Saturday, November 24, 2007

#227 French Lecture - Part 3

FM Steve Stoyko's 3rd lecture on the French Defense, which was given at the Kenilworth CC on November 1st, covered the Steinitz Variation, Classical Variation and Alekhine-Chatard Attack. Here are the java-replay & PGN of all the games from that lesson.

Perhaps the most interesting segment that night was Steve's good N vs. bad B ending illustration & recommendations. I have taken the liberty of modifying the diagram from his text to even out the tempi & try to match it to an actual game.

Good N vs. Bad B ending

example derived from
Minic-Sofreski : Skopje/Ohrid 1968

Black to move
  • Black has no steed or dark-squared B to challenge White's Nd4 & his light-squared B can't attack anything.
  • White can expand on the K-side with f4-f5 or replace the Nd4 with his K and try to provoke weaknesses that would allow his monarch to penetrate.
  • Notice that ...a7-a6 by Black would help the enemy K infiltrate. Treat that little move with respect. Many Black players make it automatically but it can turn out to be fatal!
  • A plan for Black is to play ...Bd7, ...f6, ...Be8 and ...Bh5/Bg6; repositioning the bad QB. Another is to play ...a6, ...b5, ...b4, ...a5 and ...Ba6.
  • Although the White position is better, it is hard to play since milking the position requires him to beware of all the plans Black can try.

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