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Queen's Indian (E12)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6

Number of games in database: 9560
Years covered: 1887 to 2022
Overall record:
   White wins 34.3%
   Black wins 25.0%
   Draws 40.7%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Aleksey Dreev  149 games
Ivan Farago  103 games
Anthony Miles  89 games
Ivan Farago  79 games
Jan Timman  71 games
Anatoly Karpov  70 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Kasparov vs Portisch, 1983
Tal vs Hecht, 1962
Kasparov vs Andersson, 1981
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1994
Radjabov vs Anand, 2002
Bogoljubov vs Capablanca, 1928
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 page 1 of 383; games 1-25 of 9,560 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Blackburne vs J Noa 1-0301887FrankfurtE12 Queen's Indian
2. G W Baynes vs C Brocklebank 1-0361891VIC chE12 Queen's Indian
3. G W Baynes vs F K Esling 0-1221893Melbourne club matchE12 Queen's Indian
4. B Siegheim vs R P Michell  0-1401903LondonE12 Queen's Indian
5. O Bernstein vs Nimzowitsch ½-½501914St. PetersburgE12 Queen's Indian
6. Nenarokov vs Alekhine 0-13119151st Category tournamentE12 Queen's Indian
7. B van Trotsenburg vs Euwe 0-1291920AmsterdamE12 Queen's Indian
8. R A J Meijer vs Lasker  0-1361920SimulE12 Queen's Indian
9. Euwe vs Lasker 1-0321920Simul, 25bE12 Queen's Indian
10. Tarrasch vs Bogoljubov 1-0281920GothenburgE12 Queen's Indian
11. M Marchand vs K Kullberg 1-0271920Gothenburg BE12 Queen's Indian
12. V Sjoberg vs E Jacobson  ½-½251920Gothenburg BE12 Queen's Indian
13. Gruenfeld vs K Kullberg  ½-½271920Gothenburg BE12 Queen's Indian
14. M Marchand vs Saemisch  1-0621920Gothenburg BE12 Queen's Indian
15. Bogoljubov vs Spielmann 0-1411920GothenburgE12 Queen's Indian
16. V Sjoberg vs Saemisch  ½-½421920Gothenburg BE12 Queen's Indian
17. M Marchand vs Euwe ½-½321920Gothenburg BE12 Queen's Indian
18. G J van Gelder vs Euwe  0-1231920AmsterdamE12 Queen's Indian
19. D N Pavlov vs A Kubbel 0-1261920USSR ChampionshipE12 Queen's Indian
20. P S Leonhardt vs Saemisch ½-½501920BerlinE12 Queen's Indian
21. J G Baay vs Euwe  1-0311921AmsterdamE12 Queen's Indian
22. Hakansson vs Nimzowitsch  0-12219211st Match Nimzowitsch - HakanssonE12 Queen's Indian
23. E G Sergeant vs Euwe  ½-½421921BroadstairsE12 Queen's Indian
24. Euwe vs Saemisch  0-1411921ViennaE12 Queen's Indian
25. V Vukovic vs H Mueller  0-1381921ViennaE12 Queen's Indian
 page 1 of 383; games 1-25 of 9,560 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-20-08  get Reti: I have looked at many games in the databse with 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 b3 b5 and it looks pretty solid for black. Black can move the bishop to c6 (and maybe d5), the Queen to b7, the pawn to a5, and the bishop to b4 and then possible play c5 od d5 and whip up an attack. What do you all think of this?
Mar-24-09  ILikeFruits: if i may...
why are...
these openings...
called the...
indian defense...
for example...
Mar-24-09  chessman95: <get Reti: I have looked at many games in the databse with 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 b3 b5 and it looks pretty solid for black. Black can move the bishop to c6 (and maybe d5), the Queen to b7, the pawn to a5, and the bishop to b4 and then possible play c5 od d5 and whip up an attack. What do you all think of this?>

I play the QID as my main defense after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3, so I can tell you from both experience and the studying I've done on this opening that most of what you say is true. The line you gave is not very common, and I don't play it myself, but it looks solid enough to me. I usually play the QB to b7 instead of a6, and then my KB to e7 or b4, 0-0, and as you said I play c5 or d5 at the best time to undermine the center. Also, the nice 'hole' on d4 can be usefull for my KN to go there and then trade knights. I like this opening because black is the one who gets to dictate when the 'attack' starts and it's really very fun to play (for me) from the black side.

<Z.Ramsay: -11? Why the serious drop?! Are people running to the Bogo or QGD after 3. Nf3????>

From the reasons stated above, I'm honestly not sure about that. I have been aware of the drop in popularity over the past years, but I can't figure out why. I can tell you that it would probably be more because of the QGD than the Bogo, if that is the reason. However, I don't mind it, because I play this opening all the time and less people know the QID theory anymore.

<alphastrike20: Does anyone know of any aggressive systems for black in the queen's indian and the nimzo indian?>

The Ba6 lines are usually aggressive, and also lines with an early c5 or d5 break can get exciting (that's in the QID). As far as the Nizmo, there's so much theory on that that there's probably an aggressive line in just about every variation!

<ILikeFruits: if i may...
why are...
these openings...
called the...
indian defense...
for example...

On another page (I can't remember where) I said that the reason was that Europeans had learned the response Nf6 to d4 in India, which I had read somewhere. Others said that it's just because the openings tend to be 'exotic', so they were named after India. Whatever the reason, anything after 1.d4 Nf6 is considered an "Indian Defense".

Apr-17-09  drukenknight: another fun queens indian that starts off as French def. Does anyone else do this as black? 1 e4 e6 then if anything other than 2 d4 play 2...b6?

1. e4 e6
2. Nf3 b6
3. d4 Bb7
4. Nc3 Nf6
5. e5 Nd5
6. Nxd5 Bxd5
7. c3 Be7
8. Bd3 h6 (the crap pc is against this, but I find black needs space on the k side)

9. O-O g5 (crap pc says to castle but this is too much fun) 10. Re1 g4
11. Nd2 h5

after 11 ...h5 what now?

click for larger view

12. Be4 (looks odd, he seems determined to swap off the fianch. B but maybe Ne4 is better)

13. c4 Bxe4
14. Nxe4 d5
15. cxd5 Qxd5
16. Nf6+ (Nc3 seems obviously the move)
17. exf6 Nc6
18. a3 h4
19. Bf4 (not the best)

black to play;

click for larger view

Apr-17-09  blacksburg: isn't the point of the QID and NID to prevent e4? if you allow e4, aren't you playing the <Owen's Defence> or something?
Apr-17-09  chessman95: <isn't the point of the QID and NID to prevent e4?>

It's much much much much much deeper than that. Black prevents e4 first, because that allows him to also battle for the rest of the center squares. If the pawn was on e4, it would be much harder to contest in the center.

By the way, I think the <Owen Defense> is 1.e4 b6

Apr-17-09  drukenknight: I really wasnt sure where to post this type of opening. I see that eco E12 is based on c4/d4 pawns but I really have no idea about this set of moves.

Yes, cman is right, that is Owen's defense w/ k side fianchetto. I dont know what to call this other than Q Indian. I have had good experience playing this when white does not play the natural moves for the French. My old MCO book, talks about something called Franco-benoni" encouraging people to play e4 e6 and then either to French or Benoni depending on whites play. I have also found ...f5 useful in many instances, maybe I can post something.

By the way that is a chess problem for you all, in that second diagram above.

I might see if Tartakover's book mentions this...

Jul-14-09  drukenknight: Another one that starts out as French and goes into a q indian set up.I dont have a better category to post it under..White pushes a lot of pawns around

1. e4 e6
2. e5 d5 (I have been reluctant to give up the qp so quickly, but this seems the most logical move)

3. exd6 Bxd6
4. Nf3 b6
5. Be2 Bb7
6. Nc3 Nc6
7. a3 Nf6
8. h3 Ne7
9. O-O c5
10. d3 Qc7
11. Nb5 Qd7
12. Nxd6+ Qxd6
13. Bg5 h6 (I want to provoke him to dbl the pawns and open the g file)

14. Bxf6 gxf6
15. c3 (maybe Qe2) Rg8(000 better)
16. d4 Rd8
17. Qa4+ Nc6 (Ke7 maybe better)
18. Bb5 Ke7
19. Bxc6 Bxc6
20. Qd1

position after 20 Qd1 and now?

click for larger view

Aug-07-09  drukenknight: I have decided to play an early Qe2 against the queens indian (in response to 1 e4): Here is it's debut:

1 e4 b6
2. Nf3 Bb7
3. Bc4 e6
4. Qe2 Nc6
5. d4 d5?! (5…Na5 6 Bd3 c5 white has small advantage)

6. exd5 Na5
7. Bb5+ c6
8. dxc6 Bxc6

after 8..Bxc6 white has several ways to continue a very favorable game:

click for larger view

it continues for example:

9. Ne5 Bxb5
10. Qxb5+ Ke7

Aug-09-09  drukenknight: The follow up to that idea is even funnier. I decided to play this same Q move when white goes into a Queens indian reversed:

1. b3 e5
2. Bb2 Qe7
3. e3 d5
4. a3 Nf6
5. d4 exd4
6. Bxd4 Nc6
7. Bxf6?! Qxf6
8. c3 Bf5
9. Bd3 Bxd3
10. Qxd3 Ne5
11. Qxd5 Rd8
12. Qxb7? (12 Qe4 with slight black advantage)

after 12 Qxb7??

click for larger view

He ends up losing the Q but in our game he simply got mated when the K marched wrong, supposed to go:

13. Kd1 Nc5+
14. Ke2

Aug-10-09  drukenknight: since no one seems interested; in that diagram posted on 4/17 after move 19 there is a beautiful swallow tail mate in there if you look closely. It is useful to know those classic mating positions after all.
Aug-10-09  ughaibu: 19....h3, etc?
Aug-12-09  drukenknight: yes; it goes downhill from there.
Apr-03-10  Albertan: I have analyzed a game which Grandmaster Lahno won (playing the Queen's Indian Defense) against Grandmaster Krasenkow at the 2010 French Team Chess Championships. The game has been posted to my blog at using Chessviewer Deluxe and is game number 35 in the Chessviewer Deluxe game viewer. If you like playing the Queen's Indian defense from either side of the board,then you will enjoy this game.The variation is the Petrosian/Kasparov variation (ie.4.a3.)
May-23-11  rgr459: Why is it that this defense does not seem to be played currently at the highest (super-GM) level? Is recent theory consistent with it favoring white?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: QID is rare now because White playing 3.Nc3, so Nimzo is dominant.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In the 1980s, many top GMs preferred to avoid the Nimzo, so the Queen's Indian or QGD (where Black thus avoided the Exchange variation) were often played.
May-23-11  Marmot PFL: <ES> Or else Catalan.
May-23-11  rgr459: OK, then why doesn't white allow it? Is the white side of the Nimzo more challenging to black?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <rgr459> One grandmaster wrote in the 1980s that the Nimzo is the only opening where Black has equality after three moves.

Back then, I used to play the Nimzo and QID with both colours, even against GMs.

In my opinion, it was partly a question of fashion, as going back to the 1920s, the Nimzo was often allowed, even at top level, but by the '80s, especially with Kasparov's advocacy of the Petrosian line in the QID (4.a3), plus the variation 4.g3 Ba6, the Queen's Indian was all the rage.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Queen's Indian
1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 e6 3.♘f3 b6

click for larger view

Apr-12-16  suenteus po 147: I'm looking at this game today: Yifan Hou vs V Sanal, 2015 I'm wondering, what's the Kasparov Variation of the QID?
Apr-12-16  Ovy: <what's the Kasparov Variation of the QID?>


Apr-12-16  suenteus po 147: <Ovy> Thank you!

Also, <4.Nc3>? Seriously, that's it? Doesn't seem like the hardest work Kasparov has done in the QID.

Nov-03-18  Chessonly: Nice! Here is the easy way to understand Queen Indian Defense:
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