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I've been looking at the semi slav meran variation recently, mainly the bloomenfeld variation of it:
In addition, I am wondering if instead of continuing with the sharp bloomenfeld variation, I should switch to the reynolds variation:
Simply put, in most of the lines I've found I am having trouble with black gaining equality, but I would rather still avoid the Moscow, anti-moscow, and botvinnik variations, which I've had trouble with. Are there any recomendations?
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I don't know the lines you mention..
The 1st game looks really good and somewhat open for Black, the 2nd looks very drawish with a lot of tension and has an IQP. You said yourself you don't like IQP positions so again a point for Game #1
Cons: Draws are not bad.
The early b3 plan Gelfand played at the WC looked nice for white. I also quite like the idea of playing e3 before Nc3 to keep Nbd2 as an option. It is not easy for black to truly equalize in these systems, but whites advantage is not as obvious.
This is mainly a question of personal taste. Which type of game do you feel more comfortable and confident playing? That's the one you should choose - why put it to a vote among a random group of players on the internet?
I don't know which one I feel more comfortable playing , I'm mainly asking for theoretical purposes, as I have only ever had this position once, during which I forgot all of the theory after 11...axb5 (I had just begun learning the meran) and proceeded to lose in epic fashion:
*** in the comment to 19...Re5 in the variation I meant that I can't find this game anywhere online, does anyone know how it ended??
just to for theoratical judgement. 11.axb5 isn't played anymore because afther 12exf6-gxf6 13.0-0-Qb6 14.Qe2-Ba6 and now not a4 but 15.Rd1! and black gets some problems giving support to his d4 pawn afther the bishop moves. the last try was 15.Rd8 but white seems to maintaned an edge. instead nowadays people play 11.Nxe5 and afther the more or less forced line 12.Nxe5-axb5 13.Bxb5-Bd7 14Nxd7-Qa5+ 15.Ld2-Qxb5 16.Nxf8-Rxf8(Kxf8 is playable butt according to kasparov and more top players this is the best)
now white usually follows up with 17 a4 to get the queen of the a6-f1 diagonal and advance his past pawn all at once. the queen does best to hold the white king from castling so 17.Qc4(Qd3-Ta3!) 18.b3-Qd3. the position reached is usually a draw altough white might have some practical chanches butt it relies on a blunder. I suppose thats why at high level the reynolds is usually prefered.
I'm now playing this line, to just play some chess.
You can have a look at the early b3 systems, advocated by Avrukh in his repertoire book (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.b3). White is solid, and has some ambitions, while memorization of move strings isn't necessary.
At the high level the hardest nut to crack currently in the regular Meran is the systems where Black does not play an early ...b5, but goes for rapid development with ...dc4, ...Bd6 and so on. The b3 systems avoid that stuff, since white can take on c4 with a pawn.
Okay, thanks. I've been leaning towards b3 against the a6 slav variations, so it seems like it might be a good idea to play it against everything, and I do need to fix my opening.
And is there much difference between 5. b3 and 5. e3 Nbd7 6. b3?
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