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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5 (Read 36772 times)
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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #16 - 02/06/14 at 17:20:18
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IMJohnCox wrote on 02/06/14 at 00:47:09:
I'm always amazed when I see people on here complaining about the Exchange French, which seems to be the main subject of discussion every time I look into this forum.

I don't get it. I think I've conceded one draw as Black in 30 years playing the French off and on, and I've never had the slightest trouble reaching unbalanced positions; there are various obvious methods. Before the internet was invented I just assumed all French players had the same experience, but obviously not. Hey ho.


Avoiding draws and reaching unbalanced positions aren't the issues. Winning is the issue. I definitely have a much worse score vs the exchange than any other variation of the French I've played. One of these days, I'll have to really learn to play it well. But that statement applies to chess as much as this variation.  Grin
  

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TalJechin
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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #15 - 02/06/14 at 15:21:15
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ErictheRed wrote on 02/06/14 at 14:26:47:
TalJechin wrote on 02/06/14 at 14:22:30:
ErictheRed wrote on 02/06/14 at 14:07:17:
I didn't mean you in particular Taljechin, which is why I said the post should be copied to another thread.


Well, I started the thread... and moving it to "Last Round Black Defense to Play for a Win" doesn't make sense to me, as it's White's choice to play 3./4.exd5.


I was only talking about John Cox's post being copied over, and specifically responding to it, which is why I used the quote function.  Sorry if I offended you or derailed your thread. 


Aha, I guess I just misunderstood you then. No problemo! Smiley
  
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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #14 - 02/06/14 at 14:26:47
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TalJechin wrote on 02/06/14 at 14:22:30:
ErictheRed wrote on 02/06/14 at 14:07:17:
I didn't mean you in particular Taljechin, which is why I said the post should be copied to another thread.


Well, I started the thread... and moving it to "Last Round Black Defense to Play for a Win" doesn't make sense to me, as it's White's choice to play 3./4.exd5.


I was only talking about John Cox's post being copied over, and specifically responding to it, which is why I used the quote function.  Sorry if I offended you or derailed your thread. 
  
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TalJechin
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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #13 - 02/06/14 at 14:22:30
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ErictheRed wrote on 02/06/14 at 14:07:17:
I didn't mean you in particular Taljechin, which is why I said the post should be copied to another thread.


Well, I started the thread... and moving it to "Last Round Black Defense to Play for a Win" doesn't make sense to me, as it's White's choice to play 3./4.exd5.


nestor wrote on 02/06/14 at 10:15:52:
When I went back to the French and looked seriously at 3.exd5 (as you must, I think), the first thing I did was to open my database and play through some Black wins by the best of the older players, starting with Rubinstein. I highly recommend this - the man knew where his pieces belonged!


Thanks, this may be a quite useful idea. I did a quick check of Kortchnoi's best games, only to see one game with him playing 4.exd5 as White against Vaganian. Mentioning that he had noticed that his opponent had a negative score vs the exchange...
So, at least I'm in good company! Smiley
  
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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #12 - 02/06/14 at 14:07:17
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I didn't mean you in particular Taljechin, which is why I said the post should be copied to another thread.
  
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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #11 - 02/06/14 at 13:43:43
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ErictheRed wrote on 02/06/14 at 13:07:46:
IMJohnCox wrote on 02/06/14 at 00:47:09:
I'm always amazed when I see people on here complaining about the Exchange French, which seems to be the main subject of discussion every time I look into this forum.

I don't get it. I think I've conceded one draw as Black in 30 years playing the French off and on, and I've never had the slightest trouble reaching unbalanced positions; there are various obvious methods. Before the internet was invented I just assumed all French players had the same experience, but obviously not. Hey ho.


This should be copied over to the "win as Black in the last round" thread.  I'm also always surprised that a position with exactly a single pair of pawns exchanged should be considered so drawish.


Have you read the entries?? I haven't claimed that it's drawish, on the contrary despite its reputation it can be quite dangerous for Black, see the game I quoted in the first post. Black in that game is actually a very solid player with excellent stats in the Winawer and iirc he's played it for at least 30 years on a +2400 level...

Out of curiosity I checked the database for "both players +2700" and all of the handful games, except one draw, were won, with a 50% score (mostly blitz & speed) for 3.exd5 while 4.exd5 only saw ½/2 for White.
So it's only drawish if both players play for the draw. But theory usually gives a few games with "IM or lower" vs GM, and Black wins after White having played too singlemindedly for a draw.


MartinC wrote on 02/06/14 at 09:30:46:
Plenty of UK leagues which don't reach the databases Smiley Even most of the congresses don't actually.


But still, an IM who has only played local tournaments for 30 years?!?
  
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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #10 - 02/06/14 at 13:07:46
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IMJohnCox wrote on 02/06/14 at 00:47:09:
I'm always amazed when I see people on here complaining about the Exchange French, which seems to be the main subject of discussion every time I look into this forum.

I don't get it. I think I've conceded one draw as Black in 30 years playing the French off and on, and I've never had the slightest trouble reaching unbalanced positions; there are various obvious methods. Before the internet was invented I just assumed all French players had the same experience, but obviously not. Hey ho.


This should be copied over to the "win as Black in the last round" thread.  I'm also always surprised that a position with exactly a single pair of pawns exchanged should be considered so drawish.

I thought that McDonald had a good explanation of ideas in his book for Everyman, if a bit basic.
  
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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #9 - 02/06/14 at 10:15:52
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I think the best recent coverage of 3.exd5 is in Playing the French (Aagaard & Ntirlis), which has 40-odd pages including nine annotated games. I also like the lines given in The Modern French (Antic & Maksimovic), although their presentation is quite variation-heavy and therefore not what the OP would prefer.

The main difference of opinion between authors seems to be the line 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd6 6.c4 dxc4 7. d5 a6 8.Ba4 b5 9.dxc6 bxa4. Watson likes this for Black and gives it as his main line (although being John Watson, he also gives alternatives), and I believe Nick Pert also chooses this line on his recent ChessBase dvd (someone will correct me if I'm wrong about this). None of Aagaard & Ntirlis, Antic & Maksimovic, or Vitiugov (The French Defence Reloaded) like this line (and neither do I), and they don't cover it.

Regarding 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.exd5, I don't think you can go too far wrong with Watson's recommendations (and he explicitly refers to both Vitugov and Simon Williams' book Attacking Chess: The French in places), as he offers choices between solid and sharp lines at key moments. In particular after 4.exd5 exd5 5.Bd3, Watson covers both 5...Nc6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 (which Vitugov regards as "asking for trouble") and 5...c6.

When I went back to the French and looked seriously at 3.exd5 (as you must, I think), the first thing I did was to open my database and play through some Black wins by the best of the older players, starting with Rubinstein. I highly recommend this - the man knew where his pieces belonged!
  
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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #8 - 02/06/14 at 09:30:46
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Plenty of UK leagues which don't reach the databases Smiley Even most of the congresses don't actually.

iirc My recent games I've gone something like =3,-1 against the exchange but interesting enough positions even with just playing classically. No problems with the opening, a few with my profoundly poor play!

There is always the nagging temptation of offering a draw at move 2 Wink

The one Exchange Winaver I had to face a while back I got into terrible trouble but got offered a kind draw.
  
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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #7 - 02/06/14 at 06:44:03
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Mike Thomas wrote on 02/06/14 at 00:12:49:
Against 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4. exd5   it might be worth a punt to consider 4....Qxd5, transposing into a Katalyamov Rubenstein (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Qd5) where White retreats the knight rather than play Bd3 and c4. I'm not sure of its current theoretical status, but it would make a good surprise for OTB play.


Moskalenko suggests this too, with the idea 5.Nf3 Bd7(-b5) exchanging the whitefielders. Though imo it rewards White for his lack of ambition by going into an inferior Scandinavian.


IMJohnCox wrote on 02/06/14 at 00:47:09:
I'm always amazed when I see people on here complaining about the Exchange French, which seems to be the main subject of discussion every time I look into this forum.

I don't get it. I think I've conceded one draw as Black in 30 years playing the French off and on, and I've never had the slightest trouble reaching unbalanced positions; there are various obvious methods. Before the internet was invented I just assumed all French players had the same experience, but obviously not. Hey ho.


Funny, I can't find a single game with J. Cox as Black after 3.exd5 or 4.exd5...
Are you trying to deter people from playing the Exchange against you or are the games you mention all blitz and speed chess?
  
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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #6 - 02/06/14 at 01:31:34
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Mike Thomas wrote on 02/06/14 at 00:12:49:
Against 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4. exd5   it might be worth a punt to consider 4....Qxd5, transposing into a Katalyamov Rubenstein (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Qd5) where White retreats the knight rather than play Bd3 and c4. I'm not sure of its current theoretical status, but it would make a good surprise for OTB play.

Qxd5 is uncommon but I do not believe it has any real "surprise" value because Black doesn't really have any tricks to hope for and the setup mainly limits Black's options rather than White's.  Black still has to play for c7-c5, as in other Rubinstein lines, so Black's plan will be familiar to White. Black loses the option to retreat Bd6 because the queen is exposed.  Black also loses Bf5 or Bg4 possibilities and so will have to use 2 tempi to develop Bc8-b7.  The resulting positions for White should be straightforward and simple for any 1.e4 player, assuming White knows the well-worn trick that in the event of an early Nc6 then Bd3-b5+ discovers an attack on d4 and indirectly defends the d4-pawn.  So maybe it's like a Nimzowitsch Defense where Black prematurely played e6 shutting in the B/c8.
  

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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #5 - 02/06/14 at 00:47:09
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I'm always amazed when I see people on here complaining about the Exchange French, which seems to be the main subject of discussion every time I look into this forum.

I don't get it. I think I've conceded one draw as Black in 30 years playing the French off and on, and I've never had the slightest trouble reaching unbalanced positions; there are various obvious methods. Before the internet was invented I just assumed all French players had the same experience, but obviously not. Hey ho.
  
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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #4 - 02/06/14 at 00:12:49
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Against 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4. exd5   it might be worth a punt to consider 4....Qxd5, transposing into a Katalyamov Rubenstein (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Qd5) where White retreats the knight rather than play Bd3 and c4. I'm not sure of its current theoretical status, but it would make a good surprise for OTB play.
  
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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #3 - 02/05/14 at 23:29:58
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Seeing ...Bd6, ...Ne7 and ...c6 described as "spicing up the Exchange French" reminded me of this old book main line:  4. Bd3 Bd6 5. Ne2 Ne7 6. Bf4 Bf5 7. Nbc3 c6 8. Bxd6 Qxd6 9. Bxf5 Nxf5 10. Qd3 Qf6 11. 0-0 0-0.
  
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Re: Dealing with 4.exd5 and 3.exd5
Reply #2 - 02/05/14 at 21:38:25
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fling wrote on 02/05/14 at 17:32:57:
It is recommended by King in a Power Play DVD (IIRC). Rabiega is the white hero in some of the games. Both Williams and Vitiugov treat the variation with some model games that were helpful to me, as did Watson.

Of course Berg must have some ideas about it, but I haven'y checked yet.

And Chesspub of course Smiley



I assume King is recommending 4.exd5 not 3?

As i see it, the problem for Black is mostly fourfold 1) you need to play for a win in an unfamiliar/"boring" position vs a lower rated happy to draw 2) White can choose many set-ups with many move orders, so it's hardly worthwhile to memorise moves 3) a higher rated White may force you to play for a draw without the usual counter chances. 4) Black has also many moves to choose from at every point between moves 5-10, which makes it easy to become strategically inconsistent.

One remedy could be to try to find something solid and universal that works against most White set-ups.

I saw one set-up vs 3.exd5 with Bd6, Ne7 and c6 recommended on youtube ("Spicing up the exchange french").
One perk with that could be that Black can choose the same set-up in the Winawer, e.g. 4.ed5 ed5 5.Bd3 c6, >Ne7, and eventually Bb4-d6. White could of course try 5.a3 but Black seems to score quite well with Bxc3 and Nf6.

Are there any other potential problems for Black with this set-up?
  
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