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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines (Read 20283 times)
BPaulsen
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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #19 - 03/01/14 at 21:36:06
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When I first saw 8...Nc6 with the ...f4 idea I thought it could be a shiny new toy I could enjoy.

In that Be2 continuation the best I had found in my own analysis is Black achieving ...f4, and reaching a position he could reasonably draw from with a lot of careful play. Sometimes, however, the position didn't hold and I was left with the impression that there are better things to do play.

To each his own!

Thank goodness for the wide drawing berth this game grants the second player!  Grin
  

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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #18 - 03/01/14 at 10:39:12
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Moskalenko addresses this in The Flexible French by analyzing his game against Fluvia Poyatos, Catalunya-ch 2005.
  

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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #17 - 03/01/14 at 09:01:34
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I'd be as worried as white just going 12 h4 (or if c3 needs to be prepared, Bd2 then h4 etc.). Don't think you can stop him running that pawn to h5?

The whole cxd4 thing has made the center very, very solid compared to 7.. o-o stuff so definitely no rush for white to castle.
  
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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #16 - 03/01/14 at 03:27:46
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BPaulsen wrote on 02/28/14 at 22:57:57:
That is going to be a thankless task.

You being a much stronger player than I am you are probably right. Me being pigheaded I'd like to being shown in practice. As 13.a4 makes 13...f4 possible I'd say 13.Rb1 Be8 14.a4 is stronger, though after Bg6 15.Ba3 (not necessarily best) once again 15...f4 is possible. This idea is what attracts me in the first place. After 15.Bf4 the position is going to resemble my corr. game too much, so I request you (and everybody else) not to analyze this move. As for the bishop staying at home, doesn't White need to connect rooks at some point?
  

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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #15 - 02/28/14 at 22:57:57
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MNb wrote on 02/28/14 at 22:15:44:
MartinC wrote on 02/28/14 at 18:43:43:
There's something very similar to the below mind

After 8...Nc6 Black never exchanges light-squared bishops, but rather transfers it to g6 or h5 to give the kingside extra protection. So it isn't similar at all.
BPaulsen is right that after 8...Nc6 and 11.Be2 Black's results not only have been depressing, but flatly disastrous. Very few games saw the manoeuvre Bc8-d7-e8-g6 (h5) though. Moreover it's not clear to me why after 11.Be2 O-O 12.O-O Bd7 13.Bd2 (what else?) Be8 the bishop should be better on e2 than on d3.
But perhaps in the future some opponent will teach me. In that case I might advocate 10.Qg3 iso 10.exf6 as well.


13.a4 or anything that restricts the queenside seems more purposeful. The Bc1 may just end up on a3, or stay at home.

Black might be able to scrape a draw, but man... That is going to be a thankless task.
  

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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #14 - 02/28/14 at 22:15:44
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MartinC wrote on 02/28/14 at 18:43:43:
There's something very similar to the below mind

After 8...Nc6 Black never exchanges light-squared bishops, but rather transfers it to g6 or h5 to give the kingside extra protection. So it isn't similar at all.
BPaulsen is right that after 8...Nc6 and 11.Be2 Black's results not only have been depressing, but flatly disastrous. Very few games saw the manoeuvre Bc8-d7-e8-g6 (h5) though. Moreover it's not clear to me why after 11.Be2 O-O 12.O-O Bd7 13.Bd2 (what else?) Be8 the bishop should be better on e2 than on d3.
But perhaps in the future some opponent will teach me. In that case I might advocate 10.Qg3 iso 10.exf6 as well.
  

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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #13 - 02/28/14 at 20:43:57
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8...Nc6 9.Nf3 cxd4 10.cxd4 Nge7 11.Be2 is no fun at all for Black. The correspondence games are depressing.
  

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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #12 - 02/28/14 at 18:43:43
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Just checked vs Play the French III (which has a short chapter about this by a guest contributor, Hans Lulham), and it doesn't even mention 8 .. Nc6. There's something very similar to the below mind:


Not meant to be terrible, but I think this sort of thing annoyed some people enough to switch lines or something. Watson switched to 6 .. Qa5 as his back up back up option in PTFIV.

8 .. Nc6 is absent from Psahkis too Smiley The book I'd want to check is Khalifman in opening according to Anand because he does murder some of these sidelines quite efficiently. 
(6 .. Qc7 not much of a sideline really, but 8 .. Nc6 might have a problem somewhere?!)

Not with me here though. If I did have to choose then I think I'd maybe prefer to play the position with Nc6/Kf7 than the one after cd etc. Interesting Smiley
  
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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #11 - 02/28/14 at 09:26:57
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MNb wrote on 02/26/14 at 23:14:41:
Pale Horse, Pale Rider wrote on 02/26/14 at 16:48:21:
I would be interested .....

Sorry, I have never investigated it seriously either. It seems to me that developing Bf1 might become a problem, so 9.Ne2 Kf7 is an idea.


MartinC wrote on 02/28/14 at 08:49:43:
iirc 9 Ne2 is an attempt to save a tempo when black plays b6, Ba6 x d3/f1. No idea how it works if black just tries to castle kingside instead.


I hope it's not a problem that these things are outside the scope of the original thread idea?! So MNb's post got me interested in this line partly because I think returning to 1. e4 so I could meet this otb. As I already said I checked the database and white scores excellent with the 9. Ne2 idea. However, looking a bit further I am not so sure about this anymore.
After 9. Ne2 the computer likes 9...Kf7, just as MNb mentioned. This move certainly looks rediculous to me. Of course castling is not really mandatory in many french lines but this seemed a bit extravagant on first glance. So i tried to "prove" that black has to be worse after 9...Kf7 when you look a little deeper - but to no avail. The situation remains very complex of course, but  the coordination problems caused by the knight on e2 should not be underestimated. Many logical moves for white do not work particularly good for white.

10. Be3 doesn't seem so great because the third rank is blocked again. After 10...Nge7 (this looks very logical), I would love to move my knight to f4 but than d4 is weakened again.

After 10. Bd2 I still can't move my knight somewhere because of the d4 square

10. h4 looks good but after 10...Nge7 11. h5 white just postponed the development problem. Other ideas at the 11th move preparing to directly open the f-file (like Qh3 or so) don't look so promising either because black gets a knight on f5 sooner or later which is just good for him.

The direct attempt 10. Nf4 is answered by cxd4 when it looks as if white has to play 11. Nxd5 after which Qa5 (11...exd5?? 12. e6+) 12. Nb4 leads to a position where white is a pawn down and I don't think there is enough compensation...

I would be interested to hear your thoughts. I made a pgn to illustrate the points I made:


  
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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #10 - 02/28/14 at 08:49:43
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iirc 9 Ne2 is an attempt to save a tempo when black plays b6, Ba6 x d3/f1. No idea how it works if black just tries to castle kingside instead.

Certainly not a one sided comparison (no wonder Smiley). Having taken on d4 this early is quite a major concession for black here vs the 7..o-o stuff - normally that pawn either goes to c4 to really throttle white's bishop, or helps out the impact of a pawn break via e5. f5 by itself can potentially be broken down by an eventual g4, although its normally rather double edged.
  
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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #9 - 02/26/14 at 23:14:41
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Pale Horse, Pale Rider wrote on 02/26/14 at 16:48:21:
Maybe black should in fact fear Qg3 here.

That's why I started with "assuming ..." I feel that pawn f5 nicely blocks Bd3, but my feelings have been wrong before.

Pale Horse, Pale Rider wrote on 02/26/14 at 16:48:21:
I would be interested .....

Sorry, I have never investigated it seriously either. It seems to me that developing Bf1 might become a problem, so 9.Ne2 Kf7 is an idea.
  

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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #8 - 02/26/14 at 16:48:21
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MNb wrote on 02/26/14 at 16:26:56:


I assume only few players as White would choose 10.Qg3 here and that Black doesn't fear this move.


Maybe black should in fact fear Qg3 here. It performs way better than 10. exf6 ep after a swift check at the chesstempo database. But it hasn't been tried often, so this might be a surprise effect.

MNb wrote on 02/26/14 at 16:26:56:
As Black I have a corr. game beginning with



(no worries, we are at move 18).
It seems to me we can derive an argument against 7...O-O and 9...f5 from this comparison.


Never met this line before and accordingly never investigated on it. Again I checked the database. Plans beginning with 9. Ne2 rather than 9. Nf3 seem to score very good for white here. I guess the idea is that the knight can go to f4 and the c3 pawn (after an exchange on d4) is protocted by white's queen, so the pressure along the c-file is less effective.

Edit: Just checked a few games in the database and the 9. Ne2 idea seems to be fine. I would be interested to know what you had in mind in case of Ne2, if you feel like sharing this.
« Last Edit: 02/26/14 at 21:44:27 by Pale Horse, Pale Rider »  
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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #7 - 02/26/14 at 16:26:56
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I assume only few players as White would choose 10.Qg3 here and that Black doesn't fear this move.
As Black I have a corr. game beginning with



(no worries, we are at move 18).
It seems to me we can derive an argument against 7...O-O and 9...f5 from this comparison.
  

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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #6 - 02/26/14 at 16:23:59
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MartinC wrote on 02/25/14 at 23:29:30:
One thing which has struck me is that this is one piece of deep theory that you will get on the board. I've got to 11..e5 three times over the board now, at a halfway reasonable but non stunning level, against I'm pretty sure unprepared opponents.


This is a constant worry for me in the whole Winawer complex (from Black's perspective at least. The lines after 7. Qg4 are so terribly complex and theoretical, yet the chance to get them over the board is not so big. I stopped playing the french very early in my "chess career" because of a lack of success and motivation to play the positions but I only got to play a Winawer once (!) because everyone was playing the exchange or advance variation.
From what I see at tournaments 3. Nc3 is not the mainline (as in "most played line") up to a level of 2100 or so ...
  
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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #5 - 02/25/14 at 23:29:30
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Nice Smiley

One thing which has struck me is that this is one piece of deep theory that you will get on the board. I've got to 11..e5 three times over the board now, at a halfway reasonable but non stunning level, against I'm pretty sure unprepared opponents.

Impressively the first two games then got as far as 18 Qe3 twice.  The third game was relatively similar but rather error strewn. (Bxh7+ then Qh4+ and no Rh6 from black due to human error Smiley)

The second game was even pseudo topical. Far from perfect play of course, but the sort of thing that I suspect black is going to get here quite a bit in practice. The game in notes is what happens when white is feeling very kind!



This was an U175 county match we'd long since lost and I got spared further torture when my opponent got dragged off by his team mates!

The Junior idea I referenced is maybe quite interesting actually. The (more materialistic!) computers obviously aren't that keen on leaving d4 alive but it isn't worth terribly much for white and black does get quite well organised compared to the main lines where he ends up with a bishop on g6, floating knight etc.

Maybe there's some way for white to break it down.
  
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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #4 - 02/25/14 at 17:24:38
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MartinC wrote on 02/25/14 at 09:42:57:
I suppose how strictly practical it is might be questionable.


I agree. As I  said, I wouldn't want to defend this in OTB play.

I checked my copy of Berg' GM Repertoire 15 yesterday and was kinda surprised that he doesn't even mention 12. Qg3. I guess this variation is dead since Roth - Kindermann (Vienna, 1996), but as far as I've seen it goes unmentioned. For anyone who hasn't seen it, here it is for pure pleasure:



edit: Ok, Berg has no need showing this move, because he recommends 11...Rf7 instead of 11...e5 (?! according to him), so he only proves his point by showing optimal play by white (in his view). Still talking about 11...e5 the game Roth - Kindermann is worth being posted here imo.
  
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Re: C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #3 - 02/25/14 at 09:42:57
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I suspect the instinct to kill that light squared bishop at the earliest opportunity is firmly enough ingrained into enough French players to explain no one playing exf3 Smiley

Got to love whites pawn structure after it though! Its the sort of thing that engines often aren't very good at. I suppose how strictly practical it is might be questionable.
  
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Re: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #2 - 02/24/14 at 20:15:19
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11...e5!? (Portisch 1958)

Very good story about this move given in Dvoretsky "Opening Preparation": Zlotnik recalled this idea 30 years later (!) to Dokhoian and his trainer Kishnev, as an alternative to 11..Rf7

12.Qh4 e4 13.gxf6 14.Qxf6

A) 14...Qf8 15.Qxf8+ Kxf8 16.dxc5! dxf3 17.gxf3 (Kindermann/Dirr, and Watson). For me this variation is += or +/- for White: can lead to the positional pawn structure nightmare a3,c2,c3,f2,f3,h2 (6 "isolated" pawns) but otherwise White is slightly better.

B) 14...exf3 15.Rg1 Ng6 16.Qxd8+ Nxd8 17.gxf3 Kg7 18.dxc5 Ne6 19.Rd1 (19.ooo Kf7 20.c4)  Nxc5 20.Bxg6 hxg6 21.Rxd5 b6 22.Rdg5
Not the only variation, but depending of position of Black pieces, some lines give little advantage

C) 14...cxd3 15.cxd3 Bf5!? (15..cxd4 16.Nxd4 Nxd4 17.Qxd4 Nc6 (17...Bf5 18.oo Nc6 19.Qe3 d4 transposes) 18.Qe3 d4 19.cxd4 Bf5 20.oo Qxd4 21.Rfe1 Rf8 (21....Qxd3 22.Qxd3 Bxd3 23.Rad1 Bf5 24.f3 += with the plan g4 and pawns advance on kingside wing; 21..Qxe3 22.Rxe3 Rd8 23.g4 Bg6 24.Rb1 +=) 22.Rab1 Qd7=



B)
  

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Re: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
Reply #1 - 02/24/14 at 16:32:02
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Interesting topic. I had the line once in a rated correspondance game in my very first correspondance tournament. I tried a novelty on move 14. when i played 14...exf3. Not sure if this is terribly interesting for anyone, I will give the full game here:



I wonder why no one has played this move before. The sequence of moves that followed 14...exf3 were the moves I identified as 'main line'. After 17...Nf6 white has lots of pawns but they are all not very mobile. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with my move and still don't know why it should be bad. In 87 games I find at the chesslive website, no one played 14...exf3, before so I guess there should be a problem with it?! I must add though, that I wouldn't be very keen to play this otb because black has to be careful. The engines give white a constant += in this variation (not sure how accurate engines are in this situation) but I couldn't find any way for white to increase the advantage ...
  
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C18: 7.. 0-0 8 Nf3 Winaver lines
02/24/14 at 12:34:53
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Something interesting from reading Berg's volume 2 book on the Winaver, which contains a chunk on the 7 .. o-o Winaver. 8 Nf3 has never been meant to be critical, and still isn't. This has traditionally been because of a lot of extra sharp options black gets. What is interesting there is that this book is (I believe) the first reasonably modern text to examine a lot of blacks very sharp lines with a high powered computer/very strong GM etc.

Consqeuently perhaps notable how many of these ideas Berg doesn't really like - he doesn't really like 8 .. f5 9 ef Rxf6 10 Bg5 Nd7 or Qa5, and gives detailed reasons for the former.

The old Kindermann/Dirr idea of 8.. Qa5 ^ c4 seems to have survived intact. (If not credited to them Wink Since played by other people etc it seems.).

Black can also go 8.. Nbc6 of course, which is rather important due to the 8 Bd3 Nbc6 9 Nf3 move order. That then leads to the final alternative position which starts below.



Now here 11.. Rf7 is fine (and covered in some detail), but does seem like a tiny bit of a retreat back to 8.. f5 based ideas.

The 'fun' line starts with 11.. e5 when it seemingly comes down to evaluating this ending:



All known theory/from several games this. You can't analyse that out concretely and he doesn't try. He clearly doesn't like it terribly much for black though, while Watson did in PTF III. Any suggestions/ideas? Its a rather interesting position of course.

My (very humble) feelings, having played something like this three times (at a modest level), is that I'm not sure Berg is right to be worrying about blacks king - the pieces/black rook tend to get active enough that white has to take Q's off at some point - but I'm not hugely convinced about how attractive the resulting ending is for black.

It is relatively easy to see how whites kingside could end up somehow rolling over black, while its much less obvious how black can hope to win.
(The one win I did get was when white rather careleslly let me keep the d4 pawn alive. Otherwise a couple of games which held but with a bit of work involved.).

One thing I can remember not being sure about when analysing my win was whether black should actually even bother recapturing the pawn on d4. The white pawn on d4 really isn't doing anything terribly relevant to help white and it does make d5 a rather nice outpost for a piece/save a few tempi. Nothing that'd change the long term features of the position though.
« Last Edit: 02/25/14 at 04:07:26 by Smyslov_Fan »  
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