|The Queen´s Gambit Declined (QGD) is, in its broadest sense any variation of the Queen´s Gambit chess opening where Black does not play the Queen´s Gambit Accepted, 2...dxc4, after 1.d4 d5 2.c4. However, when chess players talk about the Queen´s Gambit Declined they usually refer to the opening moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6. Other variations where Black does not take the pawn on c4 have their own names.|
More often than not, the Queen´s Gambit Declined is not reached by means of this move order. One common way to reach the QGD is 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5.
Points to consider
- By declining the temporary pawn sacrifice by means of 2...e6, Black erects a solid position, the pawns on d5 and e6 give Black a foothold in the center. The Queen´s Gambit Declined has a reputation of being one of Black´s most reliable defenses to 1.d4.
- Playing 2...e6 releases Black´s dark-squared bishop, but blocks the light-squared bishop. White will try to exploit the passivity of this bishop, Black will try to release it, trade it off or prove that, while passive, the bishop has a useful defensive role.
- Since Black does not take the pawn, the issue of the center remains unresolved.
- An eventual ...dxc4 from Black will surrender the center to White, and Black will usually not do this until he can extract a concession. Usually this is in the form of White developing his king´s bishop with Bd3, then after ...dxc4 White is forced to move his bishop again, giving Black a free move to launch an assault on the White center by means of ...c5 and/or ...e5.
- If White decides to resolve the issue of the center by means of cxd5, Black will usually reply with ...exd5 in order to keep the foothold in the center. White will then have a majority of pawns in the center, Black has a majority of pawns on the queenside. Such a pawn structure gives White opportunities to either try to advance his pawns in the center, or start playing for a minority attack by means of pawn advances to b4 and b5, attempting to weaken the Black queenside. For Black, the pawn structure has released his light-squared bishop and opened the e-file and he will be looking to use his activity to launch an attack on White´s king.
- If Black decides to increase the tension in the center he can play a quick ...c5. This leads to a variation of the QGD called the Tarrasch Defense.
After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 White usually plays 3.Nc3 or 3.Nf3.
- If Black now plays 3...c6, the game is the Semi-Slav Defense, which bears resemblance to both the Slav Defense and the other lines of the Queen´s Gambit Declined.
- 3...c5 is the Tarrasch Defense.
- 3...Nf6 leads to the mainline Orthodox Defense, a term coined by Siegbert Tarrasch in contempt of this defense which he considered inferior to the Tarrasch Defense.
- 3...Be7 usually also leads to the Orthodox Defense, by playing ...Be7 rather than ...Nf6, Black avoids some lines of the exchange variation 4.cxd5 exd5
In the old mainline Orthodox, after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 play continues 4.Bg5 Be7 5.Nf3 c6 6.e3 0-0 7.Rc1 Nbd7 8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4, though the moves are not always played in that order. Black has surrendered the center and stands somewhat cramped, but he did succeed in extracting a free move from White. White will try to use his advantage in space to attack, Black will try to keep White at bay while striking back at the center.
Other variations include
- The Tartakower Defense 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 0-0 6.Nf3 h6 7.Bh4 b6, is a solid continuation.
- The Exchange Variation 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5, is common in master play because White gains a strategic advantage, Black´s activity does give him hope for counterchances.