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 ...


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'...


10

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.


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

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......


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 ...


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

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. ...


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

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 ...


5

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: ...


5

It prevents Nb5-c7. That's the main point behind the move. Just take a look at the disaster a careless move like 6...g6? could lead to. 6...a6 is not the only option, though. Black can try for instance 6...Bf5 (which is indeed more popular), intending to reply to 7.Nb5 with 7...Rc8. 6..e6 is another common move. A good reason to prefer 6...a6 could be ...


4

You are absolutely right to think that it is a good idea to answer 1.d4 with 1...c6, especially if you like the Caro-Kann more than the Slav. Do not let the low percentage for the move bother you. I also checked in chessbase's Big Database and found that it is played about 4.5% of the time. However, that is not because the move is weak, but because the ...


4

Short answer: In symmetric positions it's difficult to get an advantage if there's nothing concrete. In the Exchange Slav white only has an extra half-move against black's very solid position. Compare with the Exchange French which is even more drawish. In the Exchange variation of Queen's Gambit Declined on the other hand, there is a structural imbalance ...


4

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 ...


4

I am by no means an openings expert, but I have played the Slow Slav as White for a long time so I will just make some comments. In general, lines with an early b7-b5 in Chebanenko positions tend to work better with a Nc3 than a Nd2. As you have already noted, a Nd2 makes it much more likely that White will be able to find some way to exploit the holes on ...


4

It is basically a trade-off: are you so afraid of the Slav that you're willing to play a slightly inferior Exchange line? The main line of the QGD Exchange is: [FEN ""] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 If you have a clever opponent, they can play Be7 instead of Nf6 if you exchange too early: [FEN ""] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. cxd5 exd5 4. ...


4

Fight for the center The variation with 9.Nh4 has its own flawor. For the other main lines, the logical plans flow from the strategic evaluation of each side's plusses and minuses: White enjoys the better center. Black's dxc4 was a slight concession in the fight for the center, Pd4 is firmly established. On the other hand, Black has freed both his bishops, ...


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