QGD - Exchange Variation for Black
We are excited to present the new opening project of GM Renato Quintiliano - QGD - Exchange Variation for Black. By studying this database, you will not only build a reliable repertoire but you will also improve your understanding of the Carlsbad structure.
The database consists of 8 huge theoretical chapters, 16 interactive test positions, Video Version (3h Running Time), and Memory Booster.
Below, you shall see how GM Quintiliano presents the database himself.
The starting position of the current repertoire arises after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5
The Exchange Variation is a very popular weapon against the Orthodox Defense (or Queen's Gambit Declined), both at the high and amateur levels. The fact that White's plans are simple to understand and still very promising from a practical point of view makes this line suitable for players who look for an advantage without risking much.
My recommended setup is 5...c6 6.e3 Be7 7.Bd3 Nbd7
A common set-up for Black. For the time being, we don't make clear the position of our king. White's main move is 8.Qc2.
Another possibility is 8.Nf3. Although there is nothing wrong with castling right now, I recommend 8...Ne4!? exploiting the fact that White has not played Qc2 yet. The exchange of dark-squared bishops makes Black's play easier, so White's best chance is 9.Bf4 keeping the pieces and playing for a space advantage. Still, I think Black's position is solid enough to keep the balance. In Chapter 1 we see some typical ideas to solve Black's opening problems in this line.
In Chapter 2, I investigate the subtle and interesting 8.h3!?
White's goal here is to prevent our main idea and keep the chance of transposing to other lines. I feared this line for some time, but during the work for this database, I've found out that the simple path 8...0-0 9.Qc2 Re8 preparing the same Ne4-idea seen in Chapter 1 is a reliable path to solve Black's opening problems. These analyses can be seen in Chapter 2.
The move 8.Nge2 is an interesting modern trend.
By keeping the queen on d1, White has some additional ideas which can't be underestimated. This is in fact a very ambitious line, in which Black should be careful and precise. Nevertheless, Black's position is always solid, and in Chapter 3 I analyse the correct way of neutralizing White's active ideas.
Now, let's get back to the main move 8.Qc2. At this point, my suggestion will be 8...Nh5!
This is my recommendation. The exchange of the dark-squared bishops is the essence of Black's idea, which is a good way to relieve White's space advantage. Then we aim to keep developing in a solid way and eventually exchange the light-squared bishops as well - after g6-Ng7-Bf5 - when Black would be completely fine. White has different ways of playing for an advantage, but I've always believed in the solidity of Black's position.
The main line goes 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.Nge2
The direct 10.0-0-0 usually aims to develop the knight more actively on f3, from where it can go either to e5 or d2-b3-c5. There are some important finesses about move orders and the right squares to develop Black's pieces in order to avoid being in trouble. These details are explained and analysed in Chapter 4.
After 10.Nge2 Black should play 10...g6 vacating the g7-square for the knight.
In this position, White's most ambitious plan is connected with 11.0-0-0.
The alternative 11.0-0 is more solid, but also playable. Now we follow White's king with 11...0-0 when White can try two main plans. The first option is 12.Rae1.
White prepares the expansion in the centre by means of f3-e4 after some preparation. However, in the analysis it becomes clear that this is a sort of worse version of the positions seen in Chapter 3 for White, so Black doesn't face too many problems to equalize. The analysis can be found in Chapter 5.
Another idea is 12.Rab1
White is preparing the so-called Minority Attack, a very popular plan to get a tiny risk-free advantage for White. Black has more than one way of avoiding serious problems against this line, but a recent game by Argentinian strong GM Mareco shows that Black even may be looking for more than equality sometimes. His game and other ideas are studied in detail in Chapter 6.
Let's get back to the position after 11.0-0-0
After 11...Nb6 White has a choice. The main move is 12.Kb1.
The most important alternative is 12.h3.
This is the second most played, preparing the advance g2-g4 as a prophylactic measure against Ng7-Bf5. The main line now goes 12...Bd7! 13.Kb1 0-0-0 14.Na4 Nxa4 15.Qxa4 Kb8 16.Rc1
White has the dangerous plan of Rc3-Ra3 to attack the enemy king. This might look scary for Black but in a game from Korobov the Ukrainian Top GM has shown a nice idea of counterplay for Black. That idea and other important details and explanations about this line can be found in Chapter 7.
Now, let's get back to the position after 12.Kb1
At this point, Black should play 12...Ng7! threatening Bf5, which forces 13.Ng3 Bd7
As you can see in the explanations in Chapters 7 and 8, the bishop belongs to d7 in such positions. The critical position arises after 14.Rc1 h5 15.h4 0-0-0 16.Na4 Nxa4 17.Qxa4 Kb8 18.Rc3
Once again, the idea of manoeuvring the rook to a3 - followed by the transfer of all White's forces to the queenside - looks very dangerous for Black. That was what I thought, until finding another instructive game, this time by Turkish GM Yilmaz, in which Black successfully managed to avoid White's attempts of attack. If you remember the right defensive plan for Black you'll never going to face problems in this line. The explanations of Yilmaz's game as well as other ideas for White can be seen in Chapter 8.