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Normal Topic Nf3 Exchange Slav: should I choose this opening? (Read 3560 times)
Marc Benford
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Re: Nf3 Exchange Slav: should I choose this opening?
Reply #4 - 07/24/15 at 17:47:31
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Thanks for your replies.

Actually now I'm hesitating between the Exchange Slav and the Slow Slav (3. Nf3 4. e3).

But does the Slow Slav also tend to lead to very "positional, solid, quiet, strategic" games like the Exchange Slav?

And does White get to keep his first move advantage entirely if he plays the Slow Slav?
Or is the Slow Slav inferior to the normal main line Slav with 3. Nf3 4. Nc3 ?
  
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Re: Nf3 Exchange Slav: should I choose this opening?
Reply #3 - 07/11/15 at 06:42:57
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Marc Benford wrote on 07/09/15 at 20:52:44:
Hello.

I’m thinking about picking the Nf3 Exchange Slav as my answer to the Slav.

I start with 1. Nf3, so if I choose the Exchange Slav I will need to play the old main line (1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bf4 Bf5 7. e3 e6), not the modern main line (1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Bf4 Nc6 5. e3 Nf6 6. Nc3 Bf5 7. Qb3).

But I’m talking about playing the Nf3 Exchange Slav every single time that Black plays the Slav - it would be my sole and only response to the Slav. And currently I’m 1900 Elo, but I might become as strong as 2200 Elo one day… so could I still play the Nf3 Exchange Slav even against 2200-2400 Elo players?

And I don’t want to play it just to get a draw. I would prefer to win if possible. Though, since I don’t care about getting first place in OTB tournaments and getting some prizes, I will never be in a “must-win situation”, so getting a draw will never be such a bad result.

So why am I thinking about picking the Nf3 Exchange Slav? Because it’s by a very wide margin the most positional, solid, quiet, strategic variation against the Slav. And “positional, solid, quiet, strategic” is exactly my style.

But still, I want some advantage with the White pieces! If the Nf3 Exchange Slav completely gives up White’s first move advantage then I will not choose this opening.

So does the Nf3 Exchange Slav give Black instant equality or does White still have some advantage?

Do you think I should choose the Nf3 Exchange Slav or not? If not, what other opening would you recommend me against the Slav?

Thanks in advance for your answers.


I wouldn't play it in every single game (complement it with something a bit more enterprising, such as the Slow Slav as suggested) but it would be fine as a regular choice - I think Black has to be a little bit accurate to get his equality. You'll probably find you outplay weaker players with it and (if you do your homework) stronger players will deviate with some inferior move to avoid a drawish position. A much stronger player would outplay you in almost any position so that shouldn't really be a factor in your opening choice.

You won't get any advantage, but you also won't be taking any risk, which will probably suit you just perfectly, especially since you seem to care a lot more about being comfortable with the position than how much better you are (which is quite normal and not necessarily bad at the amateur level). If you play it every time as a 2200 player, you'll find weaker players will just prepare the equalising lines and that will get boring for you, hence the suggestion of having something else up your sleeve, maybe even in Flank Openings territory.
  

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Re: Nf3 Exchange Slav: should I choose this opening?
Reply #2 - 07/10/15 at 07:59:41
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I also think the exchange Slav with Nf3 is easier to play against than without that move. White has more challenging options in the variations that delay or skip the move. And more challenging ways than the exchange of course Smiley

A game you can have a look at is Cramling-Blomqvist, 2014 (the same variations was also played in Kramnik-Anand, 2007) for what White is aiming for. However, in this variation, the normal recommendation is ...Bd6 instead of ...Be7, and also what most players have chosen. Apparently, even strong players may lose in the exchange Slav.
  
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Re: Nf3 Exchange Slav: should I choose this opening?
Reply #1 - 07/09/15 at 23:43:37
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My opinion is that this exchange variation, like French, is more practical choice, and gives 0 advantage to White. Playing this against a 2400 ELO player to me just seems useless. Most people, although you said you do not want draw, that I know, play this just to hold on as a draw as White.

The likeliest result is that a 1900 playing a 2400 the Exchange Slaw is that Black immediately equalises and simply outplays you in the middlegame from an equal position. The position completely symmetrical, you essentially go your skills against the 2400's, instead of going into the main lines with more chance for advantage (more chance of getting good positions in the opening).

Slow, positional, strategical I just play 3. Sf3/4. e3. Usually you do not have to deal with attacks or initiatives like after 4. Sf3/6. Se5, which is very sharp in the main line with 7...Dc7. 4. e3 in my opinion is a real try for an advantage. And Awrukh recommends it!
  
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Marc Benford
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Nf3 Exchange Slav: should I choose this opening?
07/09/15 at 20:52:44
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Hello.

I’m thinking about picking the Nf3 Exchange Slav as my answer to the Slav.

I start with 1. Nf3, so if I choose the Exchange Slav I will need to play the old main line (1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bf4 Bf5 7. e3 e6), not the modern main line (1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Bf4 Nc6 5. e3 Nf6 6. Nc3 Bf5 7. Qb3).

But I’m talking about playing the Nf3 Exchange Slav every single time that Black plays the Slav - it would be my sole and only response to the Slav. And currently I’m 1900 Elo, but I might become as strong as 2200 Elo one day… so could I still play the Nf3 Exchange Slav even against 2200-2400 Elo players?

And I don’t want to play it just to get a draw. I would prefer to win if possible. Though, since I don’t care about getting first place in OTB tournaments and getting some prizes, I will never be in a “must-win situation”, so getting a draw will never be such a bad result.

So why am I thinking about picking the Nf3 Exchange Slav? Because it’s by a very wide margin the most positional, solid, quiet, strategic variation against the Slav. And “positional, solid, quiet, strategic” is exactly my style.

But still, I want some advantage with the White pieces! If the Nf3 Exchange Slav completely gives up White’s first move advantage then I will not choose this opening.

So does the Nf3 Exchange Slav give Black instant equality or does White still have some advantage?

Do you think I should choose the Nf3 Exchange Slav or not? If not, what other opening would you recommend me against the Slav?

Thanks in advance for your answers.
« Last Edit: 07/10/15 at 00:03:43 by Marc Benford »  
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