After following the studying advises of a Chess Stack Exchange fellow (PhishMaster, if you read this, thank you!) I'm about to break 2200 Lichess elo finally. I think it is time to truly and deeply study the openings and defenses I enjoy playing. That is why I'm looking for in-depth books on the QG (or specifically QGD) and French Defense.

I'm not looking for introductory books, or key-ideas-presentations sort of literature; I'm aiming at studying and memorizing lines and variations in depth, for I feel I have come to the point this is necessary to improve my game.

An excellent example of the type of book I want is Pachamn's Queen's Gambit Declined, but the problem is the book is clearly outdated and I know many of the lines it presents as solid have been refuted both by the human mind or by the engines (still excellent book, don't get me wrong).

What books of this sort can you recommend me on this openings?

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    The grandmaster repertoire series is always excellent. There is a three-book series by GM Emmanual Berg on the French defense. Regarding the QGD, I'm not aware of any book published in the gm repertoire series, but I can recommend the video course by Jan Gustafsson on the Vienna on chess24. Apr 8, 2020 at 13:11
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    QGD is too vast for one book, it is separated in many books covering specific lines. Regarding the french, i think there was 3 part series of Grandmaster repertoire. Vitiugov wrote good book as well... Apr 10, 2020 at 23:12

2 Answers 2


Sadler QGD book is fantastic - I know some pretty strong players who don't even play QGD as black (or 1.d4!) who read that book just for the instructive value. Don't use the lines themselves (very old book) as a repertoire if you are >2200 FIDE (lichess I don't know how to translate but it is probably lower than FIDE) but QGD is more about understanding - get it!

One of best chess books I ever read and I used the understanding I got from this book to make my own QGD repertoire and draw with GMs in tournaments. I stopped using QGD so much when I got a bit higher rated and face a lot of lower rated players - winning as black can be a bit of a slog in the duller lines.

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    Hey Hamish, Sadler book has been very good so far to kind of expand on the Pachman work I was reading. Though it is a little bit elemental at times, I find it very good and it has a lot of example games (which Pachman's book does not), so that's excellent. Thanks!
    – lafinur
    Apr 20, 2020 at 0:11

I am 2300 USCF and I recommend Boris Avrukh's books. His main focus has been the Catalan for some years now but the QGD is well covered.

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