The Complete Semi-Slav Part 1: The Classical Meran (8…a6) | Chess Openings Explained

Jonathan Schrantz tours through the Semi-Slav Defense. In Part 1, we look at the Meran Variation with 8…a6.

Yuri Hambardzumian vs. Denis Khismatullin, 2015: D49 Queen’s Gambit Declined semi-Slav, Meran, Blumenfeld variation


  1. This is fabulous clear and insightful. Thank you Jonathan Schrantz, I don't know a better Youtube chess presenter.

  2. What software do you use in your lectures?

  3. Why is the semi-Slav called the "Semi" -Slav?

  4. for the last problem i found an elegant solution: f4, and then there s no defens against Rh4

  5. What other longer, multi-part series are there? I don't see any "The Complete [x]", so I'm guessing they're under a more vague title?

  6. petrov defense please, I'm told it's a tactically rich opening but I only know the boring variation

  7. beautiful explaination sir…thanks

  8. sir..which line is best for black ??classical meran modern meran??

  9. my favorite quote from this lecture "with so many queens on the board" XD

  10. Wow i was having trouble while playing as black in queen's gambit but it is very great opening.Thanks for the lecture!!!

  11. Thank you for covering all this content Mr. Schrantz. I would, however, like to see a part 11 covering miscellaneous yet very annoying moves like an early 6… a6 in the Meran lines. Example: 6. Bd3 a6 7. O-O?! dxc4 8. Bxc4 b5 9. Be2. Here I felt this followed the definition of 'slow' lines you covered in part 1 and it seems as if white is a tempo down in the theory as if I wasted my ninth move not playing e4.

  12. I can't make it out – what was the game that he referred to in the last section of the video?

  13. The man is surprise we love the longer series! You think everybody loves blitz Chess Mr. Shrantz. We love classical long lectures and we learn even more.

  14. Great Teacher, very nice explanation. Thanks a lot

  15. Great vid, I'll see the others parts!
    Another funny way to play at 34.08 is b4 (suggested by engine, I would have tried Be3 by myself) even if it's lost, it's sharp & crazy!
    I'm also suggesting to have the Dutch Leningrad variation.
    Thanks Sir!

  16. Thank you for taking the time preparing this excellent presentation from an experienced and talented instructor.

  17. Really enjoyed this! You got noticeably more comfortable and loose as the video went on – I love the Slav, so much dynamism and imbalance

  18. I love this series before this series i didn't know at all how to play the semi-slav and know i love playing it as white or black this guy is like the best teacher

  19. u look half asleep at the beginning 😉

  20. Can't wait to pay 180 dollars for this on chessable


  22. it's not pronounced note-boom, it's more like note-uh-bo-uh-m 🙂

  23. The Slav has always intimidated me (based on reputation mostly). I was warned against it early on in my (limited) chess education, but this was a very good introduction.

    Maybe I'll give it a try some time.

  24. d4 d5 ,c4 c6,Nf3 e6,Nc3 Nf6,Bg5 Be7,e3 Nbd7,Be2 dxc4,Bxc4 b5,Bb3 Bb7,o-o c5,Qe2 c4, do you have such a game

  25. I've finished this session of part 1 _ the Semi-Slav, and it is really intense for me. Using two boards one for the main line and smaller one for the side analysis and example games. It takes me more time than the actual video length, but I have deeply moved through the theories. One lesson per week, this would be my PLAN !!

  26. Can I please request a video on the bird?

  27. Didn’t know this was an opening, but I’ve apparently been playing it as black the past couple months just through experimentation!

  28. Wow.. 8 lectures on only semi slav. I'm happy and overwhelmed at the same time!!!


  30. Can anyone please recommend a pdf or website which has all the lines?

    Also what if white plays 5.bf4?

  31. 19:34 nobody in the chat fact checked this? Bent Larsen did in fact play 8…Bb7 in game four (Larsen – Uhlmann Candidates quarterfinals 1971)

  32. The pace is so much more natural at 1.5x speed :)) Love your videos, thanks.

  33. You've become my favorite YouTube chess instructor. Can't wait to learn this series from you!

  34. I found Qd4 in the end, but then got frustrated because she can still block the rook. Come on, how did I not see bishop takes queen first, then rook over?

  35. @44:05 can black play e5 and renews the threat of Rh6 mate instead of Qd4?

  36. Slav Defense: Exchange Variation, 3…cxd5
    1. c3 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. cxd4 d5 4. g3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bf5 6. Nc3 Nf6 7. Qb3 Qd7 8. Ne5
    Nxe5 9. dxe5 Ne4 10. Nxe4 Bxe4 11. f3 Bg6 12. e4 O-O-O 13. Bb5 Qc7 14. e6 fxe6
    15. Bf4 e5 16. Rc1 exf4 17. Rxc7+ Kxc7 18. O-O 1-0

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