Queen’s Indian Defence

The Queen’s Indian Defence is a Black defence in the “d4 Nf6” lines. The characteristic move is the fianchetto of the light-squared queenside bishop with “b6” and “Bb7” (or sometimes “Ba6!?”), and the dark-square bishop is freed via e6 (i.e. not fianchettoed). The Queen’s Indian is a solid opening with a good reputation. It is a solid opening like other Indian Defences (e.g. the Nimzo-Indian or the Bogo-Indian), but it is a slower and more positional opening compared to more tactical openings such as the King’s Indian, Benoni, Benko, or Gruenfeld.

Diagram: Queen’s Indian Defence (against 2.c4)

The Queen’s Indian is hard for White to avoid, although it’s not really an opening that many White players will fear either. Black can play the queenside fianchetto against an early c4, and also a move or two later if White delays c4 with moves like Nf3 or g3.

Diagram: Queen’s Indian Defence (against 2.Nf3)

The strategic plan for Black is to maintain control over the “e4” square, in order to prevent the advance of White’s king pawn. The White Knight on c3 may also be undermined by Bb4 in the Queen’s Indian, as in the Nimzo-Indian. In some lines, Black may also play “d5” to control the “e4” square, even though this actually self-blocks the queenside bishop.

Variations of the Queen’s Indian Defence include:

  • Classical Queen’s Indian (4.g3)
  • Main Line Classical Queen’s Indian (g3 main line)
  • Petrosian Queen’s Indian (4.a3)
  • Nimzowitch Queen’s Indian (with …Ba6)
  • Romanishin Queen's Indian (g6)
  • King’s Fianchetto Variation of QID
  • Miles Queen's Indian (Bf4)
  • Bb7 Queen’s Indian
  • Qc2 Queen’s Indian

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