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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) C00-C19: semi-open simple variation vs the French? (Read 10472 times)
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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #30 - 10/12/09 at 05:53:12
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@TN:
yesterday I read French lines in kaissiber books I won here on chesspub (last "theory" competition, thanks Stephan Bucker kaissiber Ed Smiley ) and one (n°26 ? 30 ? ...) is very interesting about Chigorin 2.Qe2. Interesting because it's fun to know how one variation is born and extra-comments from Chigorin (like, how was born the line and chosen the move) are valuable.  But maybe Chigorin deals a little more with Nc3 lines while 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2 leads to the FRG ( "frightened" Reti gambit) buy Taljechin book  Wink ). I am not sure 3.. Nf6 is best for Black because White has 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Qg4 move and positional pressure on kingside. As Black I will choose to accept the gambit and keep one pawn more  only until I get some advantage on queenside (something like: play Bb4, exchange Bb2 and play with a5).

  

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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #29 - 10/08/09 at 00:08:11
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I assume TicklyTim's student has an established repertoire against the French at present, but I thought of another idea that leads to semi-open positions and can be quite tricky: 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2. Objectively it is just equal, but Black needs to have an antidote prepared, something most of her opponents won't have. 3...Nf6 is the simplest equaliser, and 3...de4 leads to complicated positions where neither side can claim an advantage.

I also considered the possibility of 2.Qe2, but she probably won't like the positions after 2...c5, which are closed in nature regardless of whether White plays Nf3 or f4/Nf3.
  

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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #28 - 10/07/09 at 22:25:46
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As soon as I learned to appreciate the destabilized positions resulting from the French my results as White enormously improved.
  

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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #27 - 10/07/09 at 17:52:49
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TicklyTim wrote on 06/26/09 at 10:56:46:
Hi,
forgive my ingnorance (this may be blasphemy here) but I don't know the French too well!
I am trying to suggest a line for a novice player.
They wouldn't like a blocked position so I'm thinking not the Advanced, but something more semi-open. They like to attack (positionally a bit weak) so I'm thinking not the Tarrasch.
The exchange variation seems to tick the boxes but I'm a bit loath to suggest that.
3.Nc3 seems to be the option, but they aren't too good at learning variations, so I don't want any tricky stuff in the opening.
Is there a decent line after 3.Nc3 that allows for a semi-open attacking position that is relatively simple to play (Ie; can make sensible moves without having to know tricky theory to stay alive)? Or can anyone suggest anything else (no dodgy gambits please)?


There's no remedy against the French. Whatever variation the White chooses, the Black will always be able to destabilize the game.  Wink
  
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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #26 - 09/11/09 at 18:24:54
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Hi,

maybe McDonald's chesspublishing updates
September 2008 and October 2008
on the Winawer exchange with 4.Bd3 could be interesting.

He suggests relativ simple attacking chess,
the games of these updates are instructive and show how to attack the black king in an open position.
Some strong players have lost against this line.

After 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6
I would prefer 4.Bg5  to 4.e5
because I think Black's different moveorders
after 4.e5 are a bit too much for a novice.

4.Bg5 Bb4 5.exd5 should be good enough,

4.Bg5 Be7 5.Bxf6 Bxf6 6.e5 is not very strong,
but I know a 1800+ who plays
this line with good results.
4.Bg5 Be7 5.exd5 is very simple
and not so easy for Black, his pieces are
slightly misplaced.

As far as I know most french devotees don't play open
positions very well and hate the
exchange variation, but are prepared.
Against delayed exchange variations they have only
little experience


Another suggestion:  
3.e5 c5
(note that McDonald suggests
3...b6 in his recent book "How to play against 1.e4",
but 3...c5 is far more common)

4.dxc5 :
a modest approach, but white has
forced the pawn structure.
I think this line could be a good learning tool to
improve someones positional play.  
 

  
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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #25 - 08/24/09 at 11:02:44
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"Monte Carlo variation" ... first time I heard this name.

Maybe related to "Monte Carlo" system...one branch of game theory, using random choices, like a roulette player do...and famous method for having been used by military men in 2nd world war conflicts.

...and as you know, Monte Carlo is french city where there are many big casinos....

...but name can come from blind chess tournament in Monaco state.... or only coming from funny title in NiC (?)
  

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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #24 - 08/23/09 at 16:43:44
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Paddy wrote on 06/27/09 at 09:54:31:
Willempie wrote on 06/27/09 at 00:04:54:
MNb wrote on 06/26/09 at 21:23:10:
TicklyTim wrote on 06/26/09 at 10:56:46:
I am trying to suggest a line for a novice player.


1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.c4 is the best choice. It's easy to learn, the position is open and the IQP demands active play by White. Experiencing IQP-positions is something a novice should do as soon as possible, preferably at both sides of the board.

While I agree with all your statements, the combination is just bullocks Grin
Imo you should just at least try to get an advantage.
Yes I know Kasparov played this, but he won because he is Kasparov.


We have discussed the "IQP Attack" vs the French several times on this forum, both here in the French section e.g. at

http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1151226305/17#17

where I would draw your attention to this opinion of GM and French defence expert Lev Psakhis:

"An interesting move which radically alters the pawn structure and considerably reduces the drawish factors that are so characteristic of this variation (the Exchange Variation). White can scarcely reckon on an advantage, especially against accurate play by Black, yet he does undoubtedly set his opponent some problems."

and also with reference to Avrukh's recommendation of 3 e3 vs the Queen's Gambit Accepted, where I wrote:

"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."

Incidentally, the structure is indeed a fairly common IQP one, arising mainly from the Petroff these days I guess, but also important in the QGA, QGD (even appearing in games of Karpov and Kasparov) and also the old Giuoco Piano with 4 c3 Nf6 5 d4 exd4 6 cxd4 Bb4+ 7 Bd2 Bxd2+ 8 Nbxd2 d5.


Michael Goeller has recently posted some very useful material on the IQP Attack against the French (which he calls the Monte Carlo Variation) at

http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/kenilworthian

This is one of the very best "serious amateur" chess websites around, with lots of interesting stuff, much of it offered in downloadable form by the kind host, whom we regulars here at the forum know as "Urusov".
  
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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #23 - 07/01/09 at 09:07:46
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Thanks for your help.
She'll appreciate the comments (maybe not my brain-fart one though).

I don't think the French will be a very regular occurance, but I can try it in friendlies now and then to keep the practice up.

  
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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #22 - 06/30/09 at 20:14:27
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TicklyTim wrote on 06/30/09 at 11:12:01:
If that's the case I will back 3.Nc3 indeed. Tickly Tim?Yep, student plays 4 Knights with 3.d4 and gets in a game.
Also plays open vs Sicilian and particulary like the g4/h4 attacks. However, doesn't really have ability to retain variations to well. In fact once brain-farted after 1..c5 and forgot it was a Sicilian!
Is probably playing at around 1400 now. Tactically very aware, and very aggressive. Must admit, have lost 2 or 3 friendlies when not be careful.

After 3.Nc3 I wouldn't like to recommed anything that doesn't seem natural. I had hoped to avoid having to avoid closing with e5 after 3..Nf6 but maybe that not possible.
3.Nc3 4.exd5 does seem quit a simple method. to be honest it tempting to suggest to get by, until they get more sophisticated and learn opening properly.


In that case I recommend 3.Nc3 too, but only if he is likely to meet the French on a regular base. If he's going to meet the French two or three times a year I stick to 3.exd5 exd5 4.c4.
Given his level I agree that the Exchange against both the Winawer 3...Bb4 4.exd5 and the MacCutcheon 4...Bb4 5.exd5 are nice shortcuts. Against the Burn-Rubinstein I would say: castle queenside and attack. So you can focus on the Classical stuff. I would say either the Andersen Attack 5.Bxf6 Bxf6 6.e5 Be7 7.Qg4 - I have had quite a lot of succes with it until I reached a certain level - or just 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 and now you can do both lines with 0-0 and 0-0-0 with him.
It's good that he is blessed with a bad memory. That should not put him off to play more complex stuff. You will need to focus on themes, both positional and tactical. He will remember them easier.
  

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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #21 - 06/30/09 at 18:56:54
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TN wrote on 06/30/09 at 12:32:21:
If you are going to teach your student to play variations with ed5, then it is better to play 3.ed5 instead of postponing it with 3.Nc3, which is inflexible if followed up with 4.ed5.

Having said that, I think 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.ed5 isn't a bad option for a novice, and Watson's suggested 5.Qf3 certainly provides Black with slightly different problems to solve over-the-board.


As an devoted French player I recently started playing 1.d4 e6 2.e4 as White and wanted to play 3.Nc3, but not mainlines since this is too much work for only few games.

In my opinion White should play exd5 only in move four, since both, Bb4 and especially Nf6 limit black options. I know, Nc3 does take Kasparovs c4-variations away, but even if this may be theoretically White´s best choice I almost never saw an amateur play this way.

After 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.exd, the most aggressive black setups with the knight on e7 and castling long are gone. 4.exd exd 5.Bf4 looks good, because it is extremely easy to play for White, who gets an attack that is quite primitive, but often effective: Within the next moves White developes by  Bd3,Qd2,0-0-0 (sometimes 0-0, especially if Black tends to castling long) and then starts an attack with f3 or h3+g4. Look at some games by Vorotnikov from 1993-97 to learn more about it.

After 3.Nc3 Bb4 I prefer 4.Ne2 leading to positions fitting the descriptions the threadstarter gave and not giving Black the kind of positions he plays the Winawer for.

4.e5 c5 5.Qg4 Ne7 6.dxc Nbc6 is interesting, too, since after 7.Bd2 (not Qxg7, advocated by Watson in DW since Black´s play can be strongly improved) 0-0 8.0-0-0 a very sharp position is reached.
  
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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #20 - 06/30/09 at 12:32:21
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If you are going to teach your student to play variations with ed5, then it is better to play 3.ed5 instead of postponing it with 3.Nc3, which is inflexible if followed up with 4.ed5.

Having said that, I think 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.ed5 isn't a bad option for a novice, and Watson's suggested 5.Qf3 certainly provides Black with slightly different problems to solve over-the-board.
  

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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #19 - 06/30/09 at 11:12:01
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MNb wrote on 06/30/09 at 01:43:59:
TN wrote on 06/29/09 at 04:47:53:
4. 'If the novice has some experience with the Open Games the Sicilian should follow and only then the French.' I also agree with this statement. As the coach intends to begin working on the French with the student in the near future, I assume that the student is currently at this stage.


If that's the case I will back 3.Nc3 indeed. Tickly Tim?


Yep, student plays 4 Knights with 3.d4 and gets in a game.
Also plays open vs Sicilian and particulary like the g4/h4 attacks. However, doesn't really have ability to retain variations to well. In fact once brain-farted after 1..c5 and forgot it was a Sicilian!
Is probably playing at around 1400 now. Tactically very aware, and very aggressive. Must admit, have lost 2 or 3 friendlies when not be careful.

After 3.Nc3 I wouldn't like to recommed anything that doesn't seem natural. I had hoped to avoid having to avoid closing with e5 after 3..Nf6 but maybe that not possible.
3.Nc3 4.exd5 does seem quit a simple method. to be honest it tempting to suggest to get by, until they get more sophisticated and learn opening properly.
  
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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #18 - 06/30/09 at 01:43:59
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TN wrote on 06/29/09 at 04:47:53:
4. 'If the novice has some experience with the Open Games the Sicilian should follow and only then the French.' I also agree with this statement. As the coach intends to begin working on the French with the student in the near future, I assume that the student is currently at this stage.


If that's the case I will back 3.Nc3 indeed. Tickly Tim?
  

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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #17 - 06/29/09 at 21:16:28
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Imo the exchange (even with 4.c4) is one of the worst lines for beginners, novices and basically everyone but Kasparov (though I think even for him it is bad, see below).
Without c4 novices are stuck for a plan and just develop sensibly, causing all kinds of exchanges without ever getting anything. There are also not enough tricks around to make it interesting from a learning perspective.
With c4 it is slightly better, but opposed to the QG and Panov lines the e-line is open and black has a very easy plan, because the IQP lines are just not very threatening as opposed to similar lines in other openings (eg the similar line in the Giouco is better in that respect and even that on eisnt particularly dangerous).

It was a simul, but it is not often someone dismisses Kasparov in this way, enjoy:
[Event "Jerusalem sim"]
[Date "1996.10.15"]
[White "Kasparov,Garry"]
[Black "Scharansky,Nathan"]
[Result "0-1"]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bd3 Be7 6.h3 Nc6 7.a3 Ne4 8.c4 Bf5 9.0-0 dxc4 10.Bxc4 0-0 11.d5 Na5 12.Ba2 c5 13.Re1 c4 14.Nbd2 Nxf2 15.Kxf2 Bc5+ 16.Re3 Bxe3+ 17.Kxe3 Re8+ 18.Kf2 Qxd5 19.Kg1 Rad8 20.Kh1 b5 21.Qf1 Bd3 22.Qg1 Nc6 23.Nb1 Nd4 24.Nxd4 Qxd4 25.Nc3 Qxg1+ 26.Kxg1 Re1+ 27.Kf2 Rde8 28.Nxb5  0-1

  

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Re: A semi-open simple variation versus the French?
Reply #16 - 06/29/09 at 04:47:53
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MNb wrote on 06/29/09 at 02:27:28:
TicklyTim wrote on 06/26/09 at 10:56:46:
3.Nc3 seems to be the option, but they aren't too good at learning variations, so I don't want any tricky stuff in the opening.


TN wrote on 06/29/09 at 01:22:27:
I agree with you that 3.Nc3 is definitely the best option for the novice player.


Nice to see how TN subsequently presents a repertoire full of tricky stuff and with a lot of variations to learn.
Hence 3.exd5 exd5 4.c4. I never claimed a white advantage here. I also think that completely irrelevant for the novice player. What's more, for him/her spending a lot of time on the French is a waste. It should be invested in the Open Games and especially a lot of tactics and endgames. If the novice has some experience with the Open Games the Sicilian should follow and only then the French.



1. These lines are tricky, but they are tricky for both White and Black. I admit that the Alekhine-Chatard wasn't a good suggestion - my 7.Nb5 idea is a better option.

2. There are a lot of variations to learn for a strong club player, but it is my conviction that the novice could play 3.Nc3 against the French successfully, knowing and understanding only the variations I gave. It shouldn't take more than a couple of hours (at most) for the student to study and memorise these variations.

3. 'I never claimed a white advantage here. I also think that completely irrelevant for the novice player.' Agreed. The reason I deem 3.Nc3 as a better option is not because it offers better chances of an advantage, but because it leads to a wider range of positions. This is analogous to playing the Open Sicilian versus playing Anti-Sicilians although clearly the French is a different kettle of fish.

4. 'If the novice has some experience with the Open Games the Sicilian should follow and only then the French.' I also agree with this statement. As the coach intends to begin working on the French with the student in the near future, I assume that the student is currently at this stage.

5. If the student did not like 3.Nc3 or scored poorly with it, then I would switch to 3.ed5 ed5 4.c4. On another note, for a 4.c4 Exchange French exponent as White, the Alapin would be a good complement because IQP positions frequently occur in both lines.
  

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