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Don't fear the Exchange Slav

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #1


    For players considering the Slav Defense, often what turns them away is the prospect of the exchange Slav, which is very drawish:

    Who wants to face this? Unless your playing Kramnik who wants to slowly milk his 0.06 advantage, white is content with a draw. I am nowhere near GM level yet, but until I am, I am fighting for the full point. As we continue down the main line; the symmetry continues:

    I have no intention of playing the above line, so my solution is to play ...e6 before developing my c8 bishop. I'm not saying I invented this "solution" but I adopted this line and I think it leaves more scope for both sides.

    So, why play this? Well, ...e6 has 2 appealing points
    1. It quickly breaks the symmetry!
    2. Black should be seeking play on the queenside, so the bishop on d7 could be better placed there influencing the queenside, rather than on f5.
    I played 2 recent games with this line, and scored 2/2:
    I really like this line for black, but I'm curious what other players who deal with the Exchange Slav think about this line as opposed to the main line.
  • 3 years ago · Quote · #2


    I checked my database, and some notable players who used this ...e6 system are Vassily Smyslov, Tigran Petrosian, Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexey Dreev, and Vladmir Malakhov.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #3


    I avoid this by playing ...e6 first

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #5


    2. ...c3 slav has more variation, though interesting, to choose from.

    I prefer 2. ...e3 first, until someday I found ways to manage the sidelines or even wield them as weapon.

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