Thursday, November 08, 2007

#225 French Lecture - Part 2

FM Steve Stoyko's 2nd lecture on the French Defense covered lines with ...dxe4, 3.Be3 & 3.Bd3. The notes below are derived from his accompanying text.

...dxe4 Ideas & Plans
  • ...dxe4 gives White has a space advantage but it lessens as pieces are exchanged. So, after White recaptures...
  • Black challenges the piece on e4, to either force an exchange or time-wasting retreat.
  • With development completed (at least K into safety), Black will nullify the center with either ...c5 or ...e5.

The biggest problem is getting the QB (Bc8) developed. In this system, it comes out via ...b6 & ...Bb7 or (if possible) ...a6 & ...b5.

If all of this can be accomplished, Black will have equal middlegame and endgame chances.

Patience is needed when playing this way with Black. He cannot really attack anything and has to wait for White to do something rash or over-aggressive.

How does White make progress?
  • Develop super-fast
  • Try to get in 0-0-0 if you want to attack
  • If 0-0, try Ne5 + f4, Rf3, Rh3, and g2-g4-g5
  • In general, avoid c2-c4 since this tends to weaken the d-pawn

...dxe4 Summary

All of these lines (Rubinstein, Purdy, Fort Knox, Burn) are interesting and require both sides to play well. Black often has to defend against K-side attack but, if he accurately does so, he has every prospect of winning since the White player tends to go "all-in". The attacking side is NOT easy to play. I have been on both sides of these positions and have always seen White get into severe time-trouble!

Here's are the java-replay & PGN of all the games from the lesson.

The last part of the lecture series, which will cover the Tarrasch & Winawer Variations, is tonight at 8:00 p.m. ($5.00 admission)

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