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Old September 26th 05, 02:01 PM
Zero
 
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Default Slav vs. Semi-Slav

Hello,

I am trying to determine whether I should play the the normal (dxc4)
Slav, the a6 Slav, or the Semi-Slav. It seems that the both all three
oepnings are are good openings and lead to equal positions.

I was wondering though why the super GMs don't play the standard dxc4
slav (d4 d5 c4 c6 Nf3 Nf6 Nc3 dxc4). Instead, they are opting to play
the Semi-Slav (d4 d5 c4 c6 Nf3 Nf6 Nc3 e6) and the a6 Slav (d4 d5 c4 c6
Nf3 Nf6 Nc3 a6)

Do the other two Slav positions lead to quicker equality for black ordo
they provide better winning chances ? please help me understand. The
Semi-Slav has been really popular since the 90s when they were all
young too (Kramnik, Anand, Kamsky, Lautier, Shirov, etc.) hey all used
to play the standard Slav in the early 90s too but now they just like
to play the Semi-Slav. Also the a6 Slav has more popularity than the
standard slav.


thank you

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Old September 26th 05, 02:52 PM
Angelo DePalma
 
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I believe the ...dc4 variation, which I studied at one time, gives black the
opportunity to draw if he plays perfectly for 33 moves. One mistake and he's
dead.

I once played this variation (the one where B sacs a bishop on e4) against a
strong player and was still in theory 17 moves deep (I didn't know I was --
I was on my own from move 12 or so). I played one inaccurate move and was
crushed. Had I played the correct move at move 18 the game would have been
objectively drawn (but I probably would have lost anyway).

I don't understand the other variations, even though I have a book on the
....a6 defense. If W plays c5 at any time black is in for a long defense with
little to hope for but a draw.

"Zero" wrote in message
oups.com...
Hello,

I am trying to determine whether I should play the the normal (dxc4)
Slav, the a6 Slav, or the Semi-Slav. It seems that the both all three
oepnings are are good openings and lead to equal positions.

I was wondering though why the super GMs don't play the standard dxc4
slav (d4 d5 c4 c6 Nf3 Nf6 Nc3 dxc4). Instead, they are opting to play
the Semi-Slav (d4 d5 c4 c6 Nf3 Nf6 Nc3 e6) and the a6 Slav (d4 d5 c4 c6
Nf3 Nf6 Nc3 a6)

Do the other two Slav positions lead to quicker equality for black ordo
they provide better winning chances ? please help me understand. The
Semi-Slav has been really popular since the 90s when they were all
young too (Kramnik, Anand, Kamsky, Lautier, Shirov, etc.) hey all used
to play the standard Slav in the early 90s too but now they just like
to play the Semi-Slav. Also the a6 Slav has more popularity than the
standard slav.


thank you



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Old September 26th 05, 03:18 PM
 
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I have tried both and failed miserably, unless it is against a
lower-rated player who understands even less of the position than me,
and I have analyzed the opening since I first saw Botvinnik's games.

I really think that "style" is more of a consideration than most people
realize in choosing openings. Without an active game, my game always
ends up lost, so I play Tarrasch and Tartakover, which provide me with
the positions I understand well.

I also think the Slav offers more winning chances to certain players
than Angelo gives it credit for; my friend Marc Plum played positions
like this regularly, with good success.

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Old September 26th 05, 06:51 PM
Angelo DePalma
 
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My former chess teacher, a FM who wrote a very nice CD on the slav (...dc4),
told me that if black plays perfectly he draws. Of course it's possible to
win from the Black side.

"The position" in the ...dc4 Slav appears 9704 times between 1995 and
present (Neven's "Research" database) in U-2500 games. Black scores pretty
well at 44% (27% wins).

However, if you look only at 2500+ games (both players) 54% of the games are
draws and the winning %s are about the same. Not sure what this proves,
except that the best player usually wins.


wrote in message
ups.com...
I have tried both and failed miserably, unless it is against a
lower-rated player who understands even less of the position than me,
and I have analyzed the opening since I first saw Botvinnik's games.

I really think that "style" is more of a consideration than most people
realize in choosing openings. Without an active game, my game always
ends up lost, so I play Tarrasch and Tartakover, which provide me with
the positions I understand well.

I also think the Slav offers more winning chances to certain players
than Angelo gives it credit for; my friend Marc Plum played positions
like this regularly, with good success.



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Old September 27th 05, 12:34 AM
Ray Gordon
 
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I believe the ...dc4 variation, which I studied at one time, gives black
the opportunity to draw if he plays perfectly for 33 moves. One mistake and
he's dead.


That's another way of saying it.

The Slav is a great drawing line if you are a great player.

dxc4 in the queen pawn games is generally asking for it. Better be booked
out the wazoo to try that stuff.





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Old September 27th 05, 02:48 AM
Matt Nemmers
 
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"Ray Gordon" wrote in message
...
I believe the ...dc4 variation, which I studied at one time, gives black
the opportunity to draw if he plays perfectly for 33 moves. One mistake
and he's dead.


That's another way of saying it.

The Slav is a great drawing line if you are a great player.

dxc4 in the queen pawn games is generally asking for it. Better be booked
out the wazoo to try that stuff.


Listen to Gordo. He would know. He's an Openings Grandmaster.


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Old September 27th 05, 03:26 AM
 
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An interesting comment on the Classical Slav (i.e, 4...dxc4) from IM
Semko Semkov, from a thread on the Slav in the Chesspublishing forum:

"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."

- IM Semko Semkov

IM Semkov has an excellent reputation as an opening theorist, and has
co-written some well-received opening books for Chess Stars with the
strong Russian GM Konstantin Sakaev.

- Geof Strayer

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Old October 15th 05, 05:11 AM
Alfanje
 
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Hi, Zero.

Just trying to help. I am a player rated around 2200 FIDE. I have tried
all the three variations. The problem I see with 4...dxc4 is that it is
very hard for Black to fight for the whole point. You need to struggle
for a draw whereas White keeps a slight advantage (I like playing that
line as White. I think the bishop sacrifice is incorrect, but 5.e3 is
easy and safe).

The Semi-Slav is a very complex opening that requires a lot of study,
and even with that you can be destroyed in less than 25 moves (and I
wouldnt blame you, as many GMs were already beaten that way). It offers
good chances to win as Black, if you are a profound tactical player.

Perhaps, you should start with 4...a6. There's a handbook by Glenn
Flear. I do not recommend it very much, but it is helpful to begin.
Even if the book was written less than 2 years ago, is out of date, as
the defence is flavour of the month and new theory is developing fast .

I hope my advice is useful. In the end, everything is playable. It
depends on taste and strategical point of view.

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