Play the Queen’s pawn opening, Oppose It. Tips For White And Black

Play the Queen's pawn opening, Oppose It. Tips For White And Black Chess openings

Queen’s pawn opening – The world of chess is mostly a very well-researched realm. There are plenty of printed and digital guides on how to act in a particular phase of the game.

By the way, it is traditionally divided into 3 parts:

  1. The opening
  2. The middlegame
  3. The endgame

As a rule, only beginners play at random without a strategy behind each decision. More advanced chess enthusiasts follow already-developed tactics. They describe in detail the progression of the pieces step by step.

You can master important principles on your own or in a class with a teacher. Thanks to the availability of information, studying is much easier than before. Books, articles, video courses – free, paid for, online and offline. Today there are many ways to get the most complete information about chess secrets.

It is not easy to learn and memorize all this: it takes time and patience. Since you’re reading this material, you are ready to dive into the basics of the first phase of the match. Here we describe the most popular and effective openings for White and Black.

As there are just too many chess opening strategies to explore, we’ll narrow it down a bit. If you look at the board, you’ll see many options in front of you. You can move any pawn first, send knights into battle and build a strong attack. However, only certain decisions lead to victory. We’ll discover the potential of the chess d4 opening in particular.

How will it influence the pace of the game? Let’s find this out. The pictures will help you better understand the development of pieces on the board. As well as the advantages and disadvantages of a queen’s pawn openings.

Basic Info About the Queen and the Queen’s pawn

Basic Info About the Queen and the Queen's pawn
the Queens and the Queen’s pawns

Before we dive into the secrets of chess strategies, let’s brush up on one particular piece. The systems we’re about to discuss are tied to this piece. Each side has only one queen of pawn d2 or d7. It stands behind these pieces in the initial position for White and Black.

Where does the queen go in chess, and what is it capable of? It’s a valuable fighter that covers the most cells on the field for the attack. What can the queen do in chess? Well, it’s gifted with impressive movement powers. It can cross the whole board in an instant just like a rook or bishop.

Where can a queen move in chess? The correct answer will be anywhere!
Where can a queen move in chess? The correct answer will be anywhere!

Unlike pawns, this piece is not restricted only to jumping forward. Where can a queen move in chess? The correct answer will be anywhere! There is only one piece it can’t substitute for in the context of board advancement. It’s the knight, which has a unique L-shaped pattern (queen chess movements do not allow it).

The Potential of d4 Chess Openings

The Potential of d4 Chess Openings
The Potential of d4 Chess Openings

White always begins the match. When they start their game with a d2-pawn, it’s a special move. It’ll automatically make it a queen’s pawn opening.

Your piece occupies a d4-cell, which is a classic choice that grants the player lots of advantages:

  • A clear claim for the center (rock-solid chances for dominating there)
  • Enough space for further maneuvering (making the pawn structure uncompromised)
  • The king is under high-level protection (squares all around it are closed)

It makes the dynamics less intense and introduces more measured battling affairs. If you hold on to the initial center advantage, you’ll be stronger in the middle game.

However, some say that an opening with d4 is boring. Especially when compared to the king’s pawn opening moves. It’s when you start with the pawn standing in front of your main piece.

e4 or d4 defines your style
e4 or d4 defines your style

1.e4 or 1.d4 defines your style, it is true. As said above, the latter is slightly less intense. But it’s also a reliable way to win over your opponent. All because it leads to several promising systems that will make your advancement stronger!

Analyzing Your Strategy

In most cases, your decision to use different systems is influenced by how Black responds. There are 2 things they can do:

  • Mirror your move (d5) and participate in the battle for center domination
  • Decline your invitation for the center-based confrontation and respond with any other piece

Let’s go through both scenarios and their consequences.

Black Mirroring

If your enemy repeats your decision, then you have 2 options. A classical strategy called Queen’s Gambit. Or a systematic approach without creating pawn pressure.

Queen’s Gambit Path

It’s an old and popular queen’s pawn opening leading to a pawn sacrifice trick. It starts with d4 and results in a situation like this:

Queen's Gambit Path
Queen’s Gambit Path

The main goal is to lure an opposing pawn for an attack. If Black goes for it, they’ll lose the center domination. However, avoiding the invitation is also an option. The enemy can send its pawn e7-e6, backing the central piece on d5.

But this step blocks its light-squared bishop (c8). And it also weakens the king’s protection.

System-Based Path

There are some other cunning ways to claim the center. Great masters and champions have explored lots of possibilities. As a result, one can find a long list of alternatives to d4 classic openings. We’ll have a brief look at some of them.

Queen’s Pawn Opening: Mason Attack

This strategy is also called the Stonewall. If you do everything correctly, it’ll look like this:

Queen's Pawn Opening - Mason Attack
Queen’s Pawn Opening – Mason Attack

Building such a pattern is not difficult. After the first exchange of d4-d5, move your pawn to e3. The enemy might want to go with its knight to f6. Send your bishop to d3 in response. Then, Black will try to push you from your course with its pawn on c5. It’s actually a reversed Queen’s Gambit but for Black.

You can bite the bait or stay true to the Stonewall approach. For the latter, reinforce the center with c3. The opposing side will probably answer with a knight to c6.

Complete the main starting position of the Mason Attack by placing your pawn to f4. It’s a pretty aggressive play that puts more emphasis on the light-squared bishop. This piece gets extra opportunities to strike with the support of the queen and the knight. The basic idea behind this strategy is to control the important e5 square. As well as to expand on the kingside!

Learn more about further actions here.

The Colle System

The major point of this approach is to strengthen your position in the center. You build a pawn-based spike in the middle and prepare for the attack (e3-e4). There are different variations, one of which may look like this:  

The Colle System
The Colle System

To achieve this arrangement, it is necessary to start with the queenside pawns (d4 and d5). But then knights come into active play: f3 for White and f6 for Black. Next, both sides use pawns (e3 for White, Black responds mirrorwise e6). Then your bishop goes under the spike (d3), which is already beginning to form. And the opponent’s pawn jumps to c5. At this point, it is possible to complete the spike by sending your soldier to c3.

The strategy gives White an advantage, allowing them to make strong attacks and threats.

Black’s best bet is to use the light-squared bishop to prevent such a pattern. It should be sent to g4 or f5 at the first opportunity.

Queen’s Pawn Opening: Chigorin Variation

It’s not one of the most popular moves in chess. However, it can make your game more interesting. As well as help you catch the opponent off guard.  

Queen's Pawn Opening - Chigorin Variation
Queen’s Pawn Opening – Chigorin Variation

This pattern is designed for rapid development. Our knight threatens the enemy pawn on d5. There are several promising options for further confrontation from this position. For example, if Black puts the knight to f6, we can try the Blackmar–Diemer Gambit.

Or Veresov’s system, which we will have a better look at below.

Veresov Opening

Another name for this maneuver is the Richter Attack. It looks as follows:  

Veresov Opening
Veresov Opening

The system aims to strike the black knight on the right flank. White also tries to break into the center with its e2-pawn. To achieve this arrangement, start with d4-d5. Then two knights jump to c3 and f6. And after that follows the crown move of the approach. Your dark-squared bishop crosses all cells and lands on g5. It successfully threatens the enemy knight and breaks their pawn structure.

A tip for Black: destroy White’s plans. Just put the b8-knight on d7, covering the attacked piece.

The bishop will most likely refuse to strike it. And then White can make mistakes that will help Black gain a clear advantage. Let’s analyze possible missteps:  

Black went with the right scenario and destroyed the potential of Veresov's system

In this picture, Black went with the right scenario and destroyed the potential of Veresov’s system. White had to make chess moves for a queen (d3). Challenge such a decision by provoking the bishop (pawn h6).

It is reasonable to send it behind the queen (d2). But it’s easy to be tempted to make a mistake by taking the piece to h4. In this case, White doesn’t have a dark-squared bishop on the left flank for protection. And there are two of them on the right side! It is not advantageous for White.

Black Declining Confrontation

Sometimes, however, your opponent prefers any move, except for d5. It opens lots of other opportunities for both sides. And urges you to change the strategy.

Here is a short list of possible scenarios with links for your own examination:

  1. Queen’s pawn opening: the Horwitz Defense (d4-e6)
  2. The Nimzo-Indian Defense (further development after d4-nf6)
  3. The Slav Defense (an effective counter queen pawn opening)
  4. The Tarrasch Defense (one of the most aggressive queen’s pawn openings for Black)
  5. The Benko Gambit (a strong response to the White’s d4 start)

We recommend reading our articles:

Summing Up

Now you know more about this game’s secrets. How a queen in chess moves, which openings for Black and White are the best, etc. But it’s vital to understand that it’s still the tip of an iceberg. The realm of this hard intellectual game is endless. One can spend the whole life until becoming truly proficient in it. Others are gifted and grasp the peculiarities faster. Whatever your pace is, you won’t notice as time flies. All because it’s a pleasure and a great challenge for your mind!

By the way, chess is very useful for a child’s development. This is why many parents take kids to classes to explore the game. They don’t necessarily follow it as their career later on (it rarely happens). Even impressive results are not what such efforts are for. It’s a tool to develop a young brain. And it works!

As for adults, it’s healthy entertainment and a good exercise for logical thinking. Besides, it helps prevent or delay mental illnesses, keeping your mind strong and focused.

If you want to read a book about the subject, don’t opt for any materials. Some of them are useful, but others will bring more harm than good.

There are general guides that cover several systems at once. For example, “Kasparov’s Opening Repertoire: A Chess Works Publication” by Leonid Shamkovich. If you want to dive into a particular technique, just choose the correct author. For example, the book “The Zukertort System: A Guide for White and Black” by Bogdanovich is pleasant and useful to read.

Attention: these are only 2 examples. There are many other great materials to explore. And it’ll be even more effective if you back them with videos.

It’ll make your studying more fruitful. But most importantly, don’t focus only on the theory. Play all the time: against Artificial Intelligence, friends and relatives, or even complete strangers!

Follow the links we’ve provided you with. And good luck with your further development.

FAQ about the Queen’s pawn opening

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William Berrington
William Berrington is an experienced chess player and a candidate master of sports. He took part in many regional USA championships. Also, he contributes to chess popularization by giving workshops for beginners and interviews for newspapers.
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