I am preparing the Semi-Slav defense with David Vigorito-Play the Semi-Slav ( Quality Chess, 2008 ). The exchange line is covered well, but recently GMs try to steer clear from dull ...Bf5 lines and try ...e6 + ...Qb6 formation, leaving bishop on c8 and "suffering" for the extra pawn they get with ...Qxb2. This gives excellent chances to dodge the boring, drawish lines and to sharpen the game. Also, in the book there was an opening novelty Kramnik launched in a line I am very interested in. Since then theory must have advanced a lot in Exchange Slav, so I am asking if there is any modern high quality resource ( for players 2400+ ) that covers this line?


2 Answers 2


Let me preface this by saying that I have not kept up with new publications in about a year, but there was nothing that I knew of before that.

My educated guess is that the only real "modern high quality resource ( for players 2400+ ) that covers this line" is going to be GM games. Here are my reasons for that:

1) Vladimir Kramnik-the most influential figure in chess opening theory over the last 15 years-played a significant novelty in this line. This means that other players, from the top level down to lower GMs (which is about the lowest you can go and still have the games be considered part of Theory without further examination) have probably taken to copying him and extending the line. Even if you did find a comprehensive book published 8 months ago by some mid-level GM, there could well be some game between two 2600s from 2 months ago which changes the outcome of a variation. A prepared opponent will surely know about that and the book will not.

2) You are at a level where, since you already have a solid foundation in the line, you are probably better off looking at the games that a book would present to you and drawing your own conclusions. People like Vigorito who are about your strength and publish books are basically doing the exact same thing you could be doing-applying computer analysis to positions, recognizing the ideas, and memorizing/writing down the result. People that play for a living and create theory will be more concerned with protecting novelties and using them to win games (thereby giving them to you for free) than adding them to a book to see a tiny bump in circulation.

I am not saying that there are no groundbreaking books by top players. Avrukh's repertoire series for White was incredibly well-researched and included dozens of novelties. Victor Bologan has written 3 influential books on various lines. These books are rare, though, and a large majority of theoretically-relevant openings do not have resources of similar quality. You can construct better opening knowledge by doing your own research.

  • Unfortunately I must agree with you at this moment. I do not use computers that much, so I do not know how to obtain MegaBase or any other similar software that could help me with this. Even if I could manage to get something like that, I would still need a tutorial on how to search for positions I need and so on... Well, I doubt there will be aby good solution popping out soon so I will accept this answer and upvote it. Thank you... Jun 12, 2014 at 19:37
  • 1
    ChessBase recently came out with a really cool resource, www.chesslive.de. You can click through opening lines and search positions for games in their database. It's pretty much an online MegaBase. I use it when I'm at tournaments and I only have my small laptop so cannot access CB on my desktop.
    – Cleveland
    Jun 12, 2014 at 19:49

If you are into ebooks, there are a couple of books related to this on the Kindle store, one of them seems specifically dedicated to Exchange Slav:


  • I have upvoted your answer. I need to stabilize financially in order to buy one of the ebooks ( this might take quite some time as I have problems finding a full-time job ). After I read it, I will decide whether to accept your answer officially or not. Thank you and best regards! Oct 3, 2014 at 22:19

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