The Chebanenko Slav by GM Magesh and GM Arun

  • GM thamizhan
  • | Dec 31, 2009

This week we shall study The Chebanenko Slav.This system is considered to be a super solid opening and the number of its followers seems to be growing fast.This system has become popular in the last few years thanks to the efforts of Grandmasters like Aronian, Kamsky, Karjakin, Malakhov who added this system to their repertoire and employed it successfully.

In this system Black has a solid structure and calmly develops his pieces, sometimes even allowing White to gain a space advantage. When white, using his space advantage, tries to initiate an attack by marching the pawns on either flank, then Black gets the break e7-e5 by which he opens the centre and develops counterplay.

In the recently concluded World Cup, Vladimir Malakhov used this system to a great effect to eliminate Svidler, Eljanov and Wesley So. Our first game is between Svidler and Malakhov. White played an ambitious setup and managed to complicate the game but at the important juncture he misplayed and lost the game quickly.



Our next game is Anand-Aronian, Tal Memorial 2009. Anand played an unsuccessful Novelty and was punished severely. White was left without any counterplay after the opening. This game shows the amount of initiative Black can develop when white makes a mistake.
Our next game is Eljanov-Malakhov, World Cup 2009. Once again Malakhov correctly exploited the weakness white created when he had the space advantage. This game is a good example for black's strategic idea and plan.
This whole system reminds me of the style of the Caro-Kann defence where Black maintains a healthy pawn structure and allows white to gain space. Then at the right moment when position opens up, it is white who gets into trouble. So white needs to be careful in developing his attack when he has the space advantage. In our next article we shall see the ideas for white against this super solid system.


  • 2 years ago


    Great opening! Thank you:)

  • 7 years ago


    It will be great to watch World Cup 2010 - D4, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.

  • 7 years ago


    finally..,i decided to used this line in my game tomorrow. such a complicated for both sides. nice games.

  • 7 years ago



  • 7 years ago


    good opening!

  • 7 years ago


    just when I thought I had the best game d4 here comes this Slav thing

  • 7 years ago


    Can we have a themed tournement with this? I would be up for trying it out!

  • 7 years ago


    thanks for the wonderful article! i've been wanting to know more about this line ever since i saw that anand-aronian game. now i'll definitely give it a try!

  • 7 years ago


    Most variations named for people are titled for the player who introduces them in master competition.

    The original point of 4 ...a6, if I remember correctly, was to be able to play, after 5 e3 Bf5  6 Qb3, ...Ra7 to defend the Pb7 until ...b5 can be played favorably.  Black's Q controls b6, so the Rook can't be immediately harassed.  Since then, of course, the theory has grown exponentially.

    It is  a defense full of subtlety and nuance, requiring precise timing and strong nerves for both sides.  Many of the world's top GMs use it successfully, and it is also not infrequently used with success against them, too.

    But we might do well to heed the cautionary words of the old television stunt men, "Hey kids - don't try this at home!"  Unless you are willing to really learn the ins and outs of the Chebanenko by playing over 100 or so GM games from the last several years, you are likely to find yourself unhappy with the line.  So many times Black's counterthrust must come at exactly the right moment - one move earlier gets overrun and one move too late invites a positional clamp. 

  • 7 years ago


    nice openingTongue out  should put in my opening repertoire

  • 7 years ago


    Happy new year to all chess addicts!!!

  • 7 years ago


    The funny thing  about openings is that if you come up with your own one you will beat alot more people,because they don't know it.

  • 7 years ago


    cool , i will try it at my tournament tommorow

  • 7 years ago

    FM VPA

    Didactic games. Happy New Year 2010 to, my friends & fans all over the globe.Kiss

  • 7 years ago



  • 7 years ago


    Good opening!!!

  • 7 years ago


    Can you tell us in your next article if GM Bologan's book on this opening is a 'must-have' or perhaps we should wait for an updated volume since the theory on this opening is exploding forward since it was published! Thanks.

  • 7 years ago


    Wow very nice games

  • 7 years ago


    very good theory for an enough interesting opening!!

  • 7 years ago


    thanks. I think I'll include it in my repertoire.

    A picture is worth a thousand words!

Back to Top

Post your reply: