Netflix’s “Queen’s Gambit” miniseries boosted the interest of people in chess but had no effect on the popularity of the opening of the same name.
There was no need.
The Queen’s Gambit is itself one of the oldest, most played, and respectable openings ever. It was played already by Gioachino Greko back in 1620. Later, it was used by Paul Morphy, Wilhelm Steinitz, Emanuel Lasker, Jose Raul Capablanca… Well, literally every next World Champion used the Queen’s Gambit, and it is still relevant! Moreover, this opening is so rich that chess players still find new ideas and concepts inside of it.
The Queen’s Gambit is the opening of champions, so try it out too! If you are still unsure, here are 10 reasons why you should add it to your repertoire.
1. It teaches you important positional concepts
With the Queen’s Gambit, you will learn how to maneuver your knights to the best squares, play against bad pieces, attack weak and backward pawns, use open files, etc. This opening is a real storehouse of positional ideas.
2. It teaches you strategic play
The Queen’s Gambit is perhaps the best opening to learn planning. Here you will get to know about the minority attack, Botvinnik’s central pawn roller, Pillsbury’s knight outpost, and many other important strategic plans and concepts.
3. It is principled but yet reliable
It is one of White’s main tries to get an advantage after 1.d4, unlike the lazy approach as in the London System. But still, White gets a very solid position after the opening and aims to squeeze Black in a rather slow manner.
4. You will understand champions’ play better
The Queen’s Gambit was featured in many great classical games. For example, in the 1927 World Championship match between Capablanca and Alekhine, this opening was played in 32 out of 34 games! Studying classics is necessary for general chess improvement and if you play the Queen’s Gambit it will also help your opening play.
5. It will help you with the other openings
Plans and ideas from the Queen’s Gambit will help you in such openings as the Caro-Kann, the Queen’s Indian, the Slav, the Tarrasch Defense, and others.
6. It is flexible and versatile
The Queen’s Gambit is an exceedingly rich opening and allows you to vary plans and ideas. You can develop your bishop either to g5 or to f4; the kingside knight can go to either f3 or e2; you can play in the center or prefer the queenside instead. All this will never let you be bored and make you less predictable to your opponents.
7. You will be getting good positions after the opening
Even though it is entitled a ‘gambit’, it is absolutely sound and not risky. Even if you don’t play precisely, your position will remain playable and sound, unlike such sharp openings as the Sicilian Dragon or the King’s Gambit.
8. It will be difficult to play for a win against you
In the Queen’s Gambit, White usually doesn’t get any weaknesses or issues that Black could easily exploit. This makes their task to win the game really tough. It can even happen that stronger opponents will try to push for a win too hard, overextend their position and eventually lose because of that.
9. White’s plans and ideas are easy to follow
This opening doesn’t typically lead to forced positions. Therefore, it doesn’t require much memorization of the moves. Instead, you can play relying on your chess understanding and basic knowledge. The plans and ideas are easy to grasp and overall you will be able to follow them even if your opponent finds a way to surprise you.
10. It is fashionable at any level
Don’t think that it is too complicated if World Champions employ it. It is not sharp, so you can start playing the Queen’s Gambit with little knowledge and then go deeper with time; step by step.
Want to Add the Queen’s Gambit to Your Opening Preparation?
Through his new, exclusive course The Queen’s Gambit: Complete Repertoire for White, GM Tamas Fodor is going to reveal to you ALL the most common and rare variations of the opening…
… in 22 high-quality videos, each spanning from 30 minutes to 1 hour!
Watch the Video Preview on The Queen’s Gambit – Complete Repertoire for White: