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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) C00-C19: French Defence--State of Theory (Read 29628 times)
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Re: C00-C19: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #55 - 07/11/12 at 15:03:52
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I didn't know the "Salto Mortale" variation by name until recently. But I've played the Black side and won in correspondence chess against an "operator" simply by following Psakhis' line which he covers in The Complete French. You need not worry about the perceived material deficit.
  
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Re: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #54 - 06/30/12 at 21:56:44
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BPaulsen wrote on 03/20/11 at 21:44:49:
10...Bd7 has been my preference, with a lot of personal analysis there.


I am on vacation right now, therefore don't have access to my books, but isn't this mentioned in a note by Vitiugov?
  
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Re: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #53 - 05/17/11 at 16:32:10
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Stigma wrote on 04/17/11 at 20:07:39:
In the 9.Nf4 line, the new-ish idea I'm talking about is

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. Nf4 Nxd4 10. Qh5+ Ke7 11. exf6+ Nxf6 12. Ng6+ hxg6 13. Qxh8 Kf7 14. Qh4 e5 15. Nf3 Nxf3+ (15...e4 $5 16.Nxd4 Bb4+) 16. gxf3 Bf5 17. Bxf5 gxf5 18. Bg5 Qa5+ 19. Kf1 g6 (19...Be7 $5 20.Kg2 d4) 20. Qh8 $1 *

which has done very well for White. I'm not too confident in Black's alternatives on move 18-19 either, (though 19...Be7 is worth looking at). But I don't understand why more people don't try Kosten's (and Moskalenko's) 15...e4!? 16.Nxd4 Bb4+


20.Qh8 Qa6+ 21.Kg2 Re8 22.Rac1 Be7 23.Qh6 Qd6 24.Rhd1 d4 25.Bxf6 Bxf6 26.Qe3 Re7 27.Qb3+ Qe6= Yandemirov-Iliushin,Ishevsk 2005 (Moskalenko) but I prefer Black Smiley

15...e4 (Luther-Matamoros Franco,Cienfuefos 1997) 16.Nxd4 Bb4+ 17.Bd2!? (17.Kf1 exd3 18.Bg5 Bxf6 19.Qxf6 gxf6 (Vysochin, S.-Shchukin, D. St Petersburg  2009) 20.Rd1 b6 (Daberit-Kosten,Avon 1985 (MCO)) 21.a3 Bc5 22.Nf3=) Bxd2 18.Kxd2 Qa5+ 19.Kd1 exd3 20.Nb3! Qc7 21.Rc1 Qe5 22.Re1 Bg4+!? (22.Qxb2 23.Qd4 Qxa2 24.Rc7+ Bd7 25.Qxd3 (Anagnostopoulos-Emms,Southampton 1986  (Psakhis Nd2)) and now White has advantage) 23.f3 Qxb2! 24.Rc7+ Kg8 25.Qg5! (25.Ree7 Ne8=) Qb1+ (25..Qxa2 26.Rxg7+) 26.Qc1  (26.Nc1 Qb6=) Qxa2 27.Qc3 Bd7 (27...Qb1+ 28.Nc1 Bd7 29.Re7 Rd8 30.Kd2 Kh8 31.Nxd3 +-) 28.Re7 Rd8 29.Nc5 Qxg2 30.Nxd7 Qxf3+ 31.Rc1 d2+ 32.Kxd2 Ne4+ 33.Rxe4 Qxe4 34.Qe5 Qb4=



  

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Re: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #52 - 05/15/11 at 12:28:21
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Cynima I want to ask you the same question I asked to MNb. Do you think black has serious winning chances against Salto Mortale variation. It seems to me that white can easily draw and play with a lot of chances to win without so much risk. This is keeping me away from 3...Nf6. Of course I am not a very good player and am scared to play with material deficit.
  
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Re: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #51 - 04/28/11 at 13:44:06
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My personal preferences at the moment are:

1.) Against 3.Nc3 I play the Winawer with 7. ... 00 (but 3. ...Nf6 looks also very interesting and promising)
2.) Against 3.Nd2 I play 3. ...Nf6 (the ...Qc7 variation) and I really like black
3.) Against the advance variation I play the idea with ...Qb6, ...Bd7, ...Bb5 etc
I have a very good score with that variation, can someone tell me, why this variation is not played by Top GMs?
4.) Against 3.exd5 I like to play  IQP with playing ...c5 (Watsons line in PTF 4.Bd3 Nc6!? looks also interesting)
  
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Re: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #50 - 04/24/11 at 17:25:43
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Thinking about it, maybe a non trivial distinction between over the board and correspondence.

OTB you just need to prepare/use three or four of the potential lines to make whites task of 'bashing' you theoretically very tough indeed - and there are a lot more than that Smiley
(Even after say 7 Qg4 o-o there's comfortably scope for this, let alone all the other deviations!).

Correspondence though, you do lose a fair bit of the effect of this flexibility and do perhaps begin to face the fact that none of these lines are objectively all that easy vs very critical/accurate white play.
  
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Re: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #49 - 04/24/11 at 16:27:42
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I agree with MartinC. The currently popular Poisoned Pawn main line with 12...d4 may lead to drawish positions ultimately, but both Black and White has so many ways to deviate earlier that it doesn't really matter, certainly below 2300.

If White is really out for an easy draw against the Winawer, he does better to look closely at 4.Nge2 or 4.exd5 instead.
  

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Re: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #48 - 04/24/11 at 15:34:38
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McCutheon slightly perhaps, simply because its a little bit less analysed.

But the Winaver must be one of the better ways to generate winning (and of course losing Smiley) chances thats out there. Black has an awful lot of choice, some lines of which (6 .. Qa5 say) are far too flexible to analyse out.
  
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Re: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #47 - 04/24/11 at 15:21:03
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This has been an interesting thread to read - thanks to all who contributed.  Several posts seem to indicate that against best play the Winawer (while quite challenging and fun to play) seems to tend toward draws (if both players navigate the complications and theory to get that far!)  I guess that could be said of any opening but I was wondering whether or not the alternatives to the Winawer (Classical, MacCutcheon, etc.) can be said to offer Black more opportunity to win with the current state of theory?  I personally enjoy the excitement of the Winawer but was wondering whether or not it was worth the time and investment to really learn an alternative (and if so, what would you suggest?)
  
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Re: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #46 - 04/18/11 at 05:34:16
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kylemeister wrote on 04/17/11 at 20:18:44:
Don't know about that line with 7. Nb3 being "Watson's"; there was some stuff on it in Steffen Pedersen's 2005 book, and Watson's name didn't come up.  Also BTW, Pedersen says that Kosten attributes 15...e4 to (French GM) Gilles Mirallès.

You are right. I have seen the 7.Nb3 line attributed to Smagin but don't know if he was the inventor.
What I meant to say was, it was covered in a chapter in Watson's recent book. Its current popularity must have something to do with that (plus, of course, the fact that it's not a bad line though previously underestimated).
  

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Re: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #45 - 04/17/11 at 20:58:03
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Thanks Stigma. Moskalenko spends four pages on the Salto Mortale and has also a few things to say about 7.Nb3. These days I tend to postpone the research of such lines until I meet them in corr. chess.
  

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Re: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #44 - 04/17/11 at 20:18:44
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Don't know about that line with 7. Nb3 being "Watson's"; there was some stuff on it in Steffen Pedersen's 2005 book, and Watson's name didn't come up.  Also BTW, Pedersen says that Kosten attributes 15...e4 to (French GM) Gilles Mirallès.
  
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Re: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #43 - 04/17/11 at 20:07:39
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MNb wrote on 04/17/11 at 17:17:42:
Stigma wrote on 04/17/11 at 14:57:37:
including the "Salto Mortale" which is the 9.Nf4!? sideline, where White has found improvements recently.

I must admit that I haven't looked at this recently; McDonald had a few nice ideas for subscribers.

When I said earlier that "White can play for a win without much risk", I was thinking of this line and Watson's 5.f4 c5 6.Ng3 Nc6 7.Nb3!? from DW: French. In both lines Black wins very rarely. Though one recent idea caught my eye against the latter:



Black's 8...h6 and 9...g5 is in John Watson style!

In the 9.Nf4 line, the new-ish idea I'm talking about is



which has done very well for White. I'm not too confident in Black's alternatives on move 18-19 either, (though 19...Be7 is worth looking at). But I don't understand why more people don't try Kosten's (and Moskalenko's) 15...e4!? 16.Nxd4 Bb4+
  

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Re: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #42 - 04/17/11 at 17:17:42
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Stigma wrote on 04/17/11 at 14:57:37:
including the "Salto Mortale" which is the 9.Nf4!? sideline, where White has found improvements recently.

I must admit that I haven't looked at this recently; McDonald had a few nice ideas for subscribers.
  

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Re: French Defence--State of Theory
Reply #41 - 04/17/11 at 14:57:37
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 04/17/11 at 13:37:35:
Stigma wrote on 04/16/11 at 14:18:17:
That's like hearing John Watson, "The Tarrasch is so inoffensive", "Black can play any move he likes, even ...a6 and ...h6" etc.

Sorry, I don't buy it. White is still White in the French Tarrasch, Black is the one trying to equalize. Thogh 3...c5 with ...Qxd5 looks like a very good candidate to achieve that equality nowadays.

Perhaps the entire Tarrasch isn't drawish, but the statistics rather suggest it is. Apparently, Black can play either 4.ed5 ed5 or 4.ed5 Qd5 and hope for equality out of the opening.

I never liked this option much as Black, and choose 3...Nf6 instead. I increase my losing chances dramatically, but I also improve my winning chances.

Maybe on top GM level either 4.exd5 exd5 or 4.exd5 Qxd5 are drawish enough that White should choose something else. In that case I agree with BPaulsen and Dean that things are looking good for the French at the moment since both the Winawer and the Classical are also in good shape!

And still this "drawishness" doesn't prevent strong GMs from playing the opening, like Adams, Tiviakov, Rublevsky etc. I liked Tzermiadianos' recommendations in the 4.exd5 exd5 lines and wouldn't like playing Black against them. It will also be interesting to see what Yevseev comes up with in the upcoming Chess Stars book for White.

From a practical point of view, players below GM/IM level are worse defenders and therefore less likely to play the exd5 exd5 lines, and if they do, to play them well.

In practice 3...Nf6 is the overwhelmingly most frequent choice against me, and I'm happy with that since White has so many playable and interesting options Smiley Yes, including the "Salto Mortale" which is the 9.Nf4!? sideline, where White has found improvements recently. I also often see 3...Nc6 (exciting) and 3...dxe4 (not my favorite opening, but then 3.Nc3 wouldn't avoid it either). 3...c5, while objectively strong, is only the 4th choice!
  

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