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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    QGD Exchange Variation

    GM Yermolinsky is an expert in this line for white, and his book The Road to Chess Improvement explains a number of possible plans. White is by no means restricted to the minority attack, and has a number of other ideas. So he thinks that the Black side is difficult to handle for many players.

    Here are some classic games illustrating various ideas:

    Alex Yermolinsky vs Larry Christiansen USA-ch Gr-A 1999 (GM John Nunn used this game from Yermo himself against a strong opponent as the prime example of a queenside attack in Understanding Chess Move by Move. Yermo kept Black busy dealing with opening the centre, tied him down on the Q-side, then finished with a combo on the K-side.

    Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Hector Rossetto Izt 1958 (Black is so busy defending his weak Pc6 resulting from the minority attack that he overlooks death on the other wing.

    Vasily Smyslov vs Paul Keres World Championship Match Tournament 1948 (shows that a minority attack can't be beaten simply by a race with a simplistic K-side attack).

    Alexander Kotov vs Ludek Pachman Venice 1950 (the endgame advantage resulting from a successful minority attack makes Black grovel for a draw at best).

    Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Paul Vaitonis Interzonal 1952 (Black reacts too agressively in the centre, allowing White to switch over to the K-side)

    Mikhail Botvinnik vs Paul Keres Russia 1952 (White finds a way to set up f3 and e4 against imprecise Black play)

    Garry Kasparov vs Nigel Short Kasparov-Short World Championship Match 1993 #15 (illustrates f3/e4 breakthrough. Often f3 can be answered with c5, so Kasparov first played b4! to clamp down on that.)

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Putting it into practice:
    Minority attack: exchange of Qs favours Q-side attacker because it takes sting out of K-side counterplay.

    Sarfati,J - Bennet,P [D35]
    Logan Club Champs, 2007
    [J. Sarfati]

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    1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 0-0 8.Qc2 c6 9.Bd3 Re8 10.Nf3 Ne4 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.0-0 Nd7 13.Rab1 Ndf6 14.b4 a6 15.Na4 Ng4 16.Bxe4 [Otherwise ...Nexf2] 16...Qxe4?! [Queens should be maintained. Without them, Black's K-side attacking chances are much less, while White's minority attack works just as well.] 17.Qxe4 dxe4 18.Nd2 f5 19.Nc5 Nf6 20.Nc4 Rb8 21.Nb6 g5 22.Rfe1 Kf7 23.a4 Ke7 24.b5 axb5 25.axb5 Bd7 26.Rec1 cxb5 27.Ncxd7 Nxd7 28.Rc7 Red8 29.Rxb5 [As is often true, the breakthrough on the Q-side threatens other parts of the board.] 29...Ke6 30.Nxd7 Rxd7 31.Rcc5 f4 32.Re5+ Kf6 33.Rb6+ Kg7 34.Rxe4 Rc7 35.h3 Rc1+ 36.Kh2 Re1 37.Re7+ Kf8 38.Rh7 Kg8 39.Rhxh6 fxe3 40.fxe3 1-0
    Last edited by Trent Parker; 11-05-2007 at 03:14 AM. Reason: Attempt to rectify PGN Problem.... (which i just found out that it was a problem with IE! works fine with firefox!)

  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Jono, in the QGD Exchange mainline, white plays 11.h3 presumably to prevent 11...Bg4. But doesn't 11...Bg4 just lose time after 12.Ne5.?

  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    Jono, in the QGD Exchange mainline, white plays 11.h3 presumably to prevent 11...Bg4. But doesn't 11...Bg4 just lose time after 12.Ne5.?
    Boris, Bg4 on move 11 would lose time, but a few moves later it won't. E.g. there were older lines like 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. b4 Bg4; 11. Rab1 a5 12. a3 Bd6 13. Rfe1 Bg4.

    11. h3 also prevents another move that can sometimes equalize, ... Ng4, which would be the answer to Ne5 on move 11 and some subsequent moves.

    Another feature is that against the typical Black move of 11... Ne4, White can play 12. Bf4 because of the retreat square.

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    This time, White breaks the centre wide open

    Sarfati,J - Sleight,A [D36]
    March Madness, QLD (2), 17.03.2007
    [J. Sarfati]

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    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 c6 7.Qc2 Nbd7 8.Bd3 0-0 9.Nf3 Re8 10.0-0 Nf8 11.h3 [Karpov and Yermolinsky like this move. It restricts annoying moves like ...Bg4, and in some lines White may be able to hide his B on h2.] 11...Nh5 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Rfe1 [A R opposite the Q should cramp Black's style a bit, hindering his own ...f5-f4 plan.] 13...g6 [Oh yeah, and open the centre if the time is right.] 14.e4 dxe4 15.Bxe4 Ne6 [15...Be6 would still be met by 16.d5 with advantage, but not as big as the game. Black was worried about 16...cxd5 17.Nxd5 Qd8 but that would walk into the pin 18.Nc7 Rc8] 16.d5 cxd5 17.Nxd5 Qd8 18.Rad1 Bd7 19.Ne5 Nd4 [A clever idea, except that unlike in draughts, White doesn't have to capture.] 20.Qd2! Rxe5 21.Qxd4 Rxd5 [desperation] 22.Bxd5 Be6 23.Bxe6 [easily winning, but Moulthun Ly pointed out the even easier [23.Rxe6 fxe6 24.Bxe6+]] 23...Qxd4 24.Rxd4 fxe6 25.Rd7 Ng7 26.Rc1 Ne8 27.Rxb7 Rd8 28.Rxa7 1-0

  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    This is an example of a central pawn roller

    Sarfati,J - Liu,Y [D35]
    Peninsula Open (2), 05.05.2007
    [J. Sarfati]

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    1.d4 e6 2.c4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 0-0 7.Bd3 h6 8.Bh4 c6 9.Qc2 a5 10.Nge2 Na6 11.a3 Re8 12.f3 Black has clamped down on the minority attack, but his pieces are not well placed to combat a central push 12...Nc7 13.Bf2 This is a disadvantage of ...h6 13...Be6 14.0-0 Bd6 This ends up misplaced. 15.h3 Rb8 16.e4 Be7 [16...dxe4 17.fxe4 is a clear advantage for White, but not as good as the game.] 17.e5 Nd7 18.f4 Now Black is cut in two by this advance. 18...Nf8 19.f5 Bd7 20.Ng3 f6 21.e6 Bc8 22.Nh5 b6 23.Na4 A small time-out from the K-side to stop Black's counterplay 23...b5 24.Nc5 a4 25.Qd2 Na6 26.Nxa6 Bxa6 27.Be3 Kh7 28.Rf4 Bd6 29.Rh4 Qe7 [29...Rb7 30.Nxg7 Rxg7 31.Bxh6+-] 30.Rg4! [30.Nxg7 Qxg7 31.Bxh6 is more complicated because of 31...Qg3 but White would still win with 32.Bg5+ Kg8 33.Rg4] 30...Rb7 31.Rxg7+ Qxg7 32.Nxg7 Rxg7 33.Bf4! Bxf4 34.Qxf4 Rd8 35.Re1 Re7 36.Qh4 Kg7 37.Re3 Nd7 38.Rg3+ Mates in 5 1-0

  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Good thread Jono.

    Against 1.d4 I will usually play move orders that fish for a Semi-Slav, and it surprises me that more lower-rated players do not exchange pawns at the first opportunity and thus obtain either an Exchange QGD or Exchange Slav depending on the move order and perhaps the inclinations of their opponent. Instead they allow themselves to get sucked into the Semi-Slav where they will most likely either get walloped in the Moscow through not understanding the position or get walloped in the Meran through either strategic or tactical errors. (If I really wanted to embarrass them I would learn and play the Botvinnik, but then they might not come back for more next game!)

    I would rather play the Black side of the Exchange QGD than the Exchange Slav anyway as at least the position is unbalanced and being able to point a lot of pieces at the opponent's kingside has got to have some uses somewhere. However if white is careful it's not that easy for black to crash through and I have had some frustrating draws where solid but somewhat lower rated white players have dished out the EQGD.

  8. #8
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    It's always a scare that a lower rated white player opt for a simplified solid position. However, I noticed that Zhao does not specifically try to avoid it and wins those positions quite easily.
    For private coaching (IM, four times VIC champion) call or SMS 0417519733
    Computer tells you what to play. Good coach explains why.

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    It's always a scare that a lower rated white player opt for a simplified solid position. However, I noticed that Zhao does not specifically try to avoid it and wins those positions quite easily.
    What examples do you have in mind?

  10. #10
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Well, this thread was a red rag to a bull so tonight I decided to allow said variation with Black against Charles Chadwick, who has been responsible for a couple of the above-mentioned frustrating draws (including one at, of all places, Mt Buller.)

    I reproduce the exquisite results of this venture for the viewing pleasure of all.

    Chadwick (1713) - Bonham (2004)

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  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Chadwick (1713) - Bonham (2004)

    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.Qc2 0-0 7.e3 Bg4 Of course, while it had occurred to me to allow the EQGD next time I got a chance, I had not actually found any time to prepare for it. Apparently this move is rubbish; Fritz rather likes just taking on f6 as a response to it.
    Followed by Qb3 winning a pawn for insufficient counterplay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Even apart from that, it encourages one of White's plans, f3 followed by e4.
    ...
    38.Rxh6+! which mates even faster than if my king was on h8, so I resigned! 1-0
    Not a bad finish. He's only ~1700?

  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    I should give some games from Black's point of view then.

    Mikhail Botvinnik vs Efim Geller Moscow ch-SU 1955 Black achieved an easy game when he swapped of the light-squared Bs on move 8. But Black shouldn't have got off so lightly, because 8. Qf3! was strong. Black also neutralized the f3 plan with ...c5, and in this case the
    Pe3 was weaker than the Pd5.

    Milko Bobotsov vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian, Lugano 1968 : Black again swapped off the light-squared Bs. He also played a N to d6, where it helps hold up White's minority attack, eyes e4, and there are also chances of ...b5 followed by ... Nc4. The attack with the pawn sac 33...g5 was most elegant, and Black ended by mating White's Q.

    See the notes on that site that come from Kasparov, who said it inspired his own play in Lajos Portisch vs Garry Kasparov, Skelleftea 1989 .

  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Mikhail Botvinnik vs Efim Geller Moscow ch-SU 1955 Black achieved an easy game when he swapped of the light-squared Bs on move 8. But Black shouldn't have got off so lightly, because 8. Qf3! was strong.
    But are you really going to give away the bishop pair with

    9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.Qxf6

    just to double the pawns?
    meep meep

  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    But are you really going to give away the bishop pair with

    9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.Qxf6

    just to double the pawns?
    Geller thought so in his book The Application of Chess Theory. The doubled pawns make it hard to open the game for the Bs. Compare Salomon Flohr vs Emanuel Lasker, Nottingham 1936. All the same, this position has some defenders among top players now, although without ...h6, Bh4.
    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 20-05-2007 at 10:34 AM.

  15. #15
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Followed by Qb3 winning a pawn for insufficient counterplay?
    Actually it is a lot less clear than this, because after 9.Qb3 c5! Black is not doing as badly as may appear, eg:

    10.Qxb7 cxd4 11.Nxd5 Nd7 with more than sufficient compensation (11.Qxa8 dxc3 -+ as if 12.Qxb7 cxb2 threatening ...Bc3#; 11.exd4 Qe8+ 12.Nge2 Nc6 -/+)

    10.dxc5 d4 11.exd4 Qxd4 and black will recover the pawn without major hassles, or 11...Nc6!? may well be stronger

    10.Nxd5 cxd4 11.Nxf6 Qxf6 and White isn't winning the pawn anymore, b7 is thoroughly poisoned.

    Fritz seems to think that playing 9.Bd3 first forcing ...Kh8 or ...h6 then 10.Qb3 gets White off the hook of Black's counter-threats. But on closer examination this turns out to be less clear. In the (now) 11.Qxb7 line with 12.Qxa8, 14...Bc3 is no longer #, but Black has 14...Nc6 instead with excellent compensation for the exchange. In the (now) 11.Qxb7 and 12.exd4 line, 13...Nc6 can be softened by 14.Bb5 but after ...Bxe2 15.Nxe2 Rb8 16.Qxc6 Rxb5 Black will soon get the pawn back and is fine. And so on - it looks like the whole 8.Bxf6 line that Fritz sees (my copy is still only Fritz6)isn't really that good for white at all.

    Not a bad finish. He's only ~1700?
    Charles was over 1850 in 2004 when he was state champion. His rating's gone down since then, partly because he's not ideally suited to guillotine time controls. I expect his rating will start going up again now that increments (albeit typically short ones) have become more common in Tassie tournaments.

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