Latest Updates:
Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) C10-C14: Classical French: Dynamic? (Read 17993 times)
STEFANOS
Junior Member
**
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 71
Joined: 03/27/08
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #40 - 05/09/08 at 20:11:01
Post Tools
i believe the win that today Ivantsuk socred against Topalov from MTel Masters tournament at Sofia, may give an answer to the first who asked , if the classical variation is dynamic.
1) Topalov,V (2767) - Ivanchuk,V (2740) [C11]
4th M-Tel Masters Sofia BUL (2), 09.05.2008

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.a3 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Bc5 10.Be2 0-0 11.Qd2 Qc7 12.Bf3 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Nb6 14.Ne2 Bxd4 15.Qxd4 Bd7 16.b3 Bb5 17.Nc3 Rfc8 18.Nxb5 axb5 19.Be2 Nd7 20.Ra2 Nb8 21.0-0 Nc6 22.Qd2 Qb6+ 23.Kh1 Qa5 24.Qxa5 Rxa5 25.Raa1 Rca8 26.Rad1 Rxa3 27.Bxb5 Nb4 28.c4 R8a5 29.f5 exf5 30.g4 Rxb3 31.gxf5 Re3 32.Rb1 Nd3 33.e6 d4 34.Be8 Nc5 35.Bxf7+ Kf8 36.f6 gxf6 37.Rxf6 Ke7 38.Rh6 d3 39.Rxh7 d2 40.Rg1 Re1 41.Bh5+ Kxe6 42.Rhg7 Ne4 43.R7g6+ Ke5 0-1
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
lnn2
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 1504
Location: nc
Joined: 09/22/04
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #39 - 05/04/08 at 02:48:43
Post Tools
lnn2 wrote on 11/11/07 at 05:46:18:
My experiences are similar to yours. I think the MacCutcheon is really the only way for me to play against 4. Bg5. But recently I lost miserably to a FM in a few rapid games starting with 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Bb4 5. e5 h6 6. Be3 Ne4 7. Qg4 g6 8. a3 Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 Nxc3 10. Bd3 Nc6 11. h4 Ne7 12. h5 g5 13. Ne2! (much better than 13. f3 which is unclear) where after 13.. Nxe2 14. Qxe2 I think Black is slightly worse.

Black is up a pawn, but ironically, the more pieces Black exchanges, the easier for White to use the open b file or exploit Black's kingside weaknesses. Later I found out from the database that Nepomniatchi also lost to Najer in this line (Najer-Nepomniatchi Moscow 2006), but he was willing to repeat it in Spoelman-Nepomniatchi Corus 2007 so who knows. This was also recommended by Watson for White in Dangerous Weapons.


Hah. Seems like I was right...

Nepom just lost some more games after 13. Ne2! recently:

I. Popov (2594) - I. Nepomniachtchi (2634) Dagomys 2008
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Bb4 5. e5 h6 6. Be3 Ne4
7. Qg4 g6 8. a3 Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 Nxc3 10. Bd3 Nc6 11. h4 Ne7
12. h5 g5 13. Ne2 Nxe2 14. Qxe2 c5 15. dxc5 d4 16. O-O-O Bd7
17. Bxd4 Bc6 18. Bc3 Qd5 19. Rhg1 Qxc5 20. Bb4 Qb6 21. c4 Ba4
22. Qf3 a5 23. Bxe7 Qb3 24. Rd2 Qc3+ 25. Bc2 Qa1+ 26. Bb1 Rc8
27. c5 g4 28. Qe3 Kxe7 29. Ra2 Qxa2 30. Bxa2 b6 31. Kb2 bxc5
32. Qf4 1-0 This was covered by Neil in his recent update.

Nepom then tried to avoid opening the position with 14... Nf5!?, but it was again an unfortunate result. Perhaps Black can improve by being consistent with his strategy and avoid closing the position with 17... c4?! in the following game:

Bo Vuckovic (2556) - I Nepomniachtchi (2634) Plovdiv EuCh. 2008

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Bb4 5. e5 h6 6. Be3 Ne4 7. Qg4 g6 8. a3 Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 Nxc3 10. Bd3 Nc6 11. h4 Ne7 12. h5 g5 13. Ne2 Nxe2 14. Qxe2 Nf5 15. g4 Nxe3 16. fxe3 c5 17. c3 c4 18. Bc2 Qa5 19. Kd2 Bd7 20. Rhf1 O-O-O 21. Rxf7 Ba4 22. Bg6 Rd7 23. Qf1 Rhd8 24. Qf6 Rxf7 25. Bxf7 Bd7 26. Bxe6 Qb5 27. Bxd7+ Rxd7 28. Qf8+ Kc7 29. Qb4 Qxb4 30. axb4 Rf7 31. Ke2 a6 32. Ra5 Rd7 33. Rc5+ 1-0
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Smyslov_Fan
YaBB Moderator
Correspondence fan
*****
Offline


Progress depends on the
unreasonable man. ~GBS

Posts: 6902
Joined: 06/15/05
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #38 - 02/09/08 at 05:31:02
Post Tools
I lost an exchange French as Black.  Embarrassed


(If there was an embarrassed Charlie Brown emoticon, I would have used it.)

The game appears in the French Exchange thread.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Smyslov_Fan
YaBB Moderator
Correspondence fan
*****
Offline


Progress depends on the
unreasonable man. ~GBS

Posts: 6902
Joined: 06/15/05
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #37 - 02/05/08 at 01:59:57
Post Tools
Thanks guys!

I'll let you know how the game turns out!


~Cheers
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
kylemeister
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 4668
Location: USA
Joined: 10/24/05
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #36 - 02/01/08 at 04:25:56
Post Tools
I don't know, but I have a certain fondness for 4...Nf6 5. Nc3 Be7 and if 6. Bd3 Nc6, with the idea 7. Nge2?! Nb4.  7. cd Nxd5 (7...Nb4!?) 8. Nge2 (8. Nf3 looks like a tempo-up Petroff for Black) produces a pretty nice-looking IQP position for Black.

True, there is 6. Nf3, but I would think Black again would have a good chance to reach a sort of improved Petroff IQP, and I don't know how he could expect better winning chances than from such a position.  Miezis-Short, Euro Team Ch 2001 looks nice, for example.  (GM Miezis is one of the main exponents of this line for White.)  
« Last Edit: 02/01/08 at 19:42:15 by kylemeister »  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
MNb
God Member
*****
Offline


Rudolf Spielmann forever

Posts: 10551
Location: Moengo
Joined: 01/05/04
Gender: Male
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #35 - 02/01/08 at 03:17:57
Post Tools
You might invite a transposition to the Göring Gambit Declined with 4...Nc6 5.cxd5 Qxd5 6.Nf3. Of course you should avoid the pure Capablanca line with ...Bb4(+) and ...Bg4, but you might take a look at Nyholm-Alekhine, Stockholm 1912. It's a very fine blockading game. Possible improvements for White are 11.c4, 14.Ng5 and Reinfeld's exchange sac 15.axb5 Nxa1 16.Ne5.
Much sharper is 6...Nf6 7.Be2 Bg4 8.Nc3 Qa5 9.0-0 0-0-0 but it's also quite risky.
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
GC Lichtenberg
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Smyslov_Fan
YaBB Moderator
Correspondence fan
*****
Offline


Progress depends on the
unreasonable man. ~GBS

Posts: 6902
Joined: 06/15/05
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #34 - 02/01/08 at 03:01:54
Post Tools
I'm going to be facing a master in a standard game soon as Black.  I know that he plays both the Classical (with Bxe7) and the Exchange (with c4).  From what I can tell, he scores mostly draws in the Exchange but his games in the Classical are much more decisive (for both sides).

I believe that this is strong evidence that the Classical French is quite dynamic.  At least it's more dynamic than the Exchange Variation.

I have heard both GM Alex Fishbein and IM Michael Mulyar claim that the French Exchange with an early c4 is anything but drawish and that White has excellent chances to win.

Here's my question:
What is Black's best way to play for winning chances (not necessarily a theoretical advantage) after:

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.ed5 ed5 4.c4?

I really think I can beat this player, but I will need to play actively.  He's probably already read his Watson.  I play him on Monday, February 4th.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
kylemeister
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 4668
Location: USA
Joined: 10/24/05
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #33 - 01/28/08 at 18:33:04
Post Tools
Tack.

Oh, these (Swedish) kids today, who haven't heard of Stĺhlberg ...
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
TalJechin
God Member
*****
Offline


There is no secret ingredient.

Posts: 2892
Location: Malmö
Joined: 08/12/04
Gender: Male
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #32 - 01/28/08 at 18:21:15
Post Tools
You can see the game here with some comments in Swedish It's the latest entry (if not you'll find it at January 16th 2008)

http://larsgrahn.blogspot.com/
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
kylemeister
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 4668
Location: USA
Joined: 10/24/05
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #31 - 01/21/08 at 16:53:37
Post Tools
On a related note, I was surprised to see this.  I seem to recall when 7...Qxe7 was regarded as bad, but it now seems to be considered playable.  (Incidentally, Berg is a big French player himself, but generally plays the Winawer.)


[Event "Skakliga 2007-08"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2008.01.13"]
[Round "5.2"]
[White "Berg, Emanuel"]
[Black "Brynell, Stellan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C14"]
[WhiteElo "2580"]
[BlackElo "2452"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2007.11.10"]
[EventType "team"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "DEN"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2003.11.25"]
[WhiteTeam "Helsinge"]
[BlackTeam "Nordkalotten"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "DEN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "DEN"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. h4 c5 7. Bxe7 Qxe7 8. Nb5
O-O 9. Nc7 cxd4 10. Nxa8 f6 11. Qxd4 fxe5 12. Qd2 Nf6 13. f3 Nc6 14. O-O-O Qd6
15. g4 Bd7 16. h5 Rxa8 17. g5 Ne8 18. Rh4 Qc5 19. Bd3 Nd6 20. Nh3 Rf8 21. Nf2
Rxf3 22. Ng4 e4 23. Be2 Nc4 24. Bxc4 Qxc4 25. b3 Qc5 26. Kb2 d4 27. h6 e5 28.
g6 hxg6 29. hxg7 Qc3+ 30. Qxc3 dxc3+ 31. Ka3 Nd4 32. Kb4 Bxg4 33. Rxg4 Nxc2+
34. Ka4 Kxg7 35. Rxe4 Rf4 36. Rxf4 exf4 37. Rc1 Ne3 38. Rxc3 g5 39. Rc7+ Kf6
40. Rxb7 f3 41. Rb8 Nf5 0-1

  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Smyslov_Fan
YaBB Moderator
Correspondence fan
*****
Offline


Progress depends on the
unreasonable man. ~GBS

Posts: 6902
Joined: 06/15/05
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #30 - 01/21/08 at 01:30:29
Post Tools
It's funny how timing is everything.  Almost a year ago, I asked about 6...Nc6 (after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.h4) in the hopes of finding some interesting theory.  Everyone who bothered to respond said it was just plain bad and not worth looking at. 

This idea has been played by Morozevich and now a 13 year old prodigy.  Perhaps we can have a discussion of the merits of this move?
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Paddy
God Member
*****
Offline


The truth will out!

Posts: 923
Location: Manchester
Joined: 01/10/03
Gender: Male
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #29 - 01/20/08 at 12:58:44
Post Tools
Markovich wrote on 10/30/07 at 19:42:42:
Does anyone think that the Classical French, and I'm not talking about the Burn, is suffiently dynamic to be played for a win?  I think that is unmistakbly true of Black's side of the Steinitz Variation, but I am less certain after 4.Bg5 Be7.  Relatedly, how are Black's chances against the Alekhine-Chatard?

I am by no means familiar with the theory of the Classical, rather ignorant in fact.  I'm just seeking the opinion of those with more experience than I.  But I would like to broaden my understanding of the game before these atoms that constitute me find a different use in the Totality of Things.



One of the most interesting young players in the world at the moment plays the Classical French with 5...Be7. That's Hou Yifan from China. Have a look at this dynamic effort played yesterday in the Corus B event:

[Event "Corus B"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2008.01.19"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Smeets, J."]
[Black "Hou Yifan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C14"]
[WhiteElo "2573"]
[BlackElo "2527"]
[PlyCount "116"]
[EventDate "2008.01.12"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. h4 Nc6 7. Nf3 Nb6 8. Rh3 f6 9. Bf4 fxe5 10. Nxe5 O-O 11. Qd2 Nxe5 12. Bxe5 Nd7 13. Bf4 c5 14. dxc5 Nxc5 15. Be3 Bd7 16. O-O-O Rc8 17. g4 b5 18. Bxb5 Bxb5 19. Nxb5 Ne4 20. Qe1 Qd7 21. Nd4 e5 22. Nf5 Rxf5 23. gxf5 Qxf5 24. Rh2 d4 25. f3 Nc3 26. Bxd4 Nxd1 27. Bxe5 Nf2 28. Rxf2 Bxh4 29. Bc3 Qf7 30. Kb1 Rf8 31. a4 a6 32. Bb4 Bxf2 33. Qxf2 Qxf3 34. Qc5 Rd8 35. b3 Qd5 36. Qc7 Re8 37. Bc3 Qf7 38. Qc6 Qg6 39. Qd5+ Kh8 40. Qd7 Rf8 41. b4 h5 42. b5 axb5 43. axb5 Rf2 44. Qc8+ Kh7 45. Bd4 Rd2 46. Qc3 Rd1+ 47. Kb2 Qg5 48. Qc4 Qf4 49. c3 h4 50. Qd5 Qc1+ 51. Kb3 Qb1+ 52. Ka3 Qa1+ 53. Kb4 Rb1+ 54. Kc5 Qa7+ 55. Kd6 Qb8+ 56. Ke7 Qc7+ 57. Ke6 Re1+ 58. Be5 Rxe5+ 0-1

Hou Yifan has not always been successful with 6...Nc6 but clear ly still has faith in it. I think my current choice against 6 h4 would be this or 6...c5.

I've attached (I hope) a pgn file of important (either historically or theoretically) games with 6...Nc6.

See what you think.


  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
HgMan
God Member
*****
Offline


Demand me nothing: What
you know, you know

Posts: 2327
Location: Up on Cripple Creek
Joined: 11/09/04
Gender: Male
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #28 - 11/23/07 at 02:20:00
Post Tools
Markovich,

I spent several months on precisely your question around the time I first signed up at Chesspublishing.  I think the Steinitz is very strong and viable for Black, but I opted for the MacCutcheon against 4.Bg5.  I felt that 4...Be7 was a little passive for Black, and probably doesn't yield the kind of game you're looking for.  I think Black runs into some trouble against the Chatard-Alekhine Attack (see other threads on this)...
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Bibs
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 2196
Joined: 10/24/06
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #27 - 11/15/07 at 06:30:11
Post Tools
Yes, agree this should be standard practice to ease comprehension and increase participation.

1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. Bg5 Be7   
5. e5 Nfd7
6. Be7 Qe7
7. f4 ....
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Smyslov_Fan
YaBB Moderator
Correspondence fan
*****
Offline


Progress depends on the
unreasonable man. ~GBS

Posts: 6902
Joined: 06/15/05
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #26 - 11/15/07 at 03:47:19
Post Tools
@Bibs,

Thanks for providing the links.

@all,

I sometimes get confused even after six moves as to which line is being discussed.  Please let the readers know what the first moves are in your sequence!  Thanks.  Smiley
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Bibs
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 2196
Joined: 10/24/06
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #25 - 11/14/07 at 08:05:49
Post Tools
To assist/inspire.

Games by Nenashev/Graf and Akobian as black.
Alternatives to 7...0-0.
7..a6 and 7...Nb6.

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1411774
and
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1398814

Premise I think - if you have more useful stuff to be getting on with, then get on with it rather than castle.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
kylemeister
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 4668
Location: USA
Joined: 10/24/05
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #24 - 11/13/07 at 21:28:03
Post Tools
Indeed, the German grandmaster Schmittdiel used to play 7...a6, followed right away by ...b5, ...b4 and ...a5.  That was mentioned rather favorably in Lev Psakhis's old book on the French (i.e. before he broke it up into several volumes), but I couldn't say what its current theoretical status is.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
MNb
God Member
*****
Offline


Rudolf Spielmann forever

Posts: 10551
Location: Moengo
Joined: 01/05/04
Gender: Male
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #23 - 11/13/07 at 20:37:49
Post Tools
The nice thing of 7...a6 is, that it offers a solution to the bad bishop problem: ...b5, b4, a5, Ba6.
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
GC Lichtenberg
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
alumbrado
God Member
*****
Offline


Esse quam videri bonus
malebo

Posts: 1418
Location: London
Joined: 02/17/03
Gender: Male
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #22 - 11/13/07 at 19:20:06
Post Tools
Markovich wrote on 11/13/07 at 16:07:01:
I'm worried about the bad bishop in general with this system, actually.  You can get it outside the pawn chain via e8 and still be condemned to inferiority by your need to defend e6.  I wish I had more experience with these positions.  Oviously I need to study some model games.


Every position can stand a healthy weakness ...
  

If sometimes we fly too close to the sun, at least this shows we are spreading our wings.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Markovich
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 6099
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Joined: 09/17/04
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #21 - 11/13/07 at 16:07:01
Post Tools
The way the ebook here leaves it, 6...c5! 7.Bxe7 Kxe7 is an adequate reply to the Alekhine-Chatard.  The citation is Gabrielian - Nikolenko, Moscow 2006. E.g. 8.dxc5 Nxe5 9.Qe2 Nbc6 10.0-0-0 Qa5! 11.f4 d4! (for more, pay up and see the update or the full game with comments).  If that resource is not sufficient, an update is urgently needed.  Petersen's book, which of course was printed before this game was played, omits this equalizing idea. 

(Petersen's book is rather weak in general, though, concerning 4.Bg5; many lines are just stone cold omitted.  For that matter, the ebook lavishes attention on the Rubinstein and Burn and treats the Classical proper quite briefly by comparison.) 

Secondly I think that 6...0-0 is good against the Alekhine-Chatard, although White can of course draw with 7.Bd3 c5 8.Qh5 g6 9.Qh6 cxd4 10.Nf3 Nxe5 11.Nxe5 dxc3 12.Nxg6.  Petersen thinks that White can play for a win in that line, but I looked, and I seriously doubt it.

Now in the Classical proper after 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 7.f4, I wonder what the opinion here is concerning the relative merits of 7...0-0 and 7...a6.  I understand that 7...a6 is the more popular at high levels, but as a novice in this system, I thought I should study 7...0-0 as well.  Oddly, 7...0-0 8.Nf3 c5 9.dxc5! is not in the ebook here.  Petersen opines that 9...Qxc5 10.Bd3 Qe3+ 11.Ne2 Nc6 12.Qd2 Qxd2+ 13.Kxd2 is only a little worse for Black; I don't know, I'm worried about the bad bishop.

I'm worried about the bad bishop in general with this system, actually.  You can get it outside the pawn chain via e8 and still be condemned to inferiority by your need to defend e6.  I wish I had more experience with these positions.  Oviously I need to study some model games.
  

The Great Oz has spoken!
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Smyslov_Fan
YaBB Moderator
Correspondence fan
*****
Offline


Progress depends on the
unreasonable man. ~GBS

Posts: 6902
Joined: 06/15/05
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #20 - 11/13/07 at 04:30:18
Post Tools
I dont' face the too many players over 2300 FIDE, so my opinion is based on play against NMs and FMs mostly.  I have found that I can score quite well against the Steinitz as Black, but I usually have to suffer through an uncomfortable defense for quite a while before my game starts looking ok. 

I guess I'm probably stronger at defending long-term threats than the immediate threats one has to deal with in lines such as the Alekhin-Chatard.  It's either that or the Alekhin-Chatard is just better for White than the Steinitz.  I get the impression from GM practice that Black concurs most of the time and after 4.Bg5 plays 4...de4 most often to avoid the sort of crush that Korchnoi suffered against Kasparov a few years ago in the A-C.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Keano
God Member
*****
Offline


Money doesn't talk, it
swears.

Posts: 2891
Location: Toulouse
Joined: 05/25/05
Gender: Male
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #19 - 11/12/07 at 13:53:43
Post Tools
I also from Blacks point of view am more worried about 4.e5 than 4.Bg5, although of course we are talking pretty abstract stuff here - there are dangers in both.
As White the practical value of 4. e5 is that it avoids both the ...dxe4 lines and the MacCutcheon. That said there are a million ways for Black to play in the Steinitz also.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
lnn2
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 1504
Location: nc
Joined: 09/22/04
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #18 - 11/11/07 at 05:46:18
Post Tools
winawer77 wrote on 11/02/07 at 11:57:40:
I've recently switched from the Winawer to the Classical. But before doing so I had to solve the problem of  4Bg5.

Firstly, 4e5 is ok for Black, his play is natural and his centre solid. Think of a opposite-side castling Sicilian pawn storm position with a blocked centre, thats basically what you get.

4Bg5 is much more difficult to generate chances against. For a long time I had played the Burn variation, which is not as dull and passive as you might think. After 1e4 e6 2d4 d5 3Nc3 Nf6 4Bg5 dxe4 5Nxe4 Be7 6Bxf6 I started out with 6...gxf6 and often got active play. However, these positions (to me, at least) are quite difficult to handle for Black as you both have to keep an eye on your exposed King, as well as being careful not to allow an awful endgame where the broken K-side pawns will suffer. After this I decided that the MacCutcheon was the way to go. I've only played it 6 or so times in the past few months I've taken it up, but so far I have no losses and plenty of wins. I'm also holding out theoretically and practically against stronger players. I think it is an excellent variation, and well worth the time invested studying it. Its a nice mixture of the Winawer and Classical, with the pawn structure and activity of the former, and the solidity of the latter.

About the Classical proper. On a personal level, not only have I never much liked these positions, but I also think that they give White the position he desires. From tournaments I've played at, White mostly goes for the Alekhine-Chatard attack. If you want to take up the Classical proper, then take a look at Zeigler's Chessbase DVD, its a good introduction.



My experiences are similar to yours. I think the MacCutcheon is really the only way for me to play against 4. Bg5. But recently I lost miserably to a FM in a few rapid games starting with 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Bb4 5. e5 h6 6. Be3 Ne4 7. Qg4 g6 8. a3 Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 Nxc3 10. Bd3 Nc6 11. h4 Ne7 12. h5 g5 13. Ne2! (much better than 13. f3 which is unclear) where after 13.. Nxe2 14. Qxe2 I think Black is slightly worse.

Black is up a pawn, but ironically, the more pieces Black exchanges, the easier for White to use the open b file or exploit Black's kingside weaknesses. Later I found out from the database that Nepomniatchi also lost to Najer in this line (Najer-Nepomniatchi Moscow 2006), but he was willing to repeat it in Spoelman-Nepomniatchi Corus 2007 so who knows. This was also recommended by Watson for White in Dangerous Weapons.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Bibs
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 2196
Joined: 10/24/06
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #17 - 11/11/07 at 02:13:09
Post Tools
Yes there is.

7...a6

can be punted.

Remember this was a speciality of some top Warwickshire/Birmingham (UK, not Alabama) juniors of around 2200+ strength from about 20 years back. Was interesting when it became quite a big idea  some years later.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Darthmambo
Junior Member
**
Offline


I love ChessPublishing.com!

Posts: 98
Location: USA
Joined: 01/18/03
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #16 - 11/11/07 at 01:50:32
Post Tools
Isn't this one of the main lines against the classical. I though black here pretty much has a draw. Not very Dynamic, lol. Is there something better? On Ziegler's DVD, he gives a line what black is holding. Then if I am right, I think black can sack a pawn, but that is supposed to be drawish (but black has some play). I am not an expert here, is there maybe an earlier move black can play not to go into this variation.

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. Bxe7 Qxe7 7. f4 O-O 8.
Nf3 c5 9. dxc5 Nc6 10. Bd3 f6 11. exf6 Qxf6 12. g3 Nxc5 13. O-O
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Willempie
God Member
*****
Offline


I love ChessPublishing
.com!

Posts: 4312
Location: Holland
Joined: 01/07/05
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #15 - 11/03/07 at 15:13:32
Post Tools
Stigma wrote on 11/03/07 at 14:41:26:
P.S. 4...dxe4 may be a theoretical concession, but in recent practice Black has some of the most respectable scores in the Nc3-French (and indeed of all defences to 1.e4) with the lines 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Bxf6 gxf6 and 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Nbd7 6.Nf3 h6, a score that remains at 44-47% even if one looks only at titled games. Of course, part of this may be explained by white players getting bored, in particular with the latter line...

Well this is indeed the line that made me explore the 4.e5 line. Somehow it lacks the punch that white has in the analogous CK and 3...dxe4 lines in the French.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Stigma
God Member
*****
Offline


There is a crack in everything.

Posts: 3171
Joined: 11/07/06
Gender: Male
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #14 - 11/03/07 at 14:41:26
Post Tools
Dismissive was probably too strong a word, I just wanted to explore why the concensus (apparently) was different from my own impressions. Thanks for the clarification, Paddy. Surely strong GMs will continue to play both 4.e5 and 4.Bg5, I don't expect this issue to be resolved any time soon.

P.S. 4...dxe4 may be a theoretical concession, but in recent practice Black has some of the most respectable scores in the Nc3-French (and indeed of all defences to 1.e4) with the lines 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Bxf6 gxf6 and 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Nbd7 6.Nf3 h6, a score that remains at 44-47% even if one looks only at titled games. Of course, part of this may be explained by white players getting bored, in particular with the latter line...
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Paddy
God Member
*****
Offline


The truth will out!

Posts: 923
Location: Manchester
Joined: 01/10/03
Gender: Male
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #13 - 11/03/07 at 13:56:57
Post Tools
Stigma wrote on 11/03/07 at 01:57:02:
I don't really understand why people here are so dismissive of White's chances for advantage after 4.e5. Undecided


I for one certainly didn't intend to sound "dismissive" of 4. e5; it remains a challenge for Black and it is no accident that 4 e5 Nfd7 5 f4 c5 6 Nf3 Nc6 7 Be3 is the recommendation in the Opening for White According to Anand series.

I did a survey of games reaching this position played from January 2005 and the present between players both rated 2200+. I found 511 games, and White scored slightly above average with 57%. However, when I broke the figures down by variation I found Black achieving very acceptable results in certain sub-variations.

What I wrote in my earlier post was: "I find it very strange that 4 e5 is all the rage, since not only is it open to the theoretical objection that Black retains his better bishop but you can argue that it is not even the most practical choice, since Black has a wide choice of playable systems." I stand by this. My view is that 4 e5 is strong - after all, it gains space with no loss of time and it avoids exchanges when Black is cramped - but 4 Bg5 is most likely even stronger, since it forces a concession from Black: surrender of the centre with 4...dxe4, or loss of his strong bishop after 4...Bb4 or 4...Be7.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Stigma
God Member
*****
Offline


There is a crack in everything.

Posts: 3171
Joined: 11/07/06
Gender: Male
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #12 - 11/03/07 at 11:02:57
Post Tools
Quote:
For his main game with 11...Be7 Khalifman gives the game Nijboer-Stellwagen (2002); however, after the moves: 1.e4 d6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bc5 9.Qd2 0-0 10.0-0-0 a6 11.Nb3 Be7 12.h4 b5 13.Rh3 Bb7 14.Kb1 Qc7 15.h5 b4 16.Na4 Na5 17.Rg3 he doesn't mention the move 17...Bg6, which I think seems to leave black okay.


I assume you mean 17...Bc6, that's the only sensible bishop move I could find in this position  Smiley I will have to look at this. I haven't really studied the cxd4 lines since I mainly tried to make 7...a6 8.Qd2 b5 work, a la Morozevich, Kiriakov et al. But there after 9.a3 White's position always seemed easier to play. Thanks for the input!
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
whiteatak shredder
Junior Member
**
Offline


French Hedgehog

Posts: 72
Joined: 08/12/06
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #11 - 11/03/07 at 04:42:32
Post Tools
I don't agree with Khalifman's analysis of the move 11...Be7 after 11.Nb3. This would also be the position if after 7...cxd4 white then played his knight from f3 to b3 in one move taking the pawn on d4 as well, (is this a good move?) and then play went 8...Be7 9.Qd2 0-0 10.0-0-0 a6 (reaching the same position a move earlier). For his main game with 11...Be7 Khalifman gives the game Nijboer-Stellwagen (2002); however, after the moves: 1.e4 d6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bc5 9.Qd2 0-0 10.0-0-0 a6 11.Nb3 Be7 12.h4 b5 13.Rh3 Bb7 14.Kb1 Qc7 15.h5 b4 16.Na4 Na5 17.Rg3 he doesn't mention the move 17...Bc6 (edit), which I think seems to leave black okay. I've analyzed this move in depth with Rybka and black seems to be fine as far as I can tell. I've also looked at some of the other variations after 11...Be7 and black seems to be fine there too. My intuition is that 7...Be7 looks like a solid move as well, where it may turn out that white is a little better but not much better.
« Last Edit: 11/03/07 at 14:18:53 by whiteatak shredder »  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Stigma
God Member
*****
Offline


There is a crack in everything.

Posts: 3171
Joined: 11/07/06
Gender: Male
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #10 - 11/03/07 at 01:57:02
Post Tools
I don't really understand why people here are so dismissive of White's chances for advantage after 4.e5. It seems to me that in practice white is still doing well, in particular with the lines 4...Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bc5 9.Qd2 0-0 10.0-0-0 a6 11.Nb3! and 7...a6 8.Qd2 b5 9.a3! (which incidentally were the basis of the white repertoire in OFWATA 6 by Khalifman). Black is currently doing quite OK with 7...Be7!?, but that is still unexplored and who knows when the tide will turn?

In my brief period as a Classical French player a couple of years ago, I enjoyed several wins against 4.Bg5 with the dynamic gxf6-Burn, and considered the McCutcheon a nice potential backup line. But then everyone started playing 4.e5 and in frustration I switched back to the Winawer...  So it seems I had the opposite problem from everyone else!? Undecided
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
winawer77
Full Member
***
Offline



Posts: 246
Location: UK
Joined: 03/31/07
Gender: Male
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #9 - 11/02/07 at 11:57:40
Post Tools
I've recently switched from the Winawer to the Classical. But before doing so I had to solve the problem of  4Bg5.

Firstly, 4e5 is ok for Black, his play is natural and his centre solid. Think of a opposite-side castling Sicilian pawn storm position with a blocked centre, thats basically what you get.

4Bg5 is much more difficult to generate chances against. For a long time I had played the Burn variation, which is not as dull and passive as you might think. After 1e4 e6 2d4 d5 3Nc3 Nf6 4Bg5 dxe4 5Nxe4 Be7 6Bxf6 I started out with 6...gxf6 and often got active play. However, these positions (to me, at least) are quite difficult to handle for Black as you both have to keep an eye on your exposed King, as well as being careful not to allow an awful endgame where the broken K-side pawns will suffer. After this I decided that the MacCutcheon was the way to go. I've only played it 6 or so times in the past few months I've taken it up, but so far I have no losses and plenty of wins. I'm also holding out theoretically and practically against stronger players. I think it is an excellent variation, and well worth the time invested studying it. Its a nice mixture of the Winawer and Classical, with the pawn structure and activity of the former, and the solidity of the latter.

About the Classical proper. On a personal level, not only have I never much liked these positions, but I also think that they give White the position he desires. From tournaments I've played at, White mostly goes for the Alekhine-Chatard attack. If you want to take up the Classical proper, then take a look at Zeigler's Chessbase DVD, its a good introduction.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
whiteatak shredder
Junior Member
**
Offline


French Hedgehog

Posts: 72
Joined: 08/12/06
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #8 - 11/01/07 at 03:54:41
Post Tools
Smyslov_Fan wrote on 10/31/07 at 06:55:26:
My two greatest problems in playing the Classical French are the Alekhin-Chatard Attack and a line in the Classical with Bd3 that allows Black to play for a draw or a loss.  Most players don't know the second line so I pretend it doesn't exist and usually get fine positions with plenty of chances for interesting counterplay in the Classical French.

BTW, Masters who choose 7.(?)Bd3 don't usually allow the drawing line in the Classical French, so it's a safe bet to go into it.

I'd have to go back and look up the line to see the exact move order, but Mikhail Gurevich used to play the Black side of the drawing line and found ways to win even against IMs and GMs when his opponents tried to win.


I'm not sure which drawing line you're referring to, but I've been analyzing 7.Bd3 with Rybka, and I don't think it's necessarily drawish. After 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 7.Bd3 my main source gives 7...a6 as his main line, and after the moves: 8.Qg4 f5 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.Qh4, I like 10.Nc6.  For instance, after the moves 11.Nf3 Bd7 12.Bg6 Kd8, in many lines I've been looking at black can safely walk his king over to h7 and connect rooks; I have yet to find a variation in this line where I don't think black is okay.

I also think that by the nature of the pawn structure (the e5 pawn chain) the opening would tend to be relatively non-drawish. For instance, in many lines in the open games the pawn structure is more symmetrical, hence having more drawish tendencies. As well, I would think the Burn-type pawn structure which is seen in many lines of the semi-open games would tend to given fewer winning chances than those with the e5 pawn chain in the french - one reason being that if black gets the e5 pawn break in (which black sometimes does in the Burn) then the pawn structure would be symmetrical (albeit symmetrical along the diagonals). 

For example, take the game Situru-Hubner (1996) that started: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.h4 c5 7.Bxe7 Kxe7 8.Qxg5 Nc6 9.Qg5 Kf8 10.Qxd8 Nxd8 11.f4 b6 12.Nf3 Nc6 13.0-0-0 Ke7. Even though the queens are off and a couple of my sources says the position is equal, there still seems to me to be winning chances for both sides here due to the imbalance in the pawn structure (and black ended up winning this game).

Also, from my personal experience (I've been rated around 2000 for quite awhile) I've generally had good winning chances in my games with 4...Be7.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
MNb
God Member
*****
Offline


Rudolf Spielmann forever

Posts: 10551
Location: Moengo
Joined: 01/05/04
Gender: Male
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #7 - 10/31/07 at 21:26:45
Post Tools
Inn2 have debated 6.h4 h6. We were not convinced at all that White's advantage is bigger than after 6.Bxe7.
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
GC Lichtenberg
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Holbox
Senior Member
****
Offline


Saigón Café

Posts: 369
Joined: 02/08/05
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #6 - 10/31/07 at 15:44:26
Post Tools
I have seen playing a line by the GM Moskalenko in the Al-Ch Attack with good results:

4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nd7 6.h4 Bg5 7.hg g6!? and black castles on the king's side. It seems interesting that this can be played without fearing a strong king's side assault on the h file.

Well..., that's only an idea
  

"Ladran, luego cabalgamos", NN
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Willempie
God Member
*****
Offline


I love ChessPublishing
.com!

Posts: 4312
Location: Holland
Joined: 01/07/05
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #5 - 10/31/07 at 14:18:36
Post Tools
Quote:
as you mentioned, e4 e6 d4 Nc3 Nf6 e4 Nf-d7 is a quite good winning attempt for black,
according to my 07 database including all the major tournaments from 07 mentionend on chessbase,
black has numerous wins in this Nf6 e5 variation, the winawer in contrary scores quite bad on gm level ...
I think Morozevich choses Bb4 after Bg5, the so called McCutcheon ...
also a quite good winning attempt I think ...

Not sure where and how you got the stats, but to me it seems that the Winawer isnt scoring worse than the classical or the others.

In any case the classical is decent imo, but it requires a lot of work. Not only the Steinitz, but also the others mentioned, plus there are some tricky sidelines which can be crushing when you just start out with it such as the Anderssen attack.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Paddy
God Member
*****
Offline


The truth will out!

Posts: 923
Location: Manchester
Joined: 01/10/03
Gender: Male
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #4 - 10/31/07 at 13:06:36
Post Tools
Markovich wrote on 10/30/07 at 19:42:42:
Does anyone think that the Classical French, and I'm not talking about the Burn, is suffiently dynamic to be played for a win?  I think that is unmistakbly true of Black's side of the Steinitz Variation, but I am less certain after 4.Bg5 Be7.  Relatedly, how are Black's chances against the Alekhine-Chatard?

I am by no means familiar with the theory of the Classical, rather ignorant in fact.  I'm just seeking the opinion of those with more experience than I.  But I would like to broaden my understanding of the game before these atoms that constitute me find a different use in the Totality of Things.



I find it very strange that 4 e5 is all the rage, since not only is it open to the theoretical objection that Black retains his better bishop but you can argue that it is not even the most practical choice, since Black has a wide choice of playable systems.

No, 4 Bg5 just HAS to be the real test of 3...Nf6. Aftyer that it the choice is a stylistic one for Black, but he is a bit worse in every case.

4...Bb4 ends up exchanging Black's better bishop for a knight, but he gets to inflict some damage, as in the Winawer, and in some lines gets to exchange White's potentially dangerous (since now unopposed) dark squared bishop. It is a messy, fighting choice but not everyone's cup of tea. Also it has become very concrete and theoretical, and different White set-ups can require very different responses from Black - in other words there's a lot to learn, both concretely and positionally.

4...Be7 5 e5 means that Black's better bishop will be exchanged, but this time for a bishop rather than a knight.

Then Tartakower's 5...Ne4 is interesting but almost certainly bad, yet maybe useful as an occasional surprise. In modern times Bonin has played some interesting games with it.

5...Ng8 is playable but rather passive.

5...Nfd7 is best, but there is no proven equaliser against 6 h4 and everything is now a bit scary for Black. 6...c5 might be best, but recently White has been getting good results by allowing his centre to be dismantled, castling queenside and attacking down the centre files and on the kingside; although Black's position is strategically promising (centre pawns) it can be hard to coordinate with the king stuck in the middle or on f8. At least, though, it's a game. On his very interesting DVD, Ziegler recommends the calm 6...0-0 but that takes really strong nerves and good preparation, and may yet be proved bad anyway. Morozevich has experimented with Guimard-like 6...Nc6. Everything else is probably just plain bad. But in this materialistic Fritz age, you don't get to meet 6 h4 very often.

6 Bxe7 Qxe7 is a bit better for White, since he has more space and Black has lost his good bishop, but in return Black is a bit less cramped after the exchange of bishops and can create dynamic play with the ...c5 and ...f6 breaks; his two main strategic objectives in these lines are a) to mobilize his centre pawns and b) free the bad bishop and even try to transform it from ugly duckling to swan. It's a fighting defence with lots of strategic content and practical counter-chances. It is no accident that in the past aggressive players such as Spielmann and Lilienthal used to play the Classical. You can learn a lot from their games, plus from other old masters such as Maroczy, and later Stahlberg and Yanofsky (the Canadian one). The main modern specialists are Gleizerov, Ulibin and Riazantsev, but such greats as Korchnoi, Morozevich, Short and Seirawan have contributed interesting ideas and model games. Play tends to be very thematic and a specialist should get decent results with Black once "played in". This brings me to an important point - you have to play the French as your main weapon or not at all - it is notable that players who just occasionally dabble in the French tend to get bad results with it - even Tal found that!

4...dxe4 preserves the important dark-squared bishop, but at quite a high cost in space and mobility. It's "unfrench" in feel, but is quite solid and might suit some people, particularly refugees from the 4...Nd7 Caro Kann.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Smyslov_Fan
YaBB Moderator
Correspondence fan
*****
Offline


Progress depends on the
unreasonable man. ~GBS

Posts: 6902
Joined: 06/15/05
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #3 - 10/31/07 at 06:55:26
Post Tools
My two greatest problems in playing the Classical French are the Alekhin-Chatard Attack and a line in the Classical with Bd3 that allows Black to play for a draw or a loss.  Most players don't know the second line so I pretend it doesn't exist and usually get fine positions with plenty of chances for interesting counterplay in the Classical French.

BTW, Masters who choose 7.(?)Bd3 don't usually allow the drawing line in the Classical French, so it's a safe bet to go into it.

I'd have to go back and look up the line to see the exact move order, but Mikhail Gurevich used to play the Black side of the drawing line and found ways to win even against IMs and GMs when his opponents tried to win.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
lnn2
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 1504
Location: nc
Joined: 09/22/04
Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #2 - 10/31/07 at 04:58:31
Post Tools
3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5! is THE problem.

After 4... dxe4 and 4... Be7, the onus is on Black to know some specific lines, as White's position is easier to play on general principles, therefore the MacCutcheon is the best practical try as White must also demonstrate sophistication and finesses. At this moment, I feel a well-booked White can cause some difficulties after 6. Be3 and 6. Bc1, but Black is not much worse than in the main lines of the Breyer/Zaitsev Ruy Lopez, which as you will know, has such pedigree.

If both sides know their theory after 4. Bg5 equally well (that's a big IF really), I must admit Black doesn't have good winning chances against an equal or stronger opponent (compared to the Winawer or Najdorf), but i think Black retains good chances to win if White is say, >100 elo weaker.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Deepthought
Ex Member
*



Re: Classical French: Dynamic?
Reply #1 - 10/30/07 at 20:07:07
Post Tools
as you mentioned, e4 e6 d4 Nc3 Nf6 e4 Nf-d7 is a quite good winning attempt for black,
according to my 07 database including all the major tournaments from 07 mentionend on chessbase,
black has numerous wins in this Nf6 e5 variation, the winawer in contrary scores quite bad on gm level ...
I think Morozevich choses Bb4 after Bg5, the so called McCutcheon ...
also a quite good winning attempt I think ...
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Markovich
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 6099
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Joined: 09/17/04
C10-C14: Classical French: Dynamic?
10/30/07 at 19:42:42
Post Tools
Does anyone think that the Classical French, and I'm not talking about the Burn, is suffiently dynamic to be played for a win?  I think that is unmistakbly true of Black's side of the Steinitz Variation, but I am less certain after 4.Bg5 Be7.  Relatedly, how are Black's chances against the Alekhine-Chatard?

I am by no means familiar with the theory of the Classical, rather ignorant in fact.  I'm just seeking the opinion of those with more experience than I.  But I would like to broaden my understanding of the game before these atoms that constitute me find a different use in the Totality of Things.

« Last Edit: 07/27/11 at 19:24:02 by dom »  

The Great Oz has spoken!
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Bookmarks: del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Google+ Linked in reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Yahoo