How to Play Queen’s Gambit Opening and More?

By Gary Flores •  Updated: 02/27/22 •  7 min read

What are any other popular e4 opening alternatives? The d4 move, known as the Queen's pawn opening, is the most popular alternative to the e4 chess opening or King's pawn opening. With the Queen's opening you can then continue with Queen's Gambit opening moves.

Is Queen't Gambit a good opening? Yes, it's a good opening move especially if you've studied and mastered at least a few variations of it. It was my favorite move as a kid, and it was the first opening I wanted to learn. In this article, I'll go over some key considerations to remember when playing chess with a Queen opening.

How do you open Queen's Gambit move?

Queen's gambit chess opening moves starts with 1. d4, and black's response is 1… d5, the purpose of black's move is to stop white from moving the King's pawn to 1.e4, which if permitted will gain more center control.

So, after black plays 1… d5, white now plays 2. c4, which opens up to the Queen's Gambit, below is an image after white moves pawn to c4.

The pawn to c4 move is the “gambit.”

Definition of gambit. 1 : a chess opening in which a player risks one or more pawns or a minor piece to gain an advantage in position. 

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gambit

When I play the 2. c4 move, I get excited because I want to see how my opponent reacts to the gambit. Most of the time, I've seen players capture my pawn, which is known as Queen's Gambit Accepted (QGA), which I'll explain a little more about in the following sections, or simply ignore it, which is known as Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD).

The question is, how do we play each of the QGA and QGD moves?

How to play the Queen's Gambit Declined?

When white moves 1.c4 and black plays 2… e6, that is the Queen's Gambit Declined (see image below). If black plays the Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD) appropriately, it will be in a better position to achieve good central control of black's pawn 1… d5 square.

If we are going to look at the main line; wherein both side are slowly developing their pieces after 3. Nc3 Nf6, here the Knights are both focusing on square d5 and d4 (see image below).

The next move for white would be either Knight on f3 or Bishop to f6, but a more traditional move which I learned from my dad was to pin the black knight with Bishop to g5 (see image below) and at the same time you develop a piece.

Then white can begin developing the Knight on the f3 square and the light Bishop, with the light Bishop nicely positioned on the b1 to h7 squares on an active diagonal (see image below)

If black does not have a pawn on d5, the light Bishop can take up a position on the a2 to g8 diagonal. That is only possible if black takes white's c4 pawn, which is the gambit.

We're now going to learn how to play the Queen's Gambit accepted or QGA.

How to play the Queen's Gambit Accepted?

So, the next step is understanding the queen's gambit accepted. Following white's pawn to c4, black's most common response is e6 or c6 (see illustration below). This move attempts to defend the d5 pawn by preventing white from moving e4 and gaining additional space and control of the center.

If black captures your c4 pawn instead, the gambit is accepted (Queen's Gambit Accepted). Black opted to capture the c4 pawn to put pressure on white's d4 pawn by opening up the d-file (see image below). White will often respond with pawn to e4, allowing White's pieces to develop quickly.

If black tries to keep its pawn on the c4 square, it will almost always make a blunder. It usually does not help black in acquiring solid chess positions and instead leads to severe weaknesses in black's positions.

The recommended black's response for the Queen's Gambit would be a Slav defense or a Semi-Slave defense, the purpose is to not take the white pawn in c4 but instead protect it with black's pawn to c6.

Is Queen's Gambit an excellent beginner gambits?

Yes, you can study numerous forms of the declined and accepted variations from the opening moves up to at least three or four moves. I taught this opening moves to my daughter when she was just six years old, and she picked it up quickly.

You can also read How To Teach Chess To A 6-year-old

If this is your first introduction to the Queen's Gambit, you are either new to chess or have never heard of this popular opening. I wanted to share three reasons why I believe Queen's Gambit is a popular opening move or how it has made a comeback in the public.

Beth Harmon the Queen's Gambit Netflix series

Have you seen the Netflix original series Queen's Gambit? It's a rather successful television series in 2020, and I'm guessing up to this point. It centers on a young girl named Beth Harmon, who was at the time using a modern chess opening that her opponent was unprepared for. I'd want to rewatch it and see some more of her games.

This very certainly increased chess's popularity, and the opening move Queen's Gambit has become a favorite chess opening to learn.

Let's see other interesting theories.

Eric Rosen played Queen's Gambit against Beth Harmon

Eric Rosen is a popular YouTuber and a chess player from the United States. In 2015, he received the title of International Master. I enjoy watching his YouTube videos because he teaches chess extremely effectively, and I appreciate his approach since it is really clear, and you can learn a lot just by watching his videos.

Eric Rosen's Queen's gambit YouTube video is particularly intriguing because he really played a game with Beth Harmon…how great is that?! You can achieve this inside Chess.com by playing against top Grandmasters across the world, who are, of course, bots.

You can watch the full video below where Beth or the Bot played a Semi-Slave against Queen's Gambit opening by Eric. It's fun to watch (wish I had cool Youtube videos too)

Gotham Chess teaches how to play Queen's Gambit

Gotham Chess Queen's gambit Youtube video is another popular video about – yeah, Queen's Gambit – What sets it apart from other videos is that it has over 2 million views, and Levy Rozman is a well-known chess YouTube video content creator (unlike me… huhu). What I enjoy about the Gotham Chess video is how clearly he explains each move, which is partly due to the fact that he is also an International Master.

After seeing the video above, you should subscribe to their channels and watch Gotham Chess Queen's Gambit below.

You may also be interested to read: How to play the King's Gambit?

Wrapping Up

If you really want to learn how to play a gambit, start with the Queen's Gambit. You can begin with this article and work your way through Eric's and Gotham Chess' videos.

If you're curious about the platform they're using, it's the same one I'm using to re-learn chess on, and you can sign up for free to learn more about the Queen's Gambit.

Also, don't forget to visit Chessdelights chess resources, and do share this article, sharing is learning! 🙂

Gary Flores

Hi there! I'm a dad with kids who loves to learn how to play chess by learning online - also, this is my way of refreshing my knowledge about this game of tactics & strategy. I created chessdelights.com to inspire people who are also learning, re-learning or teaching their kids the game of chess.

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