Viktor Bologan: the Queen's Indian Defense

by ChessBase
6/28/2015 – Once ranked world no.18, Viktor Bologan continues to share his extensive opening knowledge without restrictions, and in his latest work, the Moldovan grandmaster casts his eye on the reputable Queen's Indian Defense. IM Narayan Srinath, an experienced player in the opening, looked at it, and says that had he known the DVD before his results would have been even better.

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Review by IM Narayanan Srinath

“Chess journalism is above all, facts – frequently dry facts, sometimes unbelievable facts – but facts, nonetheless.”

– Viktor Bologan

GM Viktor Bologan, a prolific author and former Top 20 player, requires no introduction, nor the classical Queens Indian Defence opening itself. I started playing this opening from around 2008, and considering the only seven losses in seven years of playing were against opponents rated 2442 or higher, it has certainly lived up to its reputation as a solid opening.

Going back to Bologan’s quote at the beginning, I am not entirely sure if DVD reviews come under the purview of ‘chess journalism’. However, the fact is: this DVD will score and save points for a tournament player. The four-hour DVD begins off with side lines – classical systems which have been neutralised. Within the initial 30 minutes, I already realised how I could have saved at least one or two points had I studied this DVD seriously before.

Below are the examples:

[Event "Moscow Open"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.02.08"] [Round "7"] [White "Iturrizaga Bonelli, Eduardo"] [Black "Srinath, Narayanan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E14"] [WhiteElo "2646"] [BlackElo "2434"] [Annotator "Srinath,N"] [PlyCount "25"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. e3 {I had completely not expected this variation. My opponent had never played this variation and I almost knew nothing here} Bb7 5. Bd3 d5 6. O-O Bd6 {I just saw the next board at my roommate's game, and his opponent had also played the same variation as white, so I just copied the way he had developed his pieces} 7. b3 O-O 8. Bb2 Nbd7 9. Nbd2 {unusual move, this is not the mainline} Re8 $6 ({Here, Bologan suggests} 9... Ne4 {instead in the third video and explains the next few moves in a lucid and comprehensive way.}) 10. Ne5 Bxe5 $6 11. dxe5 Ne4 $2 12. Bxe4 dxe4 13. Qg4 $16 1-0

This lesson alone was worth the price of entry, but there was more.


Viktor Bologan introduces the Queen's Indian to the viewer

Here is an opening disaster due to an inaccuracy on move five:

[Event "National Teams"] [Site "Kolkata"] [Date "2015.02.22"] [Round "4"] [White "Karthikeyan, P."] [Black "Srinath, Narayanan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E12"] [WhiteElo "2442"] [BlackElo "2454"] [Annotator "Srinath,N"] [PlyCount "25"] [EventDate "2015.01.23"] [WhiteTeam "Railways A"] [BlackTeam "Air India"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. Bf4 Bb7 5. e3 c5 $2 (5... Bb4+ $1) 6. d5 exd5 7. Nc3 dxc4 8. Nb5 Na6 9. Bxc4 Be7 10. Nd6+ Bxd6 11. Qxd6 Ne4 12. Qe5+ Qe7 13. Qxg7 $18 1-0

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I said that those seven losses could very well have been reduced to five had I been familiar with this DVD before.

As seen, if I had known what to do after 4.Bf4, I could've avoided this opening disaster

Bologan then goes on to cover the popular lines of the system, and proceeds to illustrate pugnacious lines, yet never compromising on reliability of the lines. Apart from the concrete lines and building up a repertoire, the grandmaster also, perhaps more importantly, explains the typical strategic features of the opening. This is achieved by supplementing the course videos with additional bases, containing typical, illustrative games in the Queens Indian Defence.

152 illustrative games form the opening, carefully selected by Bologan

After having studied through the DVD, there is also a ‘quiz section’ that’ll help the readers test themselves. The quiz doesn't simply ask for moves, but gives a detailed one-minute explanation on why the solution is right.

In conclusion, Bologan’s Queen’s Indian DVD is very useful for both tournament players looking to add this opening to their repertoires as well as the players seeking to add new lines within the Queens Indian Defence. The DVD offers a solid base consisting of aggressive, solid lines, yet never compromising on their soundness.

A thorough study of this DVD is sure to save points/score points as I illustrated from my own experiences at the beginning of the article. Thus, the material price of the DVD is a small price to pay compared to the points lost to opening disasters otherwise.

It’s worth noting that the DVD also supplements with the ‘model games’ and ‘quiz section’ which will ensure that any player studying this deeply will not just have knowledge of the first ten to fifteen concrete moves by memory, but also a conceptual grasp of the typical strategies of the opening right up to the middle game.

Overall, a product well worth the time and money!

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