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This month we look at a variety of Queen’s Gambits. We’ll be mostly focusing on the Ragozin and the Semi-Tarrasch ‘Petroff lite’ variation. I’ve shed a lot of elo in recent years to both, and so I felt it was a good time to take a look at them :)

Download PGN of February ’23 1 d4 d5 2 c4 games

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Queen’s Gambit Declined 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 Nbd7 7.a3 [D37]

In Deac - Andreikin we saw Black go with 7...c6:

This isn’t the first time Andreikin tried this but given the way it can be punished, it is hard to believe he will repeat this slower approach.

In Artemiev - Grischuk we saw Black go with the more trusted 7...c5:

This allowed White to inflict a rather benign isolani on Black. Despite Artemiev’s success in the game it’s hard to believe his approach will be repeated with similar success at the elite level.

Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin 5.Qa4+ Nc6 6.e3 0-0 7.Qc2 [D38]

In Navara - Mamedyarov, after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qa4+ Nc6 we saw White go for 6.e3 0-0 7.Qc2:

Shakh responded with 7...Re8 and played for a quick ...e5 which was able to simplify the game for him.

Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin 5.Qa4+ Nc6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Ne4 8.e3 [D38]

In Vasquez Schroeder - Sevian White sacrificed a pawn with 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Ne4 8.e3:

which is new for our site. The positions analyzed are very strange with White having a nagging compensation throughout the middlegame due to his bishop pair.

Queen’s Gambit Declined, Classical Approach 5...Be7 6.e3 Nbd7 7.Qc2 h6 [D58]

After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 Nbd7 7.Qc2 h6 8.Bh4 0-0 White tried 9.Rd1 in Caruana - Carlsen which really failed to pose Black any serious problems.

Carlsen batted away the pressure with basic thematic ideas. White even went on to lose the game.

Slav/Queen’s Gambit Accepted, 3...Be6 4.Nf3 c6 5.Nbd2 [D11]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e3 Be6 4.Nf3 c6 5.Nbd2 b5:

In Holt - Dominguez we saw why it is critical for white to first begin crunching at the black pawns with a4 rather than b3. In the game Holt chose wrong which started a downhill descent for him to eventually lose the game.

Semi-Tarrasch Defence, 5...cxd4 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.e4 [D41]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 cxd4 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.e4:

I chose to look at this line particularly because it has been so annoying for me to crack in my own tournament experiences.

In Nakamura - Carlsen Black continued with 7...dxe4. There we look at new resources and hidden ideas, though for the moment it does seem as though everything holds together fine for Black so long as he can remember all his lines.

In Yilmaz - Nisipeanu we look at 7...Nc6:

This leads to slightly worse structures for Black over 7.dxe4 and so it is logical that with correct play Black should be a bit worse.

Till next month, Raven

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