Chess Opening Theory/1. d4/1...d5/2. c4/2...c6

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Slav Defence
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation(FEN)


Moves: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6
ECO code: D10-D19

Slav Defence[edit]


Originally considered a less-orthodox defence in the Queen's Gambit, this opening has stood as an entire opening system in its own right for decades.

The idea behind this defence is straightforward: instead of locking in the light squared bishop on c8, why not support the center with the c-pawn instead? Black tends to be more active in this variation than the QGD.

White's main lines:

  • 3. Nf3 - The main line. As with the QGD, white makes a useful developing move while maintaining some flexibility.
  • 3. Nc3 - Sometimes provocative, this move may lead to variations where black overextends by trying to hold on to the pawn on c4.
  • 3. cxd5 - The exchange variation. This relieves the central tension early on and tends to allow black equality. One of the main drawbacks of having the Slav as a main opening repetoire is that it is hard for Black (or White) to win in the exchange variation. According to chess365, 83% of Masters games ended in a draw after this move. Even so, it is important for both sides to know.

Theory table[edit]

For explanation of theory tables see theory table and for notation see algebraic notation.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6


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  • Batsford Chess Openings 2 (1989, 1994). Garry Kasparov, Raymond Keene. ISBN 0-8050-3409-9.