I am working on my opening repertoire, and I need ways to dodge the Exchange variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined with Nge2. Many masters use the Alatortsev variation to do this.

After the following moves:

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1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7

We get the tabya of the above mentioned line.

There are many books about QGD that cover this line, but none does that in full detail.

Furthermore, browsing through Internet I found that there were some important theoretical novelties at the top level which were not mentioned in modern books about QGD. Unfortunately I can not provide the links now since it was more than 3 months since I last saw them.

So my question is following :

Is there a book or an online resource that covers this line in great depth with high-quality analysis?

Thank you.

Best regards.

  • 2
    Maybe you should also post a question "How to play the QGD, while avoiding the Nge2 exchange" or so with the exact line you want to avoid, I play 3...Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 6.Qc2 h6 / 6.e3 Bf5 myself. Of course you must be willing to play the Short Endgame then. Mar 12, 2014 at 13:55
  • @RemcoGerlich: I do not wish to play Short endgame or any h6 lines, so the only acceptible moves that dodge Nge2 lines are c6 or Be7. I have posted a question for both. Until I examine h6 lines more thoroughly I would like to stick with the one of those two moves. Thank you for your suggestions. Best regards. Mar 12, 2014 at 17:15

4 Answers 4


Be7 avoids the QGD Exchange Variation and usually moves towards either an exchange with Bf4 or a regular QGD. If it's a regular QGD, there obviously won't be any books dedicated specifically to this variation as it will transpose to another well-known line.

The only pressing line then is the one with cxd5 and Bf4. I can't recall any books that focus specifically on this line in depth, but there have been many games played at the international level that use this variation. I would recommend exploring game databases like MegaBase and finding annotated games.

  • Bf4` is the line I was thinking of, but have found no detailed explanation in QGD books. It is mentioned as a sideline, sufficiently covered, but White keeps finding new ways to sharpen the game, and these are not mentioned. I am not that familiar with usage of chess software ( I only use it to play few games/analyse ) so I could use MegaBase if it is free. Thank you. Upvoted. Best regards and good luck on your studies. Apr 26, 2014 at 19:41

There are a couple of opening books that dedicate a chapter to the Alatortsev variation: The Queen's Gambit & Catalan for Black (2001) by GM Janjgava and The Queen's Gambit Declined (2007) by IM Rizzitano. The former is a repertoire book based on the move order 3.Nc3 Be7, while the latter is not.

Besides the Alatortsev variation, there are also different ways to avoid 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5. Two of them are shown in some very recent repertoire books, both published in 2018:


There is no need for a special book on this, which is why you cannot find one that covers it much. The reason is that it simply transposes to most normal lines, but just avoids the Botvinnik Nge2 line that you are trying to avoid. There is one line that white can try that breaks from standard theory.

After 3...Be7, white really has only two main choices:

    1. cd ed 5. Bf4, and therefore you avoid the main line with Bg5. It can continue with 5...c6 6. e3 {still trying to play Bd3 and Nge2} Bf5, and you have avoided it.
    1. Nf3, and you have avoided the line you wanted to, and it transposes to mainline stuff right away.

Considering option two goes right back into mainline, the only one that anyone would consider wanting to write about is option one, and there is just not enough material that remains independent from the mainline to warrant it.

Soltis covers 3...Be7 in his book "Transpo Tricks in Chess" on page 130. He notes: "On the minus side, this order denies Black non-... .i.e7 variations, such as the Cambridge Springs, Vienna and Botvinnik."


Chessable.com has a video and e-book that cover this line for Black. The author (a GM) recommends a very quiet positional approach for Black which I really like. But other players with Black may want a sharper repertoire.

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