Typical Structures after 1.d4 d5

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In this article, the Brazilian IM Renato Quintillano deals with some of the most important structures which arise after 1.d4 d5. In particular, he deals with the following openings: Tarrasch Defense, Semi-Tarrasch Defense, Chigorin Defense, Albin Counter-Gambit, and Baltic Defense.

Every structure is presented in the following way:

  • Explanation of the main plans and ideas
  • Model game
  • Test

Below, you can take a look at the coverage of the following structure:

Structure 1

As an explanation, Renato writes:

This is a typical structure arising from the Tarrasch Defense in which White refrained from taking on c5 by dxc5, and Black did not take on d4 with cxd4 which would have both led to classical isolated queen pawn positions. Black tried to close the center with c5-c4 in order to keep the d5-pawn safe and in the hope to reach an endgame in which Black's queenside majority would be useful. White's has two different plans in this structure:

1) Play Ne5, since Black cannot trade knights in the center as the d5-pawn would be under too much pressure. Then next Nxc6 which only helps Black to improve his structure by means of bxc6 which overprotects d5 and opens the b-file. But the point comes in the next step

2) Right after the exchange on c6, White continues with b2-b3! This practically forces Black to play cxb3. In this way, White opens the important c-file to put pressure on the newly created weakness on c6. White can recapture with the a-pawn and, despite the pawn being slightly exposed on b3, White also has the semi-open a-file at his disposal to exert pressure on the a-pawn. For White, it is useful to keep at least one rook on the board to put pressure on the queenside pawns. Minor pieces exchanges are welcome, especially of the dark-squared bishops, as the Black one is very important to protect c5, a sensible square in such structures. This is another advantage behind axb3 as White can now trade the dark-squared bishops with Ba3. The last operation would be to bring one knight to c5, from where it protects b3 and exerts an annoying pressure against Black's queenside, providing a pleasant and long-lasting advantage for White.

Model Game


In this article, you will find 7 typical structures which are explained in the abovementioned way.

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