Understand the Queen's Indian Defence
This product includes all the videos from the workshop as well as the PGN file related to the training sessions. Overall, the material consists of approximately 6 hours of video and a PGN database which includes 78 files!
You will find the following lectures:
1) Typical Structures in the Main Line with 4.g3
2) Typical Structures in the Petrosian System (4.a3)
3) 4.e3 & Rare Systems - Must-Know Positional and Tactical Ideas
4) Theoretical Preparation
Now, we shall take a look at the different lectures.
Preview by GM Grigor Grigorov
Queen's Indian Defence has always been one of my favourite weapons against 1.d4. This opening has served me well for many years already. Besides being entirely sound, Queen's Indian Defence does not oblige you to memorize tons of theory. You can play most of the positions mainly relying on your understanding. Another important feature of this opening is the flexibility of the pawn structure. Depending on White's setup Black can opt for a variety of classical pawn structures. Hence, when you study Queen's Indian Defence, you actually improve your general chess understanding. Many ideas that you will learn here can be applied in classical openings like Nimzo-Indian Defence, Bogo-Indian Defence and Queen's Gambit Declined. My Queen's Indian journey has never been flawless. Trying to understand the subtleties of this opening, I have committed many instructive mistakes. I gave my best to share my understanding with you in this course. While preparing the material, I had three guidelines:
1) provide positionally and theoretically sound systems
2) avoid lines that require a lot of memorization
3) consistency in the choice of variations (I have tried to choose lines that are interrelated)
Typical Structures in the Main Line with 4.g3
The first part of the course is dedicated to the structures arising in the classical system - 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3
Statistically speaking, 4.g3 is White's most popular choice. The precise handling of this system requires subtle positional understanding from both sides. My favourite reaction to 4.g3 is 4...Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0
This is the first important tabiya for us. When looking at this position, one can easily see two important features:
1) Black can attack the centre in three ways - ...c7-c5, ...d7-d5, and ...e6-e5
2) The the control of the e4-square will be very important for both sides
Depending on how Black decides to strike in the centre, we would get entirely different pawn structures. Since the advance ...d7-d5 will often take us to QGD type of play, in this course I mostly focus on the remaining two pawn breaks. We will play ...d7-d5 only under favourable circumstances.
In the beginning, I start examining the typical structures arising after the break ...e6-e5. Obviously, Black should prepare this central advance by means of ...d7-d6. Very often, before going for ...e6-e5, Black had already played .. .f7-f5 in order to increase the control of the important e4-square. If White answers ...e6-e5 with d4-d5, we get a King's Indian type of closed centre. When looking at the model games, you will see that this structure is usually favourable for Black. Sometimes, instead of playing d4-d5, White prefers to keep the central tension. Therefore, in my annotations, I also explain how to handle the structure with exchanged "e" and "d" pawns (for example after ... exd4). After explaining all the subtleties related to the positions with a closed centre, I cover another important positional element - the fight for the e4-square. If you understand the logic of this battle, you will immediately get a better feeling of the entire opening.
As you will see, very often White attacks the centre with ...c7-c5. Depending on White's reaction, different structures can be reached.
1) Hedgehog structure that arises when White allows ...cxd4
2) Benoni structure arising when White answers ...c7-c5 with d4-d5
3) The so-called dxc5 ...bxc5 type of structure
In the model games, I explain all the details related to these structures. Read carefully the text explanations of the model games. They are way more important than the concrete theory! After covering these basic structures, I proceed with a typical Queen's Indian concept - Setups with ...Nc6 and ...Bf6
Below, you shall take a look at one of the model games.
Typical Structures in the Petrosian System (4.a3)
In the second part of the course, we start dealing with the typical structures in the so-called Petrosian System. This variation arises after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3
As a matter of fact, this little pawn move contributes to the fight for the e4-square. The idea is to prevent ...Bb4 in response to Nc3. Petrosian System has always been popular at any level. Since White does not take too much of a risk, it's not easy for Black to get a playable position with chances for a win. After many considerations, I decided to settle for 4...Bb7 5.Nc3 Ne4
Recently, this rare move has been played at the highest level by the Hungarian grandmaster Richard Rapport. Besides fighting for the e4-square, Black keeps the pawn structure flexible. Instead of 5...Ne4, Black usually plays 5...d5. I decided not to suggest this move because in many cases the play reminds Queen's Gambit Declined.
As I have pointed out in the introduction, I tried to suggest systems that are consistent with my other recommendations. The central position of this system arises after 6.Nxe4 Bxe4
At this point, White has three main moves - 7.Nd2, 7.Bf4, 7.e3. The common feature of all these systems is that White usually manages to push his e-pawn to e4. On the other hand, having already exchanged a pair of knights, Black is not too concerned about the lack of space. In the model games, I suggest different strategies for attacking the white centre. After studying the material, you will know whether to break with ...c7-c5 or ...e6-e5. Additionally, you will know in which cases you need to wait since none of the breaks works well. Besides covering all the typical pawn structures, the model games will provide you with a complete repertoire against the Petrosian System. In my opinion, this is one of the best systems if you want to play for a win with Black.
Below, you can take a look at one of the model games.
4.e3 & Rare Systems - Must-Know Positional and Tactical Ideas
After covering the typical structures arising in the most important lines, I start dealing with the remaining variations. Since the examined systems are perfectly sound and playable, I cannot call them sidelines. Let's take a look at the starting position of the Queen's Indian Defence arising after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6
One of the most important alternatives to the main lines is 4.e3. This move leads to slow positional play where the understanding of the typical structures is more important than the concrete theoretical knowledge.
Another important system that is covered in this part is 4.Nc3 Bb7 5.Bg5
This is one of White's most solid systems against Queen's Indian Defence. For the time being, White is planning to just develop his pieces as quickly as possible. If Black plays ...d7-d5, we reach a famous position from Queen's Gambit Declined. In this case, my main suggestion is based on 5...Be7 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 0-0
Black is planning to attack the centre by means of the advance ...c7-c5. If White allows ...cxd4, we will get either Hedgehog or IQP type of structure. In my comments, I explain why these structures are favourable for Black. White mostly takes on c5, thus reaching an interesting version of dxc5 ...bxc5 structure (covered in Part 1). I provide extensive coverage of the typical plans and ideas in this structure).
The move 4.Bf4 leads to the so-called Miles System. By making a useful waiting move, White keeps flexible his options of developing the b1-knight. My suggestion here is 4...Bb7 5.e3 Bb4+
This check is very important. White's main move here is 6.Nfd2. In one of the model games, I explain how to handle the structure arising after 6.Nc3 Ne4 7.Qc2 0-0 8.Bd3 f5 9.0-0 Bxc3 10.bxc3 d6. The understanding of this structure will help you to master a wide range of Nimzo-Indian positions as well.
One of the ideas behind 5...Bb4 is to answer 6.Nbd2 with 6...Be7. Having provoked Nbd2, Black is now ready to strike with ...c7-c5. With the white knight being on d2, instead of c3, meeting ...c7-c5 with d4-d5 would be impossible.
After the main move 6.Nfd2, my suggestion is 6...0-0 7.a3 Bd6!?
This extremely rare approach advocated by Eljanov manages to solve Black's opening problems. After exchanging the dark-squared bishops, Black is ready to strike in the centre with ...c7-c5. Additionally, I explain the structures arising after 8.Bxd6 and 8.Bg5.
The central position of the 4.e3 system arises after 4...Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 exd5
This is one of the most important pawn structures that you should remember from this part of the course. White usually proceeds with Bd3 and 0-0 followed by b2-b3, and Bb2. I explain in great detail all the subtleties related to this pawn structure. Additionally, the model games cover White's move order is based on 7.Bb5+ with the idea to provoke ...c7-c6. As you will witness, such a small detail can provoke drastic changes in the plans and ideas. Besides, I explain how to handle the positions where White keeps the tension by refraining from cxd5.
Below, you shall see one of the model games.
In the theoretical section, I explain the most important systems that are not covered in the sections dedicated to the different pawn structures. Even though I tried to provide extensive theoretical coverage, some minor lines might be still missing. If you know all the typical pawn structures, that wouldn't be a problem. When possible, I have always tried to base my analysis on familiar structures. In the analysis, you will find many new ideas and concepts. After studying the material, you will have GM knowledge of the Queen's Indian theory.
In this section, I would like to provide you with 26 exercises that will test your positional and tactical understanding.