AI level 1 is weak.
Why would the time control influence what the best first move would be?
In the last World Championship Match Caruana played 1 e4 and got nothing out of it.
Carlsen varied 1 e4, 1 d4, 1 c4 and got nothing out of it either.
Reality is more complex than theory
I think it mainly depends on your preferences against 1.e4, if you play Caro-kann then Slav is a good option, if you play the french then QGD is probably a good idea.
QGD is less sharp overall--> if you play decent moves as Black, you are almost guaranteed to reach the middle game alive, and no material down. White has to slowly outplay you in most cases.
Downsides of QGD as Black: A weaker White player may be able to draw with you, due to the relatively "boring" positions arised. Usually black will not have the initiative in most variations.
Not good in "must win" situations.
I used to play the QGD Semi-Slav and I got bored of the same lifeless positions that I used to get. So I grabbed a book and started playing the Slav. So far I'm getting a lot of interesting positions especially in the Dutch variation.
Such a interesting post. Keep discussing!
I think that both system are really great system, to equalize or even to play for a win. Yep, even in the QGD. Time ago I saw lots of blitz games of the QGD where black seems stop every single threat of white just playing logical but theorical moves. It seemed to me like suddenly Black could play the QGD forever and never lost a game. And I'm a Indian System player, (Benko and KID mainly), and I have to say that QGD is a respectful defense. About the Slav and Semi-Slav, you could even play for a win and black isn't giving any great advantage to white, like the c8-bishop. The Meran and Chebanenko Variation and "The Dubov Variation", (a new variation proposed by Daniil Dubov few days ago in Memorial Steinitz) are really interesting ways to get a interesting battle. I cannot decide me for one.
A good way to walk around that is answering to QGD with the Catalan as white. But that's just my opinion. I view the Catalan as maybe the strongest fianchetto system due to the fact that exchanging the fianchettoed bishop is somewhat tricky. It's not quite possible to make a Be6 Qd7 battery. I don't know how drawish it is though.
As Black, I think the exchange variation is better for trying for a win, providing you can prevent a potential minority attack. Surprisingly, I played this opening three times and always had a Karlsbad pawn structure. And faced no minority attack which I found strange. If the neo-modern QGD is played though... then I'm not sure. I still haven't played QGD as often as Black, but like I said, I play Benoni and Indian defences usually.
Catalan? Must be fun at parties
@spd7693 QGD is actually very good against Catalan, as far as I know. (It can equalize easily, with proper theory)