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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Fishbein on French Exchange (Read 13323 times)
Dink Heckler
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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #38 - 06/17/24 at 09:29:53
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Just eyeballing the position, castling Queenside looks like somewhat unprincipled aggression with the White Queenside ready to roll up the board. I would concur that the whole plan is seemingly more of a psychological trick rather than objectively good. But that doesn't make it any less justifiable against the right opponent on the right occasion, as seemingly borne out by the stats.
  

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MartinC
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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #37 - 06/16/24 at 07:23:06
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It's not specifically about 10 b4 and 11 Qa4 - SF16 just thinks white has an advantage there in a few different ways from moves 9 to 11.

Much more likely to be the latter - white trying to dry things up, getting surprised and then getting outplayed.

The whole plan probably does up the volatility of the position. If you run engine tournaments with mixed strength engines you might see black winning a few this way. 

Although this might be too risky/strategically 'simple' for that to show through.
  
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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #36 - 06/16/24 at 02:16:38
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FreeRepublic - You beat me to the punch. I was looking at the statistics for the position in your diagram in Reply #35, and also noticed that Black is doing quite well. I found this result rather puzzling given how both GMs Fishbein and Spragett give White the edge.

Hoping to find some explanation, I did a bit more analysis and obtained the following:

Position after 9.Re1 0-0-0
Mega Database Overall: =144 +174 -320  White score 38.6%
Mega Database Players Average Rating >2300: =21 +20 -36  White score 39.6%
UltraCorr Database =21 +22 -30  White score 44.5%

After the additional moves 10.b4 Ng6 11.Qa4 Kb8:

Mega Database Overall: =15 +9 -22  White score 35.9%
Mega Database Players Average Rating >2300 =2 +3 -1  White score 66.7%
UltraCorr Database =1 +3 -1  White score 70.0%

It appears that success for White could be a combination of knowing the strength of 10.b4 Ng6 11.Qa4 Kb8 and being a sufficiently proficient player to exploit the advantage. (Presumably the handful of correspondence players choosing this 10.b4 continuation also know its strength and have time to work out a winning strategy).  However, both cases of White scoring above 50% have such a low number of total games that it's risky to draw definitive conclusions.

Another statistical finding in the Mega Database results after 9.Re1 0-0-0, where the average rating of the two players was >2300: White's average rating was 2359, while Black's was 2464. Could this be a case of the weaker player selecting the Exchange Variation in hopes of drawing his stronger opponent and getting outplayed in many cases?
  
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FreeRepublic
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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #35 - 06/15/24 at 16:28:25
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Black plays provocatively with 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. c3 Bd6 6. Bd3 Nge7 7. O-O Bg4 8. Nbd2 Qd7 9. Re1 O-O-O

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I agree with Spraggett that Black's play has been overly aggressive. Fishbein indicates 9...0-0-0?! Thanks AOC for providing these evaluations.

MNb's comment seems apt to me:
"Interesting. A few years ago I looked at this via 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Bd6 6.Nf3 from Black's perspective and concluded that White has the better attacking chances after 10.b4, ie castling queenside is too risky. Then I looked at 9...f6 (iso 9...O-O-O) and concluded that Black's best is castling kingside followed by ...Bf5. Finally I wondered if Black can save a tempo with 6...Nge7 (iso 6...Bg4) followed by 7...Bf5 as pointed out by GM Moskalenko in his latest book on the French; only after 7.Qc2 Black plays Bg4 as in Braga-Moskalenko, Barbera 2001. Black claims to play an improved version of the Thavandiran-So game, because Qc2 is a suboptimal move."

I think this covers it. Yet Black has done well playing aggressively:

Overall (through 2023) after 9...0-0-0
=107 +138 -225
Rated above 2300
=14 +11 -12
For 2024 thus far
+5 -8

Recently, Jeffrey Xiong has played this as Black, winning two games, and one more with 9...f6.
  
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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #34 - 06/13/24 at 23:00:12
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 05/23/21 at 17:28:15:
he (Fishbein) quotes Spraggett - Rivera, Lisbon 2014

That probably covers it.

At one time, the line 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Nf3 Bd6 5. Bd3 Nc6 6. O-O Bg4 7. c3 Nge7 8. Nbd2 Qd7 9. Re1 O-O-O?! 10. b4 Ng6 seemed to demonstrate that Black could get good, active counterplay based on opposite side castling in the exchange variation of the French defense. Now I think Spraggett's 11Qa4 puts that line out of business.

I have to admit that I lost touch with theory. ECOC(3) only gives one footnote (with 11Nb3) with this line. 9...f6 is a little better, but still not so attractive, in my opinion.
  
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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #33 - 06/13/24 at 14:15:59
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FreeRepublic wrote on 06/12/24 at 22:38:01:
I don't have Fishbein's book but may get it. Many authors cover the exchange variation briefly and this seems to be the only book that covers it thoroughly.

Sam Collins also advocates the Exchange variation at Chessable.com. He makes the point that it can be used as part of a reply to the Petroff defense also.

I found the free video to be worthwhile. The variation where Black castles queen-side did not show up in that video. With White and Black making other choices, it may not be covered in the course at all.
  
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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #32 - 06/13/24 at 13:07:19
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 06/13/24 at 09:32:49:
Spraggett played 11.Qa4.

Yes.

"The plan of castling Queenside is what Alekhine recommended, strongly influencing several generations of players. As well, most theoretical texts limit themselves to copying this point of view and ignore alternate points of view, or even the possibility that Alekhine exaggerated. ... A very important position in the theory of the Exchange French. I have spent many hours studying games of strong grandmasters who played the Black side, and have come to the conclusion that the theory of this line that one finds in most theoretical texts is all wrong. In a nutshell, the Black plan of castling Queenside is over optimistic."

I agree. My general impression is that it was common for authors to recommend this line for Black. Now it's more likelely that they proceed otherwise, either with king side castling at move ten or something else.

I have the games Spraggett - Rivera and Spraggett - Stella in my data base and will look them over.
  
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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #31 - 06/13/24 at 09:32:49
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Spraggett played 11.Qa4.
https://2700chess.com/games/spraggett-rivera-r2-lisbon-2014-12-27

an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 05/23/21 at 17:28:15:
In the notes to Thavandiran - So, he (Fishbein) quotes Spraggett - Rivera, Lisbon 2014, but he doesn't seem to be aware of Spraggett's article on the Exchange French. See spraggettonchess.com 2016.11.04 at archive.org.

It's not easy to search through Spraggett's stuff in the Wayback Machine, but here is the Exchange French article. The plugin of course doesn't work, so view the page source in order to get the analysis. https://web.archive.org/web/20180206075645/http://www.spraggettonchess.com/the-french-exchange-variation
  
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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #30 - 06/12/24 at 22:38:01
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I don't have Fishbein's book but may get it. Many authors cover the exchange variation briefly and this seems to be the only book that covers it thoroughly.

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bd3 Bd6 6. c3 Nge7 7. O-O Bf5 as suggested by AOC and agreed upon by MNb seems to be a good way to go. Moskalenko, The Flexible French, plays 7Qc2 and Black has to work a little harder before he's able to play his bishop to f5 (still with a good game).

Probably a few of us have been attracted by the prospect of opposite side castling, with mutual attacks. After 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. ed5 ed5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. c3 Bd6 6. Bd3 Nge7 7. O-O Bg4 8. Nbd2 Qd7 9. Re1 AOC's reply 27 mentions 9...0-0-0, 9...f6, and 9...0-0. 9...0-0-0 is provided by Lakadawala, but it is probably too risky. It's a bit of a gamble. Will White find the best moves? And what if he does?

Here is the what I came up with using Stockfish (my apologies). 9. Re1 O-O-O?! 10. b4 Ng6 11. b5 Na5!? 12. Qa4 b6 13. Ne5 Ne5 14. de5 Rhe8! (It can be important to keep a rook on the d file to support ...d4.) 15. Nb3 Be5 16. Na5 ba5 17. Bd2 Kb8 18. Qa5 Qd6 19. h3 Bc8. Material is even. Stockfish claims an advantage for White but then maneuvers pointlessly. It seems that Black is ok.

Larsen said "long analysis, wrong analysis." Perhaps I missed something and Black is lost somewhere along the way, or even in the final position. Yet it seems to me that Black is ok.

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« Last Edit: 06/13/24 at 01:16:37 by FreeRepublic »  
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MNb
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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #29 - 05/24/21 at 05:37:22
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 05/23/21 at 17:28:15:
7...Bf5!? 8.Bxf5 Nxf5 9.Re1+ Nge7 I'm not sure how white should "punish" this

He/she shouldn't even try, with or without scare quotes.
Btw Black has a very easy game after 8...Qxf5 iso the more ambitious 8...Nxf5.

an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 05/23/21 at 17:28:15:
..... certainly not by 10.Qd3 O-O 11.Nbd2 Qd7 12.Nf1 when black is tempo ahead of Spraggett - Rocha (there the wN is already on g3).

Black can do better as the game transposes to Samblic-Jurkovic, Bizovac 2006 with 10...Qd7 11.Nbd2 f6. GM Fishbein can say what he wants, with this move Black controls square e5 forever. Here Black also has a slight lead in development while White has to make a decicion: 12.b4 O-O, 12.Nf1 O-O-O. It seems to me that the fairly neutral 12.a4 maintains equality. As Black I would be pretty confident against a weaker opponent though; in this sense Black has won the opening battle.
But White has several better moves than 10.Qd3: 10.a4 (idea 11.Na3), 10.Ne5  and 10.Qb3 should all be fine without pretending an opening edge.

an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 05/23/21 at 17:28:15:
Fishbein doesn't analyze any alternatives for either side.

I am not surprised. Yet 6...Nge7 was already played by Nimzovitch in 1927 and 7...Bf5 more than ten times in the previous century.
Thanks for confirming my thoughts on GM Fishbein as expressed in previous comments.
  

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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #28 - 05/23/21 at 17:54:12
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 05/23/21 at 17:28:15:
Which book is Moskalenko's latest?

Published last month:
https://www.newinchess.com/the-fully-fledged-french
  
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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #27 - 05/23/21 at 17:28:15
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MNb wrote on 05/23/21 at 06:23:23:
an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 05/22/21 at 21:22:31:
4.Nf3 Nc6 5.c3 Bd6 6.Bd3 Nge7 7.O-O Bg4 8.Re1 Qd7 9.Nbd2 O-O-O { ?! --Fishbein pg.176 } 
  ( 9...O-O Fressinet - Short, World rapid ch, Riadh 2017 --Fishbein pg.180-182 (game74)) 
10.b4 Ng6 Thavandiran - So, PRO League 2019 (1/2, 53) --Fishbein pg.176-178 (game 72) 
  ( 10...Rde8 Stojchev - Jacimovic, Struga 2012 (1/2, 18) --Fishbein pg.178-179 (game73) RR Fishbein says white was winning in the final position.


Interesting. A few years ago I looked at this via 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Bd6 6.Nf3 from Black's perspective and concluded that White has the better attacking chances after 10.b4, ie castling queenside is too risky. Then I looked at 9...f6 (iso 9...O-O-O) and concluded that Black's best is castling kingside followed by ...Bf5. Finally I wondered if Black can save a tempo with 6...Nge7 (iso 6...Bg4) followed by 7...Bf5 as pointed out by GM Moskalenko in his latest book on the French; only after 7.Qc2 Black plays Bg4 as in Braga-Moskalenko, Barbera 2001. Black claims to play an improved version of the Thavandiran-So game, because Qc2 is a suboptimal move.
Just my two SRD (worth less than ever in this time of inflation).

Which book is Moskalenko's latest? Fishbein has in his bibliography Moskalenko (2015) The Even More Flexible French.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 

Spraggett says "!". For some strange reasons I am interested in this line for white. One contributor is an important tournament I played as a junior, which I won because of three games in the Exchange French, none of which involved me! In the second one, the top-ranked player was held to a draw, later allowing me to finish 1/2-point in first. Yet objectively the move deserves "?!" because it gives away all white's positional advantage and reduces it strictly to the first move. It's an uncommon case of an opening I have looked at a lot, yet played hardly ever. However it's not completely a wasted effort -- my record on the black side of the Exchange French is outstanding.

3...exd5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.c3 

Fishbein has
  • 5.Bb5 - 6 games 
  • 5.c3/5.Bd3 - 3 games 
  • 5.Nc3!? - 3 games 
  • 5.h3!? - 1 game
This is the only place in the book, except for the Introduction (chapter 1), where he gives more than one line for white. I speculate that previously he played 5.Bb5 and now he doesn't really have an answer.

5.Bd3 Bg4 6.O-O Bd6 Fressinet - Short move order, I was sure must have been a typo, or a double-inaccuracy in a rapid game, but no: 6...Nxd4 7.Qe1+ Ne6 8.Ne5 +=. Should the GM have mentioned this? Perhaps he just expects *all* his readers to be able to figure this out with an engine's help.

5...Bd6 6.Bd3 Nge7 7.O-O Bg4 

This is the Stojchev - Jacimovic move order. Between 5.c3/5.Bd3 and 9.Re1 Fishbein doesn't analyze any alternatives for either side, nor in his other two games in this line. 7...Bf5!? 8.Bxf5 Nxf5 9.Re1+ Nge7 I'm not sure how white should "punish" this, certainly not by 10.Qd3 O-O 11.Nbd2 Qd7 12.Nf1 when black is tempo ahead of Spraggett - Rocha (there the wN is already on g3).

8.Nbd2 Qd7 9.Re1 

In the notes to Thavandiran - So, he quotes Spraggett - Rivera, Lisbon 2014, but he doesn't seem to be aware of Spraggett's article on the Exchange French. See spraggettonchess.com 2016.11.04 at archive.org.
  • 9...f6 10.Nf1 O-O-O 11.b4 +/- (1:0, 57) Spraggett - Stella, Figuera da Foz 2016
  • 9...O-O-O 10.b4 +/- (1:0, 59) Spraggett - Rivera, Lisbon 2014 
  • 9...O-O "small edge" according to Spraggett 10.Nf1 Bf5 11.Ng3 (Fishbein gives instead 11.Ne3 and 11.Be2) Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Bxg3?! 13.hxg3 (1:0, 33) Spraggett - Rocha, Ponto Delgado 2016

I wouldn't be at all surprised if 9...O-O "small edge" turns out to be "no edge". Unfortunately black won't have many winning chances with same side castling.
  
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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #26 - 05/23/21 at 08:58:00
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Just because its amusing - after 5 Bg5 there, Leela is very gently keen on 5...h6 ^ 6 Bh4 g5 7 Bg3 Bg7 and Ne4. That definitely unbalances the position!
  
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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #25 - 05/23/21 at 06:23:23
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 05/22/21 at 21:22:31:
4.Nf3 Nc6 5.c3 Bd6 6.Bd3 Nge7 7.O-O Bg4 8.Re1 Qd7 9.Nbd2 O-O-O { ?! --Fishbein pg.176 } 
  ( 9...O-O Fressinet - Short, World rapid ch, Riadh 2017 --Fishbein pg.180-182 (game74)) 
10.b4 Ng6 Thavandiran - So, PRO League 2019 (1/2, 53) --Fishbein pg.176-178 (game 72) 
  ( 10...Rde8 Stojchev - Jacimovic, Struga 2012 (1/2, 18) --Fishbein pg.178-179 (game73) RR Fishbein says white was winning in the final position.


Interesting. A few years ago I looked at this via 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Bd6 6.Nf3 from Black's perspective and concluded that White has the better attacking chances after 10.b4, ie castling queenside is too risky. Then I looked at 9...f6 (iso 9...O-O-O) and concluded that Black's best is castling kingside followed by ...Bf5. Finally I wondered if Black can save a tempo with 6...Nge7 (iso 6...Bg4) followed by 7...Bf5 as pointed out by GM Moskalenko in his latest book on the French; only after 7.Qc2 Black plays Bg4 as in Braga-Moskalenko, Barbera 2001. Black claims to play an improved version of the Thavandiran-So game, because Qc2 is a suboptimal move.
Just my two SRD (worth less than ever in this time of inflation).
  

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Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
Reply #24 - 05/22/21 at 23:19:38
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Yes, in a note on page 179 he answers 9...f6!? with 10.a4 "I don't think the weakness on e6 can help black in the long term". After a short variation "White has some initiative, although black's position is solid".

It's not a "secrets" type book, there are no N! moves. I have no doubt Fishbein is not telling us everything he knows. It's mostly a proposed repertoire for white, plus illustrative games giving typical play in some "other" Exchange French lines. There are examples of sub-optimal play by both sides, with Fishbein explaining what would have been better. Other players may not like that, wanting only the best moves, but I find second-rate (e.g. second-rate to a GM) play very helpful for understanding an opening. The book doesn't proclaim anything revolutionary for white. It's just an opening Fishbein likes and has played for a long time.

Fishbein - Gulko, Philadelphia 1993 (1:0, 57) pages 101-103 (game 39) Edited:
fixed the game number

https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1054340

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bg5 

Here's an example of sub-optimal play. Fishbein says this works against everything except 5...Bd6!, and on page 108 he explains this in words but no moves. Even so, 5.Bg5 has been played quite a bit, and it seems the rationale for 5...Bd6! must not be super-obvious even to strong players, since they often play something else.

5...Be7 6.Bd3 Bg4 7.O-O O-O 8.Nbd2 h6 9.Bh4 c5 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.c3 Nc6 12.Qa4

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Position after 12.Qa4

Quote:
"!" This was very good home preparation. I had been studying with grandmaster Gregory Kaidanov the year before. I don't remember in what exact context we were analyzing the Exchange French. In this position I suggested 12.Qb3, but Gregory proposed a less obvious, but much better move, 12.Qa4. It asks the black bishop an unpleasant question.
--Fishbein, page 101

To be honest, black looks pretty solid after the game's 12...Be6 or the possible 12...Bd7 in a note. Gulko must have been annoyed to lose. But if white has studied this type of position and knows exactly what to do with it, it seems a valid way to play.
  
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