I am looking for book recommendations on the Queen's Gambit. I already own some general opening books, which cover many openings and also many variations in each opening. However, I am not advanced enough to figure out the strategic plans attached to the many variations by myself.

So what I am looking for is something that is less broad than e.g. Fundamental Chess Openings. On the other hand, if possible, I would not want to delve only into the details of a single reply, e.g., QGD. So what I am looking for is a book that somehow covers a reasonable amount of different defenses in reply to the Queen's Gambit. Of course I understand that this is a huge topic. But at least a book that covers roughly QGA, QGD and the Slav would be nice.

  • 1
    Are you looking for a repertoire book (i.e. a book by a strong player that provides recommendations for specific moves), a game collection book, a book describing the underlying principles/strategies or a general theory book?
    – firtydank
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 13:49
  • I think what I am looking for is a book describing the underlying principles and strategies.
    – Jester
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 14:22
  • OK, I'm curious to see what responses you get. The reason I asked is because I had to learn the hard way that it is important to understand which type of book you want when it comes to opening study. I once bought a general theory book about the Caro-Kann which, after struggling about half-way through, I realized was targeted more towards Caro-Kann academics than seekers of playing advice.
    – firtydank
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 14:38

1 Answer 1


The best for QGD is Mathew Sadler-Queen's Gambit declined in my opinion. Every line in the Queen's Gambit declined has been explained. It is dated, so you will need to do your own research to find latest theory. Still, QGD is "stable" opening so theory rarely changes here...

For Queen's Gambit accepted, you could try a book from Starting Out series, or Semko & Sakaev-Queen's Gambit Accepted. QGA is simple, its all about not letting Black to finish development. You just need the moves to survive the opening. Maybe you will need to learn how to play against Isolated pawn. If that is the case, you can start with this post on Chess SE.

As for Slav defense, again Black aims for solidity and White tries to hinder his harmonious development. The lines are sharp but easy to understand, and you need to know theory. Maybe sometimes you will end with "hanging pawns" but there is a book about this type of middlegame. The best book I found on Semi-Slav is one from David Vigorito. As for Slav, again you can Google for one of the Starting out series.

Of course I understand that this is a huge topic. But at least a book that covers roughly QGA, QGD and the Slav would be nice.

Lars Schandorrf-Playing the Queen's Gambit 2nd edition could be what you want. It gives you most up to date theory at this point. Combine it with the above books and you should be fine. For latest opening theory you could consider getting 2 volumes from Avrukh ( Grandmaster repertoire 1 and Grandmaster repertoire 2 ).


Shandorrf and Avrukh give opening moves but don't explain basic ideas. I have listed them so you can survive opening as there were recent novelties in the Semi-Slav and Slav. For basic ideas get Starting out series and Sadler's book, they should be enough for you to start.

In my opinion this is the best you can do to solve your problem at the moment. If you need further help leave a comment. Good luck!

  • Thanks a lot for your detailed answer. I will have a look and report my experiences at a later point.
    – Jester
    Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 9:44
  • @Ignaz: Good luck, cal if you need further help. Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 10:43

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