Wayward Queen Attack
|Moves||1.e4 e5 2.Qh5|
The Wayward Queen Attack, also known as the Queen's Attack is a chess opening characterized by the moves:
Bernard Parham, the first master-level player known to have advocated this line, also advocates early development of the queen in other positions, as in his favored line as White against the Sicilian Defence, 1.e4 c5 2.Qh5?! Parham has long advocated the use of early queen development in chess opening play. Although rebuked as being untenable by the mainstream chess world, Parham has popularized this chess style under the banner of so-called matrix principles. Much like Richard Réti and World Chess Champion Alexander Alekhine pioneered the hypermodern chess play, Parham argues that chess ideas which seem strange today may be playable in the future.
The Wayward Queen Attack violates a conventional opening principle by developing the queen too early, subjecting it to attack (although it is relatively safe after retreating to f3). Nonetheless, the opening causes Black some problems. Left to his own devices, Black would probably develop with ...Nf6, ...Bc5, and ...Nc6. The Wayward Queen Attack hinders this by forcing Black (unless he wants to sacrifice a pawn) to first defend the e-pawn (usually with 2...Nc6), then after 3.Bc4 to either play 3...g6 (virtually committing Black to fianchettoing his king bishop), 3...Qe7 (blocking the bishop), or 3...Qf6 (taking away the knight's best square). In 2005, the Dutch grandmaster Hans Ree called 2.Qh5:
[...] a provocative but quite sensible move. White's presumptuous early queen development hopes to make black suffer from psychological indifference in a similar fashion to the Scandinavian defense. If black becomes careless in simply warding off the queen, he often fails to develop his pieces and likely runs into early trouble. Black is forced to play into White's hands, whether he likes it or not. Thus, even if black plays well, he may be unable to truly understand white's motives.
As with the similar Napoleon Opening (2.Qf3?!), White hopes for the Scholar's Mate, e.g. 2.Qh5 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6?? 4.Qxf7#. In both cases, Black can easily avoid the trap, but 2.Qf3 does not pose the impediments to natural development of Black's pieces that 2.Qh5 does. Incidentally, Black's worst possible response to 2.Qh5 is 2...Ke7?? 3.Qxe5#. (This line ties with a few others for the fastest possible checkmate by White.)
|This article uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.|
Despite its amateurish appearance, the Wayward Queen Attack was played in two grandmaster (GM) tournament games in 2005. U.S. Champion Hikaru Nakamura played it as White against Indian GM Krishnan Sasikiran at the May 2005 Sigeman Tournament in Copenhagen/Malmö, Denmark. Nakamura got a reasonable position out of the opening but lost the game due to a mistake made in the middlegame. He later wrote on the Internet, "I do believe that 2.Qh5 is a playable move, in fact I had a very good position in the game, and was close to winning if I had in fact played 23.e5."
More often the opening is adopted by chess novices, as when actor Woody Harrelson played it against Garry Kasparov in a 1999 exhibition game in Prague. Harrelson achieved a draw after being assisted by several grandmasters who were in Prague attending the match between Alexei Shirov and Judit Polgár. The next year Kasparov again faced the opening as Black when tennis star Boris Becker played it against him in an exhibition game in New York. This time Kasparov won in 17 moves.
Because most games with the Wayward Queen Attack have been played at weak scholastic tournaments, 2...g6?? has often been seen, losing a rook to 3.Qxe5+. The two moves that have received attention from higher-level players are 2...Nc6 and 2...Nf6!?
This is the most common continuation. Black defends his e5-pawn from the queen and prepares to meet 3.Bc4 with 3...Qe7 (followed by ...Nf6) or 3...g6. The latter move is more common however, and after 4.Qf3 Nf6 5.Ne2 the main position is reached (see diagram). Black can adopt different plans, one of the most popular being 5...Bg7, where 6.0-0 is White's best try for dynamic play, as 6.d3 d5 will lead to an even position with few attacking chances, and 6.Nbc3 Nb4 is interesting but promises little for White.
Introducing a speculative gambit called the Kiddie Countergambit. It is considered dubious as there is no need to sacrifice a pawn for development, since the White Queen will have to lose a tempo eventually.
- Bronstein, David, 200 Open Games, chapter 1, page 1
- Hans Ree, Perils of the Sea. ChessCafe.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-06.[dead link]
- Eric Schiller-Pack, 1969. ChessGames.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-06.
- Nakamura-Sasikiran, 13th Sigeman & Co 2005. ChessGames.com. Retrieved on 2006-02-09.
- Nakamura on 2.Qh5. Mig Greengard. Published 2005-05-05. Retrieved on 2009-02-06.
- Nakamura-Mitkov, HB Global Chess Challenge 2005. ChessGames.com. Retrieved on 2006-02-09.
- Harrelson-Kasparov, Consultation game 1999. ChessGames.com. Retrieved on 2006-02-09.
- Hans Ree, Jake, Joe and Garry. ChessCafe.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-06.
- Becker-Kasparov, New York exhibition 2000. ChessGames.com. Retrieved on 2006-02-09.
- Joel Benjamin; Eric Schiller (1987). "Queen's Excursion". Unorthodox Openings. Macmillan Publishing Company. p. 113. ISBN 0-02-016590-0.
|The Wikibook Chess Opening Theory has a page on the topic of: Wayward Queen Attack|