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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) C00-C19: French without advancing to e5? (Read 7880 times)
Norge
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #19 - 07/22/05 at 09:40:27
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If you dont like to advance to e5 and are aiming for your opponents kingside, why dont give the Winawer Exchange a try? Many say its boring, I play it and never felt this words are justified.
  
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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #18 - 07/21/05 at 22:50:39
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Hi, 

There has been a lot of good advice in this thread, and some of the best advice contradicts each other! Smiley  As far as I'm concerned, that's perfectly normal.  I agree with TomR who suggests that you should "bite the bullet" and start studying e5 lines as White.   

If you really want to attack the Kingside (and notice I'm not worrying about statistics here), the Advanced French leads directly to king-side attacks.  Take a look at the classic games of Nimzovich and Sveshnikov to get a taste of how the games should go, then build up your own ideas.

If you know for sure which variations your opponent plays, you can eventually start steering them into positions where they are more likely to walk into your kingside attack.  For instance, if they play the Winawer as Black, maybe they play the Tarrasch with Nf6 as well.  Choose the the Tarrasch against them because they are more likely to castle k-side.  But again, the Advanced variation is still the best bet for a k-side attack.

I agree with another piece of advice:  play it as Black in blitz games.  Learn what weapons Black has, and work from there.  The Chigorin (Qe2), the KIA, and other lines will become much less interesting to you once you see how easy it is for Black to dictate the terms of the opening after these lesser options for White.

I hope this helps.
  
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dom
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #17 - 07/21/05 at 17:39:23
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Play Tarrasch...it's true: Black will not so often try to castle long. You can let the pawn on e4 for a while, if you play the "universal system" (read the updates), which is: e4/d4/Nd2/Ngf3/Bd3/c3/oo/Re1/Qe2 and if it's not enough for the support of the e4 pawn, you can try e5 at some stage. But you must know, that common plan for White in Rubinstein (dxe4) is to castle long.
  

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Willempie
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #16 - 07/21/05 at 15:32:17
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As a totally unrelated tip. I suggest looking into some french setups (preferably the types you meet most as white) and try them out with black in some friendly rapid or blitz games. That way you get a feel for what black is playing for and what you feel is the most unpleasant white can play. I myself always felt totally frustrated when I had to face a Caro or a French with white (I grew up with 1 e4 e5 being standard) until I started trying it out myself. So now I play against those openings with confidence and am able to play different systems against them.

One word of warning it may have undesirable side-effects, you may actually enjoy playing those openings with black. I now play the french a lot with the occasional Caro or Sicilian flicked in.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Dimitrij
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #15 - 07/21/05 at 13:36:40
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Hi,
2.Qe2 the Chigorin anti french could fit your bill. I already hear the indignant Frenchies crying that they answer the Chigorin with c5 and then my Queen shall be misplaced, but I play it since 3 years on the level of 2000 - 2100 and its the best what I have ever had against the French! If it is be so bad like some people would like to make you believe, why you get the following results at the opening explorer of one big chess page (dont know if it is welcome here to tell their name): their material include only GM games of highest standards, of them 276 games in the 2.Qe2 Chigorin: 49,3 % white wins/23,6 draws/27,2 % black wins. This is more effective then any French Winawer, MacCutcheon or whatever French main variation...
You mentionned the Megabase. Another source that shows how effective this weapon can be: 57 % white (elo average 2360), 43 % black (elo average 2342).
Wild thing! Grin
  
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HgMan
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #14 - 07/21/05 at 10:38:33
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How many times does Black not castle at all in the MacCutcheon?  I'm guessing more frequently than 0-0 and 0-0-0 combined.  I don't remember the last time I castled in the MacCutcheon.  And you're still not making reference to the strength of the players, the results of the games, or when they were played.  I've said it in a couple of messages already: put the database away and look at the chess board.  Megabase is fine and all, but it also includes a lot of terrible that do more harm than good.

But this isn't about the MacCutcheon--rather about avoiding an obvious pawn move (e5), and trying to persuade your opponent from playing a move that in all likelihood s/he won't play anyway.  Short of bribing your opponent, you might also try taking up Chinese Checkers, though I don't know what the statistics are for player success after having given up chess for it.  (Try the yellow marbles--they work best for me).

  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Benno G.
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #13 - 07/21/05 at 09:55:06
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Well, not its up to me to be surprised that people who obviously play the French since years, are surprised about simple facts in their pet opening.
I just checked it back with the Megabase/2003 database. As a fact black castles in the MacCutcheon more often long then short - I have been given 880 times black 0-0-0 but only 620 times black 0-0 !
  
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HgMan
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #12 - 07/21/05 at 08:38:01
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I would be inclined to forget about the statistics and just look at the board.  After 4 Bg5 Bb4 5 e5 h6 6 Bd2 (6Be3/6 Bc1) Ne4 7 Qg4, White has a good kingside attack.  Black's chances to castle long are minimal.  I would be very surprised to learn that Black castles long almost half the time in the MacCutcheon.

Frankly, I think you need to learn the French and face it, or else your results will continue to be disappointing.  As TomR pointed out, you can't control your opponent's choices...
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #11 - 07/21/05 at 07:55:47
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I do think the best way to play against the french is advancing to e5, after all, black has to be punished for refusing to play e5.  Roll Eyes

willempie's choices are good, but there are others like 2. b3, 3. Bd3!? (SOS3) worth experimenting in the occasional game, though poor as long term repertoire choices.
  
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Willempie
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #10 - 07/21/05 at 07:45:27
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The likeliness of getting a Mac is not that high, plus I think (I dont play it with black) that in the big majority of cases black either castles short or not at all (often Kf8). I am not aware of one line where black castles long, though it may very well be there are some.
I myself play the Winawer and I think that I havent castled long much, maybe once or twice. What happens considerably more is that I dont castle at all.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Benno G.
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #9 - 07/21/05 at 07:21:18
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After 3.Nc3 Nf6, 4.Bg5 black can go for the MacCutcheon and then the likeliness of meeting a black 0-0-0 is about 40 % !
  
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #8 - 07/21/05 at 03:48:59
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I'd suggest playing some variations in which you delay e5 a bit (or sometimes dont play e5 at all), downside is that it may involve a gambit. Basically if white doesnt play e5 in the french he is either giving away any chance of an advantage or is gambiting.
So 3 Nc3:
On 3 .. Bb4 play one of 4 a3, 4 Bd2 or Ne2. The first can sometimes transpose to the main line, but is quite solid. All of them can involve black taking on e4 with the pawn, so it wont go to e5;)
On 3 .. Nf6 you may want to look into the Anderssen attack (4 Bg5 Be7 5 Bxf6 Bxf6 6 e5), though I dont think you would need to worry about black castling long in the 3.. Nf6 variations anyway.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #7 - 07/20/05 at 10:28:08
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Unfortunately we can't always play the type of positions we like best. One of the strengths of a good player is being able to adapt to all kinds of positions.
Therefore my advice to you is this:

Study the Classics: In particular look for games with players castling on opposite sides and games with structures that are quite closed and that you tend to dislike.

In this way you will improve your understanding of such positions and will be happy to go into such situations yourself! Chess is primarily about trying to play the best move, and, with all the difficulties in doing this already, you don't want to prejudgice your assessments because you want to avoid a certain type of position!  Good luck and let me know how you get on!

PS this doesn't disregard personal choice, in some situations there are equally good moves, and then opf course you can choose according to taste!
  
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #6 - 07/20/05 at 08:30:01
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If Black wants to castle long, Black is going to castle long--there's very little you can do to dissuade that.  The number of times that Black plays 0-0-0 after 3 Nd2 or 3 Nc3 seems a little irrelevant if you don't factor in results and strength of players.  If you want to attack on the kingside with White, play the Winawer (3 Nc3 Bb4) and either the Steinitz or the Classical (3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5/4 e5).

Given the number of reservations you have against the French--castling and not wanting to advance the e-pawn--it seems as though you should work toward finding a particular line you can live with or try 1 d4...
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Benno G.
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Re: French without advancing to e5?
Reply #5 - 07/20/05 at 07:20:22
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As I told, I like positions with 0-0 vs. 0-0 where White has the possibility of attacking kingside. 
I just had a look at positions that arise from 3.Nd2 Nf6, 4.e5 Nfd7, 5.Bd3 c5, 6.c3 Nc6, 7.Ne2 cxd4, 8.cxd4 f6 etc. If I am not wrong, these positions offer black the better chances for a kingside attack.
  
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