Mar 21, 2010

Semi-Slav 101: Transposition to the QGA

Theory in the Semi-Slav is thick, beginning with the Meran and continuing into the Moscow, Anti-Moscow, and Botvinnik. Then there's the principal Anti-Meran variations involving 6.Qc2. See, e.g., Games 14 and 18 below. One solid way for White to side step the heavy theory is to play an even earlier Qc2, as in 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Qc2. Black has several options for handling this try by White and the best may be the simplest: 4...dxc4. This leads to a species of QGA. After 5.Qxc4, Black will have to choose between 5...Bf5 or 5...Bg4. I prefer the latter to slow down the e pawn and the big White center, but it may be a matter of taste. Compare the following.

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