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Kevin Bonham
17-04-2004, 08:31 PM
Don't know if anyone else here has any interest at all in my pet system but I thought I'd post this anyway and see if I got any useful comments of any kind. (Also someone might be able to help me with database games.)

I have a number of sources of theory on these lines and NCO is by far the most detailed of them. It's the only one that includes 20.Bd3 (which my copy of Fritz usually plays) as an alternative to the standard 20.Nxf3 Bg4 21.Nxd4 Bxd1 22.Raxd1 Kxh7 etc generally evaluated as equal or unclear. NCO gives the following: 20.Bd3!? Bg4 21.Qc1 Qf8! 22.Qe3 Re8 23.h3 Bh5 "with compensation". This seems about right as after 24.Nxf3 Nxf3 the best Fritz has been able to find for White is something like 25.Rg1 Rxe5 26.Qxa7 Nxg1 etc which ends up just a shade better for Black. In one game it played 25.Bb1?? and got slaughtered.

Today I thought I'd try another move for Black, 23...Rxe5, and after a few failures everything clicked (see game). I'm pretty sure the goose is in the pot from say move 30 on, so are there any equalising improvements for White over moves 21-29? I've looked at all kinds of lines and I've found better than what White played, but no completely satisfactory alternative for White after 20.Bd3 yet. The impression I am getting is that 20.Bd3 could be goosemeat. =/+ or thereabouts. Avoid.

Any comments? Anyone know anyone who works on this line? Anyone got any databased games with 20.Bd3(tenatively ?!) for me to look at?

Fritz 6 (2741) - Bonham,K (2212) [C06]
Level=Blitz:4'+2". Fat City, 17.04.2004

16MB, spare.ctg. HPPAV
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.0-0 0-0 12.Bf4 Bxf4 13.Nxf4 Ne4 14.Ne2 Rxf3 15.gxf3 Ng5 16.Kh1 e5 17.dxe5 Nxf3 18.Bxh7+ Kh8 19.Ng1 Ncd4 20.Bd3 Bg4 21.Qc1 Qf8 22.Qe3 Re8 23.h3 Rxe5 24.hxg4 g5 25.Kg2 Rxe3 26.fxe3 Nh4+ 27.Kh3 Qe7 28.Rae1 Nc6 29.Re2 Ne5 30.Bb1 Qe6 31.Bf5 Qh6 32.Kg3 Nxf5+ 33.gxf5 Qh4+ 34.Kg2 Qe4+ 35.Kg3 Kg7 36.f6+ Kf8 37.b3 Ng4 38.Rf3 Nh6 39.Kf2 Nf5 40.Nh3 Qe5 41.Rd2 b5 42.a3 g4 43.Rxf5 Qxf5+ 44.Nf4 Qe4 45.Nxd5 Qf3+ 46.Kg1 g3 47.b4 a6 48.f7 Kxf7 49.Nf4 Qxe3+ 50.Kg2 Qxd2+ 51.Kxg3 Qc3+ 0-1

(I don't win many blitz games off Fritz, about 1 in 100 at the moment).

JGB
27-04-2004, 07:47 PM
Ill be having a good look over this game, as ive just started playing this system as white. :doh:

Kevin Bonham
27-04-2004, 09:52 PM
There are plenty of alternatives for both sides earlier on, but once you get past a certain point there are a lot of long forcing lines.

I play the White side of this too sometimes, depending on opponent, but I greatly prefer Black.

Unfortunately my copy Fritz has lost interest in further experimentation on this line. Having now been thumped in it twice its learning function has got the message and decided its fatal mistake was 1.e4. It now plays nothing against me except 1.Nf3.

JGB
28-04-2004, 04:31 AM
I found three different replies from white after 19... Ncd4. They are 20. Bd3, 20.Nxf3 and Re1. In none of my games in my database of 9 games have I seen a loss for white after 19...Ncd4. Although I dont want to be playing white here, just yet?!


(178250) Kholmov,Ratmir D (2485) - Ulibin,Mikhail (2495) [C06]
Sochi-A Sochi, 1989
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.c3 c5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.0–0 Bd6 11.Nf3 0–0 12.Bf4 Bxf4 13.Nxf4 Ne4 14.Ne2 Rxf3 15.gxf3 Ng5 16.Kh1 e5 17.dxe5 Nxf3 18.Bxh7+ Kh8 19.Ng1 Ncd4 20.Re1 Bg4 21.Re3 Qf8 22.Be4 dxe4 23.Rxe4 Bd7 24.Rxd4 Nxd4 25.Qxd4 Bc6+ 26.f3 Bxf3+ 27.Nxf3 Qxf3+ 28.Kg1 Rf8 29.Qh4+ Kg8 30.Qc4+ Kh7 ˝–˝


(203052) Kramnik,Vladimir (2490) - Ulibin,Mikhail (2565) [C06]
URS-ch58 Moscow (1), 1991
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.c3 c5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.0–0 0–0 12.Bf4 Bxf4 13.Nxf4 Ne4 14.Ne2 Rxf3 15.gxf3 Ng5 16.Kh1 e5 17.dxe5 Nxf3 18.Bxh7+ Kh8 19.Ng1 Ncd4 20.Nxf3 Bg4 21.Nxd4 Bxd1 22.Raxd1 Kxh7 23.f4 Qb6 24.f5 Qxb2 25.Rd3 Rc8 26.f6 Rc1 27.Rh3+ Kg6 28.Rg3+ Kh5 ˝–˝


(392165) Szuk,Balazs (2355) - Peter,Sebastien (2201) [C06]
Budapest FS08 IM-B Budapest (2), 06.08.2000
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.0–0 Bd6 11.Nf3 0–0 12.Bf4 Bxf4 13.Nxf4 Ne4 14.Ne2 Rxf3 15.gxf3 Ng5 16.Kh1 e5 17.dxe5 Nxf3 18.Bxh7+ Kh8 19.Ng1 Ncd4 20.Bd3 Bg4 21.Qc1 Nxg1 22.Qf4 Be2 23.Kxg1 Rc8 24.Rfe1 Bxd3 25.Qxd4 Qg5+ 26.Kh1 Qf5 27.Qxd5 Bb5 28.Kg1 Rc4 29.Re3 Rg4+ 30.Rg3 Bc6 31.Qd8+ Kh7 32.Rd1 Rxg3+ 33.hxg3 Qxe5 34.Qh4+ Kg6 35.Qf4 Qe2 36.Rd6+ Kh7 37.Qf5+ 1–0

JGB
28-04-2004, 03:49 PM
Kevin, if you want a few more examples of the Bd3 line I could have a deeper look.

Kevin Bonham
28-04-2004, 06:54 PM
Wow, thanks for those. If you see any others ... Actually I'm not sure how many others there are with 20.Bd3 , NCO doesn't quote any source for its lines.

Kramnik-Ulibin is well known, it was the main game for the theoretical article by Ulibin and Lisenko in NIC 25 1992. This draw is one of the reasons 20.Bd3 was looked at as an alternative since it did not seem White was going anywhere in the 20.Nxf3 line. Games with 20.Bd3 will probably be from the last 10 years only as the move wasn't even mentioned in 1992.

Szuk-Peter (haven't seen this one) includes 21...Nxg1 instead of 21...Qf8. I have tried ...Nxg1 against the computer and it's not a good line for Black, Fritz just plays 23.Rxg1 (rather than 23.Kxg1 in the game) and Black ends up a pawn down and grovelling for a draw. 23.Kxg1 is probably good too.

In Kholmov-Ulibin, Kholmov later noted that Ulibin missed 21...Qh4 which leads to a large advantage for Black. (comes out as something like Q+P for R+B).

White can avoid all this nonsense entirely with 14.Qc1, which is quite a common move. I haven't studied that as deeply but the NCO evaluations say that Black has little to fear.

5.f4 is good for White at club level if you know what you're doing. (If you don't know what you're doing Black often wins a pawn by exploiting pins on the g1-a7 diagonal.)

JGB
28-04-2004, 07:56 PM
I was just at the chessbas site, and I found heaps of games played with this position, have you had a look lately?

Kevin Bonham
29-04-2004, 03:07 AM
Thanks James! I don't normally use chessbase because the applet takes a zillion years to load on my computer but this time it was very well worth the effort: another ten 20.Bd3 games plus the one you posted before. Net score for the eleven is +5=5-1 to White but looking more closely it's a very different story.

Of the ten five were useful to me.

The others were:

* three black losses through bad deviations (21...Qh4?, 22...g5? and in another 22..Qxe5?)

* two games with 23...Bh5 as in NCO. (One draw and one where Black lost by playing the ending really badly)

*a useful one where Black played 22...Qf7!? and White was lucky to draw. Need to look at this idea much more closely and consider possible White replies.

Here's two with "my" 23...Rxe5 (surprise surprise I wasn't first.)

Game one: I have no idea why the draw because Black is clearly much better at the end.

[Event "IECC"]
[Site "IECC email"]
[Date "1996.??.??"]
[Round "0"]
[White "Feagin,Joe R"]
[Black "Barlow,John A"]
[Result "1/2"]
[Eco "C06"]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6
9.exf6 Nxf6 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.0-0 0-0 12.Bf4 Bxf4 13.Nxf4 Ne4 14.Ne2 Rxf3 15.gxf3 Ng5 16.Kh1 e5
17.dxe5 Nxf3 18.Bxh7+ Kh8 19.Ng1 Ncd4 20.Bd3 Bg4 21.Qc1 Qf8 22.Qe3 Re8 23.h3 Rxe5 24.hxg4 g5
25.Nxf3 Rxe3 26.fxe3 Nxf3 27.Rac1 Qh6+ 28.Kg2 Nh4+ 29.Kh2 Qd6+ 30.Kh3 Qe5 31.Rfe1 Qxb2 32.Rc2 Qa3
33.Rd1 Qe7 34.Re1 Kg7 35.Ree2 a6 36.Rc1 Qf6 37.Rc7+ Kf8 38.Bf5 Qa1 39.Rcc2 Qf1+ 40.Kg3 Qf3+
41.Kh2 Nxf5 42.gxf5 g4 43.Kg1 g3 44.f6 Kf7 45.Re1 Qe4 46.Rg2 Qe5 1/2

Game two: White deviates with 25.Bg6!? and Black takes a quick draw. However 27...Ne5 looks like a possible improvement on Black's play. (Fritz initially likes it for White but eventually gets disabused, Black seems better but it's messy.)

[Event "W-ch23 sf03 email"]
[Site "ICCF Email"]
[Date "1999.??.??"]
[Round "0"]
[White "Behling,Helmut"]
[Black "Gatto,Claudio"]
[Result "1/2"]
[Eco "C06"]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.c3 c5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6
9.exf6 Nxf6 10.0-0 Bd6 11.Nf3 0-0 12.Bf4 Bxf4 13.Nxf4 Ne4 14.Ne2 Rxf3 15.gxf3 Ng5 16.Kh1 e5
17.dxe5 Nxf3 18.Bxh7+ Kh8 19.Ng1 Ncd4 20.Bd3 Bg4 21.Qc1 Qf8 22.Qe3 Re8 23.h3 Rxe5 24.hxg4 g5
25.Bg6 Rxe3 26.fxe3 Qh6+ 27.Bh5 Nxg1 28.Kxg1 Qd6 29.exd4 Qg3+ 1/2

And this one with 23Nxf3! was interesting. I'm not quite sure what to make of the final position here so I assume White forfeited. With the Q for 2R and also with an active N and White's king being bad I actually prefer Black, but it's rather drawish.

[Event "CP.2000.P.00090"]
[Site "IECG"]
[Date "2000.10.01"]
[Round "0"]
[White "Suesmoller,Volkmar"]
[Black "Stiepan,Hans Michael"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Eco "C06"]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6
9.exf6 Nxf6 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.0-0 0-0 12.Bf4 Bxf4 13.Nxf4 Ne4 14.Ne2 Rxf3 15.gxf3 Ng5 16.Kh1 e5
17.dxe5 Nxf3 18.Bxh7+ Kh8 19.Ng1 Ncd4 20.Bd3 Bg4 21.Qc1 Qf8 22.Qe3 Re8 23.Nxf3 Nxf3 24.Rg1 Rxe5
25.Rxg4 Rxe3 26.fxe3 Qd6 27.Rg2 Ne5 28.Rd1 Qc6 29.Bc2 g6 30.Bb3 Nc4 31.Rdg1 Ne5 0-1

Another one with 23.Nxf3. 27.Rg3 leads to a draw with no fuss and might be a shade better than 27.Rg2 above.

[Event "CM.2001.0.00144"]
[Site "IECG"]
[Date "2001.05.29"]
[Round "0"]
[White "Edighoffer,Harold H"]
[Black "Evans,Gordon R"]
[Result "1/2"]
[Eco "C06"]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.c3 c5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6
9.exf6 Nxf6 10.0-0 Bd6 11.Nf3 0-0 12.Bf4 Bxf4 13.Nxf4 Ne4 14.Ne2 Rxf3 15.gxf3 Ng5 16.Kh1 e5
17.dxe5 Nxf3 18.Bxh7+ Kh8 19.Ng1 Ncd4 20.Bd3 Bg4 21.Qc1 Qf8 22.Qe3 Re8 23.Nxf3 Nxf3 24.Rg1 Rxe5
25.Rxg4 Rxe3 26.fxe3 Qd6 27.Rg3 Ne5 28.Bf1 Nc4 29.b3 Qe5 30.Rc1 Nd6 31.Bd3 Ne4 32.Rf3 Kh7
33.Rg1 Kg8 34.Bxe4 Qxe4 35.Rgf1 Qc2 36.Rf8+ Kh7 37.R8f2 Qe4+ 38.Rf3 Qc2 39.R1f2 Qb1+ 40.Kg2 Qg6+
41.Rg3 Qe4+ 42.Rff3 Qc2+ 43.Kh3 Kg8 44.a3 Qh7+ 45.Kg2 Qc2+ 46.Rf2 Qe4+ 47.Rgf3 Qg6+ 48.Kh1 Qb1+
49.Rf1 Qxb3 50.e4 Qc4 51.exd5 Qxd5 52.Kg1 b5 53.Rf8+ Kh7 54.R1f3 Qd4+ 55.Kg2 Qg4+ 56.Rg3 Qe4+
57.Rgf3 Qg4+ 1/2

So, at the moment it still looks to me like 23.h5 is suspect, but 20.Bd3 is alright for now (I thought I'd refuted 23.Nxf3 before - apparently not.)

JGB
03-05-2004, 03:27 PM
Have you ever played against 14. Nh5. I like the look of this, with the option of dropping back to g3. This changes the game a bit. (I heard of this idea over the weekend from an insider ((a Gm who had luck with it)) ), it also cuts away a lot of this theory im not liking later on.

Kevin Bonham
04-05-2004, 12:55 AM
Have you ever played against 14. Nh5.

No, but I know it exists and it does get White away from all those long tactical forcing lines that don't seem to lead anywhere but a draw at best anyhow. Don't know if White has made progress on the NCO lines (which again show Black equalising easily, but there would be potential for the better strategic player to outplay the opponent with either colour.)

JGB
04-05-2004, 09:16 PM
As a player of the French def, as black do you think Nd2 offers more chances that Nc3? Just a question as your a bit of an expert on the whole french thing.

Rincewind
04-05-2004, 11:17 PM
As a player of the French def, as black do you think Nd2 offers more chances that Nc3? Just a question as your a bit of an expert on the whole french thing.

Isn't that a bit like asking, "which religion is better?" As white, either you're prepared to take on the Winawer, or you're a big girl's blouse. :D

JGB
04-05-2004, 11:27 PM
Isn't that a bit like asking, "which religion is better?" As white, either you're prepared to take on the Winawer, or you're a big girl's blouse. :D


that may be true but there is sure a lot of theory in the Winawer, and even Fischer seemed to have problems with it.

Garvinator
05-05-2004, 08:49 AM
that may be true but there is sure a lot of theory in the Winawer, and even Fischer seemed to have problems with it.
as someone who plays both sides of the french quite often, but isnt as good a player as Kevin, I think it is a matter of personal taste as to which is better.

I think it depends on whether you like the isolated pawn positions that can result from the tarrasch, or if you prefer the potential compromised pawn structures of the winawer. I am a winawer fan mainly, but am starting to play Nd2 a bit more.

Lucena
05-05-2004, 09:55 AM
that may be true but there is sure a lot of theory in the Winawer, and even Fischer seemed to have problems with it.
true, and may I add that even once you get through all the theory the positions you get as White are not necessarily nice ones-often they're downright unclear, which is exactly what your typical Winawerer wants

Lucena
05-05-2004, 10:22 AM
since the thread is "closed tarrasch theory", I assume we can discuss other variations, eg the one with f4 instead of Bd3-that can get pretty crazy, epecially when g5 is chucked in. And I would like to know what you know about that crazy thing where you go e4 e6 d4 d5 Nd2 Nf6 e5 Nfd7 Bd3 c5 c3 Nc6 Ne2 cxd4 cxd4 f6 Nf4 Nxd4 Qh5+ Ke7 ef6+ Nf6 Ng6+ etc, Kevin

Rincewind
05-05-2004, 11:45 AM
that may be true but there is sure a lot of theory in the Winawer, and even Fischer seemed to have problems with it.

I think Fischer did occasionally lose a game in the Winawer however there is insufficent data to draw the conclusion that he had a "problem" with it, per se. I think he only faced the French something like 30 times in his professional career (up to August 1972) and the majority of times he played the Nc3. Some games were lost but not all due to an inherent weakness in the open play, and he also had some nice wins. I think the tactical possibilities of the Winawer would suit him and especially suit him at blitz. I don't know what his record with the Winawer at Blitz was but I would hazard a guess that it was probably quite good. ;)

Kevin Bonham
05-05-2004, 05:53 PM
As a player of the French def, as black do you think Nd2 offers more chances that Nc3? Just a question as your a bit of an expert on the whole french thing.

Not really an expert as such, just someone who's been playing it all my life at club level and likes to research the theory of some specific lines.

The difference for me is that Nc3 is the one I sometimes lose to, so it's certainly the most critical to me personally. Almost all my losses playing the French have been to either Nc3 or some sideline. I've had one loss in the Exchange and one in the Advanced in about 40 games with each (the loss to the Advanced was when I was still really weak), and no losses at all with the Closed Tarrasch as yet.

The Winawer seems to be the one where developing pieces accurately and quickly is the most important OTB, in order to avoid just getting bowled over on the k-side with minimal compensation. And it's the one where my inability to remember theory well OTB until I've actually played the line in question hurts me the most.

Alan Shore
05-05-2004, 06:24 PM
Too much theory.. I often just play the exchange variation and Kramnik-ise the ending!

Kevin Bonham
05-05-2004, 06:47 PM
since the thread is "closed tarrasch theory", I assume we can discuss other variations, eg the one with f4 instead of Bd3-that can get pretty crazy, epecially when g5 is chucked in.

As I mentioned above the f4 lines can be quite tricky for Black to fend off if White knows what he's doing. Most Whites don't.


And I would like to know what you know about that crazy thing where you go e4 e6 d4 d5 Nd2 Nf6 e5 Nfd7 Bd3 c5 c3 Nc6 Ne2 cxd4 cxd4 f6 Nf4 Nxd4 Qh5+ Ke7 ef6+ Nf6 Ng6+ etc, Kevin

I've never actually had that move order but I've had plenty of messy stuff with 7...f6 8.Nf4.

In the line with 7....cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 9.Nf4 etc. the main line in NCO goes 9...Nxd4 10.Qh5+ Ke7 11.exf6+ Nxf6 12.Ng6+ hxg6 13.Qxh8 Kf7 14.0-0 e5 15.Nf3 Nxf3+ 16.gxf3 Nh5 17.Bxg6+ Kxg6 18.Kh1 Qh4 19.Qxf8 Qh3 20.Rg1+ Kh7 21.Qa3 Bf5 22.Rg2 d4. "with compensation for the material". It's a tight line to walk since almost any deviation for Black along the way is fatal but at the end of all that I reckon Black is happy. Strong passed pawn, exposed White king, constrained White rook, bad White f-pawns - more than worth an exchange IMO. Ditto in the 15.Nb3 line which ends up with Black with a pawn for the exchange, strong central pawns and White has doubled isolated b-pawns, I would rather be Black. 14.f4 for White is interesting though, this looks really really messy and I'd play this kind of thing with either side if I was really going for a win.

I don't think much of being the exchange up, by the way, unless the opponent has absolutely no compensation. To me, exchange = 1.5 pawns, not 2.

Kevin Bonham
05-05-2004, 06:57 PM
Too much theory.. I often just play the exchange variation and Kramnik-ise the ending!

That's actually what I try to do with Black against the exchange. Tends to work too, but only because my opponents are usually lower rated.

One time I tried too hard to positionally outplay a weaker but more aggressive White in the Exchange and he castled Q-side and smashed me before I woke up. The Exchange is only drawish if the players want it that way. It can be very sharp.

Kevin Bonham
05-05-2004, 07:02 PM
I think Fischer did occasionally lose a game in the Winawer however there is insufficent data to draw the conclusion that he had a "problem" with it, per se. I think he only faced the French something like 30 times in his professional career (up to August 1972) and the majority of times he played the Nc3. Some games were lost but not all due to an inherent weakness in the open play, and he also had some nice wins.

One of his losses was a famous one to Kovacevic where it is alleged that spectators discussed a critical move for Kovacevic loud enough for the player to hear it. I know that Bobby did bad-mouth 3...Bb4, but I don't think his results or anything else since have really made that stick. Incidentally Seirawan is another French-skeptic, I saw him claim recently that "the French aint all that crash-hot". Blasphemy!

Rincewind
05-05-2004, 07:31 PM
I don't think the loss to Kovacevic wasn't really due to the opening and that was in the 4.a3 line. He also beat Uhlmann in the same line at the same event (and again a soon after at the World Lightning).

In the more usual 4.e5 c5 5.a3 line he had an important win against Larsen in their 1971 match. I think the first game which set the scene. Though Fischer really was at the height of his powers from 1970 to 1972 and seemingly almost unbeatable. (Compare the candidate matches from 1971 that Fischer played to those of Petrosian :D )

Kevin Bonham
06-05-2004, 12:38 AM
Fischer beat Uhlmann in the 8...Rg6 line, whereas Kovacevic won in the 8...Nbd7 line. The finger of doom for that loss is usually pointed at Fischer's 15.0-0 instead of 15.Nh5 which is much analysed (Watson says White has an insignificant advantage and I'll take his word for it.)

Rincewind
06-05-2004, 02:44 AM
I'll take your word on that. I've got a book which says 13.Bd2 was a mistake and 13.Bc1 was better as it give the queen more room to move but it is quite old and not substantiated. (It is not even clear whose comments these are).

Kevin Bonham
06-05-2004, 07:20 PM
I'll take your word on that. I've got a book which says 13.Bd2 was a mistake and 13.Bc1 was better as it give the queen more room to move but it is quite old and not substantiated. (It is not even clear whose comments these are).

That comment is Kovacevic's from his original notes to the game. I haven't seen any comment on 13.Bc1 in recent sources so I suspect it has been discarded.

Last night I was surprised when my unrated opponent played 4.Bd2!? against me in the Winawer as I've only faced that line once before. However he had no idea what he was doing past move 4. I also had an amusing case once where my opponent played 4.a3 when he meant to play the normal 5.a3 line. Thinking he had simply blundered a pawn, he didn't realise his move was viable and made no attempt to get the pawn back. :doh:

Garvinator
12-05-2004, 10:14 PM
question on move orders for french play. If the game is d4 e6 and then the opponent plays e4, can black play anything else reasonable other than d5?

Kevin Bonham
12-05-2004, 11:45 PM
Well, this is the same as 1.e4 e6 2.d4 - you're basically asking does Black have second move alternatives to ...d5.

2...c5 is the commonest and I play it sometimes, especially against people who I don't want playing the Exchange Var. If 3.Nf3 you have a 2....e6 Sicilian which sometimes transposes back to the French anyway. 3.d5 gives you a Benoni-like thing (actually sometimes called the Franco-Benoni)

2...b6 usually goes into Owens Defence which isn't too abysmal but requires careful handling to avoid too passive a position.

Others are rare. 2...a6 waiting is the next most common I'm aware of; no great surprise that some people have tried this when 3...a6 against the Tarrasch is reasonably common. I don't know how bad 2...a6 is, suffice it to say I've never been tempted.

Rincewind
12-05-2004, 11:51 PM
After 2...c5 also played is 3.c3 which is an Alapin. I guess that is what Mr Bonning would suggest. ;)

Kevin Bonham
13-05-2004, 12:01 AM
Yes, there is that too. Familiar territory for me with the White pieces too, I like to play 3.c3 (after 2.Nf3) against those scoundrels who evade my habitual 3.Bb5 with the gutless 2...e6.

Bill Gletsos
13-05-2004, 12:15 AM
One of his losses was a famous one to Kovacevic where it is alleged that spectators discussed a critical move for Kovacevic loud enough for the player to hear it.
Actually the story goes that Mrs Petrosian is less than happy to see Bobby easily winning the tournament. In th middle of his game with Kovacevic she overhears her husband and Korchnoi discussing the position in which Fischer has set a trap. Apparently to Korchnoi's horror Mrs. P goes over to Kovacevic and whispers this to him.
It appears that at move 18 Black can win Whites queen with Nh4 but after 19. fxe4 Rxg5 20. Bxg5 White is better.
However after Black playes 18 e3 then instead of Fischers 19.Bxe3 which appears to be just losing, 19. Be1 seems to hold.

Kevin Bonham
13-05-2004, 04:53 PM
In today's Bulletin there was a Polish Championship Closed Tarrasch game between Murdzia and Jakubiec, promoted by Paul as "a remarkable stoush". Actually not news to me at all, this game with 20.Re1 just follows the analysis I mentioned earlier from the Kholmov-Ulibin game posted by James. Basically Murdzia didn't know his theory past move 19 and Jakubiec did. 20.Re1 is rubbish and after 21...Qh4 Black is known to theory to have a large advantage - the result of this game bears this out in suitably showy fashion.

Garvinator
13-05-2004, 05:17 PM
In today's Bulletin there was a Polish Championship Closed Tarrasch game between Murdzia and Jakubiec, promoted by Paul as "a remarkable stoush". Actually not news to me at all, this game with 20.Re1 just follows the analysis I mentioned earlier from the Kholmov-Ulibin game posted by James. Basically Murdzia didn't know his theory past move 19 and Jakubiec did. 20.Re1 is rubbish and after 21...Qh4 Black is known to theory to have a large advantage - the result of this game bears this out in suitably showy fashion.
so that game was just another of the previously discussed goosemeat position discussed in this thread?

Kevin Bonham
13-05-2004, 07:42 PM
so that game was just another of the previously discussed goosemeat position discussed in this thread?

Originally I thought 20.Bd3 was goosemeat. But based on the games we found on chessbase it looks like 20.Bd3 is playable if (and only if) White continues 20.Bd3 Bg4 21.Qc1 Qf8 22.Qe3 Re8 23.Nxf3 =. (However I still need to look at 22...Qf7!? here sometime.)

20.Re1 in the same position, the main cause of White's demise in the game in the bulletin, has been goosemeat since Khomlov's notes in 1989.

Kevin Bonham
28-10-2004, 08:32 PM
From Olympiad thread:


I rarely play f4 in the Franch and don't ever throw a g3 in as White.

I have respect for the f4 lines when facing them but never play them as white.


The White king side is already a little fragile and I know players like you Kevin, just love sacraficing the rook on f3 somewhere in the middlegame.

Indeed. :D I even once did it twice in the same game. The spoilsport wouldn't take them but it still didn't save him. This was played back when my knowledge of the theory wasn't as strong as it is now and I really should have lost this game had he known what he was doing enough to play Bxh7+, but it was a lot of fun.

Bemrose (then 2090) - Bonham (then mid-1800s), Hobart International Club Champs 2000

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 Qb6 8.Nf3 f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.0-0 Bd6 11.Bf4?! Qc7?! [after 11...Bxf4 12.Nxf4 Qxb2 13.Re1 0-0 14.dxc5 Qxc3 White struggles for compensation.] 12.Bxd6 Qxd6 13.Re1 0-0 14.Ng3 cxd4 15.cxd4 Qf4 16.Rc1 Bd7 17.Ne2 Qd6 18.Nc3 Ng4 19.h3? [19.Bxh7+! is thematic and strong - eg 19...Kh8 20.Ne5! (20.Nb5?! Qb8 and Black has adequate compensation after ...Rxf3.) 20...Ncxe5 21.dxe5 Qb6 22.Qxg4 Rxf2 23.Kh1 Kxh7 24.Nxd5 exd5 25.Qxd7 Qg6!±] 19...Rxf3! 20.hxg4! Rf7 21.Ne2 Raf8 22.f3 e5 23.dxe5 Nxe5 24.b3 Rxf3 [which wins, but this was far easier: 24...Qb6+ 25.Kh2 Qh6+ 26.Kg1 Qe3+-+] 25.Be4 [25.gxf3 Nxf3+ 26.Kf1 Qh2-+] 25...Qb6+ 26.Qd4 dxe4 27.Rc5 [27.Qxb6 axb6 28.gxf3 exf3 29.Nf4 f2+ 30.Kxf2 Rxf4+-+] 27...Nd3 28.gxf3 Qxc5 0-1

JGB
01-11-2004, 11:36 PM
Perhaps something to add to the Tarrasch theory here. This game was played in a rapid (schnellschach) tournament with 15 minutes per person. I just dug this out after looking through a few games and found it a pretty interesting position. Normally such crazy positions are only achieved under fast time controls due to the risk involved (in my games anyway).

White: Bonning, J
Black: Cortez, L

Riedlinger Stadt Meisterschaft
27.06.2004


C06: Französische Verteidigung (Tarrasch-Variante)
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4 9.0-0 0-0 10.Nf3 f6 11.exf6 Nxf6 12.Nf4 [12.Bf4 Bd6] 12...Qc7 13.Ng5 Nxd4 14.Bxh7+ Nxh7 15.Qxd4 Bc5 16.Ngxe6 Bxe6 [16...Bxd4? may look interesting but has some disadvantages 17.Nxc7 Rb8 18.Nce6 Bxe6 19.Nxe6+-] 17.Nxe6 Rxf2?? [17...Bxd4 this is the best bet to save the position 18.Nxc7 Rxf2 19.Rxf2 Rf8 20.Nxd5 Rxf2 21.Be3=] 18.Nxc5 [+-] [18.Nxc7?! is clearly inferior 18...Bxd4 19.Rxf2 Rf8 20.Nxd5 Rxf2;
18.Qxc5?! Rxf1+ 19.Kxf1 Qf7+ 20.Nf4 g5 21.Qxd5 Rf8 22.Qxf7+ Rxf7[+-] ] 18...Rxf1+ 19.Kxf1 Rf8+ [19...Qxh2 20.Qxd5+ Kh8 21.Ne6 (21.Qxb7 is much weaker 21...Rf8+ 22.Ke2 Qh5+ 23.Kd3 Qxc5µ) 21...Qh1+ 22.Kf2+-] 20.Kg1 Re8 [20...Qc6 doesn't get the bull off the ice 21.Be3+-] 21.Bf4 Qc6 22.Rd1 Nf6 23.Bg5 b6 24.Bxf6 bxc5 25.Qxd5+ Qxd5 26.Rxd5 gxf6 27.Rxc5 1-0

Kevin Bonham
02-11-2004, 01:57 PM
Thanks. A more interesting game than is usual at the time control. 8...Bb4 is a known move but is the kind of thing that Blacks who are a bit inexperienced with the variation tend to play. It is kind-of missing the point because White actually wants to play Nf3 so Black has used a tempo on committing the bishop to a fairly ineffective square. It does enable Black to castle quickly, but the stats very heavily favour White (chessbase gives +24=8-2).

That said it's interesting that Black had that nice drawing line in the middle. After 10...f6, previous Whites have either kicked the bishop with a3 or else played Bg5.

JGB
02-11-2004, 07:29 PM
On a different note, Kevin we don't have a thread open for discussion on the Spanish game do we?
I believe that would also be a useful topic as I know a few chesschat users who would be interested including Kegless and myself. If have a bit of time available I wouldn't mind posting a bit of info up on the ole Lopez. We have threads dedicated to the Sicilian and French (Tarrasch), its only natural that the Spanish is also included in the chesschat repertoire.

Kevin Bonham
02-11-2004, 08:05 PM
On a different note, Kevin we don't have a thread open for discussion on the Spanish game do we?

Don't think so. Anyone who wants to is always completely free to start a new thread on any opening they like. Go for it!

I know rather a lot about the Spanish Four Knights (which some opponents are now so sick of me playing that they are playing 3...a6, of all things, to avoid it.) but relatively little about the Spanish proper.

JGB
02-11-2004, 08:31 PM
Don't think so. Anyone who wants to is always completely free to start a new thread on any opening they like. Go for it!

I know rather a lot about the Spanish Four Knights (which some opponents are now so sick of me playing that they are playing 3...a6, of all things, to avoid it.) but relatively little about the Spanish proper.

When I get a bit of time (away from work), i'll get something started on the Spanish proper. By the way, Spanish four knights- Rubinstein Variation is my favourite line of the four knights game and a nice line to analyse which is real struggle for White to gain an advantage from.

Kevin Bonham
02-11-2004, 09:07 PM
When I get a bit of time (away from work), i'll get something started on the Spanish proper. By the way, Spanish four knights- Rubinstein Variation is my favourite line of the four knights game and a nice line to analyse which is real struggle for White to gain an advantage from.

I agree with that. Fortunately hardly anyone below about 1700 can handle it, and against a really strong opponent 5.Nxd4 usually draws. There is a narrow ratings window in which I find it mildly annoying to deal with.

Kevin Bonham
17-04-2009, 08:39 PM
Chakkravarthy - Ghane from round 6 of the SIO today. A slightly different line to what I'm used to. Black's 31...Nxd4 is unsound (...Qa3 may be OK) but white responds inaccurately and runs out of compensation for a large pawn deficit.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.c3 c5 6.Ngf3 Be7 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.0-0 a5 9.Re1 c4 10.Bc2 b5 11.Nf1 Nb6 12.Ng3 h5 13.h4 Bxh4 14.Nxh4 Qxh4 15.Be3 Kd7 16.Qf3 [16.Qd2 Qd8 17.Bg5 Qf8 18.Re3 (18.Qf4 g6 19.Re3 Ne7 20.Rf3 Nf5 21.Bxf5 exf5 22.e6+ fxe6 23.Qe5 Rg8 24.Ne2 Kc6 25.Nf4 Kb7 26.Re1 Qf7 27.a3 Ra6 28.Qe2 Na8 29.Re3 Nc7 30.Nh3 Qd7 31.Bf4 Ne8 32.Ng5 Nf6 33.Nxe6 Rxe6 34.Rxe6 Qxe6 35.Qxe6 Bxe6 36.Rxe6 Nd7 37.Re7 Kc6 38.Re6+ Kb7 39.Re7 Kc6 ˝-˝ Abergel,T (2475)-Kortschnoj,V (2629) (2007)) 18...Ne7 19.Rf3 g6 20.Ne2 Kc6 21.Nf4 Rg8 22.Re1 Kb7 23.b3 Bd7 24.Rb1 Rc8 25.bxc4 Nxc4 26.Qc1 Ka7 27.Bd3 Nf5 28.Bxf5 gxf5 29.Nxh5 Bc6 30.Nf6 Rg6 31.Rh3 Qa3 32.Rh7 Rc7 33.Nh5 a4 34.Ra1 Rb7 35.Qxa3 Nxa3 36.Bh6 Rg8 37.Rd1 Rc8 38.Rd3 Nb1 39.Kh2 Ka6 40.Rg3 Ka5 41.Nf4 b4 42.cxb4+ Kxb4 43.Nd3+ Kc4 44.Nc5 Rb2 45.Rxf7 Rxa2 46.Nxe6 Rxf2 47.Rf8 Rxf8 48.Bxf8 f4 49.Rg6 a3 50.Nc7 Bb7 51.e6 a2 52.e7 Re2 53.Ne6 a1Q 54.e8Q Nd2 55.Kh3 Qh1+ 56.Kg4 Rxg2+ 57.Kxf4 Rf2+ Smirin - Shabalov 0-1 (1988)] 16...Nd8 17.Bd1 g6 18.Qe2 Nc6 19.Qd2 Qd8 20.Bg5 Qf8 21.b3 Ba6 22.bxc4 Nxc4 23.Qf4 Ra7 24.Be2 Na3 25.Rac1 Rc7 26.Nf1 Ne7 27.Ne3 Kc8 28.Nc2 Nc6 29.Nxa3 Qxa3 30.Rb1 Qxc3 31.Rec1 Nxd4 32.Bd1? [32.Bf3! Nc2 33.Qf6+- with the threat Bd1 winning the knight] 32...Qe1+ 33.Kh2 Nc6 34.Bf6? [34.Qf6 Qxe5+ 35.Qxe5 Nxe5 36.Bf6 and black must lose a piece for his three pawns] 34...Re8 35.Bc2 Qe2 36.f3 Qc4 37.Qd2 Qd4 38.Qe2 Qf4+ 39.g3 Nd4 40.Qf2 Qd2 0-1

ER
18-04-2009, 01:27 AM
He he, GM Ian Rogers showed us an Anti French Line (which I am going to play against you when I come to Tassie)! I hope it is not on video, because the questions I asked him about it were after his lecture!
This ultra demolishing weapon will be used either against you or Lawrence, depends which one of you has the black pieces! I think Lawrence is playing the French Defence too isn't he?

Kevin Bonham
18-04-2009, 01:35 AM
He he, GM Ian Rogers showed us an Anti French Line (which I am going to play against you when I come to Tassie)!

There's a lot of them out there. Hopefully it will be one I have already seen! :lol:

ER
18-04-2009, 01:38 AM
There's a lot of them out there. Hopefully it will be one I have already seen! :lol:

You 're not getting ANY clues!!! :whistle: :owned:

road runner
18-04-2009, 08:34 AM
Hard to get many decent French games on playchess, vast majority of players will exchange or play 2.Bb5 and lose central pawns quickly. Actually had someone play a Winawer sideline 5.Ne2 against me and had to struggle to remember the theory, it has been that long.

Kevin Bonham
18-04-2009, 09:25 PM
Actually had someone play a Winawer sideline 5.Ne2 against me and had to struggle to remember the theory, it has been that long.

I have this problem with a number of Winawer sidelines.

The most common anti-french lines I get from people who have some idea what they are doing are the 2.Nc3/3.Nf3 two knights line (check 2009 Tas Champs thread for a speccy game I lost against TonyD in a sideline of this that I think could become a trendy line in the future) and 2.Qe2.

Saragossa
20-04-2009, 08:29 PM
I think Lawrence is playing the French Defence too isn't he?

Not at the moment but I constantly consider it seeing how much trouble it has given me. I have 2 (working on a third) defenses that I play against 1.e4 and I play them depending on my opponant. My anti french line works everytime it goes 1. d4 e6 2. c4! and you have already eliminated alot of transpositions. Although I have quite stupidly played into frenchs against Tony but I have to because I am even more scared of his Benoni!

Davidflude
21-04-2009, 09:28 AM
He he, GM Ian Rogers showed us an Anti French Line (which I am going to play against you when I come to Tassie)! I hope it is not on video, because the questions I asked him about it were after his lecture!
This ultra demolishing weapon will be used either against you or Lawrence, depends which one of you has the black pieces! I think Lawrence is playing the French Defence too isn't he?

Lets think now,

A) French Wing Gambit - not as bad as people think

B) Alapin-Diemer Gambit - not very good.

C) Tarrasch Variation - the universal system -that could be a goer. Discussed in depth at Chesspublishing.com . But black is OK if he knows the theory

D) King's Indian Attack. If it was good enough for a World Champion it has got to be O.K. and it could be covered in a lecture. Also it works for beginners up to World Champions. I beat one of the Ng family with it. A few days later I saw him playing it from the white side knowing little of the theory and winning.

My bet is the King's Indian attack.

Davidflude
21-04-2009, 09:40 AM
Not at the moment but I constantly consider it seeing how much trouble it has given me. I have 2 (working on a third) defenses that I play against 1.e4 and I play them depending on my opponant. My anti french line works everytime it goes 1. d4 e6 2. c4! and you have already eliminated alot of transpositions. Although I have quite stupidly played into frenchs against Tony but I have to because I am even more scared of his Benoni!

He beat me with it too. But it will not work well against strong steady positional
players.

The Benoni is a different kettle of fish. It works better in correspondence than over the board because white players in correspondence avoid the modern main line as black sacs a pawn follows theory for lots of moves then draws. Over the board this is too much like hard work and tires you out for later rounds.

I will not suggest a good line to play against the Benoni as I play it as black. It scores very well in correspondence. I will suggest a bad line, the Taimanov otherwise known as the flick knife attack. Black players who really know wahat they are doing can either play the mysterious lines given by Watson, or play the berserk piece blunder variation, much of the published analysis contains errors.

Kevin Bonham
21-04-2009, 03:55 PM
D) King's Indian Attack. If it was good enough for a World Champion it has got to be O.K. and it could be covered in a lecture. Also it works for beginners up to World Champions. I beat one of the Ng family with it. A few days later I saw him playing it from the white side knowing little of the theory and winning.

My bet is the King's Indian attack.

Have to say I find a well-played KIA even from a relatively low-rated player can often be fairly annoying to play against. There are not as many ways for white to go wrong in it as in other French lines because of the relative lack of pawn centre targets, so a typical club player will often be able to hang in with a decent middlegame even against a much stronger opponent. That said it also seems difficult for white to do much with it at club level - not everyone can play an inexorable kingside pawn roll a la Fischer without making a mess of it.

Saragossa
09-05-2009, 02:43 PM
Sorry to bring an off topic variation but it is winawerish. I was playing online and had the steinitz played against me which everyone seems to play so I instead went for Bg5 which I hadn't seen before but looked good here is the opening phase.

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5!? {I remember something like this is Alekhines or Mac something along those lines but I'm wasn't sure seemed good anyways} Bb4 5. e5 h6 6. exf6 hxg5 7. fxg7 Rg8 8. Qh5 {this is where I think I may have stuffed up trying to hold onto the pawn}

Ok there we go I was wondering if anybody could tell me basic info on whether it is theoretically good because if it is I'm seriously considering taking it up over playing 4. e5.

Saragossa
09-05-2009, 02:52 PM
Just looked on fritz opening database and it's played fairly often and I made the mistake of exf6 (My fritz wasn't working too well before so I decided asking here would be logical) and that after h6 Bd2 is best but still an interesting opening I think compared to the boring old classical.

Kevin Bonham
09-05-2009, 03:00 PM
This is called the MacCutcheon. Yes, 6.exf6 is not recommended; I think one of the Australians tried it against a GM in Queenstown and got pasted.

As well as 4...Bb4 black has 4...Be7 and 4...dxe4 (which I played against Alastair last year sometime.)

Davidflude
11-05-2009, 09:14 PM
The Maccutcheon is dealt with in dangerous weapons - The French with analysis from the white point of view.

It suggests the Gambit lines with Be3 rather than Bd2. I would not play it from either side without knowing the theory. Fortunately I have not one but two secret lines from the white side. Hint - one was played by the then World Champion against a former world Champion.

Seriously thogh if you know what you are doing you will beat unbooked players with wither colour.

Saragossa
11-05-2009, 09:34 PM
The Maccutcheon is dealt with in dangerous weapons - The French with analysis from the white point of view.

It suggests the Gambit lines with Be3 rather than Bd2. I would not play it from either side without knowing the theory. Fortunately I have not one but two secret lines from the white side. Hint - one was played by the then World Champion against a former world Champion.

Seriously thogh if you know what you are doing you will beat unbooked players with wither colour.

Yeah I don't intend to play it against anybody that knows what they are doing I do however want something that avoids the clear cut steinitz and makes the game a bit messy! I do attempt to play positionally alot but I pften find myself losing to pawn rollers in closed games...I think my ideas are too slow.

Davidflude
13-05-2009, 11:02 AM
Yeah I don't intend to play it against anybody that knows what they are doing I do however want something that avoids the clear cut steinitz and makes the game a bit messy! I do attempt to play positionally alot but I pften find myself losing to pawn rollers in closed games...I think my ideas are too slow.

If you want a messy line of the French then play the Hecht-Reefschlager variation.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nc6 Most white players are totally confused by this variation. It is increasing in popularity at the Grand Master level. The positions that arise do not look like normal French Defence positions.

Also against the Tarrasch you can play the Guimard variation

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nc6 This is unfashionable but sound and difficult

Kevin Bonham
13-05-2009, 01:40 PM
IAlso against the Tarrasch you can play the Guimard variation

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nc6 This is unfashionable but sound and difficult

It's getting trendier lately. So much so that when TonyD played it against me last year I anticipated it and prepared for it.

Tony Dowden
23-10-2009, 08:51 PM
Not at the moment but I constantly consider it seeing how much trouble it has given me. I have 2 (working on a third) defenses that I play against 1.e4 and I play them depending on my opponant. My anti french line works everytime it goes 1. d4 e6 2. c4! and you have already eliminated alot of transpositions. Although I have quite stupidly played into frenchs against Tony but I have to because I am even more scared of his Benoni!
But I'm (mainly) too scared to play the Benoni anymore!! :lol:

Capablanca-Fan
24-10-2009, 01:29 PM
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nc6 Most white players are totally confused by this variation. It is increasing in popularity at the Grand Master level. The positions that arise do not look like normal French Defence positions.
TonyD likes this. It seems that the way to play against it is one I'd never have come up with because it surrenders the B-pair: what Murray Chandler played against him (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1482828) and against Mohr (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1096056), and which Spassky played against Portisch (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1290825) back in 1957.

Tony Dowden
25-10-2009, 09:03 PM
TonyD likes this. It seems that the way to play against it is one I'd never have come up with because it surrenders the B-pair: what Murray Chandler played against him (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1482828) and against Mohr (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1096056), and which Spassky played against Portisch (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1290825) back in 1957.

Hmmm, I play it badly :lol:

GM Murray Chandler's line isn't very scary but it does have the (psychological) virtue of diverting play right away from Black's thematic ...f6 plan. As Kiwi FM Mike Steadman told me a few months later, I could have achieved a comfortable game with 8...Nb8!? (similar to Black's idea in a game played by French GM Eric Prie) and then playing on the queenside with ...b6, ...c5, ...Ba6/b7, ...Nc6

Capablanca-Fan
26-10-2009, 01:47 PM
Hmmm, I play it badly :lol:

GM Murray Chandler's line isn't very scary but it does have the (psychological) virtue of diverting play right away from Black's thematic ...f6 plan. As Kiwi FM Mike Steadman told me a few months later, I could have achieved a comfortable game with 8...Nb8!? (similar to Black's idea in a game played by French GM Eric Prie) and then playing on the queenside with ...b6, ...c5, ...Ba6/b7, ...Nc6
When you put it that way, White's system doesn't look so scary after all ;) Some might wonder why Black would put his N on c6 only to move it back, but it has induced White to concede the B-pair.

road runner
26-10-2009, 01:53 PM
I'm not usually worried about the bishop pair in the French. I'm more concerned with good pieces vs bad pieces.

Capablanca-Fan
26-10-2009, 02:56 PM
I'm not usually worried about the bishop pair in the French. I'm more concerned with good pieces vs bad pieces.
For sure; e.g. the line above stops a future Bxc6 weakening Black's Ps and generating a N outpost on c5.

My concern is that the B-pair are often good pieces. Even in closed positions, they have their points, such as deterring opening of the position by the enemy.

Kevin Bonham
07-11-2009, 10:18 PM
Melbourne Cup weekender 2009

Kolak - Dowden

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Ngf3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Bd3 g6 8.0-0 Bg7 9.Re1 cxd4 10.cxd4 0-0 11.Nf1 Qb6 12.Bb1 f6 13.exf6 Nxf6 14.Ng3 Ng4 15.h3 Nxf2 16.Kxf2 Nxd4 17.Kf1 e5 18.Be3 e4 19.Bxd4 Bxd4 20.Bxe4 dxe4 21.Rxe4 Bxb2 22.Rb1 Qa6+ 23.Kg1 Bf6 24.Qd5+ Kh8 25.Ne5 Kg7 26.Rc1 Qb6+ 27.Kh1 Be6 28.Qd2 Rad8 29.Qe2 Bd5 30.Rg4 Rdc8 31.Rd1 Qe6 32.Nh5+ Kh8 33.Nxf6 Rxf6 34.Qb2 Kg8 35.Nd7 Rf3 36.Rxd5 Rxh3+ 37.gxh3 Qxd5+ 38.Kh2 Qxd7 39.Qf6 Qc7+ 40.Rf4 Re8 41.Kg3 Qe7 0-1


This Round 6 game - played on my birthday - was highly entertaining. Black had the upper hand early after a piece sac but by about move 25 I felt White was mounting an impressive comeback. In mutual timetrouble White used up half his remaining time before playing the apparently crushing 35.Nd7! I then responded in kind by using up half my remaining time and coming up with the amazing 35...Rf3!? after which White erred with 36.Rxd5? allowing the winning 36...Rxh3+! when 37...Qxd5 is check

Three days later while driving to work it suddenly occurred to me that 36.Kh2(!) might be a complete defence. I don't have an engine and I'm not much of an analyst, so what does anyone else think?

36.Kh2 does stop the threats on h3, but the black rook just crawls back to f5 and there is nothing there for white except for liquidating into endgames a pawn down.

Checking darabases, move 12 is a big choice for white. Bc2 has been played by Nisipeanu, Svidler and Benjamin while Bb1 has been played about as often but without 2500+ pedigree. It seems that the flexibility of Bc2 with options of b3, a4, staying put etc outweighs the security of Bb1, which also gets in the way of white's rook.

The position at move 18 (!) features in another game I found (Anagnostopoulos,D 2475 -Alvarez,R 2200, Linares 1998) where white won after black blundered but black should have at least drawn. However that game had the move order 9...0-0 10.Nf1 cxd4 11.cxd4 Qb6. I am unsure whether it is necessary to wait for the N to commit as in the Kolak-Dowden game there is the option 11.Nb3 but I wouldn't go there with white. Inflexible, positionally greedy, asking for trouble on the kingside (etc).

18...Rxf3+!? is a very interesting untested sacrifice. It's the thematic exchange sac idea in the Closed Tarrasch but this time it's a rook sac because black has already sacced a piece. Fritz initially really liked this line but when I prodded it for a bit it became less clear if it really "wins" or not. To play this sort of thing OTB you need to be willing to spend half an hour or more on the clock analysing it and still keep time up your sleeve for the final position. Anyway 18...e4 is a good move.

The pawn grab on 21 becomes a bit iffy. Black is up the double minor exchange on a wide open board and white doesn't have that much of an attack so there is no need to give white play. It looks like white is right back into it until Rc1 which liberates the c8-bishop by unthreatening b1. I've given a Fritz line that appears to win a pawn more clearly but there can't be much wrong for black with just ...Bg7 instead of winning a pawn at all.

30...Rc8 seems to give white the initiative back again. 30...Rde8 is better.

Finally there is a drawing sac on 33 but white misses it. After that he has an uphill battle.

Game re-copied with some of these lines in notes below.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ngf3 g6 8.0-0 Bg7 9.Re1 cxd4 10.cxd4 0-0 11.Nf1 Qb6 12.Bb1 f6 13.exf6 Nxf6 14.Ng3 Ng4 15.h3 Nxf2 16.Kxf2 Nxd4 17.Kf1 e5 18.Be3 e4 [18...Rxf3+!? 19.gxf3 Bxh3+ 20.Kf2 best 20...Qxb2+ 21.Ne2 (21.Qd2 Qxd2+ 22.Bxd2 Rf8 and black has four pawns and a big attack for the rook and will soon pick up more material) 21...Qxa1 and black will be pawns up but the position takes great care as white has a fair amount of counterplay The main line seems to go 22.Qd2 Nxe2 23.Be4 Qc3 24.Qxd5+ Kh8 25.Rxe2] 19.Bxd4 [19.Nxe4 dxe4 20.Bxe4 Be6 21.Kg1 Nxf3+ (21...Rad8 is better eg 22.Nxd4 Bxd4 23.Qe2 Qxb2 24.Qxb2 Bxb2) 22.Bxf3 Qxb2 23.Rb1 Rad8 24.Qxd8 Rxd8 25.Rxb2 Bxb2 26.Bxa7 Bc4 27.Rb1 Bd4+?? Losing blunder 28.Bxd4 Rxd4 29.Rb4 Kh8 30.a4 g5 31.Be2 Bxe2 32.Rxd4 Ba6 33.Rd7 1-0 Anagnostopoulos,D -Alvarez,R] 19...Bxd4 20.Bxe4 dxe4 21.Rxe4 Bxb2 [21...Qb5+ 22.Qe2 Qxe2+ 23.Rxe2 Bxh3 24.gxh3 Rxf3+] 22.Rb1 Qa6+ 23.Kg1 Bf6 24.Qd5+ Kh8 25.Ne5 Kg7 26.Rc1? Qb6+ 27.Kh1 Be6 28.Qd2 Rad8 29.Qe2 Bd5 30.Rg4 Rc8 31.Rd1 Qe6 32.Nh5+ Kh8 33.Nxf6 [33.Nxg6+! hxg6 34.Qxe6 Bxe6 35.Rxg6 Bxa2 36.Nxf6 Be6 37.Nd7=] 33...Rxf6 34.Qb2 Kg8 35.Nd7 Rf3! 36.Rxd5 [36.Kh2 Rf5 37.Rxd5 (37.Nf6+ Qxf6 38.Qxf6 Rxf6 39.Rxd5) 37...Qxd5 38.Nf6+ Rxf6 39.Qxf6] 36...Rxh3+ 37.gxh3 Qxd5+ 38.Kh2 Qxd7 39.Qf6 Qc7+ 40.Rf4 Re8 41.Kg3 Qe7 0-1

ER
08-11-2009, 03:31 AM
Are you guys serious, giving all this info for free? You should write a book about it and make mega bucks! Thanks, anyway now my raison d'ętre (eat your heart out Howie I know how to make that silly circumflex now :P) vs the French has obtained new dimensions! 3. Nf3!!!!! YES!!!! Hold on where is it again? the one that Jono provided a database with games incl Tony's and Spasky's!

Tony Dowden
08-11-2009, 01:10 PM
Melbourne Cup weekender 2009

36.Kh2 does stop the threats on h3, but the black rook just crawls back to f5 and there is nothing there for white except for liquidating into endgames a pawn down.

Checking darabases, move 12 is a big choice for white. Bc2 has been played by Nisipeanu, Svidler and Benjamin while Bb1 has been played about as often but without 2500+ pedigree. It seems that the flexibility of Bc2 with options of b3, a4, staying put etc outweighs the security of Bb1, which also gets in the way of white's rook.

The position at move 18 (!) features in another game I found (Anagnostopoulos,D 2475 -Alvarez,R 2200, Linares 1998) where white won after black blundered but black should have at least drawn. However that game had the move order 9...0-0 10.Nf1 cxd4 11.cxd4 Qb6. I am unsure whether it is necessary to wait for the N to commit as in the Kolak-Dowden game there is the option 11.Nb3 but I wouldn't go there with white. Inflexible, positionally greedy, asking for trouble on the kingside (etc).

18...Rxf3+!? is a very interesting untested sacrifice. It's the thematic exchange sac idea in the Closed Tarrasch but this time it's a rook sac because black has already sacced a piece. Fritz initially really liked this line but when I prodded it for a bit it became less clear if it really "wins" or not. To play this sort of thing OTB you need to be willing to spend half an hour or more on the clock analysing it and still keep time up your sleeve for the final position. Anyway 18...e4 is a good move.

The pawn grab on 21 becomes a bit iffy. Black is up the double minor exchange on a wide open board and white doesn't have that much of an attack so there is no need to give white play. It looks like white is right back into it until Rc1 which liberates the c8-bishop by unthreatening b1. I've given a Fritz line that appears to win a pawn more clearly but there can't be much wrong for black with just ...Bg7 instead of winning a pawn at all.

30...Rc8 seems to give white the initiative back again. 30...Rde8 is better.

Finally there is a drawing sac on 33 but white misses it. After that he has an uphill battle.

Thanks heaps for this detailed review KB :D

In the game I thought about 18...Rxf3!? but felt it pushed the "its my birthday" theme just a tad too far! In the game I also thought about 17...Qd6!? (which may actually improve) but I went for 17...e5 as that way I get the piece back and - as long as I play 21...Qb5+! (which I completely missed!) - Black should also keep the advantage.

Agreed, 30...Rde8 is much better than 30...Rc8. In our brief post mortem the next day (where Chris mainly wanted to know how I came up with with an amazing move like 35...Rf3! - the answer being it was my birthday :lol:) I couldn't explain why I hadn't played the extremely logical 30...Rde8 other than the (tinny) point that I have mating threats if he swaps rooks.

I saw the idea of Nxg6 earlier but we both missed the drawing combo on move 33.

White's position after 25.Ne5 seemed quite threatening, so its interesting that he doesn't have anything concrete. My 25...Kg7 seemed a tad desperate at the time but perhaps it was OK.

All in all, a nice birthday present :P

Basil
08-11-2009, 01:17 PM
All in all, a nice birthday present :P
Is it your birthday today, Tones?

Tony Dowden
08-11-2009, 02:15 PM
'Tones'??? You've been out in the midday sun too long ;)

It was my birthday on the day we played ...

Capablanca-Fan
08-11-2009, 02:21 PM
'Tones'??? You've been out in the midday sun too long ;)

It was my birthday on the day we played ...
Well done. It's not always easy to play well on one's birthday.

Basil
08-11-2009, 02:51 PM
'Tones'??? You've been out in the midday sun too long ;)
I have a son, Anthony - and we're dreading the various monikers including Tones.


It was my birthday on the day we played ...
I see. SWAMBO'S birthday is today. I thought you may have shared the date.

Kevin Bonham
07-07-2012, 02:00 AM
*bump*

Watson's "Play the French" 4th edition has come out. Haven't got it yet but will probably do so pretty quickly. Any Aus bookseller got this in stock yet?

ER
07-07-2012, 11:54 PM
*bump*

Watson's "Play the French" 4th edition has come out. Haven't got it yet but will probably do so pretty quickly. Any Aus bookseller got this in stock yet?

You better order it from New in Ches, cauz I can don't see Brian and Peter competing who's gonna discount it for you! :P