Rare DDG Moves

Most openings have a number of reflexive moves: some pieces are always played on the same squares. Here a few typical moves and assumptions of the DDG are questioned, by presenting rarely played but interesting alternatives. These moves deserve more analysis, which should result as new ideas for the DDG.

Assumption 1: if exf3, White plays Nxf3

Idea: Qxf3 when d4 is supported by Be3.

Example: 3... dxe4 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Be3 Be7 6. f3 exf3 7. Qxf3 O-O 8. O-O-O c5 9. d5 exd5 10. cxd5?? (10. Nxd5) Bg4, 0-1 in 14, Heikkinen - Evans, corr. 1997.

However, 5. f3 exf3 6. Qxf3?! Qxd4 looks too bold.

Idea: gxf3 might work especially if White has castled queenside. Above all, the half-open g-file provides great attacking chances against Black's king.

Example: 3... dxe4 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. f3 Nc6 6. Be3 Bb4 7. Qb3 O-O 8. O-O-O exf3 9. gxf3 b6 10. d5 exd5 11. Nxd5 Bd6 12. Bg5, draw in 19, Ortwin Pätzold - Mark Smits, IECG, 1997.

Assumption 2: if exd5, White plays cxd5

Idea: Nxd5. Of course, Black should avoid exchanging knights.

Example: 3... dxe4 4. Nc3 f5 5. f3 c5 6. d5 exd5 7. Nxd5 Bd6 8. Be3 Nc6 9. Qd2 Be6 10. O-O-O, 1-0 in 61, Brause - jos, ICS 1997.

Assumption 3: Black plays king's knight to f6

Idea: Ne7 after Bb4. This somewhat shifts the main course of the game, as the control of e4 is usually the main concern in the DDG. After Ne7, Black may continue with f5, or Nf5.

Example: 3... dxe4 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Be3 Ne7 6. Qg4 Nf5 7. Qxe4 Nxe3 8. fxe3 c5, 1-0 in 83, Brause - Akis, ICS 1997.

Assumption 4: Black does not play king's bishop fianchetto

Idea: g6 and Bg7. Obviously, f6 may become a dangerous weakness because e6 has already been played. Similary, in the BDG Bogoljubow Defence, where Black plays g6, it is not recommended to continue with e6.

Examples: 3... dxe4 4. Nc3

Assumption 5: Black castles kingside

Idea: Having developed the queen's bishop, Black could try castling queenside: after e5 and Bg4, or Bd7 and Bc6, or b6 and Bb7. This may be difficult to achieve, but at least it would destroy White's typical plans; e.g., the half-open f-file would be almost useless. Brause has met O-O-O a few times, usually after Black has played 4... f5.