- Queen's Gambit Declined
Moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 ECO D30–D69 Parent Queen's Gambit Chessgames.com opening explorer
Instead of 2...dxc4, Black instead plays one of various defenses. A common response by Black is:
- 2... e6
This is known as the Orthodox Line of the Queen's Gambit Declined. When the opening Queen's Gambit Declined is mentioned, it is usually assumed to be referring to the Orthodox Line.
The Orthodox Line can be reached by a number of different move orders, such as 1.d4 e6 2.c4 d5; 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5; 1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4; 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.d4; and so on.
Orthodox Line (general concepts)
Playing 2...e6 releases Black's dark-squared bishop, while obstructing his light-squared bishop. By declining White's temporary pawn sacrifice, Black erects a solid position; the pawns on d5 and e6 give Black a foothold in the center. The Orthodox Line of the Queen's Gambit Declined has the reputation of being one of Black's most reliable defenses to 1.d4. In this situation, White will try to exploit the passivity of Black's light-squared bishop, and Black will try to release it, trade it, or prove that, while passive, the bishop has a useful defensive role.
An eventual ...dxc4 by Black will surrender the center to White, and Black will usually not do this unless he can extract a concession, usually in the form of gaining a tempo, by capturing on c4 only after White has played Bd3 first. In the Orthodox Line, the 'fight for the tempo' revolves around White's efforts to play all other useful developing moves prior to playing Bd3.
In its broadest sense, the Queen's Gambit Declined is any variation of the Queen's Gambit in which Black declines to capture White's pawn on c4. Variations other than the Orthodox Line have their own names and are usually treated separately.
- 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c5 – Symmetrical Defense (or Austrian Defense)
- 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 – Slav Defense
- 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 – Chigorin Defense
- 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 – Albin Countergambit
- 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Bf5 – Baltic Defense
- 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 and eventual ...c6 – Semi-Slav Defense
- 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nf6 – Marshall Defense (unsound and no longer used by knowledgeable players)
Black avoids 3...Nf6
After 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 (other third moves are also possible: 3.cxd5 may be played to lead to the Exchange line, 3.Nf3 keeps options open, and 3.g3 will transpose to the Catalan), Black's main move is 3...Nf6, though he has other options as well:
- 3... c6 now the Semi-Slav Defense may be reached via 4.Nf3 Nf6, though 4.e4 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 (6.Nc3 c5 gives little) 6...Qxd4 7.Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8.Be2 leads to a sharp struggle, and 4.Nf3 dxc4 is the Noteboom Variation, also sometimes known as the Abrahams Variation, after the English master, Gerald Abrahams.
- If Black is willing to accept an isolated d-pawn he can play 3... c5. This leads to a variation of the QGD called the Tarrasch Defense.
- 3... Be7 usually transposes to positions arising from 3...Nf6, and has the advantage, from Black's standpoint, of avoiding the insidious pressure of the main lines in the Exchange Variation. After 3...Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 White has the annoying pin 5.Bg5, but 3...Be7 circumvents this. White will now usually play 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bf4 c6 6.e3, when 6...Bf5 7.g4 became a topical line after its adoption by Mikhail Botvinnik in his 1963 title match with Tigran Petrosian.
- 3... Bb4?! confusing a Nimzo–Indian with a Queen’s Gambit (also known as the Berg defense), and at this point an inaccuracy. White has at least two good continuations: 4.Qa4+ Nc6 5.Nf3 where Black is forced to block the c-pawn with the knight, and 4.a3 Bxc3 5.bxc3 and White has the bishop pair almost for free (on the average worth half a pawn), since cxd5 is unstoppable and there will be no doubled pawns as a counterbalance.
Main Variations of QGD (3...Nf6 4.Bg5)
Lines beginning with the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 are covered by ECO codes D35–D69. These are old lines that can transpose into many other queen pawn openings. White has several ways of dealing with Black's setup:
- The Tartakower–Makogonov–Bondarevsky System: 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 0-0 6.Nf3 h6 7.Bh4 b6, is one of the most solid continuations for Black.
- The Lasker Defense: 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 0-0 6.Nf3 h6 7.Bh4 Ne4 8.Bxe7 Qxe7, is also a solid line, often leading to the exchange of two sets of minor pieces. It was this line that Viswanathan Anand chose in the final game of the World Chess Championship 2010 in order to defeat Veselin Topalov and retain the world championship.
- The Orthodox Defense: 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 0-0 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.Rc1 c6 and now White has two main moves: 8.Bd3 and 8.Qc2. After 8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 Black has surrendered the center and stands somewhat cramped, but has succeeded in making White lose a tempo by playing Bd3 before Bxc4. White will try to use his advantage in space to attack, whereas Black will try to keep White at bay while striking back at the center. Capablanca's main idea here was the freeing maneuver 9...Nd5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.0-0 Nxc3 12.Rxc3 e5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nxe5 Qxe5 15.f4 Qe7, which has led to a number of exchanges in the center, though Black must exercise care even in the wake of this simplification. This line was once so frequently played that it has a separate code (D69) in ECO, though the lack of active counter play for Black has made the main line of the Orthodox a backwater in modern practice.
- The Cambridge Springs Defense: 4.Bg5 Nbd7 (setting the Elephant Trap) 5.e3 c6 6.Nf3 Qa5, was introduced more than a century ago, and is still played. Black intends ...Bb4 and possibly ...Ne4, with pressure along the a5–e1 diagonal. It is popular among amateurs because there are several traps White can fall into, for example 7.Nd2 (one of the main lines, countering Black's pressure along the diagonal) 7...Bb4 8.Qc2 0-0 9.Bd3?? dxc4! (threatening ...Qxg5) 10.Bxf6 cxd3! (a zwischenzug) 11.Qxd3 Nxf6 and Black has won a piece.
The Exchange Variation
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 and White has a pawn majority in the center, Black has a pawn majority on the queenside. This pawn structure gives White the opportunity to either advance his pawns in the center by means of Nge2, f2–f3, followed by e2–e4, or play for a minority attack by means of the plan Rb1, followed by b2–b4–b5, then bxc6 in order to create a weak pawn at c6. While Black can play ...cxb5, or recapture on c6 with a piece, each of these possibilities are even less desirable than the backward pawn in the open file. For Black, the exchange at d5 has released his light-squared bishop and opened the e-file, giving him the use of e4 as a springboard for central and kingside play. While chances are balanced, Black is usually more or less forced to use his superior activity to launch a piece attack on White's king, as the long-term chances in the QGD Exchange structure favour White. The following games are as model games for White:
- Central Pawn Advance: Carlsen vs Jakovenko, Nanjing 2009
- Minority attack: Evans vs Opsahl, Dubrovnik 1950.
The Ragozin Variations
The Ragozin Variation (ECO code D37–D39) occurs after 4.Nf3 Bb4. An important line in this variation is the Vienna variation where the game continues: 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4. White pawns or pieces to occupy the central squares in exchange for long-term pawn structure weaknesses. An instance of Vienna variation played at the highest level was Fine vs Euwe, AVRO 1938.
- ^ http://www.eudesign.com/chessops/qgam-03a.htm
- ^ http://www.eudesign.com/chessops/qgam-app.htm
- ^ "WCC Index [Alekhine-Capablanca 1927"]. Chessgames.com. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1007329. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
- ^ Heisman, Dan (2006-03-15). "The Most Common Opening Inaccuracies". The Chess Cafe. http://www.chesscafe.com/text/heisman62.pdf. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
- ^ De Firmian, Nick (1999). Modern Chess Openings (14th ed.). Random House. ISBN 0-8129-3084-3.
- Kasparov, Garry; Keene, Raymond (1989, 1994). Batsford Chess Openings 2. Henry Holt. ISBN 0-8050-3409-9.
- Lalic, Bogdan (2000). Queen's Gambit Declined: Bg5 Systems. Everyman Chess. ISBN 9781857442403.
- Ward, Chris (2002). Unusual Queen's Gambit Declined. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-218-0.
- McDonald, Neil (2006). Starting Out: Queen's Gambit Declined. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-426-1.
- Rizzitano, James (2007). Chess Explained: The Queen's Gambit Declined. Gambit Publications. ISBN 978-1-904600-80-0.
- Komarov, Dmitry; Djuric, Stefan; Pantaleoni, Claudio (2009). Chess Opening Essentials, Vol. 2: 1.d4 d5 / 1.d4 various / Queen's Gambits. New In Chess. ISBN 978-90-5691-269-7.
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