Day 27(Expert)

“When your house is on fire, you can’t be bothered with the neighbors. Or, as we say in chess, if your King is under attack, don’t worry about losing a pawn on the queenside.”

Garry Kasparov


Today we are going to focus on the Queen’s Gambit Declined. It’s a solid way for Black to play and gives excellent chances for Black regardless whosoever you are playing. It can be difficult to win as Black sometimes with the opening, but there are many ways to outplay your opponent in a long game.

After the initial moves, 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 we reach the basic position of the Queen’s Gambit Declined. After 4. Nf3 Be7 we reach the classic position of the Queen’s gambit Declined. 5. Bg5 O-O 6. e3 h6 7. Bh4 leads us to the second position below. White here will try to play against the Black bishop on c8 which doesn’t have an easy entry into the game. If White manages that, he will be slightly better. On the other hand if Black can manage to bring that bishop in to the game, he will have equalized completely.

Let’s look at the various tries for White. We will start with the exchange variation which we have already covered in depth from White’s side. So here we will have a look at a game from Black’s perspective.

White could also take the knight on f6, but this is not an ambitious way to play for White. A model game is the following.

I also had a game in the variation and I came very close to winning, but the game ended in a draw.

A game that I played in the mainline of the QGD is the following, I obtained a comfortable draw.

In the line with 5. Bf4 instead of 5. Bg5, White tries to take a different path. But Black has a very easy solution with the plans related to b6.

Another interesting try was introduced by Dubov for White’s side. I faced the idea as Black and came up with a decent solution over the board.

If White doesn’t know how to react to this b6 plan against the idea of 5. Bf4 he can be worse pretty quickly. Let’s see that in the following game.

Another option for Black against the QGD with Bg5.

The Queen’s Gambit Declined is a very solid way for Black to play. It’s a great weapon as it gives you a solid foundation against stronger opponents while also gives you enough chances to win against weaker opponents.

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