Queen’s Indian Defense Main Line · Chess Openings

The Queen’s Indian Defense is a powerful weapon for black. In this video we are exploring the main line, also known as the Nimzowitsch variation, in which black plays Ba6 instead of the old Bb7, thus exerting pressure on d5 indirectly, by forcing white to defend his c4 pawn awkwardly.

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For the basics of the Queen’s Indian Defense, watch this introductory video:

We start the series on the QID by covering white’s most popular response to b6, g3. White fianchettoes his kingside bishop in order to contest the central light squares (e4 and d5), which black’s entire opening strategy revolves around.

In the main line black punishes that by playing the move Ba6. Instead of following up b6 with Bb7, which is the old main line, black quickly tries to provoke a concession from white. Ba6 simply attacks the undefended c4 pawn which white cannot defend in an easy and convenient way. He either has to move his pawn to b3, which is not a useful developing move, he has to move his knight to d2, which is a bad square for the knight since from it it doesn’t control d5, or he can defend with a queen move, which is generally not the best idea early on in the opening.

Furthermore, the move Ba6 indirectly weakens d5 control for white. Black will usually simply move the bishop back once damage has been done.

The main line, also known as the Modern main line or the Nimzowitsch variation, became the main battleground in the Queen’s Indian and is now the main variation on the highest levels.



  1. I would be very helpful if you attach the studies / Chapters of lichess of all the Openings in their respective descriptions. or Pin it in the comment section. So one can go thought it whenever needed.

  2. In your video on the Old Main line you go through more variations for White on move 4 (Kasparov variation with 4.Nc3, Spassky-system with 4.e3 and Miles variation with Bf4) which was all supposed to be followed by Bb7. Is the old line considered more favorable for Black than Ba6 when these variations occur?

  3. Stjepan- always take with the b pawnStockfish- Bxc5

  4. Wow just found him I wasted a lot of time Great content man 💯 💯

  5. You're a gem yet to be discovered by millions♥️♥️

  6. Батырхан Кабдырашит says:


  7. Great job this content is very rare, will you make a video for responding to the catalan (not a series ) just a video with in the queens indian defence

  8. Really nice video again! I have a question , will you cover bogo-indian defense and dutch?

  9. i recently started watching your channel and i am very impressed . if you do take suggestions then can you cover the reti opening soon ……….

  10. Thank you for covering the QID, I'm really looking forward to using it in my future games! By the way, will you do some simul on lichess again anytime soon?

  11. The discussion of the typical pawn structures is nice; understanding of the pawn structures is critical to playing the Queen's Indian as I have started doing in the past month. I had some intuitive understanding of the fundamental difference of positions where black plays d5 and those where black plays d6 and this video helped me to clarify these ideas, cheers. Also, I would challenge the idea that d5 is always aggressive and d6 is always positional; sometimes black plays d5 with c5 to trade all the center pawns with the intent of reaching a drawish symmetrical structure for both sides. Many variations maintaining the closed center with d6 and f5 can provide black with crazy hack-attack kingside play.

  12. It is amazing how much you have improved as a tutor. It is so easy to get carried away and just recite lines upon lines of theory. But the part between 5:40 and 10:00 is simply awesome. Congrats man

  13. Great content dude 🙂
    Could you cover the bogo indian later ? That would be useful , thx for your great work 🙂

  14. Very nice video! I’ve been following your channel for a few months now and my chess knowledge has increased vastly, thank you!

  15. I found the part where you explain the possible pawn structures very useful. I think that, when studying an opening, knowing its strategic features is more important than memorising moves and variations. So, I'd find your videos on the openings more instructive, if you concentrated even more on the strategic part. Because one can look at all the variations on a chess games database, and choose which appeals to them most; whether the strategic ideas are harder to come up with, and knowing them is really important to have a good understanding of the played opening.

    One of your best opening videos, keep it up 😉

  16. nice video again Stepan :). May I ask if you will cover an English opening series in the future?

  17. Hi how can I have a game with you in lichess my id Emoji1589

  18. Please make a dutch defence theory series .It is the opening I am Looking against the Queen's pawn opening .

  19. Hello Stejaphen , I am a positional chess player and I want to build my opening repertoire against E4 & D4 please suggest me a solid and positional opening .

  20. Hello sir iam a big fan of you i have been watching ur videos for months and i hv really improved i just want to say u something i mean iam sorry to say but onething that i noticed in your games that you explain very well all middle game plans bt u really dont do it in your tournament games i dnt know y i mean if you explained every middle game plans bt in your own game you are not making so simple you are playing the hard way on your own game i think if u keep it simple u will soon become a great gm once again soory to say sir bt as your fan i just dare to say that and soory for my bad english keep it up u r great

  21. Relatively new to competitive chess, so this video was very helpful. Thank you!

  22. Thank you so much for posting. You are the best yet!

  23. Is this opening still playable if white opens 1. d4 e6 2.e4 ????

  24. I didn’t like this line for black cause I give white a chance to push b3 after bishop b2

  25. Ah mate, you should consider teaching chess alongisde your path to a higher rating, you are incredibly good at explaining concepts.

  26. Yes, I'm late, but I have to say this. You show that a move is bad, like at 14:50, but dont show how to punish said move. Just a thought.

  27. This is such impressively good (free?!) content. I started watching your channel today and I know I'm going to get so much out of your teaching. Thank you!

  28. is the Logo of two pawns a reference to the queens indian or is it something else?

  29. It's a pleasure learning from the work of this future Super-GM! Wishing you all the best for all of time ST!

  30. This is wonderful! Thank you so much for the great and informative video! God Bless you!

  31. I makes me not needing to study a book for now, at least a simplest introduction and ideas before I go for deeper variations. Thank you sir.

  32. Thanks Stjepan! Nice job again… But I notice there's no more drums endings in the end, I miss it ^^

  33. i learned a lot. your channel is awesome, thank you!

  34. I love your content, Stjepan, and this is another fantastic video, which is very helpful to me as a Nimzo/QID player. I’m having trouble finding the game mentioned around 21:50-22 minutes in, from the Zagreb open. Could anyone help me out with a link please?

  35. Well at 00:18, you can't say It was first played by Nimzowitch "that" played this the first time. 😑
    Anyways an insanely great video. This one and Nimzo Indian defense has become my opening against d4. Thanks a lot for helping me.

  36. Super helpful. I'm now jazzed to play the Queen's Indian!

  37. Thank you! Do you know a book that has the Queen's Indian variation 4.e4? (those 3 pawns at 4th move).

  38. I dislike that this video just contains "pawn structures": it's difficult to understand what is going on. You should shows full positions and then highlight the structures.

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