9

In the French Defense, the modest pawn advance in e6 simply plans to challenge the e4-pawn by d5, without having to recapture with the Queen after a possible capture in d5. The idea is thus similar to the Caro-Kann. The differences are that the Caro-Kann takes away the best square for the b8-Knight, while the French blocks the natural diagonal for developing ...


5

The position you are looking at is indeed very common in the semi-Slav defense and the solid control of the d5 square is exactly the underlying idea for Black, often after having played ...dxc4 at some point in the opening. Looking at White's piece placement, in particular at the e pawn on e3 and the White dark squared bishop on the king's side, this seems ...


4

A lot of opening play is about what you are trying to avoid. While sharp, black does quite well against 7.g4. In reality, the quieter lines seem to have much more venom if the figures in Mega 2020 are to believed. In addition, with the move order you mention, white can get e4 in very early, or can play the Karpov line among other choices. The main line I am ...


2

The position you are concerned about doesn't qualify as a stubborn Semi-Slav in my opinion. At most, it is a very passive Semi-Slav where the Nc7 lost two tempi to reach a waiting spot, and neither of Black's usual breaks, ...e5 and ...c5, will be attractive in the near future. Moreover, the hook on h6 has provided you with a very nice target. White has ...


1

C5 is a move I generally don't like, because it realeses a tension in the center that is generally healthy to have in order to dispute the advantage (and tactics may always lurke when pawns are in contact!). With this said, there are in deed positions in which giving up this tension in exchange of a lot of space is reasonable, usually when the b6 ...


1

In order to avoid the sharp positions where black has the connected passed a- and b-pawns, white can switch to systems with g3. This is what white opted for in Nakamura-Ivanchuk and Giri-Caruana. In the first game, Nakamura played 5.g3. If black replies with 5....Nf6, then the game transposes to a theoretical line that arises after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 ...


1

In this variation, black is behind development after [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [WhiteELO "?"] [BlackELO "?"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pp3ppp/2p1p3/8/2pP4/2N2N2/PP2PPPP/R1BQKB1R w KQkq - 0 1"] 1. Bf4 Bb4 2. e3 Bxc3+ 3. bxc3 b5 4. a4 Nf6 5. axb5 cxb5 6. Rb1 White has more center control, ...


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