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(Semi) Slav Defense Chess Books

(Semi) Slav Defense

The Slav is one of the more popular ways to meet the Queens Gambit. The opening moves 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 offer black a solid basis, but this opening can transpose into some very sharp lines as well. The difference between the (Main Line or Pure) Slav and the Semi Slav is that in de former de black bishop develops early in the game to f5 or g4, while in the latter this light squared bishop stays on c8 for some time. Then there's a third kind main variation of the Slav, the Chebanenko Slav with 4... a6. And off course, there a some other variations in which white chooses to diverte, like the Exchange Slav and the Slavs with 3. e3 or 3. Nc3. The (Semi) Slav as a whole contains too much lines to name them all. In general one could claim that the Main Line Slav as well as the Semi Slav can lead to very sharp or more solid play, depending on the specific variation. Taking the c4-pawn and protecting it by playing b5 is always a motive, as well as early piece sacrifices and a battle over control over the centre. In the Semi Slav the Meran Variation is often seen. After 5. Bg5 the Botwinnik and Moscow Variaton may appear, two lines that got in and out of fashion over and over again during the course of time. These two variations lead to very sharp, seemingly chaotic play. Positions arise on the board in which every moves counts and heavy theoretical debates have been battled out on the highest level, from the nineties till presents times. The Chebanenko Slav gained in popularity over the last decades, being the most solid of the Slav-family. A lot of great players in present times and in the past used one of the Slavs to meet 1. d4, like Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Arthur Bisguier, Levon Aranian Sergej Karjakin, and Anish Giri, amongst many others. Ok, let’s be fair. To learn the (Semi) Slav properly you have to study some highly theoretical lines in depth. That being said, the reward will in the form of some very interesting and unique positions. If you consider yourself an all round player who is not afraid to meet some strange tactical motives and imbalances on the board, but on the long run likes positional play, the Slav might be a true recommendation.

Slav: Move By Move (everyman Chess) - Lakdawala, Cyrus
2011 Everyman Chess Slav: Move By Move (everyman Chess)-Lakdawala, Cyrus

This book is for the club player who wants to learn the Slav and wants to become better in chess on a whole. Lakdawala offers the main lines, the often played sidelines and strategies for the various types of middlegames and endgames that often occur from this opening. With some historic context, a clear introduction and proven didactic methods, this book is rather complete introduction to the Slav. The interactive format - like many other Move by move-books - might just be the fastest way to learn an opening.

Triangle System: Noteboom, Marshall Gambit And Other Semi-slav Triangle Lines (everyman Chess) - Ruslan Scherbakov
2012 Everyman Chess Triangle System: Noteboom, Marshall Gambit And Other Semi-slav Triangle Lines (everyman Chess)-Ruslan Scherbakov

The title of this book explains exactly what it is all about, the ins and outs of the Slav Triangle. It offers all lines for the black player who wants to play something interesting or special, or - in other words - wants to play something sound, but not necessary the main lines. It's a complete overview of the three lines from the title, covering most reasonable options. The book gives a complete picture of the 'Slav Triangle' and many related systems. From here on you can comfortably build your own repertoire, adjusting it to your own style, goals or level in chess.

Chess Explained: The Meran Semi-slav - Vera, Reinaldo, Adams, Phil
2007 Gambit Publications Chess Explained: The Meran Semi-slav-Vera, Reinaldo Adams, Phil

The starting position of this book and of the Meran Semi-Slav proper is reached after the moves 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3. Immediately the author points out that this position can be reached after many move orders, devoting a whole chapter to this rather important theme. Now we reached one of the most popular defences among the world's elite, but also a frequently seen guest at other levels. With the help of model games the author guides his students through the most critical ideas, offering them a very sound repertoire.

The Semi-slav - Schandorff, Lars
2015 Quality Chess The Semi-slav-Schandorff, Lars

One of the more modern and complete books on the Semi-Slav. Lars Schandorff knows from experience how difficult it is to crack the Slav. He wrote two books on 1.d4 from the white perspective, so it should tell one something that he chooses the Slav with black. This book is divided in logical chapters: Botvinnik, Anti-Moscow, Moscow, Meran, Anti-Meran, and Minor Lines. According to the author the Semi-Slav is one of the deepest and most complex opening concepts ever devised.

Grandmaster Repertoire 17: The Classical Slav - Avrukh, Boris
2014 Quality Chess Grandmaster Repertoire 17: The Classical Slav-Avrukh, Boris

As the title already indicates, the heart of this book is the Classic Slav, which means that black’s bishop is often headed for f5. However, when choosing the right move transposing to another opening, in many cases the author has done so. So you will find a few cases in this book where Avrukh transposes to the Meran or even the Queen's Gambit Accepted, but only when White's most theoretically critical lines have been avoided.

Slav Defence Playbook: 200 Opening Chess Positions For Black (chess Opening Playbook) - Sawyer, Tim
2017 Independently Slav Defence Playbook: 200 Opening Chess Positions For Black (chess Opening Playbook)-Sawyer, Tim


Exchange Slav - Strategy And Tactics (opening Preparation) - Jiganchine, Roman
2017 Independently Exchange Slav - Strategy And Tactics (opening Preparation)-Jiganchine, Roman


Chess Developments: Semi-slav 5 Bg5 - Paulsen, Bryan
2014 Everyman Chess Chess Developments: Semi-slav 5 Bg5-Paulsen, Bryan


Chess Explained: The Main-line Slav - Vigorito, David
2009 Gambit Publications Chess Explained: The Main-line Slav-Vigorito, David


Play The Slav - Vigus, James
2008 Everyman Chess Play The Slav-Vigus, James


Starting Out: Slav & Semi-slav (starting Out - Everyman Chess) - Flear, Glenn
2005 Everyman Chess Starting Out: Slav & Semi-slav (starting Out - Everyman Chess)-Flear, Glenn


The ...a6 Slav: The Tricky And Dynamic Lines With...a6 - Flear, Glenn
2003 Everyman Chess The ...a6 Slav: The Tricky And Dynamic Lines With...a6-Flear, Glenn


Semi-slav - Sadler, Matthew
1998 Everyman Chess Semi-slav-Sadler, Matthew


The Slav - Sadler, Matthew
1997 Everyman Chess The Slav-Sadler, Matthew