[July 12, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Dragan Barlov:
Slav Defense – Sidelines

[Line 071 : 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 with 3. e3, 3. Nf3]

Move 3. e3 is a rather unambitious one, since it gives Black free hands. One of the ways for Black to obtain a comfortable position is 3… Bf5 4. Nc3 e6, since after 5. Nf3 he has 5… Nd7, depriving White of a topical Nh4.

White’s most frequent choice is 3. Nf3. Apart from the main line of the Slav Defense (3… Nf6), which is covered in our Lines 086-110, Black can also try 3… dxc4, where after the usual 4. e3 he has an interesting sideline that begins with 4… Be6.

Move 3… e6 introduces the so-called triangle setup, with white Knight on f3. Variations 4. Qc2 and 4. e3 are discussed in our Line 072, whiled 4. Nc3 transposes to Line 068. Move 4. g3 is often connected with a pawn sacrifice – Black can take the pawn on c4 and protect it with b7-b5.

For positional players 4. Nbd2 seems like a reasonable option. Apart from the natural 4… Nf6 Black has an interesting alternative in 4… f5, which makes use of the fact that the Bishop from c1 can not be easily deployed to f4. After 4… f5 5. g3 Nf6 6. Bg2 Bd6 7. O-O O-O a complicated strategical battle typically occurs with chances for both sides.

[Diagram: White to Move] Moving the Knight from c3 gives Black just enough time to consolidate, so White has to play more aggressively to secure a longterm initiative…

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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