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.