Boring Queen’s Gambit? Try the Slav!

Many players, especially beginners, dislike the Queen’s Gambit. They call it boring, positional, and not fun to play, from either side! Some even wonder why this opening is not banned (due it being boing, etc.).


Maybe they should try the Slav. It’s tactical, full of tension and a single misstep can be fatal.


Here is a list of miniatures to play when you are feeling sluggish.


And a final game, which is not a miniature, but belongs here. You’ll see why at the end.


Meanwhile …  enjoy!




Jensen (1873)-Fries (2038)
US Open
Los Angeles, 1991
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 dxc4 4.e4 b5 5.a4 e5 6.Nge2 b4 7.Nb1 Nf6 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.d5 Bb7 11.Ng3 Bc5 12.Nf5 cxd5 13.Ne3 Bxe3 14.fxe3 Qh4+ 15.g3 Qxe4 16.Rg1 Qxe3+ 17.Qe2 Qxg1 18.Qxe5+ Kd8 0-1


GM Agdestein (2600)-Zsuzsa Polgar (2565)
Active Chess
Exhibition Match
Oslo, 1996
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e3 Nf6 5.b3 Nbd7 6.Bb2 Bd6 7.Qc2 O-O 8.O-O-O?! (Premature. Better is 8.Nf3 and try to castle kingside.)  8…a5 9.Nf3 a4 10.Nxa4 dxc4 11.bxc4 b5! (Using her queenside pawns Zsuzsa opens up the queenside with her pawns.) 12.cxb5 cxb5 13.Bxb5 Ba6 14.Bxa6 Rxa6 15.Nd2 Qa8 16.Nc3 Rc8 17.Ndb1 Rxa2 18.Rd3 Nd5 19.Qb3 Nb4 20.Rd2 Qxg2 21.Rhd1 Qb7! 0-1 (Black threatens 22…Nd3+.)


Berlin, 1987
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Qb3 Qb6 7.Nxd5 Qxb3 8.Nc7+ Kd8 9.axb3 Kxc7 10.Bf4+ Kc8 11.Ne5 f6 12.Nc4 Nd7 13.f3 Bc2 14.e4 Bxb3 15.Na5 Bf7 16.Nxc6 e5 17.Nxa7+ Kb8 18.dxe5 fxe5 19.Be3 Bc5 20.Rd1 Bxe3 21.Rxd7 Be8 22.Rd3 Bd4 0-1


Jelena Popovic-Elena Stotskaja
Rimavska Sobota, 1992
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.Bg5 e6 6.e3 Be7 7.Ne5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Bg3 Nbd7 10.Bd3 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 Nh5 12.cxd5 exd5 13.Qf5 f6 14.Qg6+ Kf8 15.Qf7mate 1-0


Dias (2295)-Gillford
World Jr. Ch.
Calcutta, 1998
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bf5 5.Qb3 Qb6 6.Bf4 Nbd7 7.e3 e6 8.Qxb6 axb6 9.Nh4 Bg4 10.f3 Bh5 11.Bd3 Bg6 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.O-O Nh5 14.Bg5 Bd6 15.Rfb1? Bxh2+! 16.Kxh2 Nf4+ 17.Kg3 Nxd3 18.cxd5 exd5 19.e4 f6 20.Bd2 dxe4 21.Nxe4 f5 22.Ng5 Nf6 23.b4 f4+ 0-1


Kuzubov (2535)-Wademark (2182)
Port Erin Open
Isle Of Man, Sept. 24 2005
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Na6 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Bf4 Qa5 7.e3 e6 8.a3 Bd7 9.Bd3 Be7 10.Ne5 Nb8 11.O-O O-O 12.Bg5 Qd8 13.f4 Nc6 14.Rf3 Nxe5 15.fxe5 Ng4 16.Bxh7+ Kxh7 17.Rh3+ Nh6 18.Qd3+ Kg8 19.Bxh6 f5 20.exf6 Bxf6 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Qh7mate 1-0


 Technically, the next three games constitute the Tolush-Geller Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4).


JCCA Webchess Open
ICCF, 2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 b5 6.Be2 e6 7.O-O Be7 8.a4 b4 9.e5 Nd5 10.Ne4 c3 11.bxc3 Nxc3 12.Nxc3 bxc3 13.Ba3 c5 14.Qc2 Ba6 15.Bb5+ Bxb5 16.axb5 O-O 17.dxc5 Qa5 18.Rfb1 Nd7 19.c6 Bxa3 20.cxd7 1-0


Bosboom (2471)-Stellwagen (2621)
Netherlands Ch.
Hilversum, Apr. 4 2008
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 b5 6.Qc2 e6 7.g4 Bb7 8.g5 Nfd7 9.h4 Na6 10.a3 Be7 11.Be3 Qa5 12.Nd2 c5 13.d5 Ne5 14.Ra2 exd5 15.exd5 O-O 16.Qf5 Bd6 17.h5 Rae8 18.h6 g6 19.Qb1 Ng4 20.Nde4 Bxd5 21.Bd2 Bf4 22.Kd1 Bxe4 23.Nxe4 Nxf2+ 0-1


GM Gaprindashvili-Z. Polgar
FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament
Shanghai, 1992
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 c6 5.e4 b5 6.e5 Nd5 7.a4 Bf5 8.Be2 b4 9.Nh4 bxc3 10.Nxf5 e6 11.Ng3 cxb2 12.Bxb2 Bb4+ 13.Kf1 c3 14.Bc1 O-O 15.Ne4 Nd7 16.Bd3 f5 17.exf6 N7xf6 18.Ng5 Qd6 19.Qc2 h6 20.h4 hxg5 21.hxg5 Ng4 22.Bh7+ Kf7 23.Qe4


23…Nxf2 24.Kxf2 Ke7+ 25.Ke2 Qg3 0-1


Sulava (2531)-Abolianin (2385)
Imperia Open
Italy, 2001
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.a4 g6 6.e3 Bg7 7.Bd3 O-O 8.O-O c5 9.Nxd5 Nxd5 10.cxd5 cxd4 11.e4 e6 12.dxe6 Bxe6 13.Ng5 Bc8 14.f4 Nc6 15.Bd2 h6 16.Nf3 Be6 17.Qe1 Re8 18.Qg3 Qd6 19.h4 Kh8 20.Rae1 Rad8 21.h5 g5 22.e5 gxf4 23.Qxg7+ 1-0


German Northwest League, 1988
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.e3 e6 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 c5 9.e4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Bd6 11.Be3 O-O 12.e5 Bxe5 13.Qf3 Bxd4 14.Qxa8 Bxc3+ 15.bxc3 Qxd3 16.Qxb8 e5 17.Qa7 Qxc3+ 18.Ke2 Be6 19.f3 Qb2+ 20.Bd2 Bc4+ 0-1


Miller (2180)-Stephen Jones (2359)
Southern California Open, 1995
[I first annotated this game in Rank and File.]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.e3 b5!? 6.cxd5 cxd5 7.Bd3 Bb7?! (Unless Black gets a Knight on e4 to exchange off and open the diagonal, the Bishop will merely be an onlooker to the proceedings.) 8.O-O Nbd7 9.Ne5 e6 10.f4 Be7 11.Qf3 O-O 12.g4! b4 (Black has little counterplay, and cannot come up with a good play to organize his forces.) 13.Ne2 Ne4 14.Ng3 Nd6 15.Bd2 (To connect both Rooks.) 15…Nb6 (The Black Knights are still trying to find good squares. Meanwhile White continues to build his attack.) 16.g5 a5 17.Qh5 Ne4 18.Rf3 Qe8 19.Nxe4 dxe4 20.Rh3 (White’s Bishop is, of course, immune from capture.) 20…h6 21.Ng4 (D Nxh6+) 1-0


Fang (2355)-Nichols (2046)
New Hampshire Open, 1997
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 a6 5.c5 g6 6.Bf4 Bg7 7.h3 Nbd7 8.e3 O-O 9.Be2 Re8 10.O-O Ne4 11.Nxe4 dxe4 12.Nd2 e5 13.dxe5 Nxc5 14.Rc1 Nd3 15.Bxd3 exd3 16.Nc4 Re6 17.Rc3 Re8 18.Rxd3 Qh4 19.Nb6 Ra7 20.Nxc8 Rxc8 21.Rd7 g5 22.Rd8+ Rxd8 23.Qxd8+ Bf8 24.Bxg5 1-0


GM Kamsky-GM Kramnik
Candidate’s Match, 1994
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7 11.exf6 Bb7 12.g3 c5 13.d5 Qb6 14.Bg2 O-O-O 15.O-O b4 16.Na4 Qb5 17.a3 Ne5 18.axb4 cxb4 19.Qd4 Nc6 20.dxc6 Rxd4 21.cxb7+ Kc7 22.Be3 e5 23.Nc3 bxc3 24.bxc3 Bc5 25.cxd4 1-0


R. Hungaski (2366)-A. Nasri (2227)
World Jr. Ch.
Yerevan, 2006
1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 e6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.h4 g4 11.Ne5 h5 12.O-O Nbd7 13.Qc2 a6 14.Rad1 Be7 15.f3 Rg8 16.fxg4 hxg4 17.Nxf7 Kxf7 18.e5 c5 19.d5 Qb6 20.exf6 Bxf6 21.Ne4 1-0


GM Loek Van Wely-GM Alexander Morozevich
Wijk aan Zee, 2001
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 c5 6.d5 Bf5 7.e3 e6 8.Bxc4 exd5 9.Nxd5 Nc6 10.Qb3 Qd7 11.Nxf6+ gxf6 12.Bd2 Rg8 13.Bc3!?  O-O-O 14.Bxf7 Rxg2! 15.Nh4

15…Ne5! 16.Nxf5 Nd3+ 17.Kf1 Rxf2+ 18.Kg1 Kb8 19.Qe6?! Rxf5 20.h4 Bd6 21.Rf1? Rg8+ 0-1 (In view of …Qg7#)


Ikonnikov (2560)-Vitoux (2264)
Port Erin Open
Isle Of Man, Sept. 24 005
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 c5 6.d5 Bf5 7.e4 Nxe4 8.Nxe4 Bxe4 9.Bxc4 Qd6 10.O-O Nd7 11.Re1 Nf6 12.Bb5+ Kd8 13.Bc4 h6 14.Bd2 a6 15.Bc3 Qf4 16.Ne5 Kc8 17.f3 Bg6 18.g3 Qg5 19.f4 Qh5 20.Be2 1-0


Alan Fichaud-Robert Jacobs (2415)
ATB 2, 1998
1.c4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Na6 6.e4 Be6 7.Ne5 Qa5 8.f3 Rd8 9.Be3 Qb4 10.Qe2 g6 11.Nxc4 Bg7 12.a5 O-O 13.Ne5 Rxd4 14.Nxc6 bxc6 15.Bxd4 Qxd4 16.Qxa6 Rb8 17.Qe2 Nd7 18.Nd1 Nc5 19.Qc2 Nb3 20.Ra3 Qb4+ 21.Nc3 Nd4 22.Qc1 Qxb2 23.Qxb2 Rxb2 24.Bd3 Rxg2 0-1


Eduardo Ortiz-Matthew Ho
Pacific Southwest Open
Los Angeles 2003
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Na6 6.e4 Bg4 7.Bxc4 Bxf3 8.gxf3 e6 9.Be3 Be7 10.Rg1 O-O 11.f4 Qa5 12.Kf1 Qb4 cxd4 15.Bxd4 Nc5 16.Rg5! h6 17.Rxc5! Bxc5 18.Bxf6 Be7 (18…gxf6 19.Ra4 snares the Queen.) 19.Be5 Bf6 20.Bxf6 gxf6 21.f5 Qd6 22.Qg4+ Kh8 23.fxe6 fxe6 24.Rd1 Qe7 25.Bxe6 1-0


GM Polugaevsky (2585)-Drasko (2465)
Sarajevo, 1987
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.O-O O-O 9.Nh4 Nbd7 10.f3 Bg6 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.Qc2 Rc8 13.Rd1 Qb6 14.Kh1 c5 15.d5 Ne5 16.Be2 Rfe8 17.dxe6 Qxe6 18.Nb5 Nc6 19.Bc4 Qf5 20.Bxf7+ 1-0


Vandenburg (1979)-Blechar (2237)
CCLA Team Ch., 1999
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.Bg5 Bb4 8.Nxc4 Qd5 9.Bxf6 Qxc4 10.Qd2 Qb3 11.Bxg7 Rg8 12.Be5 c5 13.Bxb8 cxd4 14.Be5 O-O-O 15.Bxd4 Rxd4! (16.Qxd4 Qxb2) 0-1


Waxman-Wes White
Jay Chemical, 1981?
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 c6 4.Qc2 Ne4 5.Bf4 Bf5 6.Qb3 Qa5+ 7.Nbd2 e5 8.dxe5 Bc5 9.e3 Bb4 10.Rd1 Nc5 0-1


C. Gabriel (2531)-GM Huebner (2636)
Germany, Jan. 28 2006
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Qb3 dxc4 5.Qxc4 Bf5 6.g3 e6 7.Bg2 Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.Qb3 Qb6 10.Nbd2 Rd8 11.Nc4 Qxb3 12.axb3 Rd5?? (13.Nb6 axb6 14.Rxa8 +-) 1-0


 GM Gelfand (2733)-GM Van Wely (2683)
Blindfold Game
Melody Amber
Monaco, 2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Qb3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 Nbd7 7.e3 Be7 8.Nc3 O-O 9.Bd3 b6 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.O-O Bb7 12.Rfc1 a6 13.Na4 b5 14.Nc5 Nxc5 15.dxc5 Ne4 16.Bxe7 Qxe7 17.c6 Bc8 18.a4 bxa4 19.Rxa4 Nd6 20.Qa3 Qc7 21.b4 Qb6 22.b5 Nxb5 23.Bxb5 Qxb5 24.Rb4 Qe2 25.Rb2 1-0


And the last game, as promised. It’s a game full of Queens, and appropriately quite tactical.


Metz-Chess1, 1991
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Be2 Bb7 9.O-O b4 10.Na4 Be7 11.Qc2 Rc8 12.Rd1 O-O 13.Bd2 a5 14.Be1 c5 15.dxc5 Qc7 16.Rac1 Nxc5 17.Rd4 Qb8 18.Nb6 Rcd8 19.Nc4 Be4 20.Qd2 Qa7 21.Nce5 h6 22.h3 Ba8 23.Bc4 Nfe4 24.Qe2 Qb8 25.Rcd1 Bf6 26.Nd7 Nxd7 27.Rxd7 Rxd7 28.Rxd7 Bc6 29.Rd1 Rd8 30.Nd4 Ba8 31.f3 Nc5 32.Rc1 Qb6 33.Bf2 g6 34.Nb3 Nxb3 35.Bxb3 Bb7 36.Rd1 Rxd1+ 37.Bxd1 Ba6 38.Qd2 Be7 39.Bb3 Bc5 40.Bd1 Kg7 41.e4 e5 42.Bxc5 Qxc5+ 43.Kh2 Bb5 44.Bb3 Bc6 45.Qd8 a4 46.Bd5 Qd4 47.b3 a3 48.Qd6 Bb7 49.Qd7 Bxd5 50.exd5 Qf4+ 51.Kh1 Qc1+ 52.Kh2 Qf4+ 53.Kh1 e4 54.fxe4 Qf1+ 55.Kh2 Qf4+ 56.Kh1 Qf1+ 57.Kh2 Qf4+ 58.Kh1 Qxe4 59.d6 Qe1+ -/+ 60.Kh2 Qe5+ 61.Kh1 Qa1+ 62.Kh2 Qxa2 63.Qe7 Qd2 64.Qe5+ Kh7 65.Qf6 Qd5 66.Qe7 a2 67.d7 a1=Q 68.d8=Q Qxb3

69.Qdf8 (69.Qef8? Qe5+ -+) 69…Qg7! -+ 70.Qb8 h5 71.Qbxb4 Qd5 72.Qbe4 Qb3 73.Q7e5 Qxe5+ 74.Qxe5 Qe6 75.Qc7 g5 76.Qc2+ Kh6 77.Qc3 f6 78.Qb4 Qe5+ 79.Kg1 Qe3+ 80.Kf1 Qf4+ 81.Qxf4 gxf4 82.Ke2 Kg5 83.Kd3 Kh4 84.Ke4 Kg3 85.Kf5 h4 86.Ke4 Kxg2 87.Kxf4 Kxh3 88.Kf3 f5 0-1






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