simple tactical winning shot for Black – 17…Nxd4 (instead of 17…Qd7).
Okay, so what is the big deal about the opening played in this game? It’s basically a Sicilian Def. where Black has not wasted a tempo playing …c5 and also gotten in …d5. One may not know this, but the strategic goal for Black, which almost never happens, is to get in …d5 in the Open Sicilian. What are the drawbacks of not playing …c5? Mainly one, can White double rooks on c5 file and hit c7 effectively or cramp Black for space on the queenside while generating play for the knights. That is what White should try to do, but it’s too subtle for many.
The key idea is 7…d5, which of course prevents White from playing d5. Here’s another nunace, White played a3. Naturally, if this “were” an Open Sicilian, that would be a big tempo loss for White. I think some “book-savvy” players will play a3 because they see it in all the main lines for the QID. I think that it’s a wasted tempo, poor move for White. So why is it played then? Simple, my theory is that it’s a classification error. Without a3 it would probably be classified as either a Nimzo or Bogo Indian. Plus, there are QGD variations which have a …Bb4, can’t remember which of these lines have it, the Vienna, Manhatten or Ragozin, but anyway they fall under QGD as I remember. White often acts confused about this OTB, and you can take advantage of that fact.
Another common ploy for Black is to play …Ba6, as in 10…Ba6. Did I mention that this opening is easy? Naturally, White made it so by playing e4 as well, and then letting Black get in …d5, but you would be surprised how often that White refrains from playing the strong d5. It’s as if the Q.I.D were witchcraft and spooks them. But the main point is that Black puts the struggle off for the middlegame rather than risking getting caught in the opening “out of book”.
Naturally, 6.Qd3 struck me as an odd duck, as did his knight retreat, but no example is perfect.