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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) a4 in the semislav (Read 5062 times)
kevinfat
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Re: a4 in the semislav
Reply #12 - 08/01/16 at 22:52:19
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kylemeister wrote on 08/01/16 at 19:48:28:
kevinfat wrote on 08/01/16 at 17:44:29:
What about
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.a4
Black has spent a move on Bd6 and getting a piece to b4 will take another move.


Well, Black doesn't necessarily go for ...dc and ...b5 anyway.  For instance 7. Be2 0-0 8. 0-0 e5 is a major line.


Ah I see what you're saying so white could play
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.a4
but its too slow. Black is going to be ready to play e5 before white gets the chance to play e4. So in the meran black plays is able to get in b5 but white in return is able to get in e4. You're saying that white can't both stop b5 and get in e4 followed by possibly e5.
  
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kylemeister
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Re: a4 in the semislav
Reply #11 - 08/01/16 at 19:48:28
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kevinfat wrote on 08/01/16 at 17:44:29:
What about
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.a4
Black has spent a move on Bd6 and getting a piece to b4 will take another move.


Well, Black doesn't necessarily go for ...dc and ...b5 anyway.  For instance 7. Be2 0-0 8. 0-0 e5 is a major line.
  
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kevinfat
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Re: a4 in the semislav
Reply #10 - 08/01/16 at 17:44:29
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What about
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.a4
Black has spent a move on Bd6 and getting a piece to b4 will take another move.

Scarblac wrote on 07/31/16 at 09:24:23:
The thing is that white doesn't want to play a4 if he can get away with it, because he's already played c4 as well and thus b4 becomes very weak. Indeed in the Slav, black often gets a bishop and sometimes a knight there.

But if he doesn't play it after ...dxc4, black can try to keep the pawn, at least temporarily, with ...b5. So ...dxc4 is often followed by a4, to be able to get the pawn back. In return black has given up some central control.

Playing a4 without black's ...dxc4 first is strange, you get the weakness but not the better central control.

In the Meran black does play ...dxc4 while white doesn't need to play a4, but only after white played Bd3 (so at least Bf1-d3xc4 takes an extra tempo), and only because he's going to put his bishop on b7.

  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: a4 in the semislav
Reply #9 - 07/31/16 at 21:36:27
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kevinfat wrote on 07/31/16 at 06:45:36:
I don't understand what you mean by skipping from move 4 to 7.

Look at the variation you wrote.
  
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kylemeister
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Re: a4 in the semislav
Reply #8 - 07/31/16 at 19:30:16
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An exceptional case is the fact that 5. a4 is one of the "book" moves against 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 a6.
  
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Scarblac
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Re: a4 in the semislav
Reply #7 - 07/31/16 at 09:24:23
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The thing is that white doesn't want to play a4 if he can get away with it, because he's already played c4 as well and thus b4 becomes very weak. Indeed in the Slav, black often gets a bishop and sometimes a knight there.

But if he doesn't play it after ...dxc4, black can try to keep the pawn, at least temporarily, with ...b5. So ...dxc4 is often followed by a4, to be able to get the pawn back. In return black has given up some central control.

Playing a4 without black's ...dxc4 first is strange, you get the weakness but not the better central control.

In the Meran black does play ...dxc4 while white doesn't need to play a4, but only after white played Bd3 (so at least Bf1-d3xc4 takes an extra tempo), and only because he's going to put his bishop on b7.
  
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kevinfat
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Re: a4 in the semislav
Reply #6 - 07/31/16 at 06:45:36
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I don't understand what you mean by skipping from move 4 to 7.
  
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kylemeister
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Re: a4 in the semislav
Reply #5 - 07/31/16 at 06:30:51
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Skipping from move 4 to 7 -- I don't know what's up with that.

I'm reminded of a German physician, who lived from the 1860s to the 1930s, who as I recall had quite a dim view of the Semi-Slav.
  
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kevinfat
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Re: a4 in the semislav
Reply #4 - 07/31/16 at 06:20:01
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In the slav black plays
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 7.a4
and black's dreams of queenside expansion are gone.

I just find it really interesting that in the semislav black plays
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6
where this e6 at first glance seems positionally horrible as it locks in the bishop. Yet this e6 move seems to prevent white from blocking expansion as it lets black engage in queenside expansion in the botvinnik variation and the meran variation.
  
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kylemeister
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Re: a4 in the semislav
Reply #3 - 07/31/16 at 03:39:00
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kevinfat wrote on 07/31/16 at 01:21:05:
And also why is this uncommon
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.a4
avoiding the botvinnik variation and avoiding b5 which comes in the meran


That a4 looks pretty egregious.  My first thought was that it might lead to a clearly improved Romih (5. e3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 Bb4).  6...Bd6 there is another line commonly considered slightly better for White, but an early a4 would surely change the picture.
  
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kevinfat
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Re: a4 in the semislav
Reply #2 - 07/31/16 at 01:21:05
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I guess what I'm really asking is what is the qualitative difference between the various lines where e4 b5 occurs. Like it seems the botvinnik semislav variation is more well known of the lines below, why?

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 7.a4 Bb4 8.e4 b5
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 b5

And also why is this uncommon
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.a4
avoiding the botvinnik variation and avoiding b5 which comes in the meran
  
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dfan
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Re: a4 in the semislav
Reply #1 - 07/30/16 at 22:55:09
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Here's my understanding:

5.a4 is played in the Slav to prevent Black from playing ...b5, defending the c4 pawn.

The position after five moves of the Semi-Slav is different in that White has played Bg5 and Black has played e6. This means that after 6.a4 Black can play 6...Bb4, pinning the knight on c3 and renewing the threat of ...b5 with no good way to stop it. That said, 6.a4 is still a reasonable move (it is dangerous for Black to try to hold on to the c4 pawn) and it is not uncommon.
  
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kevinfat
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a4 in the semislav
07/30/16 at 21:31:43
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Can anyone explain to me why white plays a4 in the slav but not in the semislav. And how this relates to the semislav being known for being sharp but the slav not so much.

Why is this not played often
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.a4
and how does it compare to
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4
  
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