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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Slav questions (Read 10146 times)
Semkov
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #32 - 09/29/05 at 13:47:00
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@Smyslov_Fan: I told you, I do not feel the Classical Slav so I renounced playing it with either side when I was twenty. Accordingly I have no recommendation whatsoever.
  
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John Simmons
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #31 - 09/27/05 at 04:08:22
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Going back to slates original question, in the gewgaw line instead of the tempting 20Bh3+, which works out to black's advantage, simply 20 Q*f4 then after 20...B*B 21 K*g2 B*R 22. R*B R-d7 black is still ok, but in more drawish fashion. Earlier instead of 19...B*e4, black can play 19...Be6 when 20f3 B*R 21 K*B Qc1+ leads to the perpetual, reffered to earlier.
            In the nd7-b6, line Ivan Sokolov had a very good record, until he lost two games in a tournament of 2004. This is in the line g3, with a later Qe2, Rd1. It does not look straightforward for black to get sharp counterplay, but has to wait for the right moment when white decides to do something.

Bye John S
  
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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #30 - 09/27/05 at 03:16:21
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Inn,

I play the ...Nb6 line occasionally.  It's not a quiet variation at all.  After all, Black has virtually vacated the kingside.  This is a very dicey line for Black to consider his fall-back in case things go wrong in the other variations.  Having said that, I do think that Black has good chances of scoring in the ...Nb6 line against most players.  Against strong IM/GM competition however, I just don't trust it as much as the old Alekhine-Euwe lines. 

Semkov, What do you think, should Black seek his chances in the ...Nb6 lines that Burgess, NCO (probably written by Burgess) and a few others have recommended?  Or should Black look elsewhere for a "solid" line?
  
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slates
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #29 - 09/27/05 at 03:06:44
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Thanks Semkov - I understand now.  The b4 square is one I will look out for....

And the line that Inn2 talks about, 7...Nb6, is in fact the line that Stohl seems to recommend (and in fact NCO also gives it in a footnote as leading to unclear play) in the Classical Slav, saying that it isn't clear how White should play for an advantage.  He quotes that game with Piket and Kobilaya(?) - I'm at work and cannot remember the exact name of the other player, but think it was played in 1997 or 98.  But it seems as though Vescovi-Anand is an update on this - I'll have to look for that game and compare it, but 7...Nb6 is presumably still fully viable for Black. 

Inn2 - thanks for advice on early e3 orders - I'm going to look at that.
  
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lnn2
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #28 - 09/27/05 at 01:09:15
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6. Ne5 Nbd7 7. Nxc4 Nb6 is solid enough. NIC yearbook 74 has a survey with the title "Working Harder for a Smaller Advantage" with the game Vescovi-Anand as the main dish.
  
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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #27 - 09/27/05 at 00:11:56
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What is the "more solid line" after 6.Ne5 in the Slav that you refer to, Inn?

(1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5)

If Black plays 6...e6, he gets hammered in the sac line that was already discussed.  So, that pretty much leaves the 6...Nbd7 line which can be played in 1930s style (not fun anymore) or in Morozevich' style (too much fun).  What is the solid line that you know of?
  
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lnn2
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #26 - 09/26/05 at 21:12:55
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@slates: both 6. e3 and 6. Ne5 are roughly equal in popularity. And yes, it is strategically more difficult for White than Black in the classical slav, which is why I  think the classical slav is not a bad choice for Black provided he chooses the more solid lines.

3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 is a better move-order for White than 3. Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 as both 4... Bf5 and 4... Bg4 is stronger in the latter case. I used to play these early e3 move-orders, but  now think White's chances for advantage is highest in the a6 slav after 5. c5 and semi-slav 5. Bg5, hence reluctance to use early e3 nowadays.  Undecided
  
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Semkov
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #25 - 09/26/05 at 16:12:57
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Slates, my comments were ment to frighten out the White players. It is not easy to play with a gaping hole on b4. Strategically Black's play is easier, although he is a bit cramped.
  
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slates
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #24 - 09/25/05 at 14:53:45
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Well, after that last post I went online for some blitz, and the first game I got against 1.d4 went thus;

Incidentally, 1710 would be higher than my rating, at a guess. (I should register...)



livingoutloud (1710) - guest5850 [D18]
ICC 2 12 u Internet Chess Club, 25.09.2005

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.Qb3 a5 10.Bd2 0-0 11.Nh4 Bg6 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.f3 Nh5 14.e4 Ne5 15.dxe5 Qxd2 16.Rad1 Bc5+ 17.Kh1 Ng3+ 18.hxg3 Qh6# White checkmated 0-1


I remembered the moves up to 9...a5, but then 10.Bd2 was new to me.  From then on I don't doubt we both made mistakes (not least of all his 16.Rad1 which gave things away) but I suppose the point made in the thread about White having to be careful to keep things under control was evident here. I didn't spot any big mistakes tactically until move 16, although exchanging on e5 prior to then was maybe also poor - it was what I was hoping for, anyway - but is it wise for White to exchange on g6 in these positions?  NCO notes that Black is happy for this exchange as it opens the h-file, which was certainly of use to me in this game, but generally I don't know that I like the look of this as I give up one of the Bishops I so like (my QGD Tartakower leanings have taught me to appreciate the bishop pair).  Granted there won't be many games where Black gets to win like this, but at least it's a good motivator. Smiley

  
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slates
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #23 - 09/25/05 at 14:09:28
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Interesting to hear players far stronger than me comment on the Slav as being very complicated.  I have all too readily believed what I have seen in print about the Slav being 'dull' and 'drawish', but having looked at the line with 6.Ne5 I can't agree that it is either.  Indeed, I have looked at the 6.e3 line as well and found that to be quite complex - out of interest, does anyone know whether or not it is more popular for White to play 6.e3 or 6.Ne5, or which performs better?  As mentioned before, I don't have databases to refer to and often have a problem with the online ones with Java problems on my computer, but I am still interested in statistics (probably too much so!).
I also intend to take a look at the couple of lines my battered copy of NCO has on Semkov's move order with 4.e3, incidentally - I think this is similar to what Richard Palliser recommended for White in his Play 1d4 book, although if I remember correctly he used 3.Nf3 rather than 3.Nc3 before 4.e3 - not sure how that works out in the end, but I imagine there is a subtle difference in the way things go.

I think another thing that made me wonder about the Slav's recent credibility is that it seems to have been struggling theoretically in some areas - at my casual level this is no big deal if I can pick lines that simply give me positions I am comfortable in, I suppose, but in Igor Stohl's 'Instructive...' book he has the game Salov-Illescas 1997 featuring the bishop sac which Inn2 pointed out as scoring poorly for Black.....well, Stohl makes the same claim, and also comments that Black remains the side fighting for equality, so that line is one that I would avoid both for that reason and also because I find it rather complicated (!), something i didn't think the Slav was meant to be. Smiley

Smyslov Fan made a valid point about the Dutch - I've had plenty of fun playing it these last few months, and will continue to do so - I think it's improved my tactical abilities and the way that I conduct an attack, amongst other things, but I also feel I'd like to look at the Slav as a possible second defence, hence my posts here.  The Dutch hasn't let me down too badly yet, but I imagine the Slav would be more solid in the long run, and I like the thought that I may be able to increase my positional understanding of the game of chess by utilising this defence - the Dutch may have improved my tactical play, but I'm no spring chicken and tactics will always be the lesser part of my game.  I do however wonder if Semkov's comments about this defence ought to frighten me away from it!  There I was thinking the Semi Slav was complicated!  Shocked

  
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lnn2
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #22 - 09/25/05 at 01:57:19
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I agree the Classical Slav is complicated.  The problem is that White's queenside is rather weak and sensitive, which means that even if Black castles queenside (like in the Morozevich 11... g5 variation), it is not easy to attack Black's king, even though optically Black seems to be running a big risk. This approach somewhat reminds me of the Samisch KID: castle at the side where you are strongest!

it is not easy for White to keep things fully in control, even in the solid lines like 7... Nb6 and 5... Na6 . I guess I don't mind playing the White side of these positions because I tend to do well with space, but must admit i find the "+=" assessments in the books rather deceiving! "+=" here should mean: White has a slight advantage, but if he tries hard to win, he will lose!
  
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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #21 - 09/25/05 at 00:58:25
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Semkov  Embarrassed  

Inn2's message crossed with  mine, and I missed that you were actually the co-author of "the" book on the Qc2 line.


Regarding the Classical Slav,

It is obviously extraordinarily complicated.  I have found that I score a little better as Black than I do as White.  I've also noticed that relatively strong players (+2200elo) do indeed get lost very quickly, especially when playing the White side.  There are a number of positional considerations beyond just your average bean-counter approach of playing ...c5 or ...e5 whenever White lets you.  

Probably because I've been playing it for so long and because I'm well known locally for having a deep positional understanding (I'm also well-known for dropping easy wins to cheap tactics), I've never been scared of playing the Slav.  Perhaps you're right, the Slav does require a "feel" for the game that simple study won't give a player.  

For that reason I haven't been able to answer slates' question about "understanding" the Slav.  Maybe the correct answer for slates is "Just keep playing it and improving your game.  You'll eventually get it."

« Last Edit: 09/26/05 at 08:37:33 by Smyslov_Fan »  
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Semkov
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #20 - 09/24/05 at 17:20:17
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To Smyslov_Fan: I do have "some" analysis on 6.Qc2 - see http://chess-stars.com/complete_list.html#Latest Trends in the Semi-Slav: Anti-Meran.
I do not know about you, but for me the Classical Slav is one of the most difficult openings to understand. This is an opening for champions and the better wins. A very strong GM could lose as White (against people with deep positional understanding) without committing any obvious mistake. You can never learn the Classic Slav. You have to feel it. It is full of variations with the deceiving tag "+=" which could be true, but it is extremely easy to lose orientation. That's why most professionals prefer to avoid it. This could be achieved exactly by the move order we consider in our book: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3.
Some people say that the Botvinnik is the better choice. Even if that were true, (and I do not think so), that does not solve the main problem - how to avoid the Classical Slav. I repeat, you just cannot learn this opening. The Anti-Meran is many times easier, even in its most extreme forms like 7.g4.
  
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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #19 - 09/24/05 at 15:04:44
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I think you'll find that the Slav will serve you better as a long-term opening than the Dutch.  I know there are those who disagree, but I find the positions to be richer, and they certainly are time-tested and approved by some of the best players of all time.
  
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slates
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Re: Slav questions
Reply #18 - 09/24/05 at 14:50:05
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Good idea, Inn2 - I used to wonder about that, but didn't really afford it much attention.  I have Bogdan Lalic's book on the Bg5 QGD systems, and he devotes a chapter to the Cambridge Springs in that, for Semi Slav players wanting to avoid the alternatives. I'd be interested in reviewing that if only I felt I was strong enough to play a decent meran, but that's a bigger problem for me than the move order issues, I think.  So, back to square one - Slav as a backup to my Dutch?  I'll have to experiment some more with it. Smiley
  
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