Need sure points? Queen’s Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation Edition

The Exchange Variation is without doubt one of White’s best weapons versus the popular Slav Defense. By creating a symmetrical position with an extra tempo, White keeps Black’s counter play to a minimum while developing positional pressure
Silman and Donaldson

I am going to acknowledge the elephant in the room by saying this variation is one of the best to get a draw. There is very little going on. In the absence of sharp, tactical lines White relies on the advantage of the first move and positional play. Becoming a good positional player is hard because it requires deeper chess understanding. If Black is a weaker player in search of a safe draw, positional play could be a hard proposition. GM Alexey Dreev is an advocate for playing it in his book “Bf4 in the Queen’s Gambit and the Exchange Slav” published in July 2016.

If the players are from the top echelon, reaching a draw can happen very fast. There are two ways of doing it: a pretty even position with no weaknesses for either side, or threefold repetitions. A few organizers have tried to stop such draws before a minimum number of moves have been played. That seems forced to me. This variation can be played for 20+ moves if needed to reach the threshold and then get the desired draw.

Below I have selected 3 games that illustrate how easy is to get a draw here. It is good to know it just in case, plus it is not hard to learn.
The obvious:

A small positional advantage:

The threefold repetition:

Eugen Demian

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Valer Eugen Demian

Author: Valer Eugen Demian

The player – my first serious chess tournament was back in 1974, a little bit late for today’s standards. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play all forms of chess from OTB to postal, email and server chess. The journey as a player brought me a lot of experience and a few titles along the way: FIDE CM (2012), ICCF IM (2001) and one ICCF SIM norm (2004). The instructor – my career as a chess teacher and coach started in 1994 and continues strong. I have been awarded the FIDE Instructor title (2007) for my work and have been blessed with great students reaching the highest levels (CYCC, NAYCCC, Pan-Am, WYCC). I am very proud of them! See my website for more information. I have developed my own chess curriculum on 6 levels based on my overall chess knowledge and hands-on experience. A glimpse of it can be seen in my first chess app:
I can help you learn chess the proper way if this is what you seek! View all posts by Valer Eugen Demian

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