Differences Between the QGD Repertoires

As you probably know, I recently created a Lifetime Repertoire (LTR) based on the Queen’s Gambit Declined (QGD) for Chessable. This one was not my first repertoire on the Queen’s Gambit Declined. In fact, I already had a trilogy published on Chessable that covered “everything except 1.e4” based on the QGD.

The natural question, one that I have been asked many times, was what were the differences between the two. Apart from the usual improvements thanks to the advances of chess theory and engines (these go without saying) in this post I’d like to give an overview of the differences in the chosen variations. Before continuing I want to stress again that the lines in both the trilogy and the LTR are perfectly valid and it is a matter of choice which ones to choose. I also intend to keep updating both repertoires, so rest assured that I will continue to provide feedback.

Without further ado, here are the main differences:

  1. In the Exchange Variation, after the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bf4 c6 the trilogy analysed the move 6…Bd6 after both 6.e3 and 6.Qc2. The LTR analyses 6.e3 Bf5 and 6.Qc2 Nf6. The reason for the change was that the lines in the LTR have proven to be more dynamic and I considered them interesting enough to explore and propose them.
  2. In the Main Line with 6.Bxf6 I tried to condense the lines in the LTR by mainly proposing plans based on …dxc4. This is especially important in the lines with 8.Rc1 and 8.Qb3 (after the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Bxf6 7.e3 0-0). In the trilogy I proposed 8.Rc1 c6 and 8.Qb3 c6.
  3. In the Main Line with 5.Bf4 (after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3) the trilogy analysed the lines with 6…c5 while the LTR analyses 6…Nbd7. The reason for the change was a more general approach to the whole opening by proposing a more unified repertoire based on …Nbd7 against White’s main theoretical tries of the Main Line with 5.Bg5, the Main Line with 5.Bf4 and the Catalan.
  4. In the Catalan, after the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3, the trilogy looked at the variation 4…dxc4 5.Bg2 Bd7 while the LTR, in line with the approach described above analyses the Closed System after 4…Bb4 5.Bd2 Be7, followed by …0-0 and …Nbd7.
  5. In the Reti Opening, after 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 in the LTR I concentrated on the lines with 4…d4, while the trilogy analysed 4…dxc4 in detail. After feedback from students I found that the lines with 4…d4 are much less theoretically heavy and therefore much more practical. The move 4…dxc4 still remains the main theoretical option, however.
  6. In the London System the choice of variation remained the same, but here there was a major shift in direction of better understanding of the ensuing positions after Bxg6 hxg6. After the trilogy was published there were several discoveries that showed the potential of White’s attack in these structures so in the LTR I came up with an important novel concept to defuse these attacks.
  7. In the Nimzo-Larsen, after the moves 1.b3 d5 2.Bb2 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.c4 0-0 6.Nc3 the trilogy looked at 6…b6, while the LTR analyses 6…dxc4, which leads to much more dynamic play.

The above 7 variations are the main differences between the repertoires. I hope this now makes it clearer when navigating between the two.

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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