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
abcdefgh
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c6 black pawn
f6 black knight
d5 black pawn
c4 white pawn
d4 white pawn
c3 white knight
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
h1 white rook
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
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 | change source]

Now 4...dxc4 is the Slav:

Mainline[change | change 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 | change source]

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

The Semi-Slav[change | change source]

4...e6 is the Semi-Slav:

The Russian variation[change | change 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 | change source]

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

References[change | change source]

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