Slav Defense

In the Slav Defense Black does not close the diagonal c8-h3 with e7-e6 and this makes it possible to develop the bishop at c8 to f5 or g4 before e7-e6 is played. Black also prepares to capture the c4-pawn playing d5xc4 and then is able to hold on to his c4-pawn and protect it playing b5 afterwards.

If Black captures the white c-pawn with d5xc4 then he gives up pawn influence in the center but he tries to compensate for this generating active piece play.

If the queenside bishop moves out to f5 or g4 the queenside pawn b7 becomes weak and can be attacked with Qb3.

If Black plays e6 and closes in his queenside bishop then this is called the Semi-Slav. In this case you have to develop your bishop c8 to b7 playing first b5 to make available the square b7.


1. d4 d5 2.c4 c6
slav defense


Slav Accepted - Main Line
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc
(don't play 4...Bf5? (but 4...dxc) because White will gain the advantage with either 5.Qb3 or 5.cxd5 followed by 6.Qb3)
Alapin Variation
5.a4 Bf5
White plays 5.a4 to stop b5 which would protect the c-pawn.
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc 5.a4 Bg4
Slav Steiner Variation
Black plays his bishop to g4 instead of the usual Bf5
slav defense
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slav defence
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1. d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc 5.e3
Alekhine Variation
Black can protect his c-pawn now. 5...b5 6.a4 b4 7.Na2 and White gets his pawn back as two black pawns (b and c pawn) are hanging.
1. d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6
Chebanenko Slav
Best move for White here is 5.c5 which gives space advantage. Later Pawn breaks for Black are b6 and e5.
slav defense
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slav defense
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1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc 5.e4 b5
Slav Gambit
White tries to go ahead without bothering to regain his pawn playing a4 first to prevent b5. He rather wants to get active in the center. This gambit is unclear and seldom played in top level chess.
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3
Slav Declined
White protects his c-pawn playing e3 and avoids the Slav Accepted. As Black gets his bishop out without problems this line does not pose serious problems for Black.
slav gambit
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slav defence
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1. d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.cxd
Exchange Variation
Not much gain can be expected here as you trade pawns early and this frees up the natural square c6 for the black knight where it will go later.
slav defense
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Semi-Slav

The systems below belong to the Semi-Slav because Black pushed the e-pawn to e6 and locked in his queenside bishop.

I like these chess openings and recommend them for Black. Study them and try them out yourself.

If White plays 5.Bg5 the following systems can arise

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc
Botvinnik System
This system is extremely complicated with lots of theory. Black captures a pawn by 5...dxc4 and defends it with 6 e4 b5. For that White gets control in the center. In the end after 7 e5 h6 8 Bh4 g5 9 Nxg5 hxg5 10 Bxg5 Nbd7 Black is a pawn down but has great dynamic compensation.
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 Qa5
Cambridge Springs Defense
This opening is fairly easy to learn for beginners, I suggest you start with this opening when you need a defense for Black against 1.d4.
botvinnik system
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cambridge springs defense
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1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 h6
The Moscow Variation below is very solid for Black as he has the bishop pair, which gives him long-term chances. But Black runs behind in development and should not open up the position too early.

moscow variation
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If White plays 5.e3 (instead of 5.Bg5) you enter the Meran variation

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc b5
Meran Variation
This system is solid for Black but requires good positional play. Black captures the c-pawn by 6...dxc4 as soon as the white bishop goes to d3. This wins a tempi (time) as the bishop must move again to recapture the c-pawn. After this Black pushes the b-pawn winning time again attacking the bishop. This is done to develop the queenside bishop to b7.
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2
Anti-Meran Variation (6 Qc2)
meran variation
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anti meran variation
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