Slav defence

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The Slav defence is an important reply to 1d4. It is popular with top players. The Slav usually begins:

The Slav defence
Start of chess board.
a8 black rook b8 black knight c8 black bishop d8 black queen e8 black king f8 black bishop g8 __ h8 black rook
a7 black pawn b7 black pawn c7 __ d7 __ e7 black pawn f7 black pawn g7 black pawn h7 black pawn
a6 __ b6 __ c6 black pawn d6 __ e6 __ f6 black knight g6 __ h6 __
a5 __ b5 __ c5 __ d5 black pawn e5 __ f5 __ g5 __ h5 __
a4 __ b4 __ c4 white pawn d4 white pawn e4 __ f4 __ g4 __ h4 __
a3 __ b3 __ c3 white knight d3 __ e3 __ f3 white knight g3 __ h3 __
a2 white pawn b2 white pawn c2 __ d2 __ e2 white pawn f2 white pawn g2 white pawn h2 white pawn
a1 white rook b1 __ c1 white bishop d1 white queen e1 white king f1 white bishop g1 __ h1 white rook
End of chess board.
Black to move
1.d4 d5
2.c4 c6 (this is the characteristic move of the Slav)
3.Nf3 Nf6
4.Nc3 (see diagram)

Other fourth moves for White are 4.e3, 4.cxd5 and 4.Qb3.

The Slav proper[change | edit source]

Now 4...dxc4 is the Slav:

Mainline[change | edit source]

This line was explored in two world championship matches between Alekhine and Euwe in 1935 and 1937.

5.a4 Bf5
6.e3 e6
7.Bxc4 Bb4
8.0-0 0-0

Slav Gambit[change | edit source]

5.e3 or e4
with 5...b5 Black keeps the pawn

The Semi-Slav[change | edit source]

4...e6 is the Semi-Slav:

The Russian variation[change | edit source]

Sometimes called the Botvinnik variation.

5.Bg5 dxc4
6.e4 b5
7.e5 h6
8.Bh4 g5
9.Nxg5 hxg5
10.Bxg5 Nbd7
11.exf6 Bb7
12.g3 Bb7

The Meran defence[change | edit source]

5.e3 Nbd7
6.Bd3 dxc4
7.Bxc4 b5
8.Bd3 Bb7
9.0-0 a6
10.e4 c5

References[change | edit source]

  • Matthew Sadler 1997. The Slav. Chess Press, Brighton
  • Matthew Sadler 1998. The Semi-Slav. Chess Press, Brighton.