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Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran (D48)
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Nf3 c6 5 e3 Nbd7 6 Bd3 dxc4
7 Bxc4 b5 8 Bd3 a6

Number of games in database: 650
Years covered: 1906 to 2014
Overall record:
   White wins 36.3%
   Black wins 28.9%
   Draws 34.8%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Svetozar Gligoric  17 games
Valery A Chekhov  10 games
Viktor Korchnoi  10 games
Dusko Pavasovic  9 games
Milan Vidmar  9 games
A J Whiteley  7 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Karpov vs Kramnik, 1994
Karpov vs Tal, 1980
Nakamura vs A J Goldsby, 2003
B Molinari vs L Roux Cabral, 1943
H Geiger vs W Wurm, 1930
Gruenfeld vs Rubinstein, 1924
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 page 1 of 26; games 1-25 of 650  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Schlechter vs J Perlis 1-039 1906 OstendD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
2. Vidmar vs W John  1-056 1914 MannheimD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
3. Capablanca vs O Bernstein ½-½30 1914 Moscow gameD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
4. E Straat vs Euwe  0-130 1923 AmsterdamD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
5. Colle vs Euwe 1-060 1924 Zutphen m ,HCL 28D48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
6. R Grau vs Euwe 1-047 1924 Paris prel-3 ;HCL 33D48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
7. Gruenfeld vs Rubinstein 0-136 1924 MeranoD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
8. Ed. Lasker vs Tartakower 1-036 1924 New YorkD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
9. Spielmann vs Gruenfeld 0-144 1924 MeranoD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
10. N Banks vs N Whitaker  ½-½57 1924 Western ChampionshipD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
11. A J Mackenzie vs Euwe  0-137 1924 WestonD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
12. I Rabinovich vs S Rosselli del Turco  1-032 1925 Baden-BadenD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
13. Alekhine vs J W te Kolste 1-025 1925 Baden-BadenD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
14. Alekhine vs W Grigorieff  1-043 1925 Geneva simulD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
15. Botvinnik vs J Rabinovich ½-½50 1926 RussiaD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
16. Vidmar vs R P Michell  1-039 1926 Hastings 1925/26D48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
17. Vidmar vs J A Seitz  1-038 1926 Hastings 1925/26D48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
18. B Hoenlinger vs Lokvenc  ½-½31 1926 DSV KongressD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
19. Colle vs G A Thomas  0-149 1927 LondonD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
20. A Vajda vs L Asztalos  1-043 1927 1st olm finalD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
21. R Grau vs G A Thomas  0-126 1927 1st olm finalD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
22. G Nagy vs G Kroone  0-153 1927 1st olm finalD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
23. S Von Freymann vs Y Vilner  1-040 1927 USSR ChampionshipD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
24. K Ruben vs D Marotti  1-039 1928 OlympiadD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
25. M Brody vs E Voellmy  1-034 1928 OlympiadD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
 page 1 of 26; games 1-25 of 650  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-18-04  ruylopez900: I'd have to agree with Calchexas, the Gruenfeld v. Rubenstein game took place in Merano, Meran is porbably is the english version of Merano.
Apr-18-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: Yes. Meran/Merano was btw also the place where WC match Karpov-Korchnoi was played in 1981.
Apr-19-04  Vischer: i think I've solved the Sicilian thingy!<Vischer: why is the sicilian called the sicilian? Was it first introduced in Sicily, or by Sicilian players? > here's some kibitzing from the Anthony Greco page:

<Mar-06-03
Spitecheck: Any relation to the 1620's dude?

Mar-06-03
aulero: I doubt, Greco (that means Greek) is a common name in the South of Italy. Gioacchino Greco - the "dude" - was born in Calabria (the most southern Italian land, just above the Sicily that - as all of you know - is an island)

Mar-06-03
AgentRgent: Ok, is he any relation to Richard Greco then?

>
aulero said <Gioacchino Greco - the "dude" - was born in Calabria (the most southern Italian land, just above the <Sicily> that - as all of you know - is an island) > and Greco was one of the first to play the sicilian.
Thanks aulero.

May-14-04  Dillinger: it's called the sicilian defense because it's an offer you can't refuse...
May-14-04  Lawrence: <dilli>, lol, wonderful!
May-14-04  Dudley: <Dillinger> is correct, the opening was starting to be played more frequently in the 20s and 30s, the golden age of organized crime in America. Since the Siciian is a fighting, aggressive defense, someone tagged it with that handle.
May-14-04  square dance: the move 1...c5 was a common response to 1.e4 in sicily at some early point in chess history. i have read that somewhere for sure, but i cannot remember where. it sure seems to fit in with the names of many openings/defenses i.e. the english, the spanish, the french defense, the italian game, the slav, the polish (attack or defense), etc.
Sep-01-04  joeyam30: what is meran?...
Jun-23-05  dragon40: This is an open question and Id really like it answered if possible; Being a D pawn player, I face this opening time to time...WHY is it that in most cases, the (Whites players) King's Bishop goes back to D3 after being chased by ...b5?! In some cases, Bb3 looks to be just as strong to me, but most manuals just go through this to the heart of the opening without explaining why Bd3 is superior to BBb3. I have posted before and most people know how I like to understand the moves and WHY they are playedm, and not just blindly follow conventioonal moves without knowing the reason? Any imnformation that I could get would be greatly appreciated and valued:)

Even Matthew Sadler's excellent <The Semi-Slav> does not explain why the move Bd3 is preferred,which is about the only thing he does not painstakingly explained and analyzed in this excellent book!

Jun-23-05  ksadler: I think the reason is that the a2-f7 diagonal is fairly congested, so even if Bb3 is played, .. Bc2 will come later on either at White's leisure of by Black playing .. a5 right away. That square (c2) is normally reserved for the Queen, or left open so that a rook can control the c-file.
Jun-23-05  dragon40: <kasdler> Thanks, I kind of thought that was the reason, but it is nice to know for sure...because I have retreated the Bishop back to B3 before..never got allot out of it but time off the other person's clock and a little thought from my opponent.

Oh yes, I love your website also, by the way..I visit there often :) Its good work ! The Meran/Semi-slav is not a bad opening for black, although lately is is not played as much as it was in the 80's and 90's, but if White isnt familiar with some of its pitfalls, it makes a nice fast victory for the black pieces!

Jun-24-05  ksadler: <Oh yes, I love your website also, by the way..I visit there often :) Its good work !> Thanks a lot!
Jul-24-05  PinkPanther: Meran is short for Meraner, which I believe is a city or something, not a person. And <dragon40> I believe Bd3 is preferred because it keeps the bishop on a slightly more active diagonal and bolsters the e4 pawn push by white.
Nov-13-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bishoprick: Meran Defense is named after the city of Merano, I believe in Italy, site of a strong tournament, in which it first occurred in the 1920's.
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

Oct-01-06  Scarecrow: I wonder why 10. - Ng4 is so rarely played after 9. e4 c5 10. e5 starting from the position at the top of the page. According to the Opening Explorer, which I know I shouldn't trust blindly, the move scores well and was last beaten in 1950. It's not like there's a clear refutation (or at least not in this database).
Jan-12-07  Elixir of Life: I have a question for everyone: is the Meran really that effective against black? Why will GMs continue playing the Semi-slav if there is the Meran?
Jan-12-07  Zebra: As far as I know it is more a variation played <by> black than against him. If white doesn't like it, there are "anti-Meran" variations which sidestep it.
Jan-12-07  Elixir of Life: I still don't understand why it is a defence played by black. How can black play the semi-slav while side-stepping the Meran?
Jan-12-07  Zebra: <dragon40: Even Matthew Sadler's excellent <The Semi-Slav> does not explain why the move Bd3 is preferred,which is about the only thing he does not painstakingly explained and analyzed in this excellent book!>

Right, that chapter is a bit thin, he doesn't say much about Be2 either. To me, both these "alternative" retreats make ...b4 more tempting for black, as the knight can't go to e4. But I am only a beginner - any other offers?

Jan-12-07  Zebra: <Elixir> If black plays the Semi-Slav, white has a choice between (a) e3, or (b) anything else, usually Bg5. The Meran is the most popular continuation after e3, though both sides still have opportunities to avoid it.
Jan-12-07  Elixir of Life: Thanks, Zebra!
Mar-11-07  WTHarvey: Here are some winning combinations from Meran miniatures: http://www.wtharvey.com/d48.html
Oct-17-09  deputy1: I am playing a game as black with Mark 5 on the ChessWorld.net website. Here are the moves
1 d4 d5 Nf3 e6 3 e3 c6 4 c4 Nf6 5 Nc3 Nbd7 6 Bd3 dxc4 7 Bxc4 b5: Any suggestions would be welcome. Thank you
Jan-16-12  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Semi-Slav, Meran
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 a6


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