Queen's Indian Defense


Queen's Indian Defense

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Infobox chess opening
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moves=1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6
ECO=E12-E19
birth=
nameorigin =
parentopening = Indian Defense
AKA=
chessgid=410498&move=4&moves=d4.Nf6.c4.e6.Nf3.b6&nodes=10703.11482.11470.75542.77207.410498

The Queen's Indian Defense [cite book | authorlink=Mikhail Gurevich (chess player) |last=Gurevich |first=Mikhail | title= Queen's Indian Defence: Kasparov System | publisher=Batsford Chess Library | year=1992 | isbn=0805023151] is a chess opening defined by the moves:1. :2. :3.

The move 3…b6 increases Black’s control over the squares e4 and d5 by preparing a fianchetto of the queen’s bishop. This maneuver gives the opening its name. As in the other Indian defenses, Black attempts to control the center with his pieces instead of immediately occupying it with his pawns.

By playing 3.Nf3, White sidesteps the Nimzo-Indian Defense that arises after 3.Nc3 Bb4. The Queen’s Indian is regarded as the sister opening of the Nimzo-Indian, since both openings aim to impede White’s efforts to gain full control of the center by playing e2-e4. Together, they form one of Black’s most well-respected responses to 1.d4.

If Black does not wish to play the Queen’s Indian in response to 3.Nf3, alternatives include: 3…d5, transposing to the Queen's Gambit Declined; 3…Bb4+, the Bogo-Indian Defense; and 3…c5, which typically leads to a Benoni or a Symmetrical English.

Variations

White usually chooses one of the following moves to counter the Queen’s Indian: 4.g3, 4.Nc3, 4.a3, 4.e3 or 4.Bf4.

4.g3

This is White’s most popular line against the Queen’s Indian. It contests the long diagonal by preparing to fianchetto the light-squared bishop. The standard response for Black used to be 4…Bb7, but 4…Ba6 has now surpassed it in popularity. A rarer third option is 4…Bb4+, which aims to trade off dark-squared bishops, leaving Black with a solid but slightly passive position.

4…Ba6: the modern main line

4…Ba6 attacks the c-pawn. While White can defend it with a piece by playing 5.Nbd2, 5.Qa4, 5.Qc2 or 5.Qb3, all these moves lose control of d4, making …c7-c5 a potentially effective reply for Black. Therefore 5.b3 is White’s most common response.cite book|author=John Emms|title=Starting Out: The Queen's Indian|publisher=Everyman Chess|isbn=1857443632|year=2004] However, it weakens the dark squares slightly, which Black can take advantage of by playing 5…Bb4+. Now 6.Nbd2? loses material after 5…Bc3 6.Rb1 Bb7 threatening 7…Be4, so the best move is 6.Bd2. However, after 6…Be7 7.Bg2 c6 Black is ready to play …d7-d5, again attacking the c-pawn. If White captures on d5 then …cxd5 equalizes for Black, but White cannot defend the pawn with Nbd2 because d2 is occupied by the bishop. Thus White usually plays 8.Bc3 to clear this square, and the main line continues 8…d5 9.Ne5 Nfd7 10.Nxd7 Nxd7 11.Nd2. The effect of Black’s check has been to lure White’s bishop to c3 where it blocks the c-file. This line, currently the main line of the entire Queen’s Indian Defense, is considered equal.

After 5.b3, Black also has several playable moves other than 5…Bb4+. The most common alternative is 5…Bb7 6.Bg2 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 a5. When White plays Nc3, Black will trade his bishop for it in order to keep control over d5 and e4, and will break on the queenside with moves like …a4 and …b5. Other possibilities for Black include 5…d5 and 5…b5.

More recently, several grandmasters, including Alexander Beliavsky, Ni Hua, Veselin Topalov, and Magnus Carlsen, have played the 5.Qc2 alternative. The idea is to allow Black's counterthrust ...c5, the main line running 5...Bb7 6.Bg2 c5. The fashion is for White to sacrifice a pawn with 7.d5, gaining active play. This idea has scored well for White [ [http://www.chesspublishing.com/content/10/nov07.htm#qui Nimzo & Benoni Update November 2007] Chesspublishing.com, John Emms] , and new ideas have been cropping up into 2008 [ [http://www.chesspublishing.com/content/10/index.htm#qui Nimzo & Benoni Update September 2008] Chesspublishing.com, John Emms] . The 5.Qc2 lines had previously scored poorly for White according to Emms .

4…Bb7: the old main line

After 4…Bb7, the classical main line of the Queen’s Indian runs 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 Ne4 8.Qc2 Nxc3 9.Qxc3. White has more space in the center but Black has no weaknesses and can choose from a variety of ways to create counterplay, such as 9…c5, 9…f5 or 9…Be4. These lines are well known for their drawish tendencies and 4…Bb7 is nowadays often employed by Black as a drawing weapon. Therefore White has tried various deviations from the main line in an attempt to unbalance the play. These include:
*8.Bd2, which defends the knight on c3 and threatens a d4-d5 push.
*7.d5!?, a gambit rejuvenated by Polugaevsky’s continuation 7…exd5 8.Nh4! threatening to regain the pawn on d5 or to play Nf5.
*6.Nc3, which postpones castling in favour of preparing action in the centre with the d4-d5 and e2-e4 pawn thrusts.

Other variations

*4.a3, the Petrosian Variation, prepares 5.Nc3 without being harassed by ...Bb4 pinning the knight. See (Gurevich, 1992) for an extensive analysis. This variation was often used by Garry Kasparov early in his career.
*4.Nc3 brings out the knight but allows 4...Bb4 with a transposition to the Nimzo-Indian.
*4.e3, preparing to develop the king's bishop and castle kingside, is a favorite of Tigran Petrosian
*4.Bf4 is the Miles Variation, which simply develops the bishop to a good square.

ECO codes

The Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings classifies the Queen's Indian under the codes E12 to E19 according to the following scheme:

*E12 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6
*E13 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb7 5.Bg5
*E14 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.e3
*E15 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3
*E16 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7
*E17 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7
*E18 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3
*E19 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 Ne4 8.Qc2

References


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