How to play the Slav Exchange Variation with black for a win ?

FrenchBlitz

I mean, since I play slav, there are a lot of people who play this variation. 

The problem is that after cxd5, I find that there are any plans.

How to play this slav to have some activities ?

In addition, how to play this variation of slav for the win and not for the draw ?

Thank you to answer !

inkspirit
Try playing white against a full force engine. Stockfish has plenty of interesting ideas to offer.
PawnstormPossie

Exchange Slav is notorious for being "drawish and boring". If the position is very symmetrical, there's not much you can do. I suggest you play as Black and White (practice bith sides) and try to create an imbalance. This will give up the "even" evaluation, but if you're playing for a win you must take some risk. This might require you to play a pawn down which could give you some serious threats if you avoid exchanging queens.

I like the exchange with a6 for this. But, against a stronger player, I'm happy with a draw as black or white. Stronger players often take more risks, so look for those little mistakes also.

ThrillerFan

The way to win the Exchange Slav is the same way that I constantly win the Exchange French.  It is called patience.  Anand once said "If White wants a draw, White has a draw" (referring to the starting position).  Thing is, most White players do not want a draw, and except a few tactical cases, like the Spanish Four Knights, going symmetrical, meaning the 6...Bf5 line, puts the onus on White to prove the advantage.  It forces him to commit first (i.e. 8.Bb5 vs 8.Bd3 vs something else), and again, if White does nothing, ok, it is a draw, but moment he presses with something that creates a long term weakness, you grind it down to an endgame and win against the weakness.  Sure, it might sound a little dull, but it works!  When I tried to force Asymmetry in the French, I rarely drew and scored about 50/50.  Since taking up the symmetrical defense against non-c4 lines, I draw about a third of them and win the rest.  Not sure I have ever lost in slow over the board time controls since.

As a former exchange Slav player as White, I can tell you also from that perspective that if Black played the symmetrical defense, I rarely ever won.  My draw ratio was probably 50 to 60 percent, but I literally lost at least twice if not 3 times as often as I won playing the Exchange against the Slav and Black going symmetrical on me.

White is often banking on his advantage coming from Black trying to force the issue and creating his own weaknesses.  Fight dull with dull and it will amaze you how often you win provided you know your endgames.

Remember those numbers I gave about my stats as black in the exchange French? One caveat!  Wins don't come quick in these lines.  My win weekend before last in an Exchange French as Black was 65 moves.  A few weeks earlier I won an exchange French in over 70 moves.

 

As a Slav player, you should know all about patient play.  If not, Slav is the wrong defense and you should be playing the Grunfeld or Benoni.

TheLonePika

The above two posts are roughly correct, but I'd like to add the the exchange Slav is more than just a simple drawing line for white. It can be very tricky to play against if White knows what he's doing. Most amateurs look at the symmetrical lines and jump to the conclusion that it is a draw but the Exchange Slav has much more play left in it than the Exchange French. 

ThrillerFan
TheLonePika wrote:

The above two posts are roughly correct, but I'd like to add the the exchange Slav is more than just a simple drawing line for white. It can be very tricky to play against if White knows what he's doing. Most amateurs look at the symmetrical lines and jump to the conclusion that it is a draw but the Exchange Slav has much more play left in it than the Exchange French. 

Keep in mind that I never said it is an auto-draw.  Neither is the exchange French.  My argument is that the symmetrical defense makes it the most difficult for White to prove anything, and if Black's strategy is to mimic and White commit first, and White refuses to commit, then you have a draw as neither side is willing to commit.

ThrillerFan
ThrillerFan wrote:
TheLonePika wrote:

The above two posts are roughly correct, but I'd like to add the the exchange Slav is more than just a simple drawing line for white. It can be very tricky to play against if White knows what he's doing. Most amateurs look at the symmetrical lines and jump to the conclusion that it is a draw but the Exchange Slav has much more play left in it than the Exchange French. 

Keep in mind that I never said it is an auto-draw.  Neither is the exchange French.  My argument is that the symmetrical defense makes it the most difficult for White to prove anything, and if Black's strategy is to mimic and White commit first, and White refuses to commit, then you have a draw as neither side is willing to commit.

 

Case in point.  There is a recent thread titled French Defense.  Look at post 34.  Except for move order to avoid certain White trucks and expecting the responses that occurred, the position is 100 percent symmetrical after 11 moves.  Then I get the committal move 12.h3, weakening g3 and making White unable to contest my battery while I contested his and my maintained Bishop forced the asymmetry, and it lead to a 2 result game.  Either Black wins (as he did) or a draw occurs (if White had played d5 instead of b5 at the end).

PawnstormPossie

That's probably true for very solid (2000+) players.

But at a notch below that, I don't believe it should be considered "drawish". One little mistake can go unnoticed and turn into an even bigger mistake by the other side. This could turn out to favor either side or actually ending in a draw.

Seems to me though, it's easier for black to mess things up. Which is why I agree Black needs to force White to prove otherwise. White has a few things he can try. It's Black though, that must be ready for all the possibilities. White only needs to know how he will continue.

MangoMankey
There’s been some discussion but I haven’t seen any concrete ways to actually unbalance the game. for those using the Slav move order for playing sharp Semi-Slav lines, you can create reasonably complicated positions from the exchange Slav. The ways I am aware of are playing an early Qb6 (this requires some care), playing Nh5 as soon as Bf4 is played (this can be quite annoying for white especially in the 4 knights line) or playing an early a6 (I know about this one and it is quite popular but I don’t understand it fully).
PawnstormPossie

I have the 2011 Lakdawala book, Slav move by move. Not sure if it was ever updated. It  gives some strategies for Black to win. They really didn't fit with me, I never tried them. But, these are the types of risks I was talking about.

verylate

drink plenty of coffee, because yours will be the last game to finish

SharedUser
MangoMankey wrote:
There’s been some discussion but I haven’t seen any concrete ways to actually unbalance the game. for those using the Slav move order for playing sharp Semi-Slav lines, you can create reasonably complicated positions from the exchange Slav. The ways I am aware of are playing an early Qb6 (this requires some care), playing Nh5 as soon as Bf4 is played (this can be quite annoying for white especially in the 4 knights line) or playing an early a6 (I know about this one and it is quite popular but I don’t understand it fully).

My understanding was that the early Qb6 gives white an advantage, and the a6 idea was under pressure due to an idea for white by Alexey Dreev. You can't force the Nh5 stuff on the board (as you pointed out it's targeted against the 4 knights line). Hence the suggestion of @ThrillerFan to just play symmetrically and force white to prove something seems to be the most reliable, although of course it isn't much consolation for the OP. Maybe use a different move order? (e.g. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6)