Queen's Gambit Declined - Understand the Carlsbad Structure (2h and 40min Running Time) 


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Content  (24 Articles)

Introduction and Free Preview  Free
  • Chapter 1 - Video Lecture  Closed
  • Chapter 1 - White Deviates from cxd5 - Part 1  Closed
  • Chapter 2 - Video Lecture  Closed
  • Chapter 2 - White Deviates from cxd5 - Part 2  Closed
  • Chapter 3 - Video Lecture - Part 1  Closed
  • Chapter 3 - Video Lecture - Part 2  Closed
  • Chapter 3 - Video Lecture - Part 3  Closed
  • Chapter 3 - Alternatives to 5.Bg5  Closed
  • Chapter 4 - Video Lecture  Closed
  • Chapter 4 - Carlsbad with Bf4  Closed
  • Chapter 5 - Video Lecture  Closed
  • Chapter 5 - The Power of the Early ...Nh5 - Part 1  Closed
  • Chapter 6 - Video Lecture  Closed
  • Chapter 6 - The Power of the Early ...Nh5 - Part 2  Closed
  • Chapter 7 - Video Lecture  Closed
  • Chapter 7 - The Power of the Early ...Nh5 - Part 3  Closed
  • Chapter 8 - Video Lecture  Closed
  • Chapter 8 - Rc1 and cxd5 Do Not Work Together  Closed
  • Chapter 9 - Video Lecture  Closed
  • Chapter 9 -The Classical Carlsbad  Closed
  • Chapter 10 - Video Lecture  Closed
  • Chapter 10 - Interesting Move Order  Closed
  • Bonus Chapter - Early Black's deviations  Closed
  • 59.00 EUR

    Queen's Gambit Declined - Understand the Carlsbad Structure

    GM Dejan Bojkov and Metodi Stoinev

    We are pleased to present a truly fascinating project: "Queen's Gambit Declined - Understanding the Carlsbad Structure." This unique course was developed through a collaboration between GM Dejan Bojkov and Metodi Stoinev. While Dejan Bojkov needs no introduction to our community members, we should definitely introduce Metodi Stoinev. With a peak rating of 2355 (including two IM norms) in Bulgaria, Metodi Stoinev is known for his deep understanding and excellent ability to convey his knowledge. Since he almost never changes his openings, he is intimately familiar with all the strategic and tactical subtleties of the lines he plays.

    The Queen's Gambit Declined is Metodi's favorite opening. In this project, he decided to share his insights into positions with the Carlsbad pawn structure. Although this is primarily designed as a middlegame database, after studying it, you will be well-prepared to play the Queen's Gambit Declined. The instructive comments you will find are far more valuable than specific theory. Additionally, the course includes explanations of White's attempts to avoid the Carlsbad Structure.

    Let's discuss the process of preparing this course. Initially, Metodi Stoinev selected 11 highly instructive games and provided detailed explanations of the plans and ideas. Subsequently, the co-author refined some important points and recorded video explanations. This project became a reality thanks to the editing efforts of GM Nikolay Ninov, who is also a grandmaster in correspondence chess.

    Editor's Note - Preview by GM Nikolay Ninov

    The main subject of this detailed database is the pros and cons of the Carlsbad structure in the QGD. It is dedicated to the subtleties and various tricky move orders from the very first moves to the transition to the middlegame.

    The first two featured games are about 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bg5.


    This is on the verge of transitioning to the main item, but White is still delaying the pawn trade in the center until a key moment for making that decision after 5...Be7 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 0-0. If not, then Black usually clarifies the situation himself by exchanging the c4-pawn in reply to any move by Bf1.

    The third example features the main alternatives to 5.Bg5. Black has reliable antidotes against the development of the same bishop to f4, either immediately or after exchanging the d5-pawn. The recommendation against 5.g3!? is very practical: first bring the king to safety with 6...Be7 and 6...0-0, then consider 7...dxc4, where Nd7 proves very useful.

    In Toth – Vaganian, White opted for 5.Bf4 after 3...Be7 (the trendy 3...a6 is also mentioned) 4.cxd5 exd5, but Ng1 was nevertheless developed on f3.

    As mentioned, the Exchange Variation is the topic, and now it is time to delve into it with 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 and start the real discussion.


    Black is not in a hurry to harass the bishop with 5...Be7 and follows with castling short after 6.e3 c6 7.Bd3 Nbd7. The point of this sequence is to meet either jump of Ng1 and 8.Qc2 with 8...Nh5, forcing 9.Bxe7 Qxe7. His strategy, which includes determining Ke8 at a later moment, is described in the annotations to 10.Nge2 (Boensch’s games with Bareev and Beliavsky) and in the game Li Chao - Hammer with the principled 10.0-0-0.

    Danilov – Marin can be referred to the first two games, where cxd5 was never played. It serves as an example of why this exchange is not compatible with moves like 7.Rc1.

    The classical type of the Carlsbad structure is agreed upon by the opponents in Kramnik – Kasparov after an improvised dialogue. The next moves are quite natural for both sides: White prepares for the minority attack while Black follows his castling with Re8, vacating the f8-square for transferring Nd7 to g6, from where it will cut off possible retreats of Bg5. Later, 14.Rfe1 does not look consistent, and after the witty maneuver Bg4-d7, Black could make a serious attempt to seize the initiative with the spectacular pawn sacrifice 17...h6!

    Then, two contemporary heroes come into the limelight. In Carlsen – Firouzja, Black played h7-h6 as early as move 6 and castled quickly instead of the more flexible 8...Nbd7.


    White preferred 9.Nge2, and after 9...Re8 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.f3, his plans to execute e3-e4 were hindered with the help of 11...b5!?, followed by a timely ...b5-b4 and ...c6-c5.

    Finally, there is a tribute to Tan Zhongyi with a short review of her important win at the start of the Candidates and a review of 9.Qc2 (instead of Carlsen’s 9.Nge2) and the original immediate knight lift to the d6-square, adopted by Carlsen himself.