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The dangerous Shabalov Attack vs the Semi-Slav gets Alphazero's seal of approval

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The Semi-Slav defence is a tough nut to crack but there is an exciting early attack to use as this featured game shows

Hi all

Some openings are tougher nuts to crack than others. The Semi-Slav is a very solid opening popular still at the Super-GM level for good reason. It is harder often to beat it than say the more dynamic openings like the King's Indian Defence. I sometimes feel personally I should be playing more solid openings but when I do play them, there is still a lot of dangerous territory to prepare against - and the "Shabalov attack" is one of those territories.

This game shows the "Shabalov attack" which is not too shabby - gives White quite a dynamic exciting game with opposite side casting fun. The book moves of this game are from TCEC - and allows us to research opening territory using the latest technology.

The game starts with the Semi-Slav defence

The Shabalov Attack with g4

A fun opposite side casting game

This is the thing with chess - if people using boring obnoxious openings in general there are still often creative ways to spice the game up. The Shabalov attack is one of them.

The dark square bishop is preserved - can it have great potential later?

An interesting pawn sacrifice

White looks to have good compensation

A very dangerous Bishop manoever to the "diagonal of death" a2-g8

Impressive Bishop crossfire

The Knight is basically forced to go to e3 because on Ne5, the e5 point tends to become too weak

Final position

Video Annotation

Key takeaway points

  • The Shabalov Attack is an interesting way to spice things up against the Semi-Slav Defence
  • Opposite-side casting games are a lot of fun
  • The early g4 is cropping up in many modern opening variations in recent years
  • Attacking dynamic chess is again demonstrated by Alphazero

I hope you enjoyed this blog :). Any likes and follows are really appreciated. Also, I also have some interesting chess courses at to check out.
Cheers, K