ChessGoals Dynamic Slav Course

ChessGoals Dynamic Slav Course by National Master Matt Jensen and Adult Learner Jesse Buss

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Similar lines and themes are repeated across chapters and variations


Each line leaves you with a plan, without going too deep into the weeds

No GM Games

Based on lines we expect you to see in games against non-masters

Common Traps

Common mistakes you may see, and how to punish them


We study openings too much. Way too much.

So why did we make an opening course? Let me explain our reasoning.

We surveyed hundreds of chess players. Those who improved the most studied openings using just 5% of their total chess time. We made this repertoire to get you to 5%.

This repertoire is a complete defense against everything except 1.e4. In just 90 lines.

There is no reason to spend hours and hours memorizing opening lines you will never see. We’ve all been there. Studying line 400 of a 1000+ line opening repertoire and wondering if we’ll ever use it. Wondering if our time isn’t spent better somewhere else.

90 Lines

We condensed everything you will see into just 90 lines. The Slav takes time to learn, but you can review it in under an hour.

Just 90 lines? Won’t you miss out on essential traps, novelties and gotchyas? Yes and no.

We’re going to be recommending offbeat lines. We often recommend strange looking moves that are 4th or 5th most popular. We will get white out of book before we are.


Since we have fewer lines, we focus heavily on resulting plans.

After each and every line we leave you with a plan. You will never be left in the dark. You will know the best places to put your pieces and how to navigate the middlegame.

Our recommendations are very consistent and you will see many common plans, ideas, and motifs. If you forget a repertoire move in your games– don’t worry. It will be easy to recover. You will know the ideas behind the position.

The best part? This Slav repertoire scores better than most other defenses at the club level. We’ll show you exactly why.

What do you get?

You will receive a .pgn file with the entire repertoire. It has 14,000 words of instruction. You will also get over 8 hours of video. Delivered instantly to your inbox.

You will get lifetime access to our premium discord. If you have any questions, a line doesn’t make sense, or you just want to hang out- join 100+ other chess improvers in our discord. You’ll get clarity in minutes.


Chapter Summary

  1. Semi-Slav: Noteboom Variation
  2. Semi-Slav: Marshall Gambit
  3. Queen’s Gambit Declined: Exchange
  4. Dutch Stonewall & Catalan Attempt
  5. Slav Exchange
  6. London System
  7. Other Queen’s Pawn Systems
  8. Reti (1.Nf3)
  9. English (1.c4)
  10. Other 1st Moves

BONUS Caro-Kann Panov chapter PGN. This will have you covered after the 1.c4 c6 2.e4 move-order.

Included With Your Course


Videos of Matt and Jesse covering the 10 most popular lines in each chapter (35-60 minutes each). Lower-priced option to purchase without videos is available.

PGN File

PGN file of all variations and annotations with instructions on how to view them with chess software and websites.

ChessGoals Discord

Discuss the Slav Course, study plans, chess improvement, and more. Matt and Jesse answer your questions.

Bonus Material

As we add content and bonus material, you will receive lifetime updates!

Chapter Guide

Chapter 1: Semi-Slav Noteboom Variation


We will face the Noteboom when White starts with d4, c4, Nc3 and Nf3. Capturing the pawn on c4 and hanging onto it until we can gain passed pawns on the queenside.

The Noteboom is a dynamic system that fits the theme of the course. We have great winning chances with the a- and b-pawns running up the board. We will also fight for center control by keeping control of e4 with the minor pieces and sometimes the f-pawn.

Chapter 2: Semi-Slav Marshall Gambit


After 3.Nc3 e6, White can play aggressively with 4.e4. This is a tactical variation with many traps and long theoretical lines. Possibly the best option for White to test the triangle setup. 

We recommend capturing on e4 and going for the initiative. This chapter will navigate you through the murky waters as you press the opponent to make their own mistakes. The most theoretical chapter, but a fun one nonetheless!

Chapter 2 Preview

Chapter 3: Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange

There are a few move orders where White can capture our d5-pawn after the triangle setup has been established. In these cases, we’d like to recapture with the e-pawn to free the light-squared bishop.

Our QGD Exchange recommendations are not your typical dry lines leading to drawish positions. We recommend an early Qb6 in many cases, posing some early questions for our opponent.

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Chapter 4: Dutch Stonewall & Catalan Attempt


This chapter is broken into two sections. Queen’s Pawn Games and Catalan-style setups. Against the Queen Pawn Games, we will employ the Dutch Stonewall Defense. The plan is to lock up the center and play for a kingside attack!

When White goes for an early kingside fianchetto after playing c4, we will usually grab that free pawn and hold onto while getting the pieces developed.

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Chapter 5: Slav Exchange

After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.cxd5, we enter the Slav Exchange Variation. Known for being one of the most drawish variations in chess, I searched for some dynamic systems.

We are going to surprise our opponents with an early e5, or sometimes f6 followed by e5, depending on White’s move-order. These lines offer us the chance to play for the initiative against opponents who are looking for a quiet game.

Chapter 5 Preview

Chapter 6: London System


Probably the most popular system-based opening. The London System has skyrocketed in popularity at the club level, and with our offbeat line you can surprise your opponents.

We are recommending a system with Bd6 and Qe7, delaying the advancement of the c-pawn. There are some tricks for White to watch out for with …Bxg3 an …Qb4+. We are also looking to control center space by playing …e5.

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Chapter 7: Other Queen's Pawn Systems

Queen's Pawn Game

This chapter covers deviations after 1.d4 d5 that aren’t covered in previous chapters.

For the most part, we will look to transpose into other chapters or play the Stonewall Dutch setup.

After reviewing this chapter, know that you will be covered and ready for any transpositions that may occur.

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Chapter 8: Reti (1.Nf3)


This chapter will cover the King’s Indian Attack and other Reti-systems like the Anti-Slav (1.Nf3 2.c4). Our goal in this chapter is to take whatever White gives us. When we can gain a space advantage or engine advantage, we will gladly accept!

1.Nf3 can be a confusing move to face, but we will navigate through the lines and various transpositions that can occur.

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Chapter 9: English (1.c4)


Whole books have be written on the English. Fortunately, we can avoid a lot of unique theory by playing 1…c6 with likely transpositions to the other chapters.

In this chapter we will mention the transpositions and focus most of our attention on the lines that don’t transpose. Typically these are lines without d4 being played by White.

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Chapter 10: Other First Moves

We’ve got everything else you are likely to face on move one in this chapter! The full list of first moves is displayed on the left. Nimzo-Larsen, Grob, Orangutan, Bird’s Opening, and more.

We work though solid and easy-to-learn setups for these rare defenses. And as always, we mention common transpositions.

Chapter 10 Preview