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The Triangle System

The recent publication of Russian Grandmaster Ruslan Scherbakov’s The Triangle System: Noteboom, Marshall Gambit and other Semi-Slav Triangle Lines is an excellent example of what happens when you pair up a knowledgeable and hardworking Grandmaster with modern technology – this sort of book could not have been written twenty years ago. The triangle title of this book refers to Black placing his pawns on …d5, …e6 and …c6 on the first three moves against 1.d4, 2.c4 and either 3.Nc3 or 3.Nf3. This branch of the Semi-Slav is distinct from the Botvinnik System (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 5.Bg5 dxc4) and Meran (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5) in that Black temporary delays the development of his king knight. This little nuance leads to two very sharp systems in their own right, namely the Noteboom (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 dxc4) and the Marshall Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Qxd4).