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Qxb2: Do You Send Your Queen Out Pawn Snapping?

Every chessplayer knows the Queen is the most powerful piece. Aside from the King, that makes the Queen your most valuable piece. You wouldn't use a Rolls-Royce to pull a plow, so why waste your valuable Queen snapping up pawns? New chessplayers playing Black seem to love to send their Queen out to grab White's b2 pawn. As White, they go after the b7 pawn.

Here are two examples from email games I've played. In both cases, my opponent brought his Queen out way too early in the game, before the rest of his pieces were fully developed.

Use the VCR buttons below the board to run the game, or click on a move in the move list to jump to that move. Thanks to Palview for the Javascript.

Email, 2000

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Qf6 3. Nc3 a5 4. d4 exd4 5. Bg5 Qg6 6. Qxd4 c5 7. Qe3 Qb6 8. Nd5 Qxb2 9. Nc7# 1-0

Kearman-Ginsberg, 1999

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Ng5 Ngf6 6. Bd3 e6 7. N1f3 h6 8. Nxe6 fxe6 9. O-O Qe7 10. Bg6+ Kd8 11. Bf4 Qb4 12. Qe2 Qxb2 13. Qxe6 Nb6 14. Qf7 Nbd5 15. Rab1 Qxa2 16. Bc7+ Black resigns 1-0

Ginsberg started out playing the Caro-Kann. When he played 11....Qb4 I knew he was after my pawn. I considered 12. b3 to protect it, but decided to continue developing my pieces, assuming I could launch an attack while his Queen was away from home. I never guessed I'd be able to trade a Bishop for a Queen! Neither did Marshall, who resigned when he saw (16. ... Nxc7 17. Qxa2).