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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) C01: French Exchange with 4. c4 (Read 10875 times)
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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #17 - 07/02/06 at 14:17:55
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Sometimes we just go round in circles...

We've already discussed the merits of 4.c4 some time ago in the thread

"How does White confront the French?" on page 5.

http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1102647301;start=all

There I concluded:

<< Finally here's what the French defence expert Lev Psakhis says about 4 c4 in one of his recent books:
"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."

So we can be sure that the line is perfectly playable and sets some problems. It also avoids the typical blocked French positions and will usually produce just one type of position - an IQP. So for anyone who likes open games, especially IQP positions with White (and learns how to handle them properly), it might prove a useful weapon against the French. Certainly some of my students like it and score well with it.>>

  
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dom
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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #16 - 07/02/06 at 11:34:59
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Difficult for one person to know which line is popular...

I  met only one strong player playing the Exchange (simul given by Igor Alexandre Nataf, in fact a Winawer-Exchange: 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.exd5) and when playing other MI,GMI other lines are often chosen (KIA,Tarrasch,..)

Same feeling as given above: no clear advantage for White in the Exchange
  

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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #15 - 07/01/06 at 22:58:19
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dom,

Your specific lines agree with my general feeling that 4.c4 is not such a dangerous weapon for White.  Black has at least two main ways to gain counterplay, and perhaps even take over the initiative.  Even in blitz games, I have rarely had any difficulty with this line.  Yet there are a large number of junior players who have picked this (the French Exchange with 4.c4) up in my area.  Is the French Exchange becoming popular in France, too?
  
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dom
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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #14 - 07/01/06 at 09:42:46
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@MnB: if I did'nt answer, it's because i am interested with French and not the Danish gambit (only a personal choice of a system as Black)

The only line I recorded is: 4.c4 Nc6!? 5.Be3 Bb4+ (or 5..Nf6 6.Nc3 Bb4) 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Qb3 (7.Bd3 dxc4 8.Bxc4 oo and now 9.Nf3 Bg4 10.oo transposes to an easy position for Black, where White has lost a move to overprotect his isolated pawn or 9.Nge2 Bd6 and Black plays Ng4 at some stage) and here instead of 7..oo 8.Nf3 Be6 unclear Falkbeer-Bird,Londres 1856 (ECG) I suggest 7...a5
  

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dom
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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #13 - 07/01/06 at 09:26:15
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@dsanchez: another post for the other line..

The line is given by Neven: 4.c4  Nf6 5.Nc3 Be7 6.Bd3 Nc6!? (6...c6!? transposes to my previous post) 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Nge2 and now Neven doesn't give 8...Bg4, but 8...oo 9.oo Bg4 10.h3 Bxe2 11.Nxe2 Bf6 =  Wolf-Heyken,Allemagne 1988 (Neven)

And the answer to the question: why White plays 10.h3 and not 10.f3 ? the answer is 10...Be6 ; White weakens his kingside and if there is an exhange on d5 square Black takes on d5 with the queen at the end, the pawn d4 is under attack, hence Ne2 can't move easily

If Black plays the system with Nf6-Be7 and the ideas above, it's maybe passive, but safe and very solid.
  

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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #12 - 07/01/06 at 09:10:23
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@dsanchez: thanks for the line with 4...c6 (always interesting to look at transpositions). I have in my records the position after

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.ed ed 4.c4 c6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Bd3 Be7 (Gurevich-Dautov,2001 (Leonid chess Megapage)) 7.Nge2 0-0 8.0-0 dc 9.Bxc4 Nbd7 10.Bb3 Nb6

position after a different move order (White playing the system with Bb3-Nc3-Nge2; Black playing the system with c6-Nf6-Nb6).

I quoted "the position was known as unclear according to the game Wolff-Dreev,Biel 1993 (MCO)" but Drasko gives White advantage after much more moves:

11.Re1 (11.Nf4 Russek - Del Rio Angelis, 2003) and now 11...Bf5?! because of the line you gave (12.Ng3 Bg4 13.f3 += is the Woll-Dreev game).

11...Bg4!? (Ambroz and Neven) ; 11...Re8 12.Ng3 ; 11...Nbd5 12.Nxd5 Nxd5 13.Nc3  need much more analysis/comments


  

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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #11 - 06/27/06 at 16:00:00
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MNb wrote on 06/27/06 at 01:34:45:
Moreover I wanted to show, that White does not need to transpose to the Danish Gambit Declined.
Sorry OstapBender for all the time you wasted, but I do not recall further discussion on the line 4...Nc6 5.Be3 or 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Be3. My post was an answer to both you and Dom ... But nobody seems interested in this.


Thanks for the reply.  I think I was making a big deal about a very small issue.  Your point that White need not transpose to the Danish Gambit was clear enough if I'd given it a bit of thought.

I guess the idea of delaying Nf3 also comes into play in the Danish Gambit itself (most games where I answered the Danish Gambit with ...d5 just transposed into the corresponding Goering Gambit line after Nf3 so I don't have much in the way of direct experience).  

E.g., after 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.cxd4 White could answer 5...Nc6 with 6.Be3 instead of 6.Nf3.  I imagine this has been discussed in the 1.e4 e5 section...

(I will look, and not complain about the time I spent looking.  Lips Sealed)
« Last Edit: 06/27/06 at 18:35:16 by OstapBender »  

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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #10 - 06/27/06 at 01:34:45
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OstapBender wrote on 06/26/06 at 04:32:46:
I'd suggest that any mention of a former thread that supposedly provides the answer to a posed question be provided with link to that thread. Otherwise the information about the mere existence of the thread is likely to be completely useless.


This is of course a good idea. The reason I did not give that link is twofold: I am too lazy to find it myself and I remembered the most important information of that thread: that White can play the standard Nc3, Nge2, Bd3 and Be3 in some moveorder. I just wanted to make clear, that this is not my idea. Moreover I wanted to show, that White does not need to transpose to the Danish Gambit Declined.
Sorry OstapBender for all the time you wasted, but I do not recall further discussion on the line 4...Nc6 5.Be3 or 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Be3. My post was an answer to both you and Dom ... But nobody seems interested in this.
  

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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #9 - 06/26/06 at 21:10:42
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I used to play this and at one time spent some time studying it with an FM.

GM Maurice Ashley used to play this with some regularity, and you might find some ideas in his games.  I think IM Josh Waitzkin also used to play it.

I don't have my French book handy -- I don't think Watson gives it much coverage, maybe only a couple of columns.  I'll try to look it up tonight.

I am not sure what Black's best plan is, except to keep in mind typical IQP ideas.  I gave up playing it as White because I don't believe White gets the dynamic benefits from the IQP that he gets in some other IQP openings.  Not sure why that is.  Maybe because White's pressure on the c-file is not as meaningful as pressure on the e-file.  Also, it seems to me White's pieces are not very well coordinated in this line.

If Black can manage to exchange light-squared bishops, that should be a pretty nice positional victory for him, I think.

One main idea for White is to play a setup with Bd3 and Nge2.  Then  White can try to bury Black's bishop with f3, Ng3, and f4, f5.

E.g.: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.ed ed 4.c4 c6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Bd3 Be7 7.Nge2 0-0 8.0-0 dc 9.Bxc4 Nbd7 10.Bb3 Nb6 11.Re1 Bf5 12.Ng3 Bg6 13.f4

Similar ideas can be found in the Caro-Kann.

I also believe we decided  4...Nf6 was probably Black's best.  A lot of players will unthinkingly play 4...Bb4+, which probably is inaccurate. 5.Nc3 Be7 6.Bd3 Nc6

Now if White plays the natural 7.Nge2 to protect the d-pawn, then 7...Nb4!.  Therefore better for Whtie is  7.cd Nxd5 8.Nge2 Bg4 9.f3 Bh5 and Black threatens to exchange White's best piece. So,

10.Be4!? Nf6 11.Bxc6+ and I guess your assessment depends on if you prefer the bishops or the pawn structure.
  
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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #8 - 06/26/06 at 08:33:11
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One more point to add to Willempie. This is an IQP game with c pawn and this means normal cover of a pawn on e6 is not available. Black has to be much more careful along a2-g8 diagonal.
  

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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #7 - 06/26/06 at 05:41:15
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If you like relaxed play, play Nf6, Be7 and then the moves (in no particular order so you have to figure that out behind the board) c6, Be6 (g4), 0-0, Nbd7, dxc4, Nd5 and Ndf6 (or b6) followed by blocking up d5 and play vs the IQP. Couple of things to keep in mind in this variation.
-Dont play dxc4 before white has moved his f1-bishop, otherwise you'll lose a tempo.
-White's main plan is an attack on the kingside, so always keep that in mind, but dont go into "coward" mode by playing moves like h6 too early, that ususally helps white.
-Exchanginge light pieces good, exchanging heavy pieces bad Wink
  

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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #6 - 06/26/06 at 04:32:46
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After a good deal of digging (an enormous waste of time, BTW) I was able to come up with the following post which may or may not have some connection to the debated line MNb is referring to:

MNb wrote on 11/20/04 at 21:03:00:
It is far off topic, but I have always wondered what players of the French Exchange do after 3.exd5 exd5 4.c4 Nc6!? as 5.cxd5 Qxd5 transposes to the Danish Gambit Declined.


Link: http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1051739029/#5

As near as I can tell, noone replied to this post.  If there was a later followup in another thread, it's VERY well hidden.

I'd suggest that any mention of a former thread that supposedly provides the answer to a posed question be provided with link to that thread. Otherwise the information about the mere existence of the thread is likely to be completely useless.
  

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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #5 - 06/26/06 at 02:49:45
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MNb wrote on 06/26/06 at 01:19:09:
4...Nc6, including the transposition to the Danish Declined, has been debated before in this section. Note that White can postpone Nf3 and play Be3 first, which avoids the Capablanca line given by Ostapbender.
Somebody suggested just the standard setup with Be3, Bd3, Nc3, Nge2.


If the thread exists, it's not easy to find.  Any chance of coming up with a link to it?

If there was anything approximating a debate on this line, one would think the thread would be easy to find - so I won't be holding my breath waiting for someone to come up with the link.  Roll Eyes

Should the actually thread turn up, I wonder if it would have anything to do with the main point of my previous post which was simply this: in the line given by dom, 7...Bg4 is a much better move than 7...Nf6.
« Last Edit: 06/26/06 at 04:35:33 by OstapBender »  

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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #4 - 06/26/06 at 01:19:09
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4...Nc6, including the transposition to the Danish Declined, has been debated before in this section. Note that White can postpone Nf3 and play Be3 first, which avoids the Capablanca line given by Ostapbender.
Somebody suggested just the standard setup with Be3, Bd3, Nc3, Nge2.
  

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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #3 - 06/25/06 at 21:39:14
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4...Nc6 looks unusual.  I used to play the French Defense and don't recall seeing this recommended anywhere.  Of course, this doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the move - just that it looks odd (to me at least).

An interesting thing about the following line:

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c4 Nc6 5. cxd5 Qxd5 6. Nc3 Bb4 7. Nf3

is that it leads to the exact same position as:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. c3 d5 5. exd5 Qxd5 6. cxd4 Bb4+ 7. Nc3

which is a line I've played a number of times againt the Goering Gambit.

(MNb: you can see that this discussion gets moved to the 1. e4 e5 section if it is too upsetting to continue it here.  Wink)


Here dom gives 7...Nf6 which, in my opinion, seems to be somehwat inferior to 7...Bg4 recommended by theory.

After 7...Bg4 the main line continues

8. Be2 Bxf3 9. Bxf3 Qc4 10. Bxc6+ bxc6 11. Qe2+ Qxe2+ 12. Kxe2 Ne7 13. Be3 O-O-O (=/+ according to NCO, but closer to = according to Emms in Play the Open Games as Black.)

Anyway, just wanted to point out an amusing transposition which suggests an improvement on one of dom's lines.





  

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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #2 - 06/25/06 at 19:33:11
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It's difficult to choose between systems for Black...but, of course, short castling is first goal for Black. Hence two main moves 4..Nf6 and 4..Bb4+.

The system with 4..Nc6 needs the move Bb4 after cxd5. The choice is do you want to put a knight or a queen on d5 square ?

The advantage for 4...Nc6!? is White cannot play nor Bd3 (d4 pawn is attacked) nor Ne2 blocking the light bishop. Moves: 5.Nf3 or 5.cxd5 (if 5.Nc3 Nf6 White must choose his move one time more).

Then:
- 5.cxd5 Qxd5 6.Nc3 Bb4 7.Nf3 Nf6 8.Bd2 Bxc3 9.bxc3 oo 10.Be2 Ne4 11.c4 Qd6 12.d5 Ne7 or 11.oo Nxd2 12.Qxd2 Bf5 13.c4 Qd6
- 5.Nf3 Bb4+ 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Bd3 (or 7.Be2 then oo or dxc4 transposes) dxc4 8.Bxc4 oo 9.oo Bg4 10.Bg5 and the point is the pin is not really useful 10...Be7 or 10...Bd6 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Qxf3 Nxd4 13.Qxb7 Rb8 14.Qxa7 Ra8 (easy draw ?)

The move 4...Nf6 is played if Black chooses to play Be7 afterwards.

4...Nf6 5.Nf3 Be7 6.Nc3 oo (one common idea is to take c4 lately when White light bishop has moved) 7.cxd5 (7.Bd3 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Bg4 9.oo Nc6 10.Be3 Qd6) Nxd4 8.Bc4 Be6=

The most active 4...Bb4!? leads to 5.Nc3 (5.Bd2?! not a good idea with an isolated pawn) Nf6 6.Bd3 oo 7.Ne2 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Nbd7 (plan is to blockade the d4 pawn and win a tempo with the attack of the bishop on c4 square) 9.oo Nb6 10.Bb3 (10.Bd3 Re8 11.Qc2 c6 12.Bg5 h6) c6 11.Bg5 Re8 12.Ng3 h6
  

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Re: French Exchange with 4. c4
Reply #1 - 06/25/06 at 15:53:28
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Why ...Be6 before ...0-0?  Seems to me that after ...Nf6 and ...Be7 you could castle at first opportunity.

Although there's nothing wrong with ...Be7, I like the bishop on b4 in these lines:

4...Bb4+ or ...Nf6 then 5...Bb4 (instead of 5...Be7) are worth considering.
  

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C01: French Exchange with 4. c4
06/25/06 at 09:05:05
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So far I have come across the following sequence twice (I play as black):

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

In the first game I replied 4. ...dxc4 and lost after my king got tied up in the center.  That may be because I missed an opportunity to castle, though.

The second game I replied 4. ...Nc6 and again I soon had my king tied in the center.  According to Fritz I was actually about 0.25 pawns better most of the time, but I felt that at any moment I could take a tactical blow.  I ended up winning after my opponent blundered, but I am still looking for a safer way of handling this attack.

Even though many people seem to think that the French exchange variation is dull, I find 4. c4 a bit too exciting for my taste (and I can't prevent it).  

I can't find too much info on how to handle this, but would the following sequence be reasonable if black wants to maintain a solid defense?

Something to the effect of:
4. ...Nf3
5. ...Be7
6. ...Be6
7. ...0-0 (although if white captures at any point, may change)

Thanks for reading, this is a great forum.
« Last Edit: 08/01/11 at 11:00:51 by dom »  
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