Slav Triangle: The Fighting Noteboom Variation – IM Robert Ris (iChess Club)

One of the most aggressive ways for Black to win against 1.d4 is with the Slav Triangle system. The Noteboom Variation (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 cxd4), in particular, leads to double-edged positions and many endgames with a piece against two connected passed pawns.

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Slav Triangle: Noteboom Variation tabiya
Noteboom Variation tabiya

All chess openings involve give-and-take and the Noteboom Variation is no exception to this rule.

In the Noteboom Variation, Black restricts his light-squared bishop, delays his development, and surrenders central control to White.

In return, Black grabs the c4-pawn. He then protects it with b5 and asks White to prove he has compensation for the pawn. Black will also usually gain two outside connected passed pawns.

A strong pawn push for Black is the ..c5 advance, which frees the light-squared bishop. After the c-pawn push, Black obtains great counter chances along the a8-h1 diagonal.

Always keep in mind when the queen is attacked on b6, Black can often gain a tempo with …Qc6, threatening checkmate on g2.

The cut-and-thrust between the two sides adds to the excitement of this opening.

The Slav Triangle Noteboom Variation is Not One-Way Traffic for Black

Black must respect the White position because it’s a position that is as good as it looks on the surface.

Giving up central control and handing White the bishop pair advantage is a lot. Many chess players would gladly play the White side of the Slav Triangle Noteboom Variation.

Because White will find himself at a disadvantage in many of the Noteboom Variation endgames, he must make use of his advantage soon.

A dynamic central advantage loses a lot of its power if it isn’t advancing. Advancing the central pawns will aid the bishops, which thrive in an open position.

Final Thoughts

Dynamic piece play and many tactical opportunities in a chess opening add a lot of excitement to the game. Black cannot realistically expect to get excellent winning chances without creating double-edged positions.

Fortunately for Black, the concessions he makes in the Slav Triangle Noteboom Variation are incredibly enticing, and White will often gladly take up the challenge. Obtaining two connected, outside passed pawns within the first fifteen moves doesn’t usually happen for Black.

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