Chess openings - closed games

1.d2-d4 d7-d5

Closed games are those opening variations in chess in which Black meets 1.d2-d4 with 1... d7-d5

QueensGambit: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3

In the Queen's Gambit White offers a pawn on move 2, but this gambit is not a generous sacrifice because it is easy to recover the pawn. So in the main variations Black declines the gambit and protects the pawn on d5. The Orthodox Variation with 2... e6 is very frequently played. However, this pawn blocks the way for the bishop on c8.

Slav: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6

In the Slav Defence Black protects his d5-pawn with his c-pawn and keeps open the option of where to develop his light-squared bishop to, unlike in the Queen's Gambit Declined where it is brought into play early on. But in doing so he somewhat retards the development of his kingside. The Slav has the reputation of being a solid defence and is part of the arsenal of many strong grandmasters.

SemiSlav: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6

The Semi-Slav mixes the Slav with the Orthodox Queen’s Gambit. Black plays both …c7-c6 and …e7-e6, before continuing his development. There is now the threat of the capture …d5xc4 followed by the defence of the pawn. White can prevent that with 5.e2-e3 or ignore it with 5.Bc1-g5. Both systems have been seen in top chess for many years and lead to fighting positions and have been intensively analysed.

QueensPawn: 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4 c5 4.e3 Nc6 5.c3 e6

In Queen’s Pawn Games White does without the advance of the c-pawn and instead sets up a safe closed centre. This setup is popular in amateur chess because without great theoretical knowledge White is able to reach positions with simple attacking plans.

Angenommenes Damengambit: 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4

White sacrifices his c-pawn in order to get control over the centre. If Black hangs on to his extra pawn for too long White gets a good initiative.

Katalanisch: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3

The Catalan Opening is characterised by the fianchettoed bishop on g2 and the enormous pressure it exerts in many variations down the long diagonal.