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Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav (D44)
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Nf3 c6 5 Bg5 dxc4

Number of games in database: 4495
Years covered: 1852 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 36.9%
   Black wins 28.5%
   Draws 34.6%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Loek van Wely  36 games
Pia Cramling  31 games
Alexander Grischuk  22 games
Alexey Shirov  44 games
Aleksey Dreev  40 games
Sergey Ivanov  38 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Ivanchuk vs Shirov, 1996
Topalov vs Kramnik, 2008
Polugaevsky vs E Torre, 1981
Denker vs Botvinnik, 1945
Zukertort vs Steinitz, 1886
Kramnik vs Anand, 1997
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 page 1 of 180; games 1-25 of 4,495  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Saint-Amant vs C Stanley 1-0361852New York mD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
2. Zukertort vs Steinitz 0-1381886Steinitz - Zukertort World Championship MatchD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
3. Pillsbury vs Steinitz ½-½541895St. Petersburg 1895/96D44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
4. Pillsbury vs Steinitz 0-1441896St. Petersburg 1895/96D44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
5. Pillsbury vs Steinitz 0-11001896St. Petersburg 1895/96D44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
6. Pillsbury vs Blackburne 0-16618961st Anglo-American Cable MatchD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
7. Burn vs Steinitz 1-072189811th DSB Congress, CologneD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
8. Showalter vs Janowski 0-1231898Janowski - Showalter First MatchD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
9. S Levitsky vs V Kulomzin  1-0301899Levitsky - KulomzinD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
10. Lasker vs Maroczy 1-0301900ParisD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
11. G Wainwright vs Blackburne 1-0301906British ChampionshipD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
12. G Exner vs J Szekely  0-13519061st Hungarian National TournamentD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
13. Salwe vs Rubinstein 0-1601907LodzD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
14. Znosko-Borovsky vs Swiderski  ½-½371907Ostend-BD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
15. Teichmann vs L Van Vliet  1-0211907Ostend-BD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
16. Salwe vs Kostic  ½-½451911KarlsbadD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
17. B Verlinsky vs A G Magazanik  1-0411912Odessa Amateur TourneyD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
18. H Kline vs S Rubinstein  1-0321913American NationalD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
19. Kupchik vs J Corzo 1-0311913HavanaD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
20. Duras vs Capablanca 0-1751913Rice CC MastersD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
21. Duras vs A Marder  ½-½451913Rice CC MastersD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
22. J Bernstein vs Kupchik 1-0161916Kupchik - BernsteinD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
23. L Lund vs Reti 1-0331920SimulD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
24. Marshall vs Janowski 0-13719218th American CongressD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
25. B H Villegas vs J Montalban  1-02119211st South American Championship 1921/22D44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
 page 1 of 180; games 1-25 of 4,495  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-24-05  KingG: Ok, no problem, we can stop now. :)
Dec-16-05  refutor: interesting novelty on the 7th move but no doubt unsound...i've never seen it before (either has the opening explorer)

[Event "WJun"]
[Site "Yerevan ARM"]
[Date "2000.09.23"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Gershon,A"]
[Black "Senff,M"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2502"]
[BlackElo "2354"]
[EventDate "2000.09.02"]
[ECO "D44"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bg5 dxc4 6. e4 b5 7. e5 b4 8. Ne4 Qd5 9. Ned2 c3 10. exf6 cxd2+ 11. Qxd2 gxf6 12. Bxf6 Rg8 13. Qc2 Nd7 14. Bh4 b3 15. axb3 Bb4+ 16. Kd1 c5 17. Bc4 Qh5 18. Qe4 Nb6 19. Qc6+ Bd7 20. Qxb6 Rg4 21. Rxa7 1-0

Dec-16-05  refutor: actually senff played it later on in that world junior as well

[Event "WJun"]
[Site "Yerevan ARM"]
[Date "2000.10.01"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Lopez Martinez,J"]
[Black "Senff,M"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2477"]
[BlackElo "2354"]
[EventDate "2000.09.02"]
[ECO "D44"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 c6 5. Bg5 dxc4 6. e4 b5 7. e5 b4 8. exf6 gxf6 9. Bh4 bxc3 10. bxc3 Ba6 11. Nd2 Qd5 12. Bxf6 Rg8 13. Be5 Bh6 14. Bg3 Nd7 15. Be2 Bxd2+ 16. Qxd2 Qxg2 17. O-O-O Qd5 18. Rhe1 Nb6 19. Qc2 Qa5 20. Bf3 Nd5 21. Bxd5 cxd5 22. Bd6 Bb5 23. Bb4 Qc7 24. Qxh7 Qf4+ 25. Rd2 O-O-O 26. Bc5 Rg2 27. Qh3 Rxh2 28. Qe3 Qxe3 29. fxe3 Rxd2 30. Kxd2 a6 31. Rf1 f5 32. Rg1 Rh8 33. Bd6 Kd7 34. Bf4 Rh7 35. Kc2 Kc6 36. Kb2 Kb6 37. Ka3 Rb7 38. Bd6 Bd7 39. Rg8 Kc6 40. Bc5 Rb1 41. Ra8 Re1 42. Rxa6+ Kb7 43. Ra7+ Kc6 44. Kb4 Rxe3 45. a4 f4 46. Ra6+ Kb7 47. Rb6+ Kc7 48. a5 Bc6 49. Ra6 Re1 50. Bb6+ Kd6 51. Ra7 Rb1+ 52. Ka3 Bd7 53. Bc7+ Kc6 54. Bxf4 Rb7 55. Ra6+ Kb5 56. Ra8 Bc6 57. Rc8 Bd7 58. Ra8 Bc6 59. Bg5 Rg7 60. Rb8+ Rb7 61. Rc8 Ra7 62. Bd8 Ra8 63. Rxa8 Bxa8 1/2-1/2

Dec-18-05  KingG: <refutor> In the first game you gave, 16...Rg7! 17.Bc4 Qh5 18.Bg3 a5 doesn't look too bad.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: Here is a little collection of winning combinations in miniature D44 games:
Jul-18-06  niemzo: <refutor> In the 7..b4 line u mention, how about 9.Nxf6? I serched it a bit and couldn't find anything for black. for example, 9.Nxf6+ gxf6 10.Bxf6 Rg8 11.Qc2 Ba6 12.Qxh7 seems good for white.
Sep-06-06  soughzin: In the line 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 e6 4.Nf3 dxc 5.Bg5 does black have anything better than Nf6 transposing back to I believe the anti-meran line? It would be nice if he doesn't and I transpose back to sharp familiar lines [they're not super familiar yet as I'm just crossing over to d4 but they will be soon : ) ] Thanks for any help
Sep-14-06  soughzin: I feel a little lonely on the slav/semi-slav pages...

Another question about move orders- In the position on the board shown at the top of the page, what happens if play contines 6.e4 h6! Now if white retreats to Bh5 black plays g5 and has forced white into the anti-moscow gambit which most believe to be an inferior version of the botvinnik. I can't believe no one else has noticed this before so there has to be a reason for black not playing it right? I assume white must play 7.Bxf6 and hope to get an improved moscow. 7...Qxf6 8.Bxc4 is white better than usual? black could also take on move 7 with gxf6. Anyone out there wanna help me meander through this maze of theory? : ) thanks much

Sep-14-06  bob000: soughzin. Your line has white playing Nf3 twice. The Moscow line is good for white but black can play 5..Be7 or 5..f6.
Sep-14-06  soughzin: Yes I meant 4.Nc3 on my first post.

On further reflection about my Second post I think I can answer my own question. First off black gets to chooses whether white plays the moscow(or perhaps anti moscow) or botvinnik so this is just black choosing to play the moscow later,so this is now groundbreaking revelation even if it's as strong as the regular moscow. Also, I think usually in the moscow white plays dxc after white's light squared bishop comes out,winning a tempo; this is not possible in the delayed moscow I thought of.

Sep-16-06  refutor: soughzin, you are right on your first september 14th post. without getting ...b5 in Black has given up the center and is behind in development with only the bishop pair as compensation

click for larger view

looks much better for White in my patzer opinion

Jan-02-07  soughzin: I posted on a couple other pages how I was looking to compliment the meran lines with something Other than the Botvinnik. Well I think I'm going back to it after looking at some unclear main and sidelines. A nice side benefit is when your unbooked opponent will play a4 or e3 to your pawn snatching dxc4. Today I played a game that went 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bg5 dxc4 6. e3 b5 7. a4 a6!? not quite the main line but I think very playable. It's FUN for one, sound,trappy,and easy to underestimate, what else can you ask for as black? 8. axb5 cxb5 9. Nxb5 axb5 10. Rxa1 Bb4+ 11. Nd2 Bb7 12. Bxf6 gxf6 13. Ra7 Qb6 14.Ra1 White soon blundered and gave me a winning position (which I squandered but squeeked out a win)
May-08-07  artemis: I really think that this line is the one true challenge to the semi-slav, with the exception of one line in the Meran. In the other lines, particularly in the ...Qc7 and d4-d5 merans, black's position is just awesome. These lines are the crucible for the Semi-Slav.
Nov-28-08  KingG: There were two high level games in the Botvinnik variation during the recent Olympiad Aronian vs Van Wely, 2008 and Kasimdzhanov vs M Ragger, 2008.

In both cases White outrated his opponent by over 100 points, yet both games ended in a draw. After several years of only seeing the Moscow variation in response to 5.Bg5, is the Botvinnik variation ready for a come-back?

Nov-04-09  jon01: Any good books on this opening?
Nov-04-09  yalie: <jon01: Any good books on this opening?>

I dont know about books, but this might be a good place to know the latest theory:

Mar-06-10  rapidcitychess: <Sneaky> You have inspired me! I shall take on little chess partner!
Mar-06-10  rapidcitychess: Any suggestions?
Mar-06-10  rapidcitychess: This is a CPU with no book vs a 1500 glicko player. Should I take little chess partner on with tactics and a solid opening? What should I do. I understand that little chess partner is a little stronger than a little chess CPU, Still, What should I do? I will start as soon as I hear from a good player what I should do.
May-04-10  rapidcitychess: Well I searched and decided(finally) to do it.
I won!!
I used that stonewall thingy to beat it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Semi-Slav, Anti-Meran Gambit
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.♘c3 ♘f6 4.♘f3 c6 5. ♗g5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5

click for larger view

Jan-16-12  chegado: I just started to study this opening (specifically Botvinnik variation) and still makes me wonder why so many top players endorse it. After the usual move order, Rybka states that Black is in pretty bad shape, struggling, at the best of the scenarios, for a draw.
Jan-16-12  Shams: <chegado> Well, that's Rybka. Rybka also probably loves White in all the 6.Bg5 lines of the Najdorf, too. I think one reason these ultra-sharp variations still enjoy popularity at high levels is that Black can at least think of playing for a win in just about any resulting middlegame. That's a really valuable plus. Sometimes you have Black in a must-win game, after all.
May-27-18  Ron: Here is a variation in the Meran that's been played before, for example, in Kammsky-Kramnik 1994:

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bg5 dxc4 6. e4 b5 7. e5 h6 8. Bh4 g5 9. Nxg5 hxg5 10. Bxg5 Nbd7 11. exf6 Bb7

Here I plugged in 12. Qf3. I was hoping it would be a Theoretical Novelty, but it isn't. Its been played before, but much less common than other moves. Here is a line after 12. Qf3, Stockfish 7 making moves for both side:

12. Qf3 Qa5 13. g3 Rb8 14. Rd1 c5 15. d5 b4 16. Ne4 Bxd5 17. Bg2 Ne5 18. Qf4 b3+ 19. Kf1 Qc7 20. axb3 Rxb3 21. Nd2 Rd3 22. Bxd5 Rxd5 23. Kg2 Qc6 24. Qe4 Rh5 25. h4

Stockfish evaluates this at + .59 for White.

I submit that playing 12. Qf3 here, especially with pre-game preparation, can be very good for White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Best opening ever.
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