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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) The French in Correspondence Play? (Read 5554 times)
nocteus
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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #17 - 07/02/18 at 15:16:25
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MNb wrote on 07/01/18 at 05:19:16:
WSS wrote on 06/30/18 at 21:06:23:
I may have to re-look at TonyRo's Kalashnikov!

That's what I play now, combined with the Accelerated Dragon, hence avoiding the dreaded Maroczy.

Then the Rossolimo is another problem for you.
  
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bragesjo
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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #16 - 07/01/18 at 09:15:03
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While I played to few corr games in French to draw any conclusions about exchange variation since I only met Nd2 and Nc3 but in over the board games exchange is popular even if opponent is higher rated or has the same rating or  are lower rated .After that advanced is most common and after that Nc3 and Nd2 is equally common and after that other lines line KIA and Wing gambit.  I am  however not to unhappy about exchange since I have a plus score against it..
  
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MNb
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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #15 - 07/01/18 at 05:19:16
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WSS wrote on 06/30/18 at 21:06:23:
it gives White more margin for error and requires more errant play by White for Black to turn the tables.  If White is well prepared and plays at a high level (which is more likely with computer assisted correspondence play), he can milk those advantages for quite awhile (hence the long suffering for a draw.)

Nobody ever played the Exchange Variation against me. The latter applies to almost all of my games with 3.Nc3; the former to the Tarrasch and the Advance. Predictably I met 3.Nc3 more often than all the others combined.

WSS wrote on 06/30/18 at 21:06:23:
I may have to re-look at TonyRo's Kalashnikov!

That's what I play now, combined with the Accelerated Dragon, hence avoiding the dreaded Maroczy.
  

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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #14 - 06/30/18 at 21:06:23
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HgMan wrote on 06/30/18 at 16:55:51:
[quote author=6474676163756C69060 link=1527703524/12#12 date=1530344188]The truth is: in correspondence chess, your job is to trick the engine more than it is to trick the opponent.


This last point is an important one in my opinion.  It seems to me that lines like the Portisch-Hook can lead to maneuvering positions with locked pawn chains where the computer may not be as helpful and therefore can possibly give Black an opportunity to outplay his opponent.  However, I am swayed by the experience of MNb and others who have played much more correspondence than I. 

I would appreciate if one or more of you who feel strongly that the Sicilian (Najdorf and Sveshnikov) and 1...e5 offer better chances could say a bit more about why you think it is true?  At the risk of over generalizing, my guess is that the French concedes slightly more -  both space and a "bad" bishop and, though it is sound, it gives White more margin for error and requires more errant play by White for Black to turn the tables.  If White is well prepared and plays at a high level (which is more likely with computer assisted correspondence play), he can milk those advantages for quite awhile (hence the long suffering for a draw.)  On the other hand, with 1...e5 and the Sveshnikov (with 5...e5), Black doesn't really concede the center so the game is slightly more balanced and it is "easier" to turn the tables if White goes astray.  I'm not a Najdorf player, but it seems as though Black counters in the center in some lines with ...e5 and in others is able to get a rapid counter attack on the queen-side, again leading to the conclusion that there may be less margin for error for the White player.  OTB the Winawer PP offers a similar dynamic imbalance but against slow, careful, computer-assisted correspondence play it seems like Black ends up taking greater risk and is seldom rewarded with more than a draw since the tactical chances are well handled by the cold calculation of an engine.

I suppose I have rambled a bit, but I was trying to wrap my head around the underlying reasons for the experiences articulated by several of you.  I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and expertise.  I may have to re-look at TonyRo's Kalashnikov!  Wink
  
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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #13 - 06/30/18 at 16:55:51
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bragesjo wrote on 06/30/18 at 07:36:28:
Actually there are no good openings to play for a win with black. Several anti sicilians are drawish and many open Sicilian mainlines leads to forced draws or mass simplifications.
And French there is exchange variation that is common at over the board clublevel play regardless of rating difference.


Inasmuch as opening preparation, analysis, and research are critical components of correspondence chess, I also research my opponent. There may be few objective ways to win with Black, but there are subjective methods of unsettling an opponent whose past record suggests a misunderstanding in a particular system. As much as possible without disrupting my own preferences, I do alter my openings and lines depending on how an opponent has handled them in the past.

I'm drifting dangerously away from the subject of the original post, so let me draw it back and suggest that success for Black isn't to doggedly insist on playing the same Winawer over and over, but rather to become a broader specialist, sprinkling in a variety of different lines. No: you can't avoid the Exchange, but there are still ways to carve out imbalances and put your opponent off-kilter. The truth is: in correspondence chess, your job is to trick the engine more than it is to trick the opponent.
  

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bragesjo
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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #12 - 06/30/18 at 07:36:28
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Actually there are no good openings to play for a win with black. Several anti sicilians are drawish and many open Sicilian mainlines leads to forced draws or mass simplifications.
And French there is exchange variation that is common at over the board clublevel play regardless of rating difference.


  
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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #11 - 06/30/18 at 01:51:32
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Isn't the Caro Kann just an improved French?  Wink

Kidding aside, I've found that nobody enters into the mainline of the Caro, which means Black faces a series of Advance and Panov-Botvinnik efforts that are poorly understood by the player playing White. I tend to win with the Black pieces a good deal more than I should. I rarely see the mainline Caro. I'm not even sure I'd know how to respond after 3.Nc3.

I raise that because I think there is a tendency to shoot right at the heart of the French with the trickier main lines. I've had good results as White against the French. And the few times I've played it as Black, I've faced the latest theoretical innovations. This doesn't have to be a bad thing, but as MNb & TalJechin indicate: successful French play in correspondence chess requires some real work.
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #10 - 06/29/18 at 21:29:47
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The Classical French has worked alright for me in the two corr-tms I've played. If White plays for a win - i.e. decides not to force a draw, you can get winning chances but if you're the favourite according to rating White tends to play the Steinitz and you can hardly expect more than a draw.

If Black wants to aim for the win with the French, the best bet is probably something less explored early on since the closed positions in the French may require your opponents to put in some work of their own and not just turn on the engines... Especially in the Winawer there seems to be a lot of alternative ideas that are seldom used - though if you put in the effort and explore something new you'll probably need to find something else for the next tournament or just face the Tarrasch more often.

Anyway, it's quite hard to win as Black in corr in any opening. Even Alpha Zero could only win three games of fifty as Black, iirc.
  
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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #9 - 06/29/18 at 13:36:22
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"Does that seem like a fair assessment"
I think it's too optimistic. I'm with Pingudon; after both 3.Nc3 Nf6 and 3.Nc3 Bb4 it's too much suffering for a draw. I turned to the Sicilian as well.
  

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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #8 - 06/29/18 at 12:40:32
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gillbod wrote on 06/25/18 at 12:44:41:
However, I found the Sveshnikov to be a better weapon for trying to extract a full point if white tries too hard, so I generally opt for that.


I agree that the Sveshnikov is a good opening and if I were a White 1.e4 player, I don't think I would allow it.

I'm comfortable with the Black chances against the non-3.Nc3 tries by White.  In my opinion, the main question for Black is whether to play the Classical/MacCutcheon versus 3.Nc3 or the Winawer Portisch-Hook.  Both seem to give Black a chance to out-maneuver White in a longer game. As much as I like the Winawer Poisoned-Pawn OTB, it feels like it is difficult to achieve a full point as Black in correspondence play where White is less likely to lose their way in the complications. 

Does that seem like a fair assessment or does anyone have a different view?  If so, which choice (Classical/MacCutcheon versus Portisch-Hook) do you prefer?
  
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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #7 - 06/25/18 at 21:17:38
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I have played the french in postal but I am not playing it any more. It is more dificult to get an equal game than playing Najdorf or 1...e5. Winning against hard oposition (>2300)  is almost impossible. Too much suffering to get a draw
  
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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #6 - 06/25/18 at 12:44:41
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Personally, when I looked at the French for myself for ICCF play (rated close to 2300 and climbing), I found it perfectly reasonable for black. The Portisch-Hook seemed completely fine, and there were ways for black to hold his own in the Poisoned Pawn Winawer (don't have access to those files at the moment), so that's a couple of variations at least for black to try.

If there are any problem lines that you guys have in these variations, I would be happy to chip in.

However, I found the Sveshnikov to be a better weapon for trying to extract a full point if white tries too hard, so I generally opt for that.
  
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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #5 - 06/19/18 at 20:01:34
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bragesjo wrote on 06/18/18 at 18:39:07:
As a realative new French player this can be an interesting thread. I mainly play in thematical events at ICCF like several Najdorf Be3 and Petroff events but I played the black side of Winaver in one team match for Sweden and got an easy draw in a  none critical line.
In corr Chess I have also played black side of Tarrasch on a regular tournament where the game started 1 d4 e6 2 e4 and I played Be7  vs Tarrasch and met a line I was not prepared for but managed to draw without much trouble.


I don't have extensive correspondence experience like some of the members of the forum, but my own results with the French have been good.  Out of five correspondence games I got the Tarrasch 3x (I won with 3...h6 and 3..a6 and drew with 3...Nf6), the Winawer once (I won an interesting game versus the 7.h4 line); and the Exchange French once which was a draw.  In my OTB experience the French has held up well (other than a poorly played disaster versus a rare line by White!)

I have huge respect for correspondence players and the effort they generally put into their games, so their opinions on the attractiveness of the opening are very interesting.  The comments about the Steinitz being possibly a better try than the Winawer in correspondence were intriguing to me.  I can understand how the forcing nature of many Winawer lines might lead to positions where there is not much left to play for and a draw is the appropriate result.
  
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bragesjo
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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #4 - 06/18/18 at 18:39:07
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As a realative new French player this can be an interesting thread. I mainly play in thematical events at ICCF like several Najdorf Be3 and Petroff events but I played the black side of Winaver in one team match for Sweden and got an easy draw in a  none critical line.
In corr Chess I have also played black side of Tarrasch on a regular tournament where the game started 1 d4 e6 2 e4 and I played Be7  vs Tarrasch and met a line I was not prepared for but managed to draw without much trouble.
  
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Re: The French in Correspondence Play?
Reply #3 - 05/30/18 at 22:30:26
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I was looking some correspondence games on the 7. Dg4 0-0 Winawer main line with Berg's 13...b5 and Negi's recommendation of 15. Cg5 in that line.

Supposedly White had some pressure there, but all three correspondence games with that line ended in a draw. In the OTB games, to contrast, Black lost more in this line. I think this has something to do with playing this line OTB with no computer preparation is harder.

I think that Black is doing fine in the French in correspondence (and also OTB!) provided s/he does the necessary preparations.
  
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