Queen's Pawn Games

1.d2-d4 d7-d5 ohne 2.c2-c4


Queen's Pawn Games are openings which begin with the moves 1.d4 d5 but do not continue with 2.c4. As a rule, that leads to closed pawn structures in the centre.

Previously Queen's Pawn Games were very popular above all in normal club chess. White has simple attacking plans and a pattern for development which worked in general without great theoretical knowledge. In the meantime openings such as the London System (a setup with Bf4) have also been employed by players like World Champion Carlsen, Sergey Karjakin and Wesley So.

Londoner System als Beispiel

In the following diagrams you can return to the starting position with and from there you can go backwards and forwards through the opening moves with the arrow keys and

Subsequently click on the name of the opening in order to get more detailed information.

London System: 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4

The London System is a popular opening since White can set up his pieces according to a specific pattern almost independently of any reaction by Black. White develops his dark-squared bishop in front of the pawn chain and bolsters his centre with e2-e3 and then c2-c3. The knights go to d2 and f3 and the light-squared bishop should go to d3. That is a bomb-proof setup which can hardly be shaken. Black, however, also has the freedom to develop as he wishes and can in principle choose any logical setup. A frequently played variation goes: 2...Ng8-f6 3. e2-e3 c7-c5 4. c2-c3 Nb8-c6 5. Nb1-d2 e7-e6 6. Ng1-f3 Bf8-d6 7. Bf4-g3 0-0 8. Bf1-d3 b7-b6 After both sides have set up their pieces logically, Black prepares to develop his light-squared bishop to b7. White can now become active in the centre with 9. Ne5 and try to attack on the kingside by afterwards pushing forward with his f-pawn.

Colle System: 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Bd3 c5 5.c3

The Colle System works in a similar way to the London System, except that the dark-squared bishop remains within the pawn chain and comes into play later as soon as White has managed to get in the advance e2-e4. The system is not particularly dangerous and Black can stand up to it with simple developing moves.

Richter-Veresov Attack: 1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bg5

In this system White develops his queen’s knight to c3 and blocks the c-pawn. That is followed by the development of the dark-squared bishop to g5. 3...Nbd7 is a solid counter in order to take on f6 with the knight if White exchanges his bishop there. Instead White should continue his development with 4. Ng1-f3 or even prepare to castle long with 4. Qd1-d3.

Blackmar-Diemer Gambit: 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3

This gambit is likely to be met only at amateur level since objectively it is not quite sound. White sacrifices his f-pawn in order to try and use the open f-file in the long term for an attack against the black king. After the exchange on f3 White should take with the knight, quickly develop his bishops and bring his king to safety. Black can develop his light-squared bishop or even (slightly better) play … e7-e6 to prepare to develop his dark-squared bishop.

Stonewall Attack: 1.d4 d5 2.e3

White delays the development of his king’s knight and wants to first play f4. The pawn triangle d4-e3-f4 occurs with reversed colours in the Stonewall System in the Dutch Defence, which explains the name of this variation. The idea is to occupy e5 with a knight, follow up with g2-g4-g5 and attack the king.