Why don't a lot of kids play Slav?

Why don't a lot of kids play Slav?

NM scaryninja

Why don't a lot of kids play Slav?

I used to play the Slav. I was playing it vs d4 always. I got good positions with the line that I played: The Chebanenko, The line has 4th move a6 in it.

                                                                The purpose of the Chebanenko was to either take on c4, and play b5 to get a firm grip, or if something like e3 was already played to defend c4 with the light squared bishop, just play Bf5, e6, etc. Black also often fights for the e4 square. Develop your pieces and then play on the queenside. Another idea is to play b5 after a6 to force c5, and then play for e5. Here are a few examples that show the ideas of the Chebanenko.

So, as you see, the Chebanenko Slav is a reliable opening if you are looking for a opening that has a calm position, but a position where you can fight for different things. It is also a very stable opening, and his hard to crack.

Now, back to the Question: "Why don't a lot of kids play Slav as black"?

Answer: Because of one specific line: The Exchanged Variation

The Exchanged Variation limits your play, and gives white a slightly better position. Black must stay under the scenes, which is something that kids can't usually do. That's why I gave up the Slav, and now play QGD, which has a bigger fight. I am usually ok with playing in more passive positions, and being patient, but the problem is that white can choose the exchange pieces whenever he wants to. He almost always has a draw secured even.

Kids love to play sharp positions because they are great at calculating. Usually what happens in the Exchange Variation, is that kids can't take it and they try to get activity that usually fails to work. Kids don't like passive positions. That happened to me in a very important game.

I was on first board with the black pieces. I had 6.5/8 and was tied for 2nd with at least 5 other kids. There was one kid, who had 7.5/8, and I was playing him. He played e4 and d4, but we mostly prepared for e4. At the game, he played d4. At the time, I was still playing Slav. He played the Exchange Variation. 

As you see, this was a very important game, and I missed the tactic twice. I didn't exactly miss it though. I just thought that his king was on h1, so when I played Nxe2, he would just take my 2nd rook. That was a very painful loss, and it affected my play next game, where I lost again.
How to avoid playing against the Exchange Variation?
Let's say that you are someone who really likes to play slav. I think I have a solution for you. It is interesting.
The Semi-Slav
There isn't a big difference between Semi-Slav and Slav. The only difference is that usually the bishop goes to b7 in Semi-Slav. But you have to play it in a special move order.
You guys will need to do a little more research on it, but the positions look comfortable and calm for black. After you have your development done, you go Rc8, with c5 when you are ready. It can become crazy.
Here are a few sharper options

Hope you guys enjoyed!! Feel free to tell me how the blog post was in the comments, or what game you liked the most! See you next time!