Slav Defense

Slav Defense

The Slav Defense is one of the most popular openings with GM’s. This is for two reasons. The first is that it is one of the most solid lines to play against the Queens Gambit and with the Queens Gambit being a regular opening at high level play, many top players have become fans of this opening.

1. d4 d5
2. c4 c6

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 the second move black looks to defend his pawn on d5 with his c6 pawn. This is done so that his pawn on the e file can stay as needed and not block the way of the light square bishop.

In the main line of the Slav Defense white looks to dominate the center of the board and black looks to develop both bishops and maintain a solid pawn structure. This is a very sound defense for black and one that is hard to crack for white. Black has many counter attacking lines that white has to be aware of once the game reaches the middle game.

Watch the video below to watch an explanation of the Slav Defense.

Looking for in depth analysis for extended lines?

Famous Games using the Slav Defense

Rubinstein vs Alekhine, 1911

Janowski vs Capablanca, 1916

Van Wely vs Topalov, 2006

Ponomariov vs Wang Hao, 2007

Topalov vs Kamsky, 2006

Aronian vs V Popov, 2005