Below is the next video in the series on punishing your opponent for early Queen activity. In this game my opponent plays 2…Qf6? as Black, entering what is called the McConnell Defense, or it’s sometimes called the Greco Defense. Here is the position:
If you don’t believe me that this is a bad opening choice for Black in King Pawn games, consider the following:
- You will find almost no games in this line from master databases.
- In the handful of very old games, White almost always wins, usually with relentless attacks that end quickly.
- The only games where Black wins in this line, at least that I can find, appear to be in simuls, most likely against very low rated opponents.
- The few engines I have checked, including Stockfish 7, currently the strongest on the planet, gives white a nearly 1-point advantage after move 2. There aren’t many openings where that happens. And White’s advantage grows with simple and natural developing moves, such as Nc3, Bc4, and d4, whereas Black has to play slow and unatural moves to try to untangle, losing precious time in the process.
In this game, we don’t see some of the wilder continuations possible in this defense (stay tuned for the next video). But even when Black seems to prevent all of White’s ideas for immediate destruction, he is still left with multiple difficulties in his position.
The postmortem analysis helped me better understand how to punish Black for the move order in this game, and you will likely find this useful if you ever face this defense (because you are probably going to see the quieter variation shown here rather than the crazy variation).