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The Slav Defense is a solid chess opening or Black when White starts with 1. d4. The opening operates on similar principles found in the Stonewall Attack and French Defense, in that the pawns will be placed primarily on 1 color (the light squares c6, d5, e6) and the pieces will emphasize control of the dark squares in the center (c5, d6, e5, etc..)
This defense got its name due to the number of masters from Slavic countries who developed it and introduced it into tournament play. The Slav began to be taken seriously in the 1920s and to this day it remains one of the toughest defenses to crack,
The Slav Defense is one of the most solid lines to play against the Queens Gambit, and is played at even the highest level. Many top players have become fans of this opening.
The Slav Defense can be quite complex. The Slav also allows for lots of different variations so those players that like to be creative and don’t like to play the same variation every game will really enjoy the Slav Defense because it offers just that.
In this video, FM WIll Stewart starts by looking at the simplest line in the Slav to learn – the Schallopp Variation. Not only is it the simplest line of the Slav to learn, it is also very effective. Today, the theory of the Slav is very extensive and well-developed.
The credibility of the Schallopp Variation is enhanced by it’s regular use at the top level by Super-GMs Alexey Shirov, Boris Gelfand, and Alexey Dreev. The Schallopp Variation is distinguished from other lines in the Slav Defense because it thematically involves the deployment of the light-squared bishop to f5 where it will be active and outside of the pawn chain (e6, d5, c6).
Will examines four different games to provide the big picture on main lines in the Schallopp Defense involving an early Nf3 and e3 by White.
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