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Just come back to this site after a period away. I am a low-graded club and tournament player in the UK and have difficulty playing as Black against 1.d4 and 2. c4. I used to reply with 1...Nf6 2...g6 and 3...Bg7 but I find myself getting very cramped and at a loss to know how to release tension.
I recently switched to 1... and 2...e6 and have had slightly better results. However, I always find my heart sinking after an opponent plays 1.d4 in my tournaments.
The amount of material online going over this seems quite overwhelming so really what I am asking is where should I start and what other advice to someone of my level could people offer?
Thanks in advance.
I personally started with the Queen's Gambit Accepted. There's a good repertoire book called "How to Beat 1.d4" from Gambit Publications that uses the QGA as the foundation. The thing to remember is the pawn must be used as a stalling tactic to delay white while you solidify and develop the rest of your pieces. Aside from that, you'll generally find most players are not as used to the QGA as they are the QGD.
Also, it's more fun to play, I think.
ΙΜΟ the most appropriate opening for class players against 1.d4 and Flank openings (1.c4, 1.Nf3) is the QGD proper. Mastering it is rather easy. I would suggest the superb QGD book by Mathew Sadler.
The most solid (and unambitious) variation for Black is the Lasker. It's so unambitious, that Anand managed as Black only 2.5/3 in his recent encounters against Topalov...
And- there is also the positionally complex, and rich Tartakower variation, where the player with the better positional understanding wins, regardless of colour.
The Lasker has little theory to memorize, the Tartakower a bit more. However, it's not strictly necessary. What is necessary for Black is knowledge how to deal with an IQP, as well as the "hanging" c5/d5 pawns. It all boils down to correct strategy.
what about the QGD Exchange Variation??
What is necessary for Black is knowledge how to deal with an IQP, as well as the "hanging" c5/d5 pawns. It all boils down to correct strategy.
Which when I was a beginner, I found exactly those topics the most difficult to grasp. I'm probably more in line with Silman's thinking that if a beginner is to play the QGD, it should be the d5-e6-Nf6-Be7-0-0 formation to start with.
Just watched this video on the Lasker and I think it is something I could play.
Thanks for the 'heads-up'.
The more I read Silman, the better I become. Wading through 'The Amateur Mind' right now and it's transformed the way I think about a game.
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