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How do you meet 1.d4?

Last week’s question was: “Who will win the London Classic?” I expected a clear majority for Magnus Carlsen, and he did indeed top the poll, but it was a narrow win ahead of Levon Aronian. With only 3 rounds completed, it is too early to say who will win the Classic, but Not-Topalov appears a safe bet.

Poll-LondonClassic
This week I continue my quest to learn all about our readers’ opening repertoires. I already asked what you play against 1.e4, so this week it’s: How do you meet 1.d4? The options that spring to my mind are: King’s Indian Defence, Grünfeld, Nimzo-Indian (plus something against 3.Nf3 and 3.g3), QGA, QGD, Slav, Semi-Slav, or Other.

As ever, please use the comments box to say what you mean by Other, or anything else that’s on your mind.

Categories: Polls Tags:
  1. Niall Doran
    December 7th, 2015 at 18:55 | #1

    I answered QGD, but I’ve always felt that d4 is a slippery creature. White can follow up with lots of different move orders and we can end up with quite another ending to the one I intended to play. I still feel totally unprepared for this opening.

    At least with e4, I play c5 and I definitely can say in 95% of cases that I’m playing a Sicilian.

  2. Jose
    December 7th, 2015 at 20:50 | #2

    I’ve played the Grunfeld, Tarrasch, Queen’s Gambit accepted. ..

  3. Marco
    December 7th, 2015 at 21:45 | #3

    Benoni for me.

  4. The Lurker
    December 7th, 2015 at 22:48 | #4

    Other, 1… g6, so I’m interesting in anything I can sensibly transpose into from there.

  5. James
    December 8th, 2015 at 03:44 | #5

    I voted Nimzo but I play it in combination with QID and QGD depending on my mood. I also like the Chebanenko Slav but that’s my second string defence.

  6. Derek
    December 8th, 2015 at 07:41 | #6

    For years now I’ve been a die hard Dutch player. But after going through some of April’s lines in The Modern Slav I’ve become a bit of a Slav fan and is seriously considering using it as a primary, or at least secondary d4 defense.

  7. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    December 8th, 2015 at 09:55 | #7

    @ Shaw

    Will you also translate this one?

    Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500 – Übungsbuch 🙂

    Die drei Bände zu “Tigersprung auf DWZ 1500” werden mit diesem Band mit Übungsaufgaben ergänzt, so bekommt jedes Kapitel (mit Ausnahme der Abschlusstests) noch zusätzliche Tests mit 6 Stellungen. In diesem Übungsbuch finden Sie also insgesamt 72 Tests mit 432 Stellungen.

  8. December 8th, 2015 at 10:46 | #8

    I answer mostly with the infamous Benko-Gambit… 😉

  9. pabstars
    December 8th, 2015 at 11:14 | #9

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT: I have a feeling that the German text refers to Yusupov’s 3 orange books which exist in English here. Hmmm, on the other hand, the Yusupov books have far more than 72 exercises per volume, at least in the green series.

  10. John Johnson
    December 8th, 2015 at 11:32 | #10

    Nimzo and Queen’s Indian. I wonder if there will be a Queen’s Indian book from QC in the coming year?

  11. Ray
    December 8th, 2015 at 11:40 | #11

    King’s Indian for me! And I’m considering to add the Modern Benoni as a secundary opening. I’ve been served well by QC, with Kotronias’ already legendary series on the KID and Petrov’s excellent book on the Modern Benoni 🙂

  12. cyberhound
    December 8th, 2015 at 12:25 | #12

    Used to be Slav & Semi-Slav. Then Nimzo and Ragozin. At the moment its been the Tarrasch for the past few years. I’m bringing back the Slav & Semi-Slav since the Schandorff book was published.

  13. Paul
    December 8th, 2015 at 12:45 | #13

    As of yesterday, I play the Classical Slav, and the QGA. They are somewhat similar so it works for me.

  14. Dachs
    December 8th, 2015 at 13:42 | #14

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT and pabstars: By that description, it should be a volume with supplementary material to the orange books, consisting of 6 additional tests / positions per orange-books-chapter (of which there seem to be 72).

  15. The Doctor
    December 8th, 2015 at 14:23 | #15

    I like the KID and am looking forward to the next Kotronias books coming out. I do like the Grunfeld against lines where White doesn’t play 4.e4 and plays 4.Nf3 with e3 or Bf4.

  16. Boki
    December 8th, 2015 at 14:30 | #16

    With Avrukh ?

  17. chessmayhem
    December 9th, 2015 at 08:05 | #17

    I play the Benoni against d4. Can’t beat the adrenaline of going all out while pieces are hanging.

    Forced me to also learn the hedgehog structures which I started to enjoy ones I understood and was able to execute some of the ideas.

    I’m dreaming of switching one day to the KID, but so far I’m working on my attacking skills.

  18. chessmayhem
    December 9th, 2015 at 08:09 | #18

    The poll is interesting for people building a White d4 repertoire. Portraying the picture of what to expect on the board.

  19. Gollum
    December 9th, 2015 at 08:19 | #19

    I voted for QGD (which I assume it is 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6, although if it is queen’s gambit declined, the slav is also this gambit declined). I play the Tarrasch according to Ntirlis & Aagaard.

    As a second option I plan to study Avrukh’s classical slav, as that defense was my main one for many years.

  20. Neimerc
    December 9th, 2015 at 09:49 | #20

    Semi-Slav (Dreev, Schandorff) and Slav (Avrukh) I would like to add the Grünfeld in the future.

  21. Greg
    December 9th, 2015 at 13:12 | #21

    My weapon is the “Kings Indian for the lazy club and coffeehouse Player”, via the 2…d6 and 3 ….Nbd7 and 4…. e5 moveorder. Absolutely amateurish but quite fun to play. I wish Mr McNab would write a small booklet about it 🙂

  22. Tubbygold
    December 9th, 2015 at 14:41 | #22

    Mainly QGD, Noteboom or Stonewall – depending on the”victum” at the other side of the table.

    Am I the only one just waiting for THE BOOK on the QGD?

  23. Gollum
    December 9th, 2015 at 15:21 | #23

    If QC published a QGD book based on 3…Nf6 I would undoubtly buy it (same for nimzo, btw).

  24. Wolfsblut
    December 9th, 2015 at 16:51 | #24

    I also voted for QGD. My hope is that Nikos will do a similar book as he is doing at the moment against 1.e4.
    So something like ‘Playing 1.d4 d5- A classical Repertoire for black’ would be great as I don’t like the Tarrasch.

  25. December 9th, 2015 at 22:08 | #25

    My prefered answer against 1. d4 is resigns. A suggestion I took from John Watson’s English book.

  26. Patrick
    December 9th, 2015 at 22:54 | #26

    Old Indian Defense, the lines with Nbd7, not the early Queen trade (3…e5) or the risky lines with 4…e4.

    Many of the ideas with the Queen and Bishop shuffle (Qe8 / Bd8 / Qe7 / Bc7 OR Bb6 OR Ba5), particularly in the lines where White keeps the Tension and doesn’t play an early d5, are really interesting.

  27. Patrick
    December 9th, 2015 at 23:01 | #27

    Greg :
    My weapon is the “Kings Indian for the lazy club and coffeehouse Player”, via the 2…d6 and 3 ….Nbd7 and 4…. e5 moveorder. Absolutely amateurish but quite fun to play. I wish Mr McNab would write a small booklet about it

    Greg, is there really some “Lazy King’s Indian”, as in do you fianchetto after those moves? Or are you really referring to the Old Indian, as I have in the previous post? If you develop the Bishop to e7 rather than g7, that’s the Old Indian, and precisely what I play. After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.e4 e5, I answer 5.Nf3 with 5…Be7 and 5.d5 with 5…Nc5 and 6…a5.

  28. Greg
    December 10th, 2015 at 12:55 | #28

    I answer Nf3 with g6 and Bg7 (White usually fianchettos or plays Be2; then i have my special black setups) and 5.d5 with your line and either 7…Be7 or lately more 7…. g6 (after which f3 is some kind of Sämisch). You avoid a couple of lines (Exchange, 4 Pawns, … ) at the cost having the knight on d7 and you can play this setup against everything but 1. e4
    Together with the French it is a commonl eastern european subprofessional black Repertoire, at least when my chess education started in the 80s. Mainly closed and counterattacking positions, typical pawn breaks, “bad” Bishop. You may not equalize, but at least i know the positions and patterns which is enough for my level (2200); and now and then a nice king´s indian mating attack ….

  29. TonyRo
    December 10th, 2015 at 18:20 | #29

    I have played the KID exclusively for years, but I really don’t like it much any more. I’m trying to find something else I really like, not going that great. 😀

  30. Steven S.
    December 11th, 2015 at 01:39 | #30

    @TonyRo
    Tony, I have developed some really interesting lines centered around the Bishop’s Opening that can take your opponent out of book so fast it’s scary. It can transpose into the Two Knights, Ponziani etc. but really aggressive lines very hard to refute. Let me know and I can send you a .pgn file

  31. Steven S.
    December 11th, 2015 at 01:39 | #31

    @Steven S.
    I really like the Nimzo and the KID as well

  32. Kevin Stevens
    December 11th, 2015 at 01:59 | #32

    @Wolfsblut – I have to second that. I also voted for the QGD and having a Quality Chess book on playing the QGD would be awesome! I have played the Tarrasch, but just feel more comfortable in other QGD lines.

  33. Steven S.
    December 11th, 2015 at 21:22 | #33

    @TonyRo
    Tony, if interested in my Bishop’d Opening research, email me at sksguitar@hotmail.com

    Thanks and love your book!

  34. k.r.
    December 12th, 2015 at 11:18 | #34

    According to polls there is one opening that qc didnt cover NID. Although Jacob made 2 dvdies on those two openings years ago. I must say that qc published so many good books on answering d4 that Nid isnt in my scope of interest anymore.

  35. Steven S.
    December 12th, 2015 at 14:32 | #35

    @k.r.
    I’m sure the reason is that it would require 5-10 volumes to do complete justice to all the enormous variations and theory available. It’s like going down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. I love the Nimzo!

  36. Steven S.
    December 12th, 2015 at 14:32 | #36

    The Queen’s Fianchetto Defences also deserve a lot more respect!

  37. Steven S.
    December 12th, 2015 at 14:34 | #37

    1.Nc3 is also super sexy!

  38. Jacob Aagaard
    December 12th, 2015 at 20:41 | #38

    I think we will finally be able to publish a Nimzo-Indian GM Repertoire in the near future. But I feel the project is so jinxed that I do not want to reveal anything else before we actually have a finished manuscript!

  39. Ray
    December 12th, 2015 at 21:26 | #39

    @TonyRo
    What about the Modern Benoni?

  40. Ray
    December 12th, 2015 at 21:27 | #40

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Sounds promising 🙂

  41. Joeri
    December 12th, 2015 at 22:03 | #41

    Michael Adams would be nice for a Nimzo GMrepertoire!

  42. franck steenbekkers
    December 13th, 2015 at 04:36 | #42

    I think the Nimzo project will be published end 2016
    When will the next Negi be published

  43. Steven S.
    December 13th, 2015 at 06:00 | #43

    @Jacob Aagaard
    GM Aagaard, I hope you consider to give the Nimzo at least 3-5 volumes. It will require it.

  44. Steven S.
    December 13th, 2015 at 06:01 | #44

    There is no easy one size fits all is there?

  45. Ray
    December 13th, 2015 at 07:46 | #45

    @Steven S.
    That sounds a bit overdone to be honest. If the Dragon and the Slav+Semi-Slav can fit into two volumes, surely the Nimzo can fit in one or two at most?

  46. Gollum
    December 13th, 2015 at 08:08 | #46

    Any opening can be explained in as much detail as you want. It is easy for me to think of a 5 volume work on the Botvinnik variation of the semi slav alone. But it is true that Schandorff has done it in only half volume and for sure it is quite ok.

    For my purpose, one volume of say 400 pages should be more than enough. I don’t play correspondence chess and I don’t think it would serve any higher purpose to fit more theory on my brain, so one volume for me would be ideal.

  47. The Doctor
    December 13th, 2015 at 11:03 | #47

    @Jacob Aagaard

    Problem is when you publish a book on the NID, I think you are pretty much compelled to publish a repertoire with 3.Nf3 & 3.g3.i suppose you could say the Modern Benonu covers that but most would hope for a QID, Ragozin or QGD.

  48. Jacob Aagaard
    December 13th, 2015 at 12:11 | #48

    @The Doctor
    Yes, of course.

  49. Jacob Aagaard
    December 13th, 2015 at 12:12 | #49

    Short term we will have the Modern Benoni and the Semi-Slav to fill in some of the gap, although the Catalan is not covered by the Semi-Slav book. But we do not provide a full repertoire at any time service. We are a book publisher.

  50. Steven S.
    December 13th, 2015 at 12:24 | #50

    @Ray
    Are you sure Ray? QC has 5 volumes on the KID with 2 just for Mar de Plata variation alone.

  51. Steven S.
    December 13th, 2015 at 12:26 | #51

    @Gollum
    For my taste the Schandorff books, while excellent, are nearly razor thin when compared to deep variation analysis comparing all or most well known variations, tabiya, etc.

  52. Jacob Aagaard
    December 13th, 2015 at 12:42 | #52

    @Steven S.
    The NID would always, always be one volume, hopefully with a later QID/Anti-Catalan volume to follow. But let us see what happens first!

  53. Neil
    December 13th, 2015 at 13:46 | #53

    To avoid being too predictable I play a couple of different defences to 1.d4, but I find Chigorin’s defence very effective. Although there are lines where white is slightly better, I am not aware of any refutation, and most d4 players don’t play very well against it.

  54. RB
    December 13th, 2015 at 15:14 | #54

    @JacobAagaard When comes Negi’s Sicilian 3?

  55. Ray
    December 13th, 2015 at 16:00 | #55

    @Steven S.
    Yes, but the KID is much much more theoretical than the Nimzo!

  56. Ray
    December 13th, 2015 at 16:01 | #56

    It’s a bit like comparing the Najdorf Sicilian to the Taimanov or Paulsen Sicilian.

  57. kirpan
    December 13th, 2015 at 18:58 | #57

    gm j Aagaard a book on the benko is this part of your plans

    greetings and thanks fore the fine books kirpan

  58. marcel
    December 13th, 2015 at 19:54 | #58

    A real man is answering with the English Defence

  59. Steven S.
    December 14th, 2015 at 00:14 | #59

    @Ray
    I respectfully disagree. There are tons of sound early deviations in the NID not to mention many different middlegame strategies. Look up how many GM variations there are Ray. Anyways I love the KID as well.

  60. Steven S.
    December 14th, 2015 at 00:18 | #60

    @Neil
    The Chigorin has been refuted (in a practical sense) by Strong logical plans by White that don’t feed into the hopefulness of such openings. Why do you think no GM’s play it as Black except Moro. It’s fun but not sound like the Alekhine for Black. (The Alekhine is another very suspicious defence as well).

  61. Gollum
    December 14th, 2015 at 07:39 | #61

    @Steven S.

    I would not go so far as to say the Chigorin is refuted. I do believe White can get a slight advantage in many ways, which makes the defense from black point of view not that good, you need to be prepared for many good replies, but I don’t think it can get a large advantage anywhere.

    And I think the same goes for the Alekhine.

    If I have learn anything studying QC opening books (instead of the wishful thinking of many other publishers) is that it is quite hard to get tangible advantages out of the opening. You can get a pull as White, but generally that is all you are going to get (see for exemple Negi on the generally doubtful 1. e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 -Houska states that 3.Nc3 is better- de 4.Ne4 Nf6?!, the lines are pleasant for White, but nothing dramatic).

  62. Steven S.
    December 14th, 2015 at 14:24 | #62

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Thanks Jacob, well one can wish. Keep making the greatest chess books in the world!

  63. Jacob Aagaard
    December 14th, 2015 at 15:38 | #63

    @RB
    Negi is a full time student, so the answer, as with all the volumes, is, just after he has found time to write it!

  64. Jacob Aagaard
    December 14th, 2015 at 15:39 | #64

    @kirpan
    The problem is that the opening at the moment just looks bad :-(.

  65. Jacob Aagaard
    December 14th, 2015 at 15:41 | #65

    @Gollum
    I agree.

    Nc3/d2 in the Caro-Kann is always changing in my experience. There are pros and cons for both and usually it makes no odds. But I have to say that 4…Nf6 has always been a favourite of mine – to face 😉

  66. Jacob Aagaard
    December 14th, 2015 at 15:42 | #66

    @Steven S.
    I am sure that Kotronias would write 3-4 volumes on the Nimzo. But it is really not the same! Where you can say “even chances” in the Nimzo after 15 moves, everything is hanging in the KID, making it a more demanding and exhilarating opening at the same time.

  67. RB
    December 14th, 2015 at 16:36 | #67

    Negi is a full time student, so the answer, as with all the volumes, is, just after he has found time to write it!

    @Jacob Aagaard

    But so far he was quite fast (6-8 Months from Book to Book) can se expect it in May-June?

  68. The Lurker
    December 14th, 2015 at 18:29 | #68

    Jacob Aagaard :
    But we do not provide a full repertoire at any time service. We are a book publisher.

    Sure. But it would be nice if a full repertoire were eventually forth-coming, seeing as how your premier series is actually called Grandmaster Repertoire. Otherwise, QC will start being called the George R. R. Martin of the chess publishing world, and you don’t want that! 😛

  69. kirpan
    December 14th, 2015 at 21:42 | #69

    thanks jacob i will stick with the nimzo

  70. Jacob Aagaard
    December 15th, 2015 at 09:43 | #70

    @RB
    He was a full time player, so obviously he is very well prepared already. So, a lot of the work is simply writing the text. But yes, he works fast and very hard in his holidays to pay the tuition through the book sale royalties and other sources of income. Quite admirably so.

  71. Jacob Aagaard
    December 15th, 2015 at 09:45 | #71

    @The Lurker
    Very funny!

    We do provide a lot of full repertoires, like a full Dragon repertoire, full KID (soon), full 1.d4, full 1.e4. But we cannot provide a full repertoire in all directions at all times. Even when the Game of Thrones series will be finished, there will be people wishing they heard more about one character…

  72. The Lurker
    December 15th, 2015 at 15:45 | #72

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I agree that a repertoire can’t cover everything that anybody might want. A repertoire, by it’s very nature, consists of choices. And of course, you can’t have everything covered in recent books. But the Doctor has a point. If there were a Nimzo book, and nothing forthcoming to cover White not allowing a Nimzo, something would be amiss.

    I’m not sure I agree that the Game of Thrones series will be finished. I would not be surprised if Martin followed in Robert Jordan’s footsteps.

  73. TonyRo
    December 15th, 2015 at 17:23 | #73

    I think Quality Chess could do quite a bit worse than to be known as the GRRM of the chess world. I am certain some writers from other publishers would rather take his reputation over theirs any day of the week!

    Now, with that said, one of the only retorts I have when verbally battling my (engineering) coworkers is that I finished my book faster than George generally finishes his! 😀

  74. Patrick
    December 16th, 2015 at 21:31 | #74

    In response to Gollum (Post 46), I think you hit the nail in the head. It depends on how deep you really want to go.

    Forget the Botvinnik Semi-Slav, I’m sure if someone really, really, REALLY wanted to, they could find a way to write 5 volumes (2000 pages) of theory on the London System, or the Colle Koltanowski if they were really that excited to do it.

    Case in point – Granted it’s not published by Quality Chess, but look at David Rudel, who doesn’t appear to be a titled player at all, and yet he has written almost a dozen books on the Colle Zukertort and Koltanowski, so it can be done!

  75. An Ordinary Chessplayer
    December 18th, 2015 at 20:33 | #75

    Patrick wrote: “yet he has written almost a dozen books on the Colle Zukertort and Koltanowski, so it can be done!”

    Is this right? I google him and find 11 books, not all on chess, it seems 5 of them are on Colle/Zukertort type systems.

  76. Ray
    December 19th, 2015 at 06:30 | #76

    @An Ordinary Chessplayer
    Well, that’s ‘almost’ a dozen, isn’t it?

  77. Steven S.
    December 19th, 2015 at 14:22 | #77

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Food for thought for sure Jacob. Chess games.com has some interesting stats. It gives the KID winning about 37%, losing about 25%, drawing in 38%. The NID scored about 34 %wins, 33 %losses and 27%. Apparently it’s easier to draw in the KiD although white appears significantly better out of the gate than in the NID to your point. Interesting though to be sure.

  78. Thomas
    December 19th, 2015 at 16:40 | #78

    105% of all statistics are dubious.

  79. Steven S.
    December 21st, 2015 at 10:47 | #79

    @Thomas
    Doubting Thomas, eh? Wll, they either mean something or not.

  80. Jacob Aagaard
    December 21st, 2015 at 12:29 | #80

    @The Lurker
    You need to make real World choices. Which is, Nimzo or not. Not everything or not.

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