Expert Repertoire against the Slav Defence - Part 1
We are happy to present the newest opening database of GM Michael Roiz - Expert Repertoire against the Slav Defence - Part 1.
The starting position of the current repertoire arises after the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3
In recent years, this variation became very popular at the highest level. By combining ideas typical for Catalan and Slav, White wants to build a long-term positional pressure. The solid positional foundation of this system, allows you to play without memorizing tons of theoretical variation.
The first part of the database deals with the three main moves - 4...dxc4, 4...Bg4, and 4...Bf5. The remaining options (4...g6, 4...e6, and 4...a6) will be dealt with in the second part of this opening project.
The database consists of 11 theoretical chapters, 11 interactive test positions, a Memory Booster, and Video Version (1.5 hours Running Time).
The first three chapters are dedicated to the position arising after 4...dxc4 5.Bg2
In most cases, White does not rush to immediately take the pawn back. Instead, he is playing for long-term positional compensation. Black's most ambitious approach is 5...b5. In Chapter 1, Roiz shows how to handle the sidelines.
The most important tabiya of this variation arises after 5...b5 6.0-0 Bb7 7.b3 cxb3 8.Qxb3 e6 9.Rd1
Even though this is only 3rd White's choice, the quiet rook move is very flexible: The opposition with the black queen looks very promising for White, and the d4-pawn is covered in advance, so Nf3-e5 is to follow soon. Now Black is at crossroads: he can take control of e5 with 9...Nbd7 or delay the development of queenside for a while with 9...Be7. The move 9...Be7 is dealt with in Chapter 2 while 9...Nbd7 is covered in Chapter 3. The analysis of GM Roiz, shows that White retains decent compensation in both cases.
The next two chapters are dedicated to the move 4...Bg4
This is only Black's 5th move by statistics, although such an active way of development looks quite attractive. On the downside, just like after 4...Bf5, the bishop might be attacked at an early stage of the game. Therefore, White's most principled choice is 5.Ne5 after which Black has two options - 5...Bf5 and 5...Bh5. These two moves are covered respectively in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5. In both cases, White combines the play against the light-squared bishop with the attack on the vulnerable b7-pawn. As you will see very clearly, this is a recurring strategy in the Slav Defence.
The most important part of the database starts with the examination of the main move 4...Bf5. In this case, White should start with 5.Nc3.
White not only develops a piece but also increases the pressure on d5. Hence, Black should always reckon with the typical Qb3 idea. In Chapter 6, Roiz starts dealing with Black's attempts of delaying the move 5...e6. In this chapter, he examines 5...h6, 5...Nbd7, and 5...dxc4. White keeps an advantage in all these lines.
Chapter 7 is dedicated to another attempt of delaying 5...e6 - 5...a6
This move leads to a position, that often arises from Chebanenko with 5.g3. Black's problem is that sooner or later, he will be forced to play ...e7-e6 when White will react with the typical Nh4. In most cases, White will be relying on his typical advantage of the bishop pair.
The last four chapters of the database feature the position arising after 5...e6 6.Nh4
This is the typical reaction to the advance ...e7-e6. Using the fact that there is no way back for the light-squared bishop, White starts chasing it. As we have already pointed out, in all these lines, White is combining his play against the light-squared bishop with pressure on the b7-pawn. While 6...dxc4 is the subject of Chapter 8, the bishop moves 6...Bg6, 6...Bg4, and 6...Be4 are covered in chapters 9, 10, and 11.
Roiz proves that in all the lines, White can fight for a slight advantage. It's also important to mention that White's play is based on recurrent positional ideas. This makes the entire repertoire highly practical.
Below, you shall take a look at one of the chapters.