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?
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.
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?
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.
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. :-)
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.