QGD Repertoire for Black II

A few months ago I wrote about the QGD repertoire I created for the opening-learning site Chessable and it turned out to be very popular and a lot of people liked it.

That repertoire included only the lines in the QGD, the starting position being after 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Be7. Following the popularity of the repertoire and the opening, I felt that this required a second part, one that would cover all the possible lines on the way to the QGD. With this second part now finished, the reader will have a complete repertoire after 1 d4.

The main one of white’s alternatives to the QGD is the Catalan. One of the most popular openings nowadays, the Catalan requires a very good theoretical knowledge on black’s part, otherwise he may be run over by white’s positional pressure. My suggested line against the Catalan is the relatively recent discovery 5…Bd7 (after 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 g3 dc 5 Bg2). In the beginning black’s plan was to play …Qd7, castle long and follow it up with …h5-h4. While undoubtedly exciting (I have played like this more than once) I now feel that white should have the upper hand here – hence my suggestion for this repertoire is the new plan with 9…Rd8 with play in the centre later on by …e5. Recent practice has shown that black has an excellent position here and the white is hard pressed to show constructive ideas against it.

The second most popular option white has is the London System. A popular choice at club level it has been played quite a lot recently by the elite as well. Black has many possible plans against it and my proposal is the simple plan of taking on d4 followed by the development of the bishop to f5. This reaches a Carlsbad structure that white players have tried to treat in an aggressive way, but the suggested line with 9…Bg4 effectively neutralises these attempts. Black obtains a very solid position without weaknesses with the clear plan of a minority attack in perspective.

The other alternatives are much less common but they still should be taken seriously. Here are the attempted Trompowsky 2 Bg5, Jobava’s pet line 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Bf4 (3…a6!), the dubious Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (practically refuted), the Veresov Attack, the Colle and Zukertort Systems (the latter used by none other than Carlsen in his match against Karjakin!) and a few more. All of them are carefully analysed and sensible plans for black are proposed. In all lines black has an easy and understandable play.

Like in the QGD series, I again used my own personal analysis to create this repertoire. What I said then is also valid now – this has never been published or made known before and I am actually revealing my own preparation. The lines I suggest are the lines I have intended (and still intend) to play. Many of them I have already used, both in official and traning games, and they have withstood the test of time and practice. This is a repertoire I firmly believe in. It has served me well and I will continue to rely on it in the future. I had great results with these lines and I wish you have even better ones. Good luck!

On the Way to the Queen’s Gambit Declined


Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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1 Comment
  • […] To remind you, the first part analysed the main lines of the Queen’s Gambit Declined; the second part took care of all the alternatives after 1 d4 d5, like the London System, the Catalan etc. And now, […]

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