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ghenghisclown
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #38 - 10/07/10 at 09:54:18
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TN wrote on 10/07/10 at 07:12:38:
varggrav wrote on 10/07/10 at 06:41:31:
I had a recent OTB game that went

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9. Be3 O-O 10. O-O Qc7 11. Rc1 Rd8 12. Bf4 Be5 13. Bxe5 Nxe5 14. Bb3
Ng4 15. Ng3 h5!? 16. h3 h4 *

and I quickly got a bad position as White, but I have a feeling white should be able to get a signifigant advantage. Any thoughts?


Was your opponent French?


Funny.
  

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TN
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #37 - 10/07/10 at 07:12:38
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varggrav wrote on 10/07/10 at 06:41:31:
I had a recent OTB game that went

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9. Be3 O-O 10. O-O Qc7 11. Rc1 Rd8 12. Bf4 Be5 13. Bxe5 Nxe5 14. Bb3
Ng4 15. Ng3 h5!? 16. h3 h4 *

and I quickly got a bad position as White, but I have a feeling white should be able to get a signifigant advantage. Any thoughts?


Was your opponent French?
  

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varggrav
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #36 - 10/07/10 at 06:16:30
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Oh yes, I missed a move. Thanks. Mainly I commented because against the MacCutcheon and Winawer you exchange on d5 and the rest seems to fit well together as opposed to a 3. ed repertoire.
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #35 - 10/07/10 at 04:41:40
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I misread and thought you gave 5. Bxf6 Bxf6 6. Nf3 a6 7. g3.  5...gf looks odd indeed; maybe you're thinking of the line 4...de 5. Nxe4 Be7 6. Bxf6 gf?
  
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varggrav
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #34 - 10/07/10 at 03:29:23
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d) 3...Nf6 4 Bg5 Be7 5 Bxf6 gxf6 6 Nf3 a6 7 g3


6...a6 is played in this line to prepare ...b5. I don't understand your comment.
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #33 - 10/06/10 at 22:51:34
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Well, (b) is just the main line, standardly considered slightly better for White.  After the alternative 5. Bxf6 Bxf6 6. Nf3 I don't think I've ever seen 6...a6; 6...c5 has long been given in books as equalizing.
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #32 - 10/06/10 at 22:25:06
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As a recovering 1 d4 player I've found some interesting lines to play against the French that seem to give Black serious practical problems. A repertoire might be

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3

a) 3...Bb4 4 cxd5
b) 3...Nf6 4 Bg5 Be7 5 e5 Nfd7 6 Bxe7 Qxe7 7 f4
c) 3...Nf6 4 Bg5 Bb4 5 cxd5
d) 3...Nf6 4 Bg5 Be7 5 Bxf6 gxf6 6 Nf3 a6 7 g3
e) 3...Nf6 4 Bg5 Be7 5 Bxf6 Bxf6 6 Nf3 , et

There's other lines I still have to work out but I think it's a good starting place and a good alternative to the straight exchange.

This was all recommended by Jesse Kraai, a leading expert on the French. I've had quite good results with it and the games usually end up more interesting than the normal exchange and I've found there's not a lot to know at my level (2100)
  
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Keano
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #31 - 02/09/10 at 16:22:28
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Crapov wrote on 02/19/09 at 00:43:31:
If you're gonna play the exchange i think the only move that troubles black a bit is 4.c4.


I think Kasparovs 4.Nf3 intending 5.c4 is more accurate - after 4.c4 Bb4+!? 5.Nc3 Ne7 Black gets quite a dynamic game.

After 4.Nf3 a good question is how Black should continue: 4...Bd6, 4...Nc6, 4....Nf6 (the GM favourite), 4...c6

Today I was looking at an interesting possibility for Black : 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.c4 Nf6!? 6.Nc3 0-0 7.cxd5 Re8+ 8.Be2 h6(!) I´ve analysed this position a bit on my pocket chess-site at lunch time so I give no guarantees, but I couldnt find anything for White here. Black will follow-up ...Nbd7-b6 and usually ...Nf6xd5.
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #30 - 10/13/09 at 10:05:38
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Dink Heckler wrote on 10/12/09 at 17:15:46:
So I guess the idea is to hoover off the dark squared Bishops while preventing Black from exchanging light squared bishops, and then nibble round the edges?


Something like that, although in practice in the line with 6...Be6 and 7...Qd7 Black will also eventually trade off his bishop on f5. Also 6...Nce7!? has a good reputation, although there I get the impression it is more based on some famous victories for Black in the past where White played weakly. As Black 6...Be6 would be my choice.
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #29 - 10/12/09 at 17:15:46
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Thanks, Keano, worth a look...wasn't too keen on that 4. c4 stuff.

So I guess the idea is to hoover off the dark squared Bishops while preventing Black from exchanging light squared bishops, and then nibble round the edges?
  

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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #28 - 10/11/09 at 00:35:35
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I think we had this discussion under another thread, but I just thought I'd mention my article on the Exchange French with c4, with complete bibliography:

http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/kenilworthian/2009/08/french-defense-monte-ca...
  
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Keano
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #27 - 10/08/09 at 09:12:40
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Dink Heckler wrote on 02/18/09 at 15:46:04:
I'm looking for some approaches to twist Black's tail in the French Exchange. Now most of the literature seems to be written from a Black perspective, and has the flavour of 'well, if some snivelling draw-seeking wretched plays this against you, here's how to liven things up'. Now some of this might be solid, but a lot of it is probably just bravado, rally the troops stuff.
I don't think I've ever seen a serious treatment from White's perspective. So, motivational guff apart, how does White set about setting Black some issues in the Exchange?


Well, here is a line I have a little bit of respect for:

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 (here you have to be ready for 4...c5!? also which leads to a different type of game) 5.c3 Bd6 6.Qf3!?

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Objectively you'd think White must be a tiny bit better here, but for some reason there is strange psychological stuff going on here - in many of the games where a lot of pieces are exchanged Black grinds down a win in the endgame. There cant be anything wrong with this for White though...
  
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Keano
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #26 - 10/06/09 at 11:09:01
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Paddy - 4.c4 is not really a popular move amongst strong players , apart from Miezis who told me once he got to 2600 not knowing any theory  Huh

I was thinking actually of a different order in the exchange which comes to the QGA line - 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.c4 (now making more sense) and here I remember Bareev getting a very comfortable game against Short with ...dxc4 going back into the QGA line.

For some reason in the 4.c4 move-order this transposition is not so popular, probably because here there are even better options, for instance Watsons ...Bb4+ line!?
« Last Edit: 10/06/09 at 12:50:08 by Keano »  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #25 - 02/20/09 at 17:18:48
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Keano wrote on 02/20/09 at 09:09:43:
I agree White may get an edge in this line, nevertheless there are highly rated Frenchies I have seen who after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5?! exd5 4.c4!? have just played 4...dxc4 5.Bxc4 Bd6 and we transpose to that e3 QGA line - the Black knight eventually goes to c6 and actually the position remains quite murky.
.


Can you give some examples please? I am having difficulty finding any games where a strong player as Black plays 4...dxc4 in the French sequence. In Megabase the position after 5 Bxc4 almost always arises from a QGA (or, a recent trend, from an Albin Declined!).
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #24 - 02/20/09 at 09:09:43
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I agree White may get an edge in this line, nevertheless there are highly rated Frenchies I have seen who after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5?! exd5 4.c4!? have just played 4...dxc4 5.Bxc4 Bd6 and we transpose to that e3 QGA line - the Black knight eventually goes to c6 and actually the position remains quite murky.

Actually in Avrukhs excellent book this is one of the only things I disagreed with about his move-order decisions. As White after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 I would prefer to go 3.Nf3 and allow the ...Bg4 lines, which are not popular anyhow and which I believe are worse for Black than the line above.
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #23 - 02/20/09 at 01:40:11
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In his recent White repertoire book (1 d4 Volume 1, published by Quality Chess), Avrukh recommends the move order 1 d4 d5 2 c4 dxc4 3 e3, allowing the line 3...e5 4 Bxc4 exd4 5 exd4. This variation is fine for White, who scores well. Ever since Razuvaev's article (reprinted in the Dvoretsky book that someone mentioned) it has been well known that White has chances for advantage in this line, with more space and excellent piece play. Also transpositions to favourable lines of the Petroff are possible.

IMHO the ONLY important difference between this QGA line and what I call the IQP Attack against the French (1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 exd5 exd5 4 c4) is that in the French line Black has the very useful extra option of delaying dxc4 and thus gaining a tempo in some lines; this has a constraining effect on White's early choice of moves. If this were not the case, I am sure this line would be much more popular against the French at pro level.

As it is, fans of the line have to make do with studying the games of GM Miezis, who has played the French line many times, V.Okhotnik, who has also played it a lot, and various American masters such as Ashley, Benjamin, Wolff and Waitzkin who used it a lot in the 1990s.
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #22 - 02/19/09 at 23:25:52
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JonathanB wrote on 02/19/09 at 17:22:33:
kylemeister wrote on 02/19/09 at 17:18:00:
I think the point about the Panov vs. the 4. c4 French can be attributed to the matter of tempi, not to the difference in structure.


Isn't the tempi the same though?

1. e4 c6, 2. d4 d5, 3. exd5 cxd5, 4. c4

1. e4 e6, 2. d4 d5, 3. exd5 exd5, 4. c4

Perhaps you could explain further?

J

PS: Meant to say before that the advantage - if indeed there is one - in having a pawn on c7 instead of e7 at this point is clearly not all one way.  No chance for ... e7-e6 to block the c4-f7 diagonal for a start.

I have quite some experience with both lines, but as black you have sortof won a tempo in the French one. Your bishop on c8 can move immediately and it is that tempo that gives you the option to black d5 completely (after something like Nf6, dxc4, Be6, c6, Nbd7-b6-d5). In the Panov you are usually forced to block the bishop in with e6 and you will often end up with some artificial manouevre to get it on c6 or b7. I would say that the disadvantage that is often said to be in the French and the advantage of the CK, namely the bad bishop, is reversed in the exchange lines. Also in both lines I have never been in trouble on the a2-g8 diagonal and I would say that the open e-file is rather more advantageous to black than having e6 in as you always have the option of going f6 to kick away a knight from e5. Personally I find the lines with c4 in the exchange french the easiest to play (easier than a regular exchange and certainly easier than the Panov) and I am far more confident of going for the win. You get the proper pawn structure, white loses some tempi (often Bd3xc4 and then it has to go back) and you are in total control of d5. In the meantime the e-line is open to exchange some heavy material and about every exchange is useful as the endgame is almost won by force.

Another question was about the knight on f6 or e7. In the normal lines without c4 the knight on f6 is often a target of Bg5 and blocks the move f6. On e7 on the other hand you have the ability to play Bf5 to exchange the bad bishop, you can play f6 and the other knight can go to f6 if need be (often you play c6 and then the knight has to go to d7). Also if you castle long the e7 knight is standing better as it can go to f5 or more often to g6 to support an attack. In the lines with c4 it is much less of an issue, though often going to e7 has some advantages similar to the ones I already mentioned, though here having a knight on f6 does more for protecting the K-side.

To answer to the original question. I think it is a bad idea Grin

Though if you really want something I would look at the regular lines without c4 and try something with castling long. Check some games by French experts as black and try their ideas as white. In particular an idea like going long and f3, g4 and h4 might appeal. It would certainly throw Dutchies off balance and most Frenchies will also have some trouble as they often fall asleep and dont pay attention in the first 10 moves (coffee is mandatory when my opponent palys the exchange Wink).
  

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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #21 - 02/19/09 at 18:40:39
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Well I think one obvious explanation for the Panov being much more popular than the French Exchange with 4.c4 is that when Black does not take soon on c4, White in the Panov has the powerful idea c4-c5.  There is nothing of the kind in the other line.

The better analogy with the c-pawn is the Tarrasch French with 3...c5, already pointed out by kylemeister.
  

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JonathanB
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #20 - 02/19/09 at 17:22:33
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kylemeister wrote on 02/19/09 at 17:18:00:
I think the point about the Panov vs. the 4. c4 French can be attributed to the matter of tempi, not to the difference in structure.


Isn't the tempi the same though?

1. e4 c6, 2. d4 d5, 3. exd5 cxd5, 4. c4

1. e4 e6, 2. d4 d5, 3. exd5 exd5, 4. c4

Perhaps you could explain further?

J

PS: Meant to say before that the advantage - if indeed there is one - in having a pawn on c7 instead of e7 at this point is clearly not all one way.  No chance for ... e7-e6 to block the c4-f7 diagonal for a start.
  

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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #19 - 02/19/09 at 17:18:00
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I think the point about the Panov vs. the 4. c4 French can be attributed to the matter of tempi, not to the difference in structure.
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #18 - 02/19/09 at 17:18:00
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@JonathanB: Fair enough.  A propensity to argumentativeness is a flaw in my character.  Fortunately, it's the only one.
  

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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #17 - 02/19/09 at 17:07:06
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Markovich wrote on 02/19/09 at 13:46:31:
This question of tempo is not insignificant, but it's not obvious that merely because the KB deploys before Black plays dxc4, White is worse (or whatever pejorative conclusion you want to draw about White's play here).


Hi Markovich,

I think our opinions are actually pretty similar.

I wasn't trying to say that White was worse after 4. c4.  Merely that the QGA line must be more favourable for White than the French Exchange line - because of the extra tempo.

Also, the c-pawn e-pawn difference I assume must be in Black's favour as I said - although I accept this may not be as clear cut than the tempo loss.  Part of my reasoning here is that there must be some explanation for the Panov-Botvinnik attack being a widely played system against the Caro-Kann but 4. c4 is not widely played against the French.  I'm also assuming that this explanation is not merely about fashion [ Although I accept I may well be wrong on this point ].

Anyway, I totally agree with you that 4. c4 is both fully viable and (probably) White's most dynamic choice.
  

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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #16 - 02/19/09 at 16:59:15
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It seems to be the general view that Papageno's line (a) is slightly better for White, and line (b) is equal.  That seems the most typical state of affairs, i.e. a missing/extra tempo shifting the evaluation by "half a category."  Incidentally, ECO regarded (a) as equal in the 1970s; that was before a general revival of 3. e3 that took place in the '80s (there was a chapter in a Dvoretsky book about that, with a title like "You Were Right, Mr. Labourdonnais!").

This reminds me of an old thread concerning the line 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. dc e6 4. e4 Bxc5 5. ed ed 6. Bb5+ Nc6 7. 0-0 Nf6 (i.e. the same as the French case, though that didn't occur to me at the time) -- at first I thought White should be better, but after some consideration it seemed to me to be equal (though I think the person I was discussing it with thought Black was better).
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #15 - 02/19/09 at 16:42:42
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Right here on ChessPub Neil McDonald gave a two-part repertoire for White after 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. exd5 exd5 in his Sept/Octbober 2008 updates.

Ok, its not a pure exchange variation, but its quite easy for White to play once he gets that f-pawn moving.
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #14 - 02/19/09 at 15:10:27
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Comparing the French Exchange with 4.c4 to the QGA line (Avrukh) shows one important difference in development speed that makes the line much more attractive in the QGA: The QGA has an early dxc4 / Bf1xc4 included. in other words, the QGA player gets a guaranteed easy bishop development in one step Bf1xc4. Let's see:

a) the QGA way:
1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e3 e5 4. Bxc4 exd4 5. exd4 Nf6 6. Nf3 Bb4+ 7. Nc3 O-O 8. O-O - White plays Bf1xc4 in one step and castles comfortably. Avrukh sees some good chances for White.

b) the French defense:
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Nf3 O-O 7. Be2 dxc4 8. Bxc4 - same position as above except that white did not castle yet. White is a tempo down because of Lf1-e2xc4.

I think that White hardly can avoid this loss of one tempo here. papageno.
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #13 - 02/19/09 at 14:05:33
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Markovich, good suggestion; thanks. I'll have a look at Avrukh.
  

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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #12 - 02/19/09 at 13:46:31
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JonathanB wrote on 02/19/09 at 13:10:07:
Dink Heckler wrote on 02/19/09 at 12:36:05:
Thanks, guys. Some good stuff to chew on here.

I'll have a look at 4 c4 again. My general impression is that these structures seriously lack bite compared to, let's say, a typical Rubinstein Nimzo IQP.


Objectively I'm sure 4. c4 can't be the best move.  Compare to a Panov-Botvinnik, for example, the pawn being on e7 not c7 must favour Black.  Similarly, by delaying ... dxc4 until White move's his King's bishop Black is going to end up a tempo ahead of the Queen's Gambit Accepted line

1. d4 d5, 2. c4 dxc4, 3. e3 e5, 4. Bxc4 exd4 5. exd4


That said, subjectively, c4 and the IQP positions that result present Black with different kind of problems that we French Defenders are used to facing.  For that reason I would say it's White's best bet in the French Exchange.


3...exd5 is the suboptimal move.  But having played it, I don't think I agree that 4.c4 (or 4.Nf3 and then c4) is necessarily suboptimal.  It's simply one way of handling the position, but I do think it's the most dynamic by far.

Whether the defender has a c-pawn or an e-pawn determines two families of IQP positions, but which is easier for the defender isn't obvious to this amateur player.

This question of tempo is not insignificant, but it's not obvious that merely because the KB deploys before Black plays dxc4, White is worse (or whatever pejorative conclusion you want to draw about White's play here).  Since I consider those positions that arise from ...dxc4 before the KB moves, which as you point out can also arise from the 3.e3 e5 QGA, to be clearly better for White, I don't wring my hands too much over the extra tempo.  There are lots of other chess variations, the Tarrasch, the Panov and the Nimzo for example, where this happens and the IQP remains viable.

@Dink: You might want to start with Avrukh's treatment of the QGA with 3.e3 e5.  Normally White won't have that extra tempo, but at least it'll illustrate White's play.
  

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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #11 - 02/19/09 at 13:10:07
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Dink Heckler wrote on 02/19/09 at 12:36:05:
Thanks, guys. Some good stuff to chew on here.

I'll have a look at 4 c4 again. My general impression is that these structures seriously lack bite compared to, let's say, a typical Rubinstein Nimzo IQP.


Objectively I'm sure 4. c4 can't be the best move.  Compare to a Panov-Botvinnik, for example, the pawn being on e7 not c7 must favour Black.  Similarly, by delaying ... dxc4 until White move's his King's bishop Black is going to end up a tempo ahead of the Queen's Gambit Accepted line

1. d4 d5, 2. c4 dxc4, 3. e3 e5, 4. Bxc4 exd4 5. exd4


That said, subjectively, c4 and the IQP positions that result present Black with different kind of problems that we French Defenders are used to facing.  For that reason I would say it's White's best bet in the French Exchange.
  

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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #10 - 02/19/09 at 13:06:05
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Crapov wrote on 02/19/09 at 00:43:31:
Unlike many others I quite enjoy playing black against the exchange.


I suspect it's a myth that players of the French Defence don't like playing against the Exchange.

IM John Cox said in the comments to my original French Exchange thread
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=37675897&postID=141867775533577281

that he'd be delighted if he could start every game as Black from move 3 in a French Exchange.  I think he's said the same on here too.

There are, I'm sure, a whole bunch of people who don't play the French because they don't want to play against the Exchange.  As JC (that's John Cox again not Jesus Christ) has pointed out, the two groups are self selecting.
  

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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #9 - 02/19/09 at 12:36:05
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Thanks, guys. Some good stuff to chew on here.

I'll have a look at 4 c4 again. My general impression is that these structures seriously lack bite compared to, let's say, a typical Rubinstein Nimzo IQP. I just don't see White's dynamic chances compensating for the IQP. But I'll root around and see if there's any way to ask a few questions of Black.
  

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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #8 - 02/19/09 at 00:56:55
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Just play Frech in Cafe section of playchess.com. My record shows 65% of the games are exchange variation, 20% advance and remaining mostly Nc3. Will get enough practice.
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #7 - 02/19/09 at 00:43:31
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If you're gonna play the exchange i think the only move that troubles black a bit is 4.c4. Unlike many others I quite enjoy playing black against the exchange. I've studied it a lot and have a tremendous score against it (+9 -1)
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #6 - 02/18/09 at 21:56:20
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Dink Heckler wrote on 02/18/09 at 15:46:04:
So, motivational guff apart, how does White set about setting Black some issues in the Exchange?


Well you probably want to start by taking a look at Kasparov's French exchange games...

http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com/2009/01/interesting-french-exchange-ix...
  

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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #5 - 02/18/09 at 21:36:32
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White could be aiming for a reverse Tarrasch French, in which his extra tempo enables him to better fight for control of d5.  Compare 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. ed ed 5. Ngf3 Nc6 6. Bb5 Bd6 7. dc Bxc5 8. 0-0 Nge7 9. Nb3 Bb6, when 10. Re1 prevents 10...Nf5 and prepares 11. Be3.  Associated with that is the idea of trying to give Black trouble with his QB, e.g. with Ng3 plus f4 and f5 if Black plays ...Bf5 and ...Bg6, as in a game Wolff - Dreev (in which White was clearly better, although he lost).
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #4 - 02/18/09 at 20:48:50
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kylemeister wrote on 02/18/09 at 20:40:23:
I don't get the admonition against Nge2, though; actually of the three GMs I can readily think of who have played this 4. c4 line, two of them preferred the Bd3 plus Nge2 treatment.


I'm just giving my own understanding, admittedly that of an amateur.  I must admit I don't see the point of Nge2, nor would I normally want my knight on e2 with an IQP.  I would be happy to hear anyone explain here why it's a good idea.
  

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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #3 - 02/18/09 at 20:40:23
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This reminds me of Edmar Mednis's chapter on the Exchange in "Practical Opening Tips"; his (brief) discussion of c4 centered on the position 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 c6, which as he pointed out can also be reached via the Slav (the Winawer Counter Gambit Declined, if you will).  Of course this c4 stuff also has similarities to/transpositional overlap with lines of the QGA and Petroff.

I don't get the admonition against Nge2, though; actually of the three GMs I can readily think of who have played this 4. c4 line, two of them preferred the Bd3 plus Nge2 treatment.
  
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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #2 - 02/18/09 at 19:01:58
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Littlewing wrote on 02/18/09 at 16:55:18:
I play the French as black.

I don't mind the regular Exchange lines in which I can play a set-up with Ne7, Nc6, Bd6 and Bg4 of f5. With f6, g5 and 0-0-0 on the cards this is playable and interesting enough for black.

I think the Exchange with  a quick c4 is more annoying, although I do believe black is okay. He has a clear plan of controlling d5 and sucking up the energy of the white pieces. If it works black has a nice endgame, if it doesn't work, he has problems.

I do however get into trouble when I get move-ordered into putting a Knight on f6.  This happens when I try to get my usual Classical French on the board. If white exchanges then, I can't play Ne7 anymore. Objectively this must be okay, but I don't like it and have gotten myself into trouble a couple of times, mostly because of a pin with Bg5 and subsequently a Knight on e5.

The drawback for White is that he almost has to put a Knight on c3 tot get me to play Nf6 and still be able to play Bg5. In this case he also must be prepared to play the Winawer, or play an Exchange against the Winawer.  

Interested how others feel about this.


I know that Watson advocated this ...Ne7 in combination with ...Bb4 but I can't see why it's so important.  Maybe someone who understands this can explain it to me.  I've looked at it at some length and concluded that whether the knight is on f6 or e7, White should develop (after c2-c4) Nf3, Nc3, Bd3 and 0-0.  If checked down the e-file he puts Be3 and sacs a pawn on that square in case Black wants to win one.  It absolutely doesn't matter to the correctness of this e3 pawn-sac whether Black first plays any combination of ...Bxc3+ and ...dxc4 -- or whether a rook or queen (or even a knight after ...Rxe3 first) takes last on e3.  So whether Black's knight takes on e3 from f5 or g4, it is all the same.  Black is well advised not to swap on e3, however.

The important thing for White is not to f-rt around with such tepid moves as Nge2 or Be2, but instead just play ahead into an ordinary IQP game and dare Black to do his worst.  White generally meets an early ...Bg4 either with cxd4, Qb3 or with an immediate Qb3.

I agree that Black is O.K. here but White does have interesting play, and this line is a good way for White to insist on an open position.  That's why I recommend it to my students.  

If I were Black against this I might well play an early ...c6 and take on c4 only with reluctance.  However I don't think that there are any magic solutions for Black.

@Dink:  If you like the IQP, this 2.c4 (or 2.Nf3, 3.c4) thingie may well be what you're looking for.
  

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Re: French Exchange for White
Reply #1 - 02/18/09 at 16:55:18
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I play the French as black.

I don't mind the regular Exchange lines in which I can play a set-up with Ne7, Nc6, Bd6 and Bg4 of f5. With f6, g5 and 0-0-0 on the cards this is playable and interesting enough for black.

I think the Exchange with  a quick c4 is more annoying, although I do believe black is okay. He has a clear plan of controlling d5 and sucking up the energy of the white pieces. If it works black has a nice endgame, if it doesn't work, he has problems.

I do however get into trouble when I get move-ordered into putting a Knight on f6.  This happens when I try to get my usual Classical French on the board. If white exchanges then, I can't play Ne7 anymore. Objectively this must be okay, but I don't like it and have gotten myself into trouble a couple of times, mostly because of a pin with Bg5 and subsequently a Knight on e5.

The drawback for White is that he almost has to put a Knight on c3 tot get me to play Nf6 and still be able to play Bg5. In this case he also must be prepared to play the Winawer, or play an Exchange against the Winawer. 

Interested how others feel about this.
  
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C01: French Exchange for White
02/18/09 at 15:46:04
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I'm looking for some approaches to twist Black's tail in the French Exchange. Now most of the literature seems to be written from a Black perspective, and has the flavour of 'well, if some snivelling draw-seeking bastard plays this against you, here's how to liven things up'. Now some of this might be solid, but a lot of it is probably just bravado, rally the troops stuff.
I don't think I've ever seen a serious treatment from White's perspective. So, motivational guff apart, how does White set about setting Black some issues in the Exchange?

Reason I ask is that I get a lot of Dutch players playing the 1) d4 e6 move order. I'd like to be able to discomfit them by segueing from a Dutch to an Exchange French.

Any ideas, or am I going to get a torrent of barely plausible 'Black is already better in the Exchange' tough talk?  Smiley
« Last Edit: 07/21/11 at 20:38:58 by dom »  

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