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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) C02: French Advance - solid lines for Black? (Read 63769 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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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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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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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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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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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #45 - 07/08/11 at 22:24:36
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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?


OrangeCounty meant that he played ...Qb6 and ...Bd7, intending ...Bb5, as Black.  You know, something like 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Bd3 cd 7.cd?! Bb5!.  I think 7.Nxd4 must be stronger there, but yes, this is probably a solid line for Black.
  
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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #44 - 07/08/11 at 22:04:51
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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?
  
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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #43 - 07/08/11 at 18:29:45
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MNb wrote on 02/03/11 at 15:59:31:
Perhaps you should leave the Queen's Knight on b8 and prefer 3...c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Bd7 idea Bb5. I am not aware of pyrotechnics in this line. Having a preference for some mad hacking myself this is an important reason not to play 3.e5.


I've played the Bb5 idea a lot in rapid and blitz games with very impressive results (usually by the move order 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 c3 d5 4 e5 Bd7 5 d4 Qb6, since I generally open 1 e4 c5), but I've never done any serious work on the variation.  Maybe I ought to if it's being suggested by a genuinely strong player.
  
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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #42 - 06/02/11 at 09:09:13
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Don't normally attack down the g file though - just o-o/Bg7/f6 etc and then a lot of pressure on d4, exchange sacs on f3 etc. Tons of fun.

More normal via 5.. Qb6 6 Be2 Nh6 etc, although it seems you maybe save half a tempo here on Qd8 x f6 rather than having it on b6 already.
  
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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #41 - 06/02/11 at 00:27:03
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You won't hear me complain about 5...Nh6 as I won a nice game with it. It is in another thread; search on Marconi.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #40 - 06/01/11 at 22:56:38
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What's the general opinion of the 5. ... Nh6 line, as recommended in one chapter of the Dangerous Weapons: French book? (1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nh6)

Besides that book, I know a master who recommends this line, so the last time I faced the Advance in a tournament game a couple of weeks ago, I tried it out. My opponent played 6. Bxh6 gxh6, which seemed like it would give me an open avenue for attack, if he'd castled king side (which he didn't). My opponent obviously didn't know anything about the French - the game started 1. d4 e6 2. e4, so he doesn't face the French often as a 1. d4 player. So I ended up being more comfortable with the position and outplaying him for a relatively easy win, which really didn't tell me much about the line.

  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #39 - 05/01/11 at 11:28:58
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dom wrote on 05/01/11 at 10:17:15:
15...Nc4 is not a valid move in this variation (knight is on d7 square) ... and 13...Qa6 gives White one potential fork with b5


Sorry. Instead of 11...Ne7 I read 11...Be7, and I assumed that 12...Nc6 meant 12...Nb6. Well, how is White supposed to play after 11...Be7? 12.Rc1 Nb6 (which I assumed to be the Nisipeanu game) seems to be OK for Black.

After 11...Ne7 12.Rc1 Nc6 13.Ne2 Qb5 14.0-0, why not 14...Be7? 15.Nc3 Qb6 16.Qd3 a6 followed by ...0-0, ...Rfc8 seems to be pretty equal.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #38 - 05/01/11 at 10:17:15
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huibui wrote on 04/30/11 at 16:23:37:
In the position after 15.Ne1 (!), why is Black worse after 15...Nc4? Also, I quite like 13...Qa6, to avoid being hit by Nc3 later. Black continues with ...Nc4, ...Nh6 etc.


15...Nc4 is not a valid move in this variation (knight is on d7 square) ... and 13...Qa6 gives White one potential fork with b5
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #37 - 04/30/11 at 16:23:37
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dom wrote on 04/30/11 at 11:39:48:
Plan for Black with Nd7 is to move this knight to c4...hence Qc4 seems to be not a precise move

9...Nd7 10.Nc3 Qc4 11.Bb2 Ne7 (11...a5 12.Qa4) 12.Rc1 Nc6 13.Ne2 Qb5 14.oo a6 15.Ne1! Nisipeanu-Ionescu,Calimanesti 1999 (Sevshnikov)

10...Qa6 11.Bd2 (mo need here to play Na4 because Nb6 is easy put off by b5) Qd3 (11...Ne7?! 12.a4 Sveshnikov-Alavkin,Cheliabinsk 2005 (Sveshnikov)) 12.Ne2 followed by oo and Nf4 giving White small advantage

10...Qc6 (most obvious way to engineer Black plan) 11.Na4! (Torre-Bagamasbad,Greenhills 1997 (Jovicic) ; to forbid Nb6 (Eingorn)) and now 11...a5!?  (Sveshnikov-Grosar,Slovenie 2003) 12.Bd2 axb4 13.axb4 Qa6 14.Bc3 +=



I agree with your evaluation of 10...Qc6 and 10...Qa6 as being slightly better for White (although I would prefer 11.b5 after the latter), however, the Nisipeanu game doesn't change my opinion about 10...Qc4 solving Black's problems.

In the position after 15.Ne1 (!), why is Black worse after 15...Nc4? Also, I quite like 13...Qa6, to avoid being hit by Nc3 later. Black continues with ...Nc4, ...Nh6 etc.

13.Nd2 is probably a bit more testing, but after 13...Qd3 14.Na4 Nd7 15.Rc7 Rb8, although Black seems to be under pressure, it is hard to find anything convincing for White.

The other line after 10...Qc4, 11.Ne2, is probably well met by 11...Ne7, and while White's position may be a little easier to play, I find it hard to believe that Black is worse objectively.

Your argument, that 10...Qc4 is illogical because c4 is the square for the knight misses the fact that Qc4 avoids the Na4-stuff (because of 11.Na4 a5!) as well as the b5-push, and after White has lost some time of kicking it away Black can put his knight on c4 anyway.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #36 - 04/30/11 at 11:39:48
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huibui wrote on 04/29/11 at 08:38:35:
9...Nd7, after 10.Nc3 Qc4 and some more accurate moves Black seems to be OK. Probably 9...Nc6 and 9...Ne7 are also playable, but maybe a little more pleasant for White.


Plan for Black with Nd7 is to move this knight to c4...hence Qc4 seems to be not a precise move

9...Nd7 10.Nc3 Qc4 11.Bb2 Ne7 (11...a5 12.Qa4) 12.Rc1 Nc6 13.Ne2 Qb5 14.oo a6 15.Ne1! Nisipeanu-Ionescu,Calimanesti 1999 (Sevshnikov)

10...Qa6 11.Bd2 (mo need here to play Na4 because Nb6 is easy put off by b5) Qd3 (11...Ne7?! 12.a4 Sveshnikov-Alavkin,Cheliabinsk 2005 (Sveshnikov)) 12.Ne2 followed by oo and Nf4 giving White small advantage

10...Qc6 (most obvious way to engineer Black plan) 11.Na4! (Torre-Bagamasbad,Greenhills 1997 (Jovicic) ; to forbid Nb6 (Eingorn)) and now 11...a5!?  (Sveshnikov-Grosar,Slovenie 2003) 12.Bd2 axb4 13.axb4 Qa6 14.Bc3 +=
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #35 - 04/29/11 at 10:30:40
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huibui wrote on 04/29/11 at 08:38:35:
Do you know of any improvements for White in this line?


No, I only play the French Advance as Black.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #34 - 04/29/11 at 08:38:35
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MNb wrote on 04/28/11 at 21:03:46:
Why don't you begin then with improving on a few GM games?


Well, for starters, 8.dxc4 seems to equalize pretty easily.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Bb5 7.c4 Bxc4 8.Bxc4 dxc4 9.d5 exd5 10.Qxd5 Ne7 11.Qxc4 (11.Qe4 Qc6 12.Qxc4 Qa6 transposes to 11.Dxc4 Da6) 11...Qa6 (11...Qb4+ 12.Qxb4 cxb4 13.0-0 Nbc6= is also possible) 12.Na3 Qxc4 13.Nxc4 Nf5=

Do you know of any improvements for White in this line?

In my opinion more challenging is 6.a3, after 6...Bb5 7.c4 is probably equal again (Black plays like in the line above, but uses the a3-move by putting his Queen on b3 on move 9), but after 7.b4 White has the usual queenside space advantage, which can become rather annoying.

The best line I could find for Black is

(After 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.a3 Bb5 7.b4 (7.c4 Bxc4 8.Bxc4 dxc4 9.d5 Qb3=) 7...cxd4 8.Bxb5+ Qxb5 9.cxd4)

9...Nd7, after 10.Nc3 Qc4 and some more accurate moves Black seems to be OK. Probably 9...Nc6 and 9...Ne7 are also playable, but maybe a little more pleasant for White.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #33 - 04/28/11 at 21:03:46
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cynima wrote on 04/28/11 at 18:04:42:
I know that is the general opinion, but I dont think this is true
Maybe we can analyse some lines?
Would be great and at least I would learn a lot!


Why don't you begin then with improving on a few GM games?

Adams,M (2660) - Illescas Cordoba,M (2590) [C02]
Las Palmas Las Palmas (2), 1994

1.e4 c5 2.c3 e6 3.d4 d5 4.e5 Qb6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Bb5 7.c4 Bxc4 8.Bxc4 Qb4+ 9.Nbd2 dxc4 10.0-0 Nc6 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.a3 Qb5 13.Ne4 Nge7 14.Be3 Rd8 15.Qe2 Bxe3 16.Nd6+ Rxd6 17.exd6 Bxf2+ 18.Rxf2 Nf5 19.Rd1 Qc5 20.Ng5 0-0 21.d7 Nd8 22.Ne4 Qc7 23.Kh1 Nc6 24.Qg4 Qe5 25.Re1 Rd8 26.Qd1 h6 27.g4 Nfd4 28.Nf6+ Qxf6 29.Rxf6 gxf6 30.Qc1 Kg7 31.Re3 Ne7 32.Rh3 Ng8 33.Qxc4 Rxd7 34.Qc8 Rd5 35.Qxb7 Ne2 36.Rf3 a5 37.Kg2 h5 38.gxh5 Nh6 39.Kf2 Re5 40.h3 Nd4 41.Rg3+ Kh7 42.Rd3 1-0

Illescas Cordoba,M (2595) - Beljavsky,A (2650) [C02]
Madrid Madrid (9), 1995

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Bb5 7.c4 Bxc4 8.Bxc4 Qb4+ 9.Nbd2 dxc4 10.a3 Qb5 11.0-0 Ne7 12.Ne4 Nd5 13.dxc5 Nd7 14.Nd6+ Bxd6 15.cxd6 0-0 16.Re1 c3 17.bxc3 Nxc3 18.Qd2 Rfc8 19.Bb2 Nd5 20.Re4 Nc5 21.Rg4 h5 22.Rh4 Qd3 23.Qg5 Qf5 24.Qxf5 exf5 25.Rd1 Nb6 26.Rxh5 Ne6 27.Nd4 Na4 28.Ba1 g6 29.Nxe6 gxh5 30.Nc7 Nc5 31.Nxa8 Rxa8 32.Bd4 Ne6 33.f3 Kf8 34.Bf2 Ke8 35.d7+ Kd8 36.Bh4+ Kc7 37.Be7 b5 38.h4 a5 39.g4 fxg4 40.fxg4 b4 41.axb4 axb4 42.Bxb4 Ra4 43.Be7 Rxg4+ 44.Kf2 Rg8 45.Kf3 Ra8 46.Rd2 Rg8 47.Bf6 Ra8 48.Rd3 Rb8 49.Rd6 Rb3+ 50.Kf2 Nd8 51.Rd2 1-0
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #32 - 04/28/11 at 20:07:55
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cynima wrote on 04/28/11 at 18:04:42:
I know that is the general opinion, but I dont think this is true


The c4-lines don't seem to lead to much of a white advantage, but maybe the a3+b4 plans are more critical?
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #31 - 04/28/11 at 18:04:42
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 04/28/11 at 17:13:43:
That's the Wade variation, cynima. It had a resurgence of popularity in the late 1980s when White found several ways to gain an advantage. One of White's critical ideas is a timely c4!

Black's attempt to get rid of the light-squared bishop even at the cost of several tempi makes sense, but it just doesnt' quite work out for Black against best play.


I know that is the general opinion, but I dont think this is true
Maybe we can analyse some lines?
Would be great and at least I would learn a lot!
  
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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #30 - 04/28/11 at 17:13:43
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That's the Wade variation, cynima. It had a resurgence of popularity in the late 1980s when White found several ways to gain an advantage. One of White's critical ideas is a timely c4!

Black's attempt to get rid of the light-squared bishop even at the cost of several tempi makes sense, but it just doesnt' quite work out for Black against best play.
  
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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #29 - 04/28/11 at 13:47:41
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Why not 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Bd7 intending ...Bb5?
  
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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #28 - 04/21/11 at 22:01:08
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MNb wrote on 03/04/11 at 21:36:32:
In contrast with Stigma I start thinking about winning chances after 3.e5. Another game of me was quickly drawn though after 5...Qb6 6.a4 c4.


I just noticed this comment and had to smile. There's nothing more beautiful than the French when everything works for Black. All I wanted was a quiet backup line, which isn't a crime... In my defence, I still prefer Uhlmann's aggressive lines against 3.e5 on most (good) days  Wink

Thanks for sharing your game, a nice effort!
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #27 - 03/04/11 at 21:36:32
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It doesn't look necessary to open a new thread for this game I just finished. It adds to my fine results in the French as long White doesn't play 3.Nc3. I decided to try another Moskalenko recommendation and it paid off. I am especially proud that I valued my chances after exchanging Queens correctly.

Marconi,R - MNb [C02]
em CL/2010/C2, 2010

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Nh6 6.Bd3 f6 7.exf6 gxf6 8.0-0 Nf7 9.Re1 Be7 10.Bc2 Qb6 11.Re2 Bd7 12.dxc5 Bxc5 13.b4 Be7 14.Bf4 a5 15.Be3 Qc7 16.b5 Nce5 17.Nxe5 Nxe5 18.b6 Qc6 19.f4 Ng4 20.Bd4 e5 21.fxe5 fxe5 22.Bxe5 Nxe5 23.Rxe5 0-0-0 24.Kh1 Bc5 25.Nd2 Bxb6 26.Nf3 Qxc3 27.Rb1 Bc7 28.Qxd5 Bc6 29.Qe6+ Kb8 30.Be4 Rd6 31.Qf5 Rhd8 32.Bxc6 Qxc6 33.Ree1 h6 34.Ne5 Qd5 35.Qc2 Re6 36.Nf3 Rdd6 37.Rec1 Rc6 38.Qb2 Rxc1+ 39.Rxc1 Bb6 40.Rb1 Ka7 41.Rc1 Re3 42.Rb1 Qe6 43.Qb5 Re2 44.a4 Re4 45.h3 Qc6 46.Qxc6 bxc6 47.Ra1 c5 48.g4 c4 49.Rc1 Be3 50.Rc2 Kb6 51.Nh4 Kc5 52.Nf5 Bg5 53.h4 Bf6 54.Nxh6 Bxh4 55.Kg2 Bg5 56.Nf7 Kb4 57.Kg3 Re3+ 58.Kf2 Bf4 59.Nd6 c3 60.Nb5 Rh3 61.Ke2 Kc4

and White thought it necessary to soldier on for another 30 moves with 62.Nxc3.
0-1

In contrast with Stigma I start thinking about winning chances after 3.e5. Another game of me was quickly drawn though after 5...Qb6 6.a4 c4.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #26 - 02/05/11 at 21:23:01
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Stigma wrote on 02/05/11 at 21:09:26:
And thanks for your comments, it's appreciated. I'm sorry I got a little bit annoyed.

Don't bother, I was responding to both you and Dom. As a result I had forgotten about your OP. Not that smart of me.

Anyhow, I can't see any objection to your line a) from that OP. I think it's slightly superior to 5...Nge7 as Black even in a quiet setup wants to target pawn d4 and 5...Nge7 makes it easier for White to play the Bishop to d3 in one go.
I know I have written it before: Moskalenko does a very fine job on 6.a3 c4.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #25 - 02/05/11 at 21:09:26
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MNb wrote on 02/05/11 at 21:01:54:
Instead it seems that you are trying your best to confuse me. I never recommended 6...Nh6 to you, did I? This is exactly why I assumed you wanting to play 6...cxd4 first.


Right. 6...cxd4 first avoids 6...Nh6 7.Bxh6, and 7...Nge7 next avoids Bd3xf5. There's no point in avoiding the dubious gambit 6...cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Bxh6?!, but there is a practical point to being able to avoid the Bxf5 structure.

MNb wrote on 02/05/11 at 21:01:54:
But see the edited version of my previous post, where I showed a way to avoid both the Bxh6 and Bxf5 stuff altogether. Or let me repeat it: despite misunderstandings I am really trying to be helpful.

All in all it seems that 3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nge7 8.Bd3 Bd7 9.Bc2 Nb4 then should suit you best.

I agree that's the line - I already pointed out in the very first post that 6...cxd4 7.cxd4 Nge7 8.Bd3?! Bd7 must be good for Black - it's a Milner Barry Gambit position with an extra tempo. So Black does indeed force White to give up on the Bxf5 ideas, and can choose not to learn those structures to limit the amount of work needed, or at least the variety of position types he has to master.

And thanks for your comments, it's appreciated. I'm sorry I got a little bit annoyed.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #24 - 02/05/11 at 21:01:54
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Stigma wrote on 02/05/11 at 20:54:18:
Now it seems you are trying your best to misunderstand me. 6...cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Bxh6?! is not the issue. When I said Black avoids Bxh6 gxh6 structures, I was thinking of the immediate 6...Nh6, where 7.Bxh6 is indeed critical (but still playable for Black).

Instead it seems that you are trying your best to confuse me. I never recommended 6...Nh6 to you, did I? This is exactly why I assumed you wanting to play 6...cxd4 first.
But see the edited version of my previous post, where I showed a way to avoid both the Bxh6 and Bxf5 stuff altogether. Or let me repeat it: despite misunderstandings I am really trying to be helpful.

All in all it seems that 3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nge7 8.Bd3 Bd7 9.Bc2 Nb4 then should suit you best.

Of course this implies answering 6.a3 with c4, as this line won't work after 6.a3.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #23 - 02/05/11 at 20:54:18
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Now it seems you are trying your best to misunderstand me. 6...cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Bxh6?! is not the issue. When I said Black avoids Bxh6 gxh6 structures, I was thinking of the immediate 6...Nh6, where 7.Bxh6 is indeed critical (but still playable for Black).

Even if both the Bxf5 exf5 structure and the standard structure with no Bxf5 are playable, it's useful for Black to make the choice and not leave that decision to White!

The 6...cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Bd3 that dom mentioned is considered critical by at least some strong White players. Either they think the Bxf5 positions are promising for White in general, or there's an argument that the queen is worse on b6 somehow. These are really the only two logical possibilities. I frankly don't know which interpretation is right.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #22 - 02/05/11 at 20:45:58
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Well, I think denying White an opportunity to play a dubious gambit not much of an advantage indeed.
But if you do, yes, then 7...Nge7 is more precise indeed.

Your enthusiasm for 5...Nge7 puzzles me more though. Why would the Queen be better on d8 than on b6 ? Can't the bishop on e6 protect pawn d5 on its own?

All in all it seems that 3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nge7 8.Bd3 Bd7 9.Bc2 Nb4 then should suit you best.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #21 - 02/05/11 at 20:42:30
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MNb wrote on 02/05/11 at 20:34:31:
MNb wrote on 02/05/11 at 11:15:30:
I have to repeat my question: what about 3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 (a move Anand did not play now nor later) 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Nc3 Nf5 ?


Stigma wrote on 02/05/11 at 14:24:35:
Exactly that (8.Bd3) was what I wanted to avoid by instead putting the N on e7: 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nge7!?; see my original post. Black will get his knight to f5 without any Bxh6 or Bxf5 opportunities.

Perhaps you are really desperate to avoid any Bxh6 opportunity, but 7...Nh6 8.Bxh6 doesn't seem to be the optimal version. Or why would Black win half of the games?
The latter remark (about Bxf5) I find a bit peculiar given your enthusiasm for 5...Nge7. You see, 6.Bd3 Nf5 provides White with the same 7.Bxf5 opportunity - with at least one extra tempo.

It's well known that 6...cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Bxh6?! is dubious; that's not the issue. I think the argument is that in the Bxf5 exf5 structure the queen is as good or better on d8 as on b6.

While 5...Nge7 is likely playable, the point of the 6...cxd4 7.cxd4 Nge7 move order was that Black gets to decide which structure is reached. Surely you can see the practical advantage of that?
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #20 - 02/05/11 at 20:34:31
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MNb wrote on 02/05/11 at 11:15:30:
I have to repeat my question: what about 3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 (a move Anand did not play now nor later) 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Nc3 Nf5 ?


Stigma wrote on 02/05/11 at 14:24:35:
Exactly that (8.Bd3) was what I wanted to avoid by instead putting the N on e7: 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nge7!?; see my original post. Black will get his knight to f5 without any Bxh6 or Bxf5 opportunities.

Perhaps you are really desperate to avoid any Bxh6 opportunity, but 7...Nh6 8.Bxh6 doesn't seem to be the optimal version. Or why would Black win half of the games?
But indeed, it had not escaped me that with 7...Nge7 Black can deny White the chance to play a dubious gambit.
The latter remark (about Bxf5) I find quite peculiar given your enthusiasm for 5...Nge7. You see, 6.Bd3 Nf5 provides White with the same 7.Bxf5 opportunity - with an extra tempo (Black will lose a tempo with Bd7-e6 as well).
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #19 - 02/05/11 at 18:45:23
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dom wrote on 02/05/11 at 11:47:36:
MNb wrote on 02/05/11 at 11:15:30:
I have to repeat my question: what about 3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 (a move Anand did not play now nor later) 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Nc3 Nf5 ?


I prefer for White: 8.Bd3!? (Harikrishna-Meier,Merida 2007 chesspublishing, update december 2007) ....


I love this line.

6. Be2
8. Bd3
9. Bc2
and (if Black plays ... Nf5)
10. Bxf5.

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #18 - 02/05/11 at 15:14:16
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dom wrote on 02/04/11 at 21:26:22:
Stigma wrote on 02/03/11 at 14:59:50:
b) 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Nge7 7.0-0! (7.Na3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nf5 9.Nc2 Qb6 is once again OK) 7...Nf5!? as mentioned by Williams on his DVD - I don't trust Watson's 7...Ng6 as a solid option. Now 8.Bd3 looks critical, when Curt Hansen once played 8...Nh4!?. After an exchange on h4 Black can reateat the queen to d8 followed by ...Be7 with a solid position. Instead Williams gives 8...cxd4 9.Bxf5 exf5 but now doesn't mention 10.Nxd4!? which looks like the more dangerous recapture to me.

Why is theory so limited on these lines, and does anybody know ways for White to punish them?


Just start reading the thread (please, forgive me..I have not yet read next posts).


I have recorded:

9.Ng5!? (Kupreichik-Levitt,Badenweiler 1990 (NIC CD YB 50)) cxd4 10.Qh5 Nxe5 11.Nxe6 Bxe6 12.Qxe5 with a small advantage for White  (maybe because of Black king safety)


Maybe instead of that line, Black should accept some kingside weaknesses with 9.Ng5 g6!?, i.e. 10.g3 h6!? 11.Nxf7 Kxf7 12.gxh4 Qxh4 unclear, Or 10.Qg4 Nf5. But then the position is not so solid anymore of course.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #17 - 02/05/11 at 14:27:09
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dom wrote on 02/05/11 at 11:25:28:
linksspringer wrote on 02/04/11 at 21:48:18:
Just FYI, there is an article on chess.com about 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Nge7.
http://blog.chess.com/mizant/french-advance-variation-with-5nge7
Not the same, but still an interesting read.


Very interesting system survey.
I want to know more about this line: 6.Na3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nf5 8.Nc2 Qa5!? 9.Bd2 Qb6 10.Bc3 Bd7 11.Bd3 Be7 12.oo a5 and now 13.Bxf5 exf5 14.Ne3 Be6 15.g3


Interesting indeed, thanks for the link! I will reconsider 5...Nge7 in addition to 5..Qb6 as a solid option. I never really studied the Bxf5 exf5 structures, but they're not prone to immediate tactical mess I guess. So woud fit my goals for a solid, dependable Black repertoire.

Looking at the survey and also recent practice, 5...Nge7 6.a3 Nf5 (!) 7.b4 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bd7 9.Bb2 b5 seems to be the critical line. Strangely I cannot find this position mentioned anywhere in Collins' book, but Houdini seems happy with the Black position, even sacrificing the b-pawn in some lines.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #16 - 02/05/11 at 14:24:35
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dom wrote on 02/05/11 at 11:47:36:
MNb wrote on 02/05/11 at 11:15:30:
I have to repeat my question: what about 3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 (a move Anand did not play now nor later) 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Nc3 Nf5 ?


I prefer for White: 8.Bd3!? (Harikrishna-Meier,Merida 2007 chesspublishing, update december 2007) Bd7 (8..Nf5 9.Bxf5 exf5 10.Nc3 Be6 11.Ne2 h6 12.h4 ooo (Benjamin-Shaked,Kona 1998 (Watson)) 13.Kf1 Kb8 14.Kg1 Be7 15.h5 Rc8 16.Rb1 a6 17.a3 Na5 18.b3 Rc7 19.Nf4 Rhc8 20.Bd2 b6 21.a4 Nc6 22.Rh3! +=) 9.Bc2


Exactly that (8.Bd3) was what I wanted to avoid by instead putting the N on e7: 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nge7!?; see my original post. Black will get his knight to f5 without any Bxh6 or Bxf5 opportunities.

Now 8.Nc3 Nf5 9.Na4 (9.Kf1!? Collins) 9...Qa5+ 10.Bd2 Bb4 11.Bc3 b5 (or 11...a6 as played by Kasimdzhanov and Barsov) 12.a3 Bxc3+ 14.Nxc3 b4 15.axb4 Qxb4 is solid and considered OK for Black by both Collins and McDonald.

Collins also covers 8.b3 Nf5 9.Bb2 Bb4+ 10.Kf1 by the way, but this also looks OK for Black to me.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #15 - 02/05/11 at 11:47:36
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MNb wrote on 02/05/11 at 11:15:30:
I have to repeat my question: what about 3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 (a move Anand did not play now nor later) 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Nc3 Nf5 ?


I prefer for White: 8.Bd3!? (Harikrishna-Meier,Merida 2007 chesspublishing, update december 2007) Bd7 (8..Nf5 9.Bxf5 exf5 10.Nc3 Be6 11.Ne2 h6 12.h4 ooo (Benjamin-Shaked,Kona 1998 (Watson)) 13.Kf1 Kb8 14.Kg1 Be7 15.h5 Rc8 16.Rb1 a6 17.a3 Na5 18.b3 Rc7 19.Nf4 Rhc8 20.Bd2 b6 21.a4 Nc6 22.Rh3! +=) 9.Bc2
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #14 - 02/05/11 at 11:25:28
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linksspringer wrote on 02/04/11 at 21:48:18:
Just FYI, there is an article on chess.com about 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Nge7.
http://blog.chess.com/mizant/french-advance-variation-with-5nge7
Not the same, but still an interesting read.


Very interesting system survey.
I want to know more about this line: 6.Na3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nf5 8.Nc2 Qa5!? 9.Bd2 Qb6 10.Bc3 Bd7 11.Bd3 Be7 12.oo a5 and now 13.Bxf5 exf5 14.Ne3 Be6 15.g3
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #13 - 02/05/11 at 11:15:30
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I have to repeat my question: what about 3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 (a move Anand did not play now nor later) 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Nc3 Nf5 ?
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #12 - 02/05/11 at 05:48:07
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MNb wrote on 02/05/11 at 04:19:24:
What about 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Nc3 Nf5 ?


Then White appears to be slightly better, based on Nunn-Anand, Munich 1992.

However 6...Rc8 7.0-0 a6 looks like a good option, based on Sveshnikov-Bareev, Turin Olympiad 2006.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #11 - 02/05/11 at 04:19:24
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What about 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Nc3 Nf5 ?
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #10 - 02/04/11 at 22:52:23
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My point of view is with Nh6 (instead of Nge7), Black will have some difficulties linked to the dxc5 move in the 6.Be2 line

For example: 6...Nh6 7.oo (no need now for the Bxh6 move) Nf5 8.dxc5  Bxc5 9.Bd3 Qb6 10.b4 Be7 11.Bxf5 exf5 12.Qxd5 Be6 13.Qd3 Rd8 14.Qe3 Qa6 15.a4+= or 9...Nh4 10.Nbd2 Ng6 11.Nb3 Bb6 12.Re1 Bc7 13.Bg5 Qb8 14.Nc5 +=

With 6..Nge7 White has no time for dxc5: 7.Fd3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Qb6 and

- the drawback is White can use another system: 7.Na3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nf5 9.Nc2 Nf5 10.Be2 with the hugge difference here vs 10.Bd3 than White can castle after 10..Qb6 (10.Bd3 Qb6 11.oo Nb4 exchanging light pieces): 10.Be2 Qb6 11.oo Nb4 12.Ne3+= 

- in the alternate system, White will not play Bd3xNf5 damaging pawn structure..hence Black can continue pressure vs d4 pawn

And 6.Na3 Nh6 7.Be2 cxd4!? 8.cxd4 (8.Bxh6 dxc3) Bb4+ or 7.Nc2 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nf5

=>    6.Be2 Nge7  ; 6.Na3 Nh6
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #9 - 02/04/11 at 21:48:18
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Just FYI, there is an article on chess.com about 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Nge7.
http://blog.chess.com/mizant/french-advance-variation-with-5nge7
Not the same, but still an interesting read.
  
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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #8 - 02/04/11 at 21:26:22
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Stigma wrote on 02/03/11 at 14:59:50:
b) 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Nge7 7.0-0! (7.Na3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nf5 9.Nc2 Qb6 is once again OK) 7...Nf5!? as mentioned by Williams on his DVD - I don't trust Watson's 7...Ng6 as a solid option. Now 8.Bd3 looks critical, when Curt Hansen once played 8...Nh4!?. After an exchange on h4 Black can reateat the queen to d8 followed by ...Be7 with a solid position. Instead Williams gives 8...cxd4 9.Bxf5 exf5 but now doesn't mention 10.Nxd4!? which looks like the more dangerous recapture to me.

Why is theory so limited on these lines, and does anybody know ways for White to punish them?


Just start reading the thread (please, forgive me..I have not yet read next posts).


I have recorded:

9.Ng5!? (Kupreichik-Levitt,Badenweiler 1990 (NIC CD YB 50)) cxd4 10.Qh5 Nxe5 11.Nxe6 Bxe6 12.Qxe5 with a small advantage for White  (maybe because of Black king safety)

and I agree with 10.Nxd4!? +=
10...Be7 11.Qf3 ; 10..Be6 11.Qd3 ; 10...Bc5 (Collins) 11.Nf3 ; 10..Nxd4 11.Qxd4 Be6 12.Rd1 Qc7 13.Nd2 Be7 14.Nf3 Savic-Kalevic,Budva 2003 ; 10..Qb6 11.Nf3 Be7/Be6 12.Nbd2

  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #7 - 02/03/11 at 23:29:25
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TN wrote on 02/03/11 at 22:32:51:
The 3...b6 and 3...c5 4.c3 Ne7 5.Nf3 Nec6 variations are both very solid for Black. But to be honest I think White is slightly better in both these variations.

5...Nge7 is another interesting option worth investigating.


Personally I've gotten excellent mileage out of 5...Nge7.

Thread-starter didn't want a Bxf5 exf5 structure though. The 5...Nge7 version of that structure mentioned by Moskalenko (via 5...Nh6) in his "The Flexible French" book is fine for black though.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #6 - 02/03/11 at 22:32:51
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The 3...b6 and 3...c5 4.c3 Ne7 5.Nf3 Nec6 variations are both very solid for Black. But to be honest I think White is slightly better in both these variations.

5...Nge7 is another interesting option worth investigating.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #5 - 02/03/11 at 16:19:04
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Possibly. 3...c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Bd3 Bb5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.b4 Bxd3 9.Qxd3 Bf8 still looks pretty solid to me.

PS: while you answered I was busy editing my previous post.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #4 - 02/03/11 at 16:10:38
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MNb wrote on 02/03/11 at 15:59:31:
Perhaps you should leave the Queen's Knight on b8 and prefer 3...c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Bd7 idea Bb5. I am not aware of pyrotechnics in this line. Having a preference for some mad hacking myself this is an important reason not to play 3.e5.
If you are going to stick to 3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 then 6.a3 c4 is the most solid. But you won't reach your ideal position of course.

Against 3...c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Bd7, doesn't White have chances for an edge with 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.Nxd4! or 6...Bb5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.b4! ? Those lines aren't necessarily devoid of tactics.

I agree 5...Qb6 6.a3 c4 is pretty solid. I'll probably choose between that and 6.a3 Bd7 (which Vitiugov analyses in his recent French book) - if the latter line is playable it can be reached by either 5...Bd7 6.a3 or 5...Qb6 6.a3.

MNb wrote on 02/03/11 at 15:59:31:
In your line b) 7.dxc5 might cause some nuisance.
So if you really want that much to reach your ideal position you might take a look at 5...Bd7 6.a3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nge7.


Shouldn't White get some advantage by playing Nc3 then? Anyway I don't think 6.Be2 Nge7 7.dxc5 Ng6 is a big problem. A move later, 7.0-0 Nf5 8.dxc5 Nh4 was a recent game Conquest - Williams.

MNb wrote on 02/03/11 at 15:59:31:
Your question is a bit irregular. Usually after 3.e5 the question is: how can Black achieve equality and create winning chances, including by diving into a mess?
As far as I know there quite a few solid lines for Black that might give White an edge, but nothing alarming. The ones mentioned by you belong to these.


Sure it's irregular Smiley I normally play unbalanced, aggressive lines like 5...Qb6 6.Be2 Nh6 and Uhlmann's 5...Qb6 6.a3 c4 7.Nbd2 f6?!?. Actually my entire Black repertoire is like that, and now I've realized it would be good make room for some solid lines too. It's exhausting and nerve-wracking to always play for complications!
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #3 - 02/03/11 at 15:59:31
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Perhaps you should leave the Queen's Knight on b8 and prefer 3...c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Bd7 idea Bb5. I am not aware of pyrotechnics in this line. Having a preference for some mad hacking myself this is an important reason not to play 3.e5.
If you are going to stick to 3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 then 6.a3 c4 is the most solid. But you won't reach your ideal position of course. Moskalenko in his Flexible French does some splendid explanation.

In your line b) 7.dxc5 might cause some nuisance.
So if you really want that much to reach your ideal position you might take a look at 5...Bd7 6.a3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nge7.

Your question is a bit irregular. Usually after 3.e5 the question is: how can Black achieve equality and create winning chances, including by diving into a mess?
As far as I know there quite a few solid lines for Black that might give White an edge, but nothing alarming. The ones mentioned by you belong to these.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #2 - 02/03/11 at 15:40:38
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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.


Well maybe 7.0-0 Ng6 is objectively strong but I never really understood why and just don't like the positions. White sometimes plays g3 and h4-h5 anyway when both kings are weak - this is not a good line for a calm, strategic game... In practice White has scored well with simple development; 8.Be3, Bd3, Re1 etc. Specialists like Benjamin, Jonkman and Smeets make it look good for White, at least.

I can play aggressively/tactically against the Advance of course, but the point is I want to have calmer options too.

Btw. Williams quite amusingly claims 5...Bd7 6.a3 is "a mistake" and 6...f6 is already good for Black! But again that's a line for sharp, tactical fights.
  

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Re: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
Reply #1 - 02/03/11 at 15:26:39
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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.
  
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C02: French Advance - solid lines for Black?
02/03/11 at 14:59:50
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I've decided that my Black repertoire is too ambitious and unbalanced and I should include some strategic options as well, for tired days or against attacking maniacs. This should be possible within the French, for example choosing the Classical instead of the Winawer, the Tarrasch 3...c5 IQP lines instead of 3...Nf6.

Now to 3.e5. I want to reach solid, thematic positions, and get my knights to c6 and f5 attacking d4 as often as possible, meaning:
- no Bxh6 gxh6
- no Bxf5 exf5
- no very early ...f6 break

Specfically I will be happy to reach this main line position (also reached by Williams on his DVD) against White's Be2 lines:

* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
*

I'm looking at two move orders to get there while avoiding both Bxh6 and Bxf5:

a) 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Be2 and now theory discusses either 6...Nh6 (7.Bxh6!) or 6...cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6, when 8.Bxh6? doesn't work, but 8.Bd3!? is interesting. But why not 6...cxd4 7.cxd4 Nge7!? Now 8.Na3 Nf5 9.Nc2 Bd7 reaches my target position, while 8.Nc3 Nf5 9.Na4 Qa5+ 10.Bd2 Bb4 is another solid line I'm happy to play. 8.Bd3?! Bd7 is now simply a Milner-Barry Gambit position with an extra tempo (Nge7) for Black.

b) 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Nge7 7.0-0! (7.Na3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nf5 9.Nc2 Qb6 is once again OK) 7...Nf5!? as mentioned by Williams on his DVD - I don't trust Watson's 7...Ng6 as a solid option. Now 8.Bd3 looks critical, when Curt Hansen once played 8...Nh4!?. After an exchange on h4 Black can reateat the queen to d8 followed by ...Be7 with a solid position. Instead Williams gives 8...cxd4 9.Bxf5 exf5 but now doesn't mention 10.Nxd4!? which looks like the more dangerous recapture to me.

Why is theory so limited on these lines, and does anybody know ways for White to punish them?

P.S. I know I also need lines against 5...Bd7 6.a3 or 5...Qb6 6.a3, but one thing at a time!
« Last Edit: 07/18/11 at 12:59:11 by Smyslov_Fan »  

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