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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) What the heck to play against the semi-slav?? (Read 37093 times)
Syzygy
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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #50 - 07/07/20 at 18:03:09
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ArKheiN wrote on 07/07/20 at 17:07:06:
Syzygy tell me how you avoid exchange QGD after 3.cxd5?


OK, you got me. When I said "QGD Exchange", I was referring to the most dangerous version with 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5.

The versions with 3. cxd5, 3. Nc3 c6 4. cxd5, and 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. cxd5 are all harmless for Black; the former because 3...Nf6 has not been played yet, and the latter because White has committed to an early Nf3.

So yes, White can technically force a QGD Exchange on move 3 or 4, but not under favorable conditions.
  
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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #49 - 07/07/20 at 18:02:44
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I am of course not Syzygy, but 3. cd ed 4. Nc3 allows 4...c6, which as far as I know has always been thought to lead to equality.
  
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ArKheiN
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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #48 - 07/07/20 at 17:07:06
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Syzygy tell me how you avoid exchange QGD after 3.cxd5?
  
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Syzygy
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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #47 - 07/06/20 at 22:11:22
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semper_fidelis wrote on 07/06/20 at 20:30:22:
Syzygy wrote on 05/05/20 at 02:32:48:
Unfortunately, Black also has the Triangle move-order, where the Noteboom and Marshall Gambit have been holding up well for Black, so maybe the Catalan is the way to go. Ultimately, chess is equal, and it's just a matter of taste as to what the most testing lines are...  Smiley



Triangle move-order gives additional options for White too. For example, 3.Nf3/4.Qc2 setup now gets another flavour as Black is denied of Bf5/g4 option. There are possible transpositions to Anti-Meran or Moscow (for White) after 4...Nf6. A close relative is 3.Nf3/4.Qb3 system where Black needs to show something a well (using Slav move order there is always Bf5/g4 setup). Although the lines are (of course) equal, white seems to have good score in them. Also, if an opponent uses traingle move-order, he usually seeks for sharp theoretical struggle, not a tricky strategic game like this.


Yes, White does have several interesting positional options after 3. Nf3 c6. In my opinion, a Semi-Slav devotee who wants a sharp and tense struggle should play:

- 3. Nc3 c6 (Triangle move-order)
- 3. Nf3 Nf6 (QGD move-order)

This allows the Catalan and Marshall gambit, but avoids 3. Nf3 c6, QGD Exchange, Slav Exchange, and Slow Slav.
  
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semper_fidelis
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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #46 - 07/06/20 at 20:30:22
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Syzygy wrote on 05/05/20 at 02:32:48:
Unfortunately, Black also has the Triangle move-order, where the Noteboom and Marshall Gambit have been holding up well for Black, so maybe the Catalan is the way to go. Ultimately, chess is equal, and it's just a matter of taste as to what the most testing lines are...  Smiley



Triangle move-order gives additional options for White too. For example, 3.Nf3/4.Qc2 setup now gets another flavour as Black is denied of Bf5/g4 option. There are possible transpositions to Anti-Meran or Moscow (for White) after 4...Nf6. A close relative is 3.Nf3/4.Qb3 system where Black needs to show something a well (using Slav move order there is always Bf5/g4 setup). Although the lines are (of course) equal, white seems to have good score in them. Also, if an opponent uses traingle move-order, he usually seeks for sharp theoretical struggle, not a tricky strategic game like this.
  
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Syzygy
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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #45 - 05/10/20 at 19:27:48
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I didn't specify either 10. Be2 or 10. Bd3 because I think the choice is a matter of taste.

10. Be2 is arguably the main line, and there the lines with 11. e4 are sharp, critical, and dangerous. On the other hand, if Black does know what they are doing, then achieving equality becomes more a matter of memorization.

10. Bd3 is more interesting to me, because the lines with 16. f4 or 16. a4 offer a more positional approach. Engines may give White a slight advantage at first, but if Black follows correspondence games, he should be able to equalize. If you had to try to milk the most out of the position in the 11. e4 lines, I would opt for 10. Bd3 over 10. Be2.

Furthermore, if you are interested in the very main lines, I also think that 10. Bd3 and 11. a3 is more testing than 10. Be2 and 11. Rd1. However, if you play 10. Bd3, you have to be ready for some move-order tricks: recently, Carlsen tested the approach of delaying castling in favor of a quick ...a6 and ...Bb7 instead, which I think is quite intriguing.
  
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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #44 - 05/09/20 at 20:33:39
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Thanks for the replies.   Smiley

The Spassky Gambit is intriguing since it can also be used against the Slav.  There's something to be said about specializing in a complicated line that you might understand better than your opponents.

The 6.Qc2/7.Bd3 line is also interesting.  After 7..0-0 8.0-0 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b5, I wasn't sure which Bishop retreat you were recommending.

10.Be2 is more popular, when 10..Bb7 11.e4 e5 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Nd4 Neg4 14.g3 can be met by 14..Bc5 15.Nf5 Re8 16.Bf4 Qb6 or 14..Bxg3 15. hxg3 Qxd4 16.Qd1 Qxd1.  There is also 13.Nh4, which is recommended on a Modern Chess database, but it looks like this can be met by 13..g6 (iso Giri's 13..Bc8) 14.f4 Bc5 15.Kh1 Neg4 16, g3 b4 17.Nd1 Bd4.

After 10.Bd3 Bb7 11.e4 (11.a3) 11..e5 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Bxe5 14.h3 Re8 15.Be3 a6 -- which can be reached through various move orders -- White can try 16.f4 Bxc3 17.bxc3 or 16.Rfd1 Qc7 17.a4 and maybe claim a very slight edge?
  
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Syzygy
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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #43 - 05/05/20 at 02:32:48
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Well, if you choose the old main line of 5. Bg5, you have to contend with the Moscow/Anti-Moscow, Botvinnik, and Cambridge Springs. The Moscow/Anti-Moscow is the soundest option for Black, while the Botvinnik is riskier, but probably the most forcing route to equality.

If you choose the mainline Meran, 8...a6 will be the most challenging reply. Then Black has his fair share of fun after both 10. e5 and 10. d5, and White hasn't been able to prove an advantage anywhere, as usual.

Probably the most challenging option nowadays is to go for the Anti-Meran lines with 6. Qc2 and 7. Bd3. After 9...b5, both 10. Bd3 and 10. Be2 has been thoroughly discussed, with the verdict being equality after precise play by both sides in the main lines. I would recommend looking into the Anti-Meran lines, especially the approaches with an immediate 11. e4.

Of course, if Black uses the Slav move-order, I think both the Slav Exchange and Slow Slav are very decent options for White to avoid the Semi-Slav. If Black uses the Queen's Gambit move-order, there's always the QGD Exchange.

Unfortunately, Black also has the Triangle move-order, where the Noteboom and Marshall Gambit have been holding up well for Black, so maybe the Catalan is the way to go. Ultimately, chess is equal, and it's just a matter of taste as to what the most testing lines are...  Smiley

  
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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #42 - 05/04/20 at 05:41:31
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LeeRoth wrote on 05/03/20 at 19:48:17:
Does anyone have a line for White that they like against the Semi-Slav.

I've had some fun with 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.Be2 Nbd7 8.O-O Bb7 9.Qc2 (h6 10.Bh4 g5 11.Bg3), which has transposed to the Spassky Gambit 4...dxc4 5.e4 b5 6.Qc2. The romantic irrationality of these lines strongly reminds me of the King's Gambit. That's an amusing thought. It's objectively equal, of course.
  

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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #41 - 05/03/20 at 19:48:17
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Time to resurrect this old thread. Smiley

Does anyone have a line for White that they like against the Semi-Slav.  Would be interested to hear about what people play and what they like or don't like about it.

After much searching, I have decided to go for the main lines of the Meran, either by 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 or 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e3 Nf6 5.Nf3.  After 8..Bb7, I am thinking about 9.e4 rather than 9.0-0, and after 8..a6 still trying to decide between e5 (old main line) or d5 (Reynolds).




  
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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #40 - 02/19/13 at 07:06:16
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According to Dreev in his Chess Star book the whole line with 10...Nh5 is dubious.
  
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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #39 - 02/19/13 at 01:51:30
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I recently won a nice correspondence game in the anti-Moscow gambit:

I think 16...c5 was the decisive mistake (but the engines don't see this at first, they even give a black advantage)
  
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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #38 - 12/18/12 at 19:43:29
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14.Qa4 is interesting, intending to meet ...Nb6 with Qa5, and otherwise shoring up c4 with b3. White shouldn't fear potential queen exchanges due to his bishop pair and potential pawn breaks in the future to open the position (ie: e4). You can take a look and decide for yourself, but at least white tries to make use of the undefended Qc7 this way. One other point of the idea shows up after 14.Qa4 Nb6 15.Qa5 dxc4 16.Qxg5.

There are other tries as well, and black will doubtlessly have to be careful against those too.

I'm not trying to claim some definitive += if the defenders of the black side think that's the case, either. Black's not doing badly for himself, but I don't think he's got full equality. I only entered this discussion because of 4...Bg4 being thought of as an "easy equalizer", because to me that indicates a fully equal share of the chances and to me that's not is what is going on here. As far as I'm concerned a discussion as to whether it's += or = is valid, and the reason both sides can be content.

Mileage may vary. I think I'd rather take whatever white's got here than wander around in the Moscow/Anti-Moscow/Meran/Anti-Meran wildnerness. It's a case of lesser evils, and at least his cause isn't hopeless.
  

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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #37 - 12/18/12 at 16:36:48
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BPaulsen wrote on 12/10/12 at 01:05:05:
6.Nc3 e6 7.g4 Bg6 8.Ne5 Nbd7 9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.Bd2 and let's see what you got. If you go with 10...g5 I will recommend white's cause in Topalov-Eljanov until an easy improvement on move 15. If you go with 10...Bb4 then I offer 11.Qb3 and meet 11...a5 with 12.cxd5 and 11...Bxc3 I have an improvement in mind over Bareev-Prie. Other moves challenge white considerably less.


Bryan, White seems to maintain an advantage after 10...g5, but I don't see how he gets much of a pull after 10...Bb4 11.Qb3 Bxc3 12.Bxc3 Qc7 (instead of 12..Nxg4 in Bareev-Prie)?  Any thoughts you or others could share?

« Last Edit: 12/19/12 at 15:22:52 by WSS »  
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Re: What the heck to play against the semi-slav??
Reply #36 - 12/14/12 at 01:15:11
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punter wrote on 12/13/12 at 16:00:15:
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Show me a line you think gives White an advantage and I'll find the way for Black to get equality.


What do you have vs 7.Qb3?
I guess 7..Qb6 8.Ne5 Nbd7 9.g4 Bg6 10.Ng6 hg6 11.Bg2 g5 12.0-0 Be7
If you don't have any deviations till that point I think black has very difficult task at hand. For now I don't even see how to end up in something not hopeless for black.
Other tries for black as 7...Qc7 or 8..Nfd7 don't look to convincing either but here I didn't analyse too deeply as the positions just look good for white.


7...Qc7 is preferable there due to an important ...Nb6 resource that makes white clarify the situation with the c-pawn, in turn making it more likely black fully equalizes. A. Evdomikov-D. Dubov, Moscow 2012 highlights black's best path there, where he just managed to equalize in time by chopping white's dark-squared bishop. Other continuations fall short for black.

Even in that particular game black's life can't be described as "easy" outside of correspondence, and even there black is going to have to put in some effort.
  

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