“Dad, why is my sister named Rose?
Because your mother loves roses.
No problem, Slav Defense Wiesbaden Variation”
I can compare the Slav Defense with a mined field. You look around in front of you and nothing seems out of the ordinary. However, you can feel the danger lingering in the air, ready to reveal its unexpected surprises when you feel out of the woods. I always approached it with care in general, and even more so this variation.
I saw it for the first time when I was a junior. The initial impression was that someone is playing a joke on me/ us, showing a losing line as playable to collect points from those of us who believed it works. That was part of being competitive and learning the hard way that our peers were nice in private but ruthless on the chess board. To this day I still have in my old booklets an incredible analysis in Grunfeld with an incorrect piece sacrifice. It was given to me by a couple of my peers during an OTB tournament, labelled as the “latest novelty from the national team” I must play. Luckily my third sense stopped me from falling for it at the time.
The Wiesbaden variation is very sharp. The hidden mine is in the center of the chessboard. It is activated when Black sacrifices a piece to blow up White’s pawn center. White feels incapable to stop the incoming attack. What can be more humiliating than being miniaturized (beaten in less than 20 moves)? On the Black side the fear is the attack will fail and the pawns you have in exchange for the sacrificed piece will be stopped and captured in the long run. That is not my cup of tea either.
The truth is this variation is pretty much forced. If you know it, you have nothing to worry about. A draw is in your pocket as you can see in below two samples. If you play the Slav Defense you must know it. Feel free to add your own annotations as you learn it.