Dominate with the Queen’s Indian Defense
The Queen’s Indian Defense is a very powerful weapon for Black when facing off against 1. d4. For those who aren’t content with a draw against 1. d4, this opening promises a lot of success. It’s an opening that many world champions have employed to achieve many victories. For example, the legends Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, and recently Magnus Carlsen have won many a game with the help of the Queen’s Indian.
Many club level players struggle to find the right plan for Black in the queen’s pawn game, which results in poorly placed pieces, passive positions, and in the end lost games. Club players often get disoriented and confused in the positions that arise, leading to devastating results. If you are having trouble equalizing and obtaining an upper hand in queen’s pawn game with black pieces, the Queen’s Indian Defense is a good choice for you.
The Queen’s Indian Defense is one of the most reliable and versatile openings that can be played against 1. d4. It involves a hypermodern approach, where Black temporarily gives up control of the center, but then controls the key squares by making use of the long diagonals and indirectly attacking White’s setup after development is complete. This opening leads to many complex positions with a clear and straight forward plan for black.
The Queen’s Indian Defense generally begins with the moves 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6. In this video, Dutch Grandmaster Jan Werle, who regards himself primarily as a positional player, talks you through the Queen’s Indian Defense, and specifically how to deal with the most common line for White which is 4. g3. Jan offers his recommendations for how to respond to a number of White options, clearly showing how Black can at least attain equality, and at best find themselves in a winning position!
Queen’s Indian Defense – 4. g3
Let’s take a look at one of the variations GM Jan Werle goes over in this video. 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3, which is White’s most popular line. Jan recommends the move 4…Ba6, attacking the pawn on c4. White has a number of responses here, and Jan goes over them all in the video, but let’s focus on 5. Nbd2. White’s other options are 5. b3 (the main line), 5. Qc2, 5. Qb3, 5. Qa4.
So, how to deal with 5. Nbd2? We can use the game between Vishy Anand and Sergey Karjakin played in Zurich, 2015, to see. 5…Bb7 6. Bg2 Be7 7. 0-0 0-0 8. Qc2 d5 9. cxd5 exd5. You can see this position on the left. White’s knight on d2 is not well-placed – it would be much more effective on the c3 square where it would be able to influence the center. As it stands, it is passive and inactive. It also blockades White’s dark-squared bishop in on c1. 10. Nb1 is one way to play, but at the same time it loses crucial tempo for White in the opening.
10…Re8 11. Nc3 Bb4 12. Bg5 Nbd7 13. Rac1 h6 14. Bxf6 Nxf6 15. e3 c6 16. Ne5 and we reach the position on the right. We can see that Black has the bishop pair advantage, but at the same time White is slightly more active. Black’s c6 pawn could be considered a little weak, but it is easily defended. 16. Bd6 17. f4, trying to cement the knight on e5, a good square. 17…c5 18. Bf3 Rc8 19. Qb3 cxd4 20. exd4
It is worth taking a moment here to show how 20…Ne4 would be a terrible move. After 21. Nxe4 dxe4, the long diagonal opens up for White’s queen. It bears down on the f7 square, where the pawn is hanging. This would lead to a winning position for White.
That’s why Black continues with 20…Bf8. 21. Ne2 Qd6 22. a3 a6, taking control of the b5 square and preventing White from using it. Here the position is equal, meaning that 4. g3 5. Nbd2 10. Nb1 is nothing for Black to worry about. See the final position on the left, and then watch the video to see the other variations that occur after 4. g3 Ba6.
Certainly, the Queen’s Indian Defense is on of the best chess openings to add to your repertoire for when facing 1. d4. Learn everything you need to know in order to play the QID with confidence and success in GM Jan Werle’s full course, “Dominate With Queen’s Indian Defense” – get instant access with 35% off here.