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Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav (D45)
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Nf3 c6 5 e3

Number of games in database: 10340
Years covered: 1840 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 36.0%
   Black wins 23.7%
   Draws 40.3%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Ivan Farago  82 games
Boris Gelfand  60 games
Anatoly Karpov  59 games
Aleksey Dreev  115 games
Alexey Shirov  71 games
Michele Godena  68 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Kasparov vs X3D Fritz, 2003
Mamedyarov vs A Timofeev, 2004
Carlsen vs H A Gretarsson, 2003
R Cifuentes Parada vs Zvjaginsev, 1995
Gelfand vs Kramnik, 1996
V Makogonov vs Botvinnik, 1943
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 page 1 of 414; games 1-25 of 10,340 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. S Newham vs H Wilson ½-½281840Correspondence mD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
2. H Kennedy vs E Lowe 1-0301848Kennedy - Lowe mD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
3. G W Medley vs E Lowe  1-0391849Ries' Divan TournamentD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
4. E Williams vs Horwitz 1-0391852Horwitz - Williams mD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
5. E Williams vs Horwitz  0-1591852Horwitz - Williams mD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
6. Cochrane vs Somacarana 1-0351856CalcuttaD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
7. F H Elder vs F Bock 0-13918743rd American Chess Congress, ChicagoD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
8. Blackburne vs Gunsberg 0-18518896th American Chess Congress, New YorkD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
9. B Lasker vs Lasker 0-1191890BerlinD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
10. E Kemeny vs J M Hanham  1-0711891Hanham - KemenyD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
11. A Solovtsov vs Chigorin  0-1481892Moscow (Match)D45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
12. A Solovtsov vs Chigorin  0-1541892Moscow (Match)D45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
13. L Van Vliet vs Lasker 0-1371892B.C.A. NationalD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
14. Von Scheve vs Von Bardeleben  1-05418927th DSB Congress, DresdenD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
15. A Wallace vs G W Baynes 1-0281893corrD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
16. Steinitz vs Chigorin 0-1431896St. Petersburg 1895/96D45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
17. S F Lebedev vs Chigorin 1-0181900St. PetersburgD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
18. J Mason vs Chigorin 0-1351902Monte CarloD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
19. Von Scheve vs Albin  1-04219021st Cafe de la Regence Masters TournamentD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
20. Pillsbury vs Marshall 0-1631903Monte CarloD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
21. H Frank vs E F Schrader  0-15219034th Western ChampionshipD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
22. P P Benko vs Chigorin 0-16319033rd Russian National TournamentD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
23. P P Benko vs S Izbinsky  1-04719033rd Russian National TournamentD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
24. Janowski vs W Napier 1-0321904Cambridge SpringsD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
25. H W Shoosmith vs Gunsberg  1-0251904LondonD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
 page 1 of 414; games 1-25 of 10,340 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-03-04  Benjamin Lau: Now that game was practically Sicilian-ish! Queenside castling, pawnstorm down the wings, a Bxh7+ sack, a furious attack with the minor pieces...

Here's another superb example, one of my favorites, Reti vs Spielmann, 1928.

Apr-04-04  shr0pshire: Well the opening can be played agressively, however the majority of the time it is a positional opening.

I was just making a catergorization of the opening. ;)

Apr-04-04  Benjamin Lau: I don't know about that. If you look at Nunn, Emms, etc collection of "The 100 Greatest Games," you'll see that most of them are "attacking" games. And yet, most of them are 1. d4 and/or related openings (i.e. Reti/English), despite the fact that 1. d4 has almost always been less common than 1. e4.

On another note, Shropshire, your profile indicates you enjoy unorthodox openings, have you checked out Kasparov vs W Cotrina, 1993? Funny game, Kasparov must have been very surprised. ;)

Apr-04-04  shr0pshire: "If someone really wants to be an ‘attacking player’, the best way to get the right kind of positions is by playing 1 e4."

Nigel Davies

Apr-04-04  shr0pshire: <Benjamin Lau> Thanks for the suggestion on the game. I have not seen it yet, and I did kibitz on it!

I tried my best to improve Garry's game, but I don't think I did a good job of it. Ah well.

Apr-04-04  Benjamin Lau: <If someone really wants to be an ‘attacking player’, the best way to get the right kind of positions is by playing 1 e4.">

Well, if you're going to appeal to authority, then I would say 1. e4? is an inaccuracy.

"But although Grueneld knew everything about the openings, he modeled his own repertoire on that of his ideal, Rubinstein, who played only 1 d4. When asked whether he had ever opened with any other move, he replied emphatically that he did not make mistakes in the opening."

;) Come on, you don't really believe Davies do you? Some of the greatest attackers in the game were champions of 1. d4- young Kasparov, Alekhine, Marshall, etc. You're an unorthodox player, don't accept the old myths! :) Lol.

Apr-04-04  Benjamin Lau: I also kibitzed on the game as well. I think an Rg1 should have been played on Kasparov's part at some point.
Apr-04-04  shr0pshire: Well then I will say that the jury is out on whether d4 is a positional opening then. Obviously it can be an attacking opening, or a positional opening. I guess it is what you make it.
Apr-04-04  BiLL RobeRTiE: I think 1. e4 has a reputation for being more attacking because White so often goes for direct attacks on the Black monarch in the Sicilian, French, and often the romantic openings including the venerable Ruy. Can you think of any d4 openings that typically lead to a kingside attack from White? I cannot!
Apr-04-04  Benjamin Lau: 1. d4 is more accurately described as flexible IMO. You have several plans you can pursue in the Queen’s Gambit for instance- the minority attack on the queenside (Rb1, Qb3, b4, a4, b5, etc), the central push (Bd3, e3, f3, Rae1, Ng3, e4, etc), and the kingside attack with (Bg5, Bc2, Qd3, Ne5, f4, Rf3, Rh4), etc. The diverse options allow for a wide range of players to express their personalities, it has little to do IMO with the opening itself and more to do with the player... Look at the games of Pillsbury, Kasparov, and Marshall, they dispel any such myth of the non-attacking 1. d4 player.

Some examples:

Queenside expansion:
Smyslov vs Keres, 1948
Reshevsky vs George N Treysman, 1936

Central play:
Botvinnik vs Keres, 1952

Kingside attack:
Pillsbury vs Winawer, 1896
Vaganian vs G Forintos, 1975

Apr-04-04  BiLL RobeRTiE: Well said. In d4 openings you choose the plan, in e4 openings, plan chooses you!
Apr-05-04  ConLaMismaMano: I can't play with white other thing than d4...but with black when they play me e4, i reply with French, Pirc, Caro Kann, or Robatsch.
Sep-11-04  refutor: i like the semi-slav, but not a big fan of the meran system (as Black). can anyone recommend something to play after 5. e3? i was thinking about going to some type of grünfeld structure with 5. ...g6 but that really weakens the dark squares against the king? any serious suggestions?

on the other hand levenfish *beat* botwinnik with a system involving ...c6, ...e6, ...g6 in Botvinnik vs Levenfish, 1937 maybe it's not as weak as i'm imagining?

Sep-11-04  Dudley: <refutor> In Soltis' "Pawn Structure Chess" he goes into some detail about the semi-slav and covers lines that do not include the typical Meran system method of taking the pawn and then hitting the bishop with ...b5 when it recaptures. The old fashioned way to play it was to position Black's KB on d6, Nbd7,e6 and wait until White pushes e4, then dxc4 followed by an e5 push by Black, just like a Colle system. I'm sure it doesn't work as well as it does a tempo up for White, but Chiorgan (sp)seemed to like it. There is a lot of coverage of this and similar lines on the Exeter chess club website. I have played the other system you mentioned with ..g6 and it is a little hard to handle-takes some study.
Sep-13-04  Dudley: Next time just use the opening explorer.
Apr-18-05  zorro: Why is 5...Bd6 never played instead of 5...Nbd7? Black could postpone Nbd7 in favour of 0-0, for instance, with 5...Bd6 and 6...0-0 aiming at normal main line but sidestepping among others 5...Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. g4. But since this is never played I suspect there must be some problem. Do you know it?
Sep-09-05  Kwesi: Hi guys - I would just like to know what you guys think of the <other> anti meran gambit 7. g4!? I saw this variation in a book only recently and below is the first time I have tried it in a game, so I don't know any theory on it. Any comments, suggestions, tips etc. would be much appreciated. Thanks very much in advance.

Here is the game:

;Title: Yahoo! Chess Game
;White: kwesi_quest
;Black: krsnq_sbt
;Date: Mon Sep 05 21:57:42 GMT 2005

1. d4 d5
2. c4 c6
3. Nf3 Nf6
4. Nc3 e6
5. e3 Nd7
6. Qc2 Bd6
7. g4!? Nxg4
8. Rg1 h5
9. h3 Qf6
10. Be2 Nh2
11. Nxh2 Bxh2
12. Rg2 Bd6
13. cxd5 exd5
14. Qd3 Nb6
15. e4 dxe4
16. Nxe4 Bb4+
17. Bd2 Bxd2+
18. Qxd2 Qe7
19. Nc5 g6
20. O-O-O Bf5
21. Re1 Qf6
22. Nxb7 Be6
23. Ba6 O-O
24. Qh6 Bxh3
25. Rg5 Nd5
26. Qxh5 Qf4+
27. Kb1 Bf5+
28. Ka1 Nb4
29. Rh1? Nc2+
30. Kb1 Ne1+
31. Ka1 Qc1#

Sep-09-05  azaris: <Kwesi> Lethal in practical play, though someone will arrive shortly and claim to have refuted it with a two-mover.
Sep-09-05  Kwesi: And also, does this gambit have a name?
Nov-11-05  iyutan: <Kwesi> if i'm not mistaken i believe it's called shirov-shabalov variation (7.g4), invented by alexander shabalov. notable practicioners are shirov, gelfand, radjabov, & kasparov.
Nov-27-05  alicefujimori: Being a Semi-Slav player myself I must admit that 7.g4 is indeed quite difficult to meet OTB if you don't know what you're doing. The fact that some good opening books even concluded that all lines at least give White a slight advantage is even more discouraging for Black. (eg NCO,The Complete Semi-Slav)

However, 7.g4 isn't that troublesome that should make Black lose endless sleep on. After quite some studying on this line I reckoned that the best way for Black to meet 7.g4 is to play 7...dxc4 followed by active play in the centre. There are some games in the database that shows how this could be done. (eg.Shirov and Gormally's games)

Aug-04-06  gambitfan: Don't we have the wrong move order with this :

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Nf3 c6 5 e3 Nbd7

after : 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 then 3 cd ed 4 Nc3 Nf6 5 Bg5 Be7... and this is very favourable for White...

The right move order seems for me to be :

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 Nc3 c6 5 e3 Nbd7

Jan-10-07  ganstaman: After 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 c6 5. e3 Nbd7, 6. Qc2 gets played a lot. It's not a move I think I would make if I didn't know that it was part of the theory (I'd want to develop my bishops first, something like 6. Bd3 which is also theory). So what exactly is gained by putting the queen there? Is it to help an eventual e4 push? Does it do good things on the c-file? Just preparation for 0-0-0?

Here's a game I played as white against a somewhat weak computer. I'm almost certain it missed some moves, but I'm currently having problems getting a stronger computer working so that I can evaluate the game.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 c6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bb4 7. Bd2 O-O 8. g4 <(I was afraid I wouldn't get in this gambit when it played 6...Bb4, but now that it castled, I feel it's even more justified.)> Nxg4 9. Rg1 f5 <(Hmmm. It protects the knight and blocks off the b1-h7 diagonal, but it weakens the kingside, especially e6.)> 10. h3 Ngf6 11. O-O-O Qc7 <(? I don't know what this does. Later, I can somewhat exploit this awkwardly placed queen as it is unprotected and not all that useful.)> 12. Ne2 a5 13. Nf4 Nb8 14. cxd5 Nxd5 15. Nh5 g6 16. Bc4 Nd7 17. Bxd5 exd5 18. Nh4 Nb6 19. Nxg6

click for larger view

<(Seemed like a good enough time for me. Is it actually a sound knight sac? I'm almost positive black misses some stronger defensive moves, but where?)> 19...Bxd2+ 20. Kxd2 Nc4+ 21. Kc1 hxg6 22. Rxg6+ Kh7 23. Rdg1 Qd8 24. Nf4 Rf6 25. Qe2 Rxg6 26. Qh5+ Kg7 27. Rxg6+ Kf8 28. Qh8+ Ke7 29. Qh7+ Ke8 30. Rg8#

Mar-26-08  Knight13: Seriously, every time I go look at a beginner's board in a chess tournament playing 1. d4 this is like always the resultant opening.
Jul-18-09  nummerzwei: <zorro: Why is 5...Bd6 never played instead of 5...Nbd7? Black could postpone Nbd7 in favour of 0-0, for instance, with 5...Bd6 and 6...0-0 aiming at normal main line but sidestepping among others 5...Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. g4. But since this is never played I suspect there must be some problem. Do you know it?> There's no refutation of 5...Bd6, but after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Bd6 I like to play 6.Ne5!and if 6...Nbd7 7.f4.
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