Semi-Slav Defence - Top-Level Repertoire for Black
We are pleased to present the new project of GM Ivan Cheparinov - Semi-Slav Defence - Top-Level Repertoire for Black.
The initial position of this database is arising after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 and it is based on the Meran and the Botvinnik variations in the Slav Defence.
This Semi-Slav Defence course consists of 18 theoretical chapters, 18 interactive test positions, a Memory Booster, and a Video Version.
The first 4 Chapters are dedicated to White’s least popular continuations on move 5, as follows:
In Chapter 1 the rarest White’s options, such as 5.Qc2 and 5.Bd2, are mentioned, indeed, with remarks about the possible transpositions;
Chapter 2 pays attention to the central exchange 5.cxd5 exd5 with a nice version of the Carlsbad structure and QGD in particular from Black’s point of view, although the trendy 6.Bf4, after which Carlsen has been on both sides, must not be underestimated;
Chapter 3 is about 5.Qd3(b3) and the concrete 5…dxc4 6.Qxc4 b5 7.Qd3 Bb7, connected with a timely advance of the b5-pawn, mainly in combination with the thematic c6-c5 strike;
Regarding the growing interest in the Catalan in all its forms, Chapter 4 must be a subject of special discussion, for it investigates the latest developments in true gambit style after 5.g3 dxc4;
The next 3 Chapters are dealing with 5.e3 Nbd7 and White’s minor alternatives on move 6 of the most popular 6.Bd3 and 6.Qc2:
Thus, information about the little pawn moves 6.a3 and 6.h3, as well as for 6.Bd2 and 6.Ne5 can be found in Chapter 5;
Chapter 6 examines 6.b3, to which 6…Bb4! causes a certain imbalance in White’s set-up, for moving the bishop away from the desired big diagonal with 7.Bd2 is practically forced;
In Chapter 7 the third popular continuation 6.Be2 is analyzed in light of the possible deviations from the main Anti-Meran (see Chapters 12 and 13 for the details) with 6.Qc2;
The next 2 Chapters are delving into the subtleties of the standard Meran variation, starting from 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 on:
In Chapter 8, the less popular retreats 9.Be2 and 9.Bb3 are treated, Black should comfortably equalize with accurate play;
True to his approach to present lively and playable options, which are not obligatory the most popular ones, in Chapter 9 the author recommends 8…b4 in reply to White’s main move 8.Bd3, providing us with enough evidence of its viability;
Then another essential Section comes about the Anti-Merans with 6.Qc2 Bd6, in which Black usually opts for the e6-e5 break.
This is exactly Black’s approach in Chapter 10 after 7.Bd2 0-0 and now, apart from 8.Bd3, the intended castling to the long.
Chapter 11, on the contrary, offers much fun with the adventurous 7.g4!? Indeed, Black should not hesitate and accept the challenge with 7…Nxg4 8.Rg1 Qf6 9.Rxg4 Qxf3 10.Rxg7 and here 10…Nf6 is a reliable continuation with every chance to take over the initiative;
The subject of Chapter 12 is one of White’s main set-ups 7.b3 0-0 8.Be2, in reply to which the preference is for the analogous one 8….b6 9.0-0 Bb7 10.Bb2 and the slightly mysterious 10….Rc8!? Albeit it is not yet that evident, the X-ray along the c-file is quickly telling after the alternative break 11…c5;
The main lines of the Anti-Meran are explored in Chapter 13, which goes on with the similar 7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 b6!? and now, instead of transposing with 9.b3, the straightforward push 9.e4 dxe4 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Qxe4 Bb7, when Black succeeds with the thematic c6-c5.
Besides, he reverts to the other central break after 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0, when 8….e5!? seems to be a well-timed shot at full equality. As usual, the details about the move orders are thoroughly explained.
The last Chapters are about the Botvinnik Variation - 5.Bg5 dxc4 and now:
Chapter 14 covers the alternatives to 6.e4, including the main one among them with 6.a4. It, however, does not discourage Black from 6…b5, aiming at creating sufficient counterplay on the queenside;
Chapter 15 continues with the deviations from 7.e5 after 6.e4 b5 with an emphasis on meeting 7.a4 with 7…b4!? 8.Nb1 Ba6 9.Qc1 c3!
After 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 Chapter 16 shows why 9.exf6?! deserves to be an occasional guest in the tournament practice;
It is time for the mainstream Botvinnik with 9.Nxg5 in Chapter 17, to which the author’s recommendation is 9…hxg5 10.Bxg5 Be7.
The first part concentrates entirely on 11.exf6 Bxf6 12.Be3!?, to which 12…Na6! is the best bet, with many lines reaching deep endgames;
Finally, in Chapter 18 the main line of the 10…Be7 variation with 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.g3 is analyzed in great detail, as well as the numerous alternatives and later deviations
All in all, the entire repertoire based on the Semi-Slav Defence tends to be playable at any level.