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D30-39 Queen's Gambit Declined (fresher lines)

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In the Queen's Gambit Declined after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Black keeps the center closed defending the d5 pawn with 2 ... e6. This is one of the oldest openings, already played and analyzed over a hundred years ago. That is why today the focus has shifted to some fresher  variations that deviate from the traditional main line and are therefore less analysed and more suitable for the introduction of new ideas.

The moves 3.Nc3 c5 lead to the Tarrasch defence, a very old opening that was considered inferior due to Schlecter idea (1908) to challenge it with the cxd5 exchange and the King's fianchetto in order to maximize the pressure over Black's isolated d5 pawn.  In modern times, it has returned to the attention of theory because it was often adopted by Kasparov in the 80's: he showed that this defence can become a valuable weapon if Black achieves the initiative and plays with precision and creativity.

The Ragozin defence is a kind of hybrid between the Queen's Gambit Declined and the Nimzoindian defence. Black develops his Bishop to b4  pinning White's Knight in c3 (1.d4 d5: 2.c4 e6; 3.Nc3 Nf6; 4.Nf3 Bb4).  As a matter of fact transpositions are common: for instance if White plays 5.e3 the position belongs to the Rubinstein variation of the Nimzoindian defence.  Not much used in the past, the effectiveness of the Ragozin has been probably underestimated and White has to beware Black's aggressive continuations.

The Vienna variation  (1.d4 d5: 2.c4 e6; 3.Nc3 Nf6; 4.Nf3 dxc4; 5.e4 Bb4) leads to an interesting tactical and double edged play.  Black allows White to occupy the center but immediately creates significant pressure against it.  White's strategy to look for an advantage includes the sacrifice of a pawn in order to obtain active play in the center and in the King's side.

If it is White who wants to leave the main variation he can choose between two main alternatives: the Exchange variation and the Bf4 systems. 

In the Exchange variation White plays an early cxd5 (such move can be played at move 4 but even later).  Black takes in d5 with the e pawn freeing the light's Bishop's path.  In the resulting pawn structure White has a pawn majority in the center while Black has a pawn majority on the queenside.  That is known as the "Karlsbad pawn structure" and leads to a type of game in which strategic ideas are more important than mere sequences of moves. How to play these positions is deeply explained in the section "How to study openings" of this website.

Finally White can develop the dark Bishop in f4 rather than in g5 (1.d4 d5: 2.c4 e6; 3.Nc3 Nf6; 4.Nf3 Be7; 5.Bf4).  The Bf4 system can either lead to a quiet game where White has (perhaps) a slight advantage but Black has not counterplay, or to sharp lines with attacks and counterattacks.

Opening

Queen's Gambit Declined (miscellaneous)

Chess Base format      (1297 KB)

D30-39.cbv

Pgn format                      (1345 KB)

d30-39.zip

Last Update

October 2016