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Development in the Semi-Slav

  • #1

    I had a question I was hoping someone with a bit more experience than me could help me out with. The Semi-Slav is a defense I like to play as black a lot in response to 1.d4 by white, but I feel like after the main line 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 black's light-squared bishop is rather stuck and tough to develop, what's the best way to develop that bishop?

  • #2

    thanks, rob! I'll try those out. The second line you gave me looks especially interesting, because I typically do like to wait a little bit on dxc4.

  • #3

    The Meran variation is the most popular line of the Semi-Slav, isn't it? I looked at it and it's very interesting but I feel like I would be a bit out of my element in that sort of game, it looks a lot more open/tactical than I prefer and black's pawn structure seems a little weird to me. Plus, black's king seems to be stuck in the center. What are the pluses of this variation for black?

  • #4

    The Meran can get wild and wooly - if that's not your game, don't enter that variation, just delay the exchange ...d5xc4.

    The proper placement of the Queen's Bishop is a problem for Black in nearly every defense.  It can be a very difficult piece to find an effective square for - even in double King-pawn openings, so don't be discouraged by that alone if you are comfortable with the positions generally.

  • #5
    Estragon wrote:

    The proper placement of the Queen's Bishop is a problem for Black in nearly every defense.

    Yes, in nearly every opening except the slav defense and the caro-kann. That is the reason these two openings exist, so why not play them instead if you have big worries about that bishop. Just a thought. :-)

  • #6

    The Meran is very theoretical too, so make sure you learn the critical lines before playing it. I have already lost more than my fair share of games playing it as black, often because I didn't know some forcing line or wasn't familiar with the type of position. These were mostly blitz games, as I haven't played the Semi-Slav for very long, but this shows that even in a blitz game between club players knowing the theory is important in sharp lines.


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