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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) C02: French Advance - solid lines for Black? (Read 63766 times)
ChessIsWar
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Re: C02: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #60 - 01/19/15 at 04:00:32
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^^ To both of you above me - Thank you. I appreciate the information and the point in the right direction.

I will indeed start giving the French a more thorough examination. The theory behind it so I really grasp it conceptually. The fact is, however, that I absolutely love it so far. Regardless of the challenges it presents me on my kingside, I absolutely love the queenside counterplay it produces.
« Last Edit: 01/19/15 at 12:52:55 by ChessIsWar »  
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CanadianClub
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Re: C02: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #59 - 01/18/15 at 21:12:48
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ChessIsWar wrote on 01/18/15 at 11:46:58:
I'm quite the beginner here compared to all of you. I just started playing OTB rated games earlier this month and have never played the game seriously before this (I'm 32), although I did learn the moves very early on (pre-k).

Let me cut to the chase with my question concerning this thread: What's wrong with an early f6 break out of the French? Sometimes, it seems like the only way that I can find a place for my knight and be able to complete development. In my first rated game, I lost because I didn't castle until move 18 and since then have realized that completing kingside development is one of the challenges of running the French.

Thanks  Cheesy


First of all, my advice would be to follow one book, or one dvd, or at least a GM "hero" playing the french (copying his moves/ideas) to try to play specific variation because if you only see some games -here and there- it's easy to mix ideas from different lines (and that misunderstanding in the French is very bad).

And then, put your concrete variation here and we will see where you were wrong.

An early f6 break in the advance variation is not wrong per se. Sometimes even it's necessary and good. It depends on the variation you choose.

Salut and welcome to the French  Wink
  
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MartinC
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Re: C02: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #58 - 01/18/15 at 15:50:10
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How early? Its fine in quite a lot of lines, although not everyone plays those lines. Some of the 5.. Bd7 ideas vs the advance feature it quite a bit, and Watson's books tend to give a fair few lines featuring an early f6.

It can go wrong - and nastily with it - if white gets a knight safely established on e5. If you can force him to put a pawn there you're generally rather happier.

Or crude tactics of course.
  
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ChessIsWar
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Re: C02: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #57 - 01/18/15 at 11:46:58
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I'm quite the beginner here compared to all of you. I just started playing OTB rated games earlier this month and have never played the game seriously before this (I'm 32), although I did learn the moves very early on (pre-k).

Let me cut to the chase with my question concerning this thread: What's wrong with an early f6 break out of the French? Sometimes, it seems like the only way that I can find a place for my knight and be able to complete development. In my first rated game, I lost because I didn't castle until move 18 and since then have realized that completing kingside development is one of the challenges of running the French.

Thanks  Cheesy
  
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Re: C02: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #56 - 10/08/13 at 13:48:15
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MartinC wrote on 10/08/13 at 08:40:34:
Surely a truly solid player should be overjoyed to be a pawn up with a functional position Smiley From what I remember all those anti milner barry early Rc8 things tend to turn really rather random.

I like to vary my openings depending on the opponent's style and my form on the day, and the French obviously can be interpreted very solidly. I'm not saying I will actually play it slowly (or should that be Pee-Wee Herman style?) every game  Smiley

It's convenient to have the option of avoiding the Nun gambit, since there are some real specialists around. That said, Watson's lines against it in PTF4 look perfectly playable for Black.

@TalJechin Ah yes, the Psakhis books were rather complete weren't they. I have the Advance volume, so will take a look at what he wrote there.
  

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Re: C02: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #55 - 10/08/13 at 11:17:30
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Quote:
IIRC I encountered this variation many times in online blitz about ten years ago, so maybe it's recommended somewhere?


Could it be in PTF 2 perhaps? It's one of few books on the French that I don't own...


edit: ooops, changed the entry instead of the intended qoute for a new post...
« Last Edit: 10/08/13 at 14:03:35 by TalJechin »  
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MartinC
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Re: C02: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #54 - 10/08/13 at 08:40:34
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Surely a truly solid player should be overjoyed to be a pawn up with a functional position Smiley From what I remember all those anti milner barry early Rc8 things tend to turn really rather random.

As for slow moves in the French, you always have to remember that even things like 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e5 Bf8!? are playable..... The generalist books on the advance might cover it.

I don't think it can be a pure waiting move as white has a few useful enough semi waiting moves of his own.
  
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Re: C02: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #53 - 10/08/13 at 01:30:21
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2,5 years on I'm still grappling with this question (the thread title). I now feel that a truly solid, non-tactical Black repertoire should avoid the Nun gambit (Milner-Barry with 9.Nbd2!?). So I'm thinking of ditching 5...Qb6 (where Black probably has to accept the M-B) for 5...Bd7 intending 6.Bd3 Rc8!?.

6.Be2 was always my main problem with 5...Bd7, but I see Black still gets good results with the mysterious 5...Bd7 6.Be2 Rc8!? 7.0-0 a6!?. I struggle to understand these slow-looking moves, though I notice sometimes Black will saddle White with doubled a-pawns (8.Na3 cxd4 9.cxd4 Bxa3 etc.) Is there any good coverage of this "waiting" line in books, articles etc.?
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #52 - 02/19/13 at 11:37:35
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Ametanoitos wrote on 02/03/11 at 15:26:39:
In line b) "your" 7.O-O! is inaccurate because of Ng6!+Be7+cxd4+f6 which may in fact give Black a slight edge! White should play Na3! against Nge7 and wait to see where this knight should go. If it goes to g6 then h4! (with the rook on h1) is strong (but probably not so strong to claim an edge anyway. It is just White's best)

So you have to be a bit flexible and include also the Ng6 line against 7.O-O in the repertoire you suggest above.

The "problem" is what to do against the stronger (imo) a3 lines.


It's this line that's interesting to me:
3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Nge7 7.0-0

Now you claim Ng6!+Be7+cxd4+f6 may in fact give Black a slight edge.

How about Grischuk-Ivanchuk FIDE World Cup 2011 where this was played:

8.g3 Be7 9.h4!

This looks pretty good for white. Moskalenko who analyses the game in CBM 145 agrees.
  
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Re: C02: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #51 - 07/19/11 at 20:32:11
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OrangeCounty wrote on 07/19/11 at 18:18:10:
Black needs to get a knight-c6 vs. Bishop-e3 position, or a Queen ending, to have real winning chances.

Knight plus Bishop vs. Knight plus Bishop will suffice too; b6 will be such a nice square for the King's Bishop. Black has to make sure that White's black-squared Bishop remains on the board.
"Force you to play ...g6 and ...h5" sounds so negative. I would tend to play these pawn moves voluntarily to rob White from counterchances.
  

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Re: C02: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #50 - 07/19/11 at 18:18:10
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There is the problem that it can be hard to win if White isn't averse to a draw and knows what he's doing, so I'm not sure this is an ideal Swiss variation, but in correspondence or other formats, and certainly in faster time controls, it's a good safe way for Black to equalize and play for more.

I was informed in another thread that there is a line with Nbd2-b3 that is supposed to promise White some chances.  I am also aware of the plan with c4 and d4-d5, which can be uncomfortable as Black has sidelined some pieces on the Queenside.  However, while I can't speak to the former (having never faced it), the latter is tricky rather than a real threat to a well-prepared player.

But like I said above, the real concern is that White will trade everything, force you to play g6 and h5 by threatening to advance on the kingside, and reach a drawn king and pawn ending.  Black needs to get a knight-c6 vs. Bishop-e3 position, or a Queen ending, to have real winning chances.
  
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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #49 - 07/13/11 at 01:20:49
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OrangeCounty wrote on 07/12/11 at 22:42:36:
It results in some very, very smooth draws and wins with black: trade pieces, control the c file, wait for the endgame and attack d4.

I agree. As Black I played a game once which was a mixture of a Sicilian and a Gurgenidze Blockading System. I think the move order was 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.c3 d5 4.e5 (curiously enough not in The Ultimate Pirc) c5 5.Nf3 Nc6. This can also arise via 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.c3 Bg7 4.d4 d5 5.e5 Nc6. I managed to exchange my Queen's Bishop, to take up a kingside blockade and to exchange the c-pawns. White could have accepted a draw by repeating moves but decided to play on. Hardly ever I won an endgame so smoothly, due to the weakness of pawn d4.
That's the kind of play Black strives for with the manoeuvre Bc8-d7-b5.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #48 - 07/12/11 at 22:42:36
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The variation is fun because unless White knows what to do, Black gets a very favorable version of an ordinary French Defense, and the two tempi spent on the plan aren't too significant with a closed center.  It results in some very, very smooth draws and wins with black: trade pieces, control the c file, wait for the endgame and attack d4.  Even if White gets a decent version of the ending, it's hard not to draw.

I think there's a variation with an early c4 that can get sharp (iirc 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 Nf3 Qb6 5 Be2 Bd7 6 0-0 Bb5 7 c4), and White scores okay, but natural moves should get Black a playable position.  And there's nothing making you play 6...Bb5 either - both 6...Nc6 and 6...cxd4 and 7...Bb5 make sense (maybe even 7...Bb4+).
  
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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #47 - 07/11/11 at 22:59:15
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/08/11 at 22:04:51:
There's a common tactic that makes Bb5 bad in many lines: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Bb5? Nxe5

Also, the light squared B has much more to do on the K-side than the Q-side. Is it really worthwhile to offer to trade it off when Black's weakest piece is almost always the light squared Bishop?


Yeah, Bb5 is usually bad for white in most lines of the French. I've won a pawn with that tactic from various move orders on several occasions.

But the line we're talking about is if black delays Nc6 and plays Qb6, Bd7, and Bb5 early, to force the trade of his bad bishop for white's good bishop. This is recommended by GM McDonald in his "How to Play Against 1. e4" and also by GM Polgar in her videos on the French. I tried it once, but decided to stick to more normal lines with Nc6 instead.

  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #46 - 07/08/11 at 22:33:56
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Oops.

I should have read the previous posts more carefully. I knew there were already comments on the Wade variation, including some by myself, but somehow I misread the more recent comments about Black deferring Nc6.
  
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