Some years ago I tried to learn to play the Slav Defense as Black. There was too much material, and I decided to focus only on the Chebanenko line. It did not work well, but this had nothing to do with the opening. Opening tastes depend on the particular style of the player. At that time the leading specialists in the line were G. Kamsky, V. Malakhov, S. Movsesian, E. Bacrot, S.Volkov, Vl.Burmakin, my compatriots Vl.Georgiev and A. Stefanova, and the German GM L. Kritz.
A couple of years ago when working with Antoaneta Stefanova I discovered that the driving forces behind the line were still those players, and that the state of the line is stable. Therefore, when seeing the new 60-Minute video on the Chebanenko Slav, I was quite excited.
One would expect that a strong GM would hide some of his ideas from his main repertoire, however, this is not the case with Leonid Kritz.
A clip from Leonid Kritz's 60-minute tutorial on the Chebanenko Slav
In four clips he shows the subtleties of the line and gives the essential minimum that the Black player needs to survive White’s main plans.
The variations covered are:
2) 5.e3 in conjunction with the move 4.Nc3
3) 4.e3, the modern treatment, with the delay of the queenside knight’s development. In this line White usually develops the knight with Nb1-d2, and tries to exert pressure in the center with Nf3-e5 in the proper moment.
4) 5.c5 which was supposed to be the main line some years ago. Here, the suggested plan starts with the move 5…Bf5, in conjunction with the quick Nf6-h5 maneuver. This is a line which Kritz plays regularly as Black.
The explanations of the ideas are presented in a very neat way, and what is more valuable is that at the end of each line, Kritz also points what the future plan of the second player will be. Another good point is the knowledge of the piece strength in each particular line, and the German GM explains which pieces should be left on the board and why.
Certainly, 60 Minutes will not be enough for you to fully understand and learn the Chebanenko Slav, and a lot of additional work will be required. However after seeing the videos you will know in which direction to seek, and which games to study.
My assessment for this product: very good!
Countering with the Chebanenko Slav in 60 minutes can be purchased in the Chessbase Shop.