27

Stockfish evaluation is not the only criterion to determine whether a move is sound or not. The main issue with committing so early to 3.b3 (against this particular Black setup) is that there are no downsides to delaying that move. In other words, even if you want to play some setup with b3, there's no reason do it right now. Instead, other moves that ...


24

"Reversed" Openings in general A black defense and its white mirror counterpart will often play out quite differently (compare the rather sharp Sicilian Defense and the rather quiet English Opening). The right to move matters, in both ways. By moving, you give away information to your opponent - the set of variations you can choose from shrinks with every ...


18

There are 3 main reasons for this move to be inaccurate. It doesn't place any pressure on black's position. It weakens c3, allowing black to "force" your knight to the more passive square d2. It removes the Qb3 move, which punishes the early development of black's LSB. All of these allows black to develop more easily and equalize.


16

It simply because With Black advancing pawns to both e6 and c6, the opening resembles a mixture of the Orthodox Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD) and the Slav Defense. (from wikipedia) If you consider that there are two components to the mainline Slav - protect the d5 pawn with c6 and then develop the light-squared bishop to f5/g4 - then the semi-Slav only ...


14

Well, it is a small sample, but assuming that there are a lot more games like these, I think it could be the following things. First, I am not sure when we first humans first decided that space was an advantage, but for as long as I have been playing, it has been a known factor. Both of these openings cede space compared to double-king-pawn openings and ...


13

I see no reason to ?! mark. 8. g3 is good book move and standard way to limit opponent's play with open h-file. The most flexible move by far is 8...Nbd7 after it. After 9.Bg2 dxc4 should be good. But again, 4...Bf5 is no refutation of slow Slav and 5...Bg6 is in my opinion less challenging than 5...Be4, while there's nothing wrong with 8.g3. Don't expect ...


12

I don't think it's a good idea. Firstly, no 1.d4 player will go for 2.e4, unless they are also 1.e4 players and really, really good at playing against the Caro-Kann. More importantly, you may like to play the Slav against d4+c4, and the Caro against d4+e4, but so far white has only played 1.d4. You lose options in case white doesn't follow up with a quick ...


11

After 3.cxd5 exd5 4.Nc3, if black plays 4....Nf6 or 4....Be7, then white indeed succesfully transposed to the mainlines of the QGD and avoided any transpositions to the Slav. Black's best reply is probably 4....c6, after which white has 3 good options: 5.Nf3, 5.Bf4 and 5.Qc2. After 5.Nf3 black can play 5....Bd6 or 5....Bf5. After 5.Bf4 black's best moves ...


11

Because of the enormous skill difference between these computers and humans, any kind of analysis will inevitably be post-hoc. We can tell ourselves stories about how "Stockfish should have [insert plan]," (and I'm sure some people here will) but ultimately I think that any story we could come up with would be flawed at the level of Leela/Stockfish. This isn'...


11

Generally speaking, Leela tends to have a better "intuition" and Stockfish is very good at brute force calculations. So in a structure like the French/Caro-Kann, where calculation becomes less important and strategy becomes more important, Leela will tend to do better.


10

That is the Slav, but the problem for black in many of these lines, and specifically immediately, is that if 3...Bf5, then 4.cd cd 5.Qb3 forces you to sacrifice d5 or b7 since 5...b6 just loses. [FEN ""] 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Bf5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Qb3! b6? 6.e4! (6.Nc3) Bxe4 (6...dxe4 7.Ne5+-) 7.Ne5 a6 8.Ba6! Ra6 9.Qb5 Nd7 10.Nd7! Qd7 (10......


10

One should be very careful with the win percentage parameter. Probably here b3 was mostly played by lower-rated players trying to avoid theoretical lines and confuse the higher-rated opponent. Another example of the same fallacy: I don't remember losing in the exchange french with black. Of course, it's not because 3. exd5 exd5 is so great for black, it was ...


9

1. c3 (and 1. d3 and 1. e3, which can lead to reversed Pircs, French defense or QGD) aren't bad in that they give White a worse position. So those moves might have some merit as a surprise weapon (if you don't do it too often). But they do offer Black the advantage of setting the first foot in the center and the possibility to defend it, which is normally ...


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 ...


8

The main point of the engine recommending exd5 is because it opens up the diagonal from c8 to h3. By playing an early e6, the bad light squared bishop is really weak and has terrible scope, which is why taking with the e pawn could be followed with developing your bishop onto a square on a more open, free diagonal in the future. As long as you castle and don'...


7

It seems to be that the QGD is regaining some popularity at the top level due to theory advancing. I don't think that says anything about the overall popularity of the two openings though (i.e., including all players). The increase in engines' powers have made playing the semi-slav a very treacherous choice. There's a lot more that super GMs need to know ...


7

You're right that players who choose 1...c6 must be fine with the Caro-Kann, which is one reason why it's not that popular. However, there are some people who are fine with the Caro-Kann, and so the move gets played occasionally. In the case of 2.c4, there aren't many benefits I can see for Black. He has the option of playing a la King's Indian with ...Nf6, ....


6

The London Defensive System is actually a named line in the Réti Opening. And yes, it is very playable. You don't see this very often nowadays, because White will try to stop Black from playing it. Here is a famous game Réti - Lasker, 1924, in which Lasker went for this line and won convincingly. Look at the position after 9.Nbd2. From my analysis: ...


6

I would add one little thing to Inertial Ignorance's answer: The reason it is so unpopular is probably that the Caro seems more passive than the Slav, and I say this as a long-time Caro player. E4 openings, being more open games, give white more chance to pressure black is what I mean. Still why let your opponent dictate what line you will play when you can ...


6

Are there strong responses different from 4. .. e6 for black against 4. g3 that avoid the Catalan? 4...Bf5 One interesting alternative is 4...Bf5, with very original play. Before playing e6, Black wants to develop and exchange its "bad" bishop; a move favored by top GMs such as Nakamura, Karjakin or Inarkiev. [fen ""] [title "Mamedyarov (2760) vs. ...


6

The "e" columns being open is not an issue for king safety. Your king is only there temporarely. After ...exd5, Black would probably follow with ...Bd6 and ...0-0, then at some point ...Re8 to exploit the semi-open file. ...cxd5 is a playable alternative, but your c8 bishop would become a much worse piece. It's hard to see how you'll liberate him ...


5

If you want to play this gambit, the best way to get there is by playing 2...Nf6!? 3.cxd5 c6!. White is almost certain to play 3.cxd5 which is both the natural move and the theoretical refutation of Nf6. Of course he can still ignore your pawn on c6 and transpose to the Exchange Slav, but at least with this move order it's not a sure thing that he wanted to ...


5

In the chessok opening tree there are 28 games with this gambit. Going by the computer evaluation it seems to be playable, but the score is atrocious (>80% for white). So here you have a gambit that is pretty unknown, scores horribly and can easily be ignored if white is not in a mood for adventures. Also it doesn't seem to lead to dangerous complications ...


5

http://www.amazon.com/Grandmaster-Repertoire-17-Classical-Slav/dp/1907982388 Grandmaster Repertoire 17 by Avrukh is probably what you're looking for. It is extremely dense and detailed. It will require a lot of work to get all the information that you need, but there are a lot of rewards there as well. If you have not studied that Slav before, I would ...


5

If black plays the triangle system againts the Queen's Gambit, white can (try to) transpose to the Semi-Slav defence: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e3 Nf6 5.Nf3 Nbd7. The line 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 is called the Meran. White can avoid this, by playing the Anti-Meran: 6.Qc2. A good summary can be found on Wikipedia. According to the Game Database of ChessTempo, ...


5

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 ...


5

Kasparov in My Great Predecessors, Part 4: Generally speaking, Larsen's contribution to the development of opening theory is not very great, since usually he aimed to lure his opponents into little-studied variations and mainly relied on his skill in the middlegame. Nevertheless, he played a key role in the development of what is currently one of the most ...


5

White happens to have a couple of nice concrete plans in the particular QGD Exchange variation you mention (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5). One involves e3, f3, Nge2, and a break in the center with e4. The other is a minority attack on Black's a7-b7-c6-d5 pawn structure with b2-b4-b5. You will note that White's stats are much worse in the variation 1....


5

Your play was good, and you managed to slowly gain the upper hand from the more or less dead equal opening. At the end Rxe3 is forced, but after Qd2 I would have definitely considered Re4. You actually don't lose the exchange: 25... Rxe3 26. Qd2 Re4 27. Nc3 Rc4! Now at this point you're threatening to take on d4, so 28. Nxe4. But then you take back on ...


5

I tried this about 15 years ago and after 4. cd cd 5. Qb3 I was soon in a world of pain. I've never tried it since. [fen ""] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Bf5 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Qb3 There is no good way to defend the b pawn and white's minor pieces flow effortlessly into the attack. Nc3, Bf4, maybe Ne5 at some stage, either e3 or even e4, followed by Bb5. Nb5 ...


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