Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Queen's Gambit Steamroller

John Reed recently sent me one of his best wins, played in the Pornic Open in France where he won the veteran prize. In John's words "it just shows the power of the Queens Gambit Exchange variation, the best opening there is." That may be true but how often do your opponents let you play it?

Here is the game with a few notes by me:

John Reed vs. T Giraud (1900)

1. d4 d5
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. cd5 ed5

The starting position of the Queen's Gambit Exchange Version. White has the half open c-file and an extra central pawn with prospects of a central pawn storm later. What does Black have? I'm not sure really! Perhaps John could explain one day? Nigel Short seems happy to play the Black pieces here anyway.

5. Bg5 Be7
6. Qc2 c6
7. e3 Bg4
8. Bd3 Nbd7
9. f3 Bh5
10. N(1)e2 Bg6
11. O-O Bd3
12. Qd3 h6
13. Bh4 O-O
14. Rad1 Re8

The opening is over. White is ready to start pushing pawns. Black adopts a wait-and-see approach which doesn't work very well!

15. Kh1 Nf8
16. Bf2 Ng6
17. e4 Bf8
18. e5 Nd7
19. f4 Bb4
20. f5 Nf8
21. Qg3 Qg5
22. Qh3 Be7
23. Rd3

Ooops! Black's queen is in danger of being trapped and most of his pieces are mere spectators.

23. ... h5
24. f6 Bf6
25. ef6 Qf6
26. Rf3 1-0
What a crush! A great reason to play 1. d4, except that most of the time you will find yourself in a Nimzo, or a King's Indian, or a Slav...

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