Creating a repertoire with 1.d4 in the year 2021 is an immensely difficult task. There is a huge amount of information spreading around at lightning speed, and White's chances for an advantage become slimmer and slimmer due to the opening analysis offered by rapidly improving engines. Nowadays, eve rything depends on small details which are hard for the authors to discover and subsequently explain to the chess public, and this is the reason you will often see at chess stores many books offering a repertoire for Black but very few doing the same for White. It is simply much more difficult to find a new path for White than in the past, as the machine will provide almost always a way to equality, whereas with Black you only need to reach a draw without necessarily being creative, as that is the nature of things. Additionally, praxis and theory have shown that in most openings there is more than one way for Black to equalize, a fact that considerably helps an author who creates a rep ertoire for Black and conversely renders extremely arduous the respective task of building a White repertoire.
Still, the authors of the present series decided to pick up the gauntlet. GM Vassilios Kotronias was not a 1.d4 practitioner but had the appetite to dive into the deep waters of something new for him, while GM Mikhail Ivanov's vast experience and knowledge of 1.d4 ensured that the correct paths would be, more or less, followed.
As is customary for such a work, we decided to start by examining the most solid, symmetrical defense for the opponent, which in the present case is 1... ds. Given the extreme amount of theory it would have been practically impos sible for us to cover everything in one volume, so here we are, starting with the one numbered 1A, which examines some "lesser" defenses after 1.d4 d5 2.04 and a couple of important variations of the Queen's Gambit Accepted. The fact that the rest of the Queen's Gambit Accepted is examined in a separate volume classified as 1B, speaks ...volumes about the practical difficulties we encountered from the size and the complexity of this popular opening, but hopefully, we did well.
In our view, a classical defensive scheme like the one the QGA embodies can hardly be refuted, and our analysis verified that. But at the same time, whatever chances existed for White in the related structures were used by us, in order to make Black's life less easy. Our philosophy was to look for and find the critical path, recommending strong attacking methods whenever that was possible, and clear cut strategic ideas when it was not. You will actually be surprised to see that even openings like the Chigorin Defence, the Albin Counter Gambit, and the Mirror Variation (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c5) have not been refuted, but at least there our task there was not as hard as in the lines of the QGA this volume includes, in particular the 3.e4 b5 Variation.
This book, or this series, if you so prefer, will require meticulous study if you want to reach a really high level of opening knowledge. On the other hand, we hope that even amateurs can profit from the many included ideas and the many diagrams in critical (or non-critical) positions. It is impossible to remember everything from these dense pages, but what is possible is to get a feeling of the struggle. If you manage to achieve that, then our work's aim will be fulfilled.
GM Vassilios Kotronias & GM Mikhail Ivanov