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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.
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.
I avoid this by playing ...e6 first
5...e6 is commital, but interesting.
The ...a6 variations are equally interesting, and less commital.
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.
With 2...e6 first Black can reach only the semi-slavs, not pure slavs. While the semi-slavs are OK, they have way too much theory to memorize, while the slave does not require so much theory as positional understanding.
My current playing set-up. Whats yours?
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