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Typical Pawn Structures in Slav Defence



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Typical Pawn Structures in Slav Defence

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In this article GM Alexander Delchev analyzes two pawn structures which are typical for Slav Defence.

1. Endgame Structure

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This pawn structure is typical for many lines of the Queen's Gambit Declined, the Gruenfeld, and the Slav Defense. In our repertoire, we reach this structure in line 4.Qc2 g6 when Black is attracted by winning a tempo with 5...Bf5 6. Qb3 Qb6 7.c5 Qxb3 8.axb3. What is it all about? White's pawns are doubled but as compensation, he obtains a huge space advantage on the queenside. A simple and very effective plan is to undouble the pawns by means of b4-b5. Black usually has enough time to avoid that by playing a7-a6 and moving the rook out of the pin. But even then is it too early to relax. By moving one of his knights to a5, White can put pressure on the biggest defect in Black's position - the b7-pawn. Black's only hope lays in the counterattack with a quick e7-e5 blocking the f4 bishop and trying to redirect White's attention. Then Black could start breathing as the long-ranging f4-bishop would be out of play and his pieces could come to life. The most important White piece is the Bf4, therefore the prophylactic h2-h3 is an obligatory measure. Most of the test positions are about White's tactical hits on the queenside. I think Black should better avoid this endgame, but if it is not possible then to focus on eliminating White's dark-squared bishop rather than on passive defense.

The author provides us with 2 model games and 10 test positions.

Model Game 1

3.50 EUR