[August 10, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Dragan Barlov:
Slav Defense, Schlechter Variation

[Line 088 : 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 without 4… a6, 4… Bg4, 4… e6, 4… Bf5]

The most frequent moves in this variation are covered in separate lines: 4… a6 in Line 090, 4… Bg4 in Lines 091-092, 4… e6 in Line 093 and 4… Bf5 in Lines 094-097.

Line 088 mainly deals with the Schlechter Variation (4… g6). The fact that the e-pawn is already on e3 is generally in Black’s favor, because White’s dark-squared Bishop cannot be deployed on f4.

Move 5. Nc3 is the most active reaction for White. After 5… Bg7 the main move 6. Be2 can be found in Line 089. Against the alternative plan that begins with 6. Bd3 O-O 7. O-O Black can trade his light-squared Bishop for the Knight on f3 with 7… Bg4 8. h3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 e6. White thus gets to keep the bishop pair, but Black has a solid position without weaknesses.

Apart from the abovementioned variation, there are two more interesting options for White on 5th move: 5. Nbd2 followed by Bd3, and 5. Be2 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nbd2.

[Diagram: Black to Move] Black has sacrificed the e7-pawn, and now the Rook on f8 is under attack; what is the best way for him to continue?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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