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If White continues from the diagram with 6.Bd3, 6...dxc4 leads to the Meran Variation, which gets its name from the game Grünfeld – Rubinstein in the 1924 Meran Tournament. Black gives up the strong point on d5 in the centre, to develop his queenside as quickly as possible with moves like...b5, ...a6, ...Bb7 and ...c5. The basic position arises after 6.Bd3 dxc4 with the move order 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 a6 (8...Bb7 is an alternative) 9.e4 c5
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The Semi-Slav (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6) can arise via various move orders, has decided World Championships, and is one of Black’s most fascinating replies to 1 d4. Nielsen explains in detail what this opening is all about.
Tactic Toolbox Semi-Slav with 5.Bg5
If you like an exciting battle you should play 5.Bg5 against the Semi-Slav. This natural developing move is the most principled and sharpest option against Black’s sound setup.
by Robert Ris
Tactic Toolbox Meran Variation
In interactive format IM Robert Ris offers you a lot of exercises, including hints and advice that help you to know key tactical patterns of this variation to play it with success.
by Robert Ris
The Triangle Setup - A complete defense against 1.d4
The polish GM Michal Krasenkow presents a repertoire based on the Noteboom and the Stonewall. Black’s set-up may lead to a whole range of different and interesting positions, which help the black player to broaden his strategic and tactical understanding.